What if I could share something with you right now that would virtually GUARANTEE that you smash your records in all major lifts this week? And the week after…and the week after that…you get the idea.
And these improved lifts would of course lead to faster muscle gains.
Happy days 😀
It’s called “Postactivation Potentiation“. Luckily, it’s easier to understand than it sounds.
Basically, “power output”, or your ability to generate force, seems to increase SIGNIFICANTLY if you perform a 1 rep max of a movement, then wait a full 7 minutes before starting your regular sets.
I’ve talked before about “neuro-muscular efficiency”, which is basically how well the signal from the central nervous system (CNS) gets sent to the muscle. The better it is, the better your results.
What this technique is doing in my opinion is OPTIMIZING this signal, thereby allowing you to lift more than you normally could. Simple. Effective.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT POSTACTIVATION POTENTIATION
Here’s an example: You want to improve your bench press. You know you got 10 reps at 100kg last week. Go to my THT Rep Calculator and enter this weight and rep number to discover what your 1 rep max would be in this movement.
On your next chest workout perform this 1 rep max (after warming up) and then wait 7 minutes before starting your regular THT chest routine.
Neuromuscular efficiency should be optimized and you will hopefully experience more progressions in strength than you are accustomed to.
You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain here. Try it!
NOTE: This technique is something I had already built into the new membership site (coming May 2012) even before coming across this research . The new site will not only reveal a way of eating that allows you to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, but also contains what I’m calling Advanced THT Training, Post-activation Potentiation being but one method utilized (however I did not find that a full 7 mins was necessary).
Train With Intensity!
 Postactivation potentiation: effect of various recovery intervals on bench press power performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Mar;26(3):739-44. Ferreira SL, Panissa VL, Miarka B, Franchini E.
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Awesome stuff!! No plateaus yet (was on THT Volume) and second day of TSPA hehe! (Very pleased with my results btw) Amma keep this in mind and bust it out when I need it.
I would like to give this a try, but I’m an older lifter with battle injuries from heavy lifting. I’ve pretty much been forced by my own body to lower the weight and use a 10-12 rep range. When I try heavy low rep ranges, I pay the price with joint and ligament pain.
You go! I am living proof this works
I am 61 and this PAP works like a charm.
You HAVE TO WARM UP AS NORMAL WORKOUT FIRST.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR FORM PERFECT.
if not, then the joints and ligaments get in the way. warmup at lower rates should help you adjust.
It works for me for abs, back, biceps, triceps, chest, and shoulders.
And it makes my head muscle HUGE!! They have to shut me up at the gym these days.
Speaking of warming up, anyone willing to share their warmup routines? I usually just do three reps of my first exercise at 50% weight. Any advice or tips are appreciated.
@Kris – THT Warm up is:
Warm up 1 – 50% of weight – 10 reps
Wait 1 minute then
Warm up 2 – 70-75% of weight – 4-5 reps
Wait 1 minute then
Warm up 3 – 90% of weight – 1-2 reps
Wait 1 minute then hit your first set
Like Mark said, the key is to warm-up well, otherwise this is a sure fire route to SNAP CITY! 😛
so this is only used on sticking body parts, not all the sets in say..the mass routine?
I leave my coat on and gloves off and grab bar and do 10-15 reps.
then I immediately add something and do another bunch.
then I click on my stopwatch to do a normal rest, and add several more warmup quantities in increments until I’m 80% or more of last weeks mass.
Then I bust my gut.
sometimes I do like others and put on 50% and do that amount twice.
But I always just walk in, and pump the bar without any other weight.
@matt & @John A Davis: Thanks!
Btw, practiced this technique today and saw unbelievable results. It was biceps day, and after my 1-rep max I couldn’t believe how many more reps and weight I could lift. I busted previous highs on all my routines. Kudos to Mark for sharing this awesome insight.
I changed from seated overhead press (week 1 and 2) to standing (week 3 and 4), i am stuggling to hit the same reps now that i had before, i planned to drop the weight back a little to help make progress but i might try this first……what you guys think?
Did you wait a full 7 minutes before starting your regular sets after warming up and using this technique or did you find it wasn’t necessary?
Definitely want to try this out. Any thoughts on calculating a 1 rep max for weighted pullups, or weighted dips? Would you plug in strictly the additional weight, or your combined weight and then subtract out your bodyweight from the result?
I did the same thing. I fould that I was using my back to push off with the seated presses and could thus lift more. Moved to standing, took the hit, and now I’m back and even better especially because of PAP.
What I did with the weighted dip machine is that I put on more than possible, and then asked a guy in the gym to give it a little help if/when I asked. Afterwards he told me he figured 5 lbs help. so that is where I will set it if I do it alone.
@ Dan Cravens
When i calculate my weight increases i always include the weight of the bars (then remove on spreadsheet so i know what plates to use).
If i was doing weighted dips/pullups then i would include my bodyweight when calculating 1 rep max (but i may be wrong)
I waited the 7 minutes to start with. I’m going to scale it back as I progress and compare my progress.
Hey mark, what do you think of power bodybuilding.. keeping heavy heavy wieght and low reps..about five reps.. i quess like a 5×5 workout..primary focus is to get super strong.. thus your body gets bigger to compensate..
Sure enjoy reading the MuscleHackers comments. A Great group of people!! Defenitly going to try this PAP technique in my workouts. Sounds like it works very well. Thank You Again Mark!!!
@Jason. You might as well try it on all major lifts. I’m all for experimentation. Use a smith machine for squatting a 1 rep max in case you get into trouble.
@matt. Go back to seated, at least for your initial heavier sets. That’s what I’m doing.
@Dan Cravens. Interesting questions, actually. You’d have to use total weight I guess for the most accurate answer.
@mikey. For hypertrophy/growth, 5×5 sucks in my opinion. I cover this more thoroughly in my free THT book.
@Mike Huber. Thanks, bud.
@ Mark Mcmanus
Thanks Mark, I’ll try seated for the first three sets (1ST Set and both pre fatigue sets) and then go to standing for the 4th and 5th sets
1 rep is not a set, right? So I need to lift my max just one time and wait 7 mins and then hit my chest routine?