Actually I'd disagree there. You can take reps and make them max effort. The key is depending on the application and when it comes to powerlifting, singles are the most efficient way of getting stronger.
travis , have you ever tried a different program than conjugate ? i mean , not before you get strong at westside , i mean at your current strengthlevel. if not , why not testing some different trainingideas for 3-6 months offseasontraining for example ?
I began at Westside in 2005. I benched about 365 raw at the time. 470 equipped. Within a year and a half I benched 620 at 220lbs bodyweight in an old denim shirt. I have consistently gone up in strength since then. My raw bench is a little over 575 right now and current PR equipped is 850.
So my question to you would be, why should I try anything else? The method has worked extraordinarily well for me. I'm 28 years old and have a lot left to give this sport before I'm done. I haven't ever gone backwards. That's a pretty strong testament for a program.
The saying, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, goes a long ways. I have the best coach in the world and the strongest teammates in the world. Westside (the gym and the program) made me what I am today. It got me this far, it makes sense it'll take me where I want to go.
But our mental approach is different.
Women tend to have more slow twitch muscles fibers (endurance). That's why they tend to go towards cardio instead of weights. Simply, their bodies are better at cardio. Men have more fast twitch fibers (speed, power). Hence, we tend to drift towards weights more often.
But, I definately agree that the mental appraoch is different, as well.
Part of the reason I like 5, 4, 3, 2rm's is because they teach me to grind and fight and hit reps in a fatigued condition. That makes singles that much easier for me, mentally. It's only one rep. Maybe it's a mental thing for me. not sure.
I think its a good idea to switch up your max effort reps. No more then a triple though.
Thanks for posting that article. I was thinking the same thing while reading this.
How would you know what you deal with on a daily basis relative to fiber type? Are you taking muscle biopsies? You are taking a symptom, women being able to rep with near maxes and then failing with just a little more weight, and ascribing it to a physiological mechanism and being inaccurate in doing so.
You can talk about training, but you should not try to discuss it from a physiological standpoint when you are clearly limited on that front in terms of knowledge.
Actually, you're both right depending on what data you look at. There have been studies showing higher fatigue resistance in women, though a marginally lower maximum force output over same muscle CSA. Some theories state that this is due to fiber type (and some studies show higher percentages of SO fibers in some muscles in women), others state that this is due to what Chris is mentioning- CNS optimization and preferential hypertrophy of type II fibers in men due to androgen influence (which may result in a faster depletion of energy stores for a given CSA of muscle, and therefore quicker fatigue (and relatively lesser ability to perform at a a high percentage of calculated max, regardless of ability to move submaximal weight).
There. I've effectively added nothing to the conversation. Carry on. :)
And, as I look back on this, I don't give a fuck why. I just need to know how to address it in my athletes. That's ALL that really matters, period. Fiber type, hormonal make-up - I usually save that bullshit for the pencil necks.
If you choose to remain ignorant then it would behoove you to refrain from using physiology to back your ideas. You would be better off just stating the symptom, like the fact women are more fatigue resistant and tend to be able to handle just under maximal weights for reps...
Aren't women better equipped to handle the pain associated with longer rep sets because of being able to handle childbirth?
. Neural activation may play a role---its been proven women in general have better fine motor skills, which can translate to better muscle fiber activation, depending on the skill being assessed.
I personally am still prone to think it is mental approach more than anything. So many guys go after a weight "TO KILL IT" and they literally gass themselves on that first repetition. Women on the other hand approach things a bit more conservatively, holding that last bit back until they need it.
As I read through this thread again, I also think you really are comparing apples and oranges with some of this. Powerlifters are concerned with one thing---one rep max. Collegiate athletes, outside of what? Shot, hammer, javalin what else? DO NOT have concern about 1 rep max. Even an offensive lineman has repeated steps coming off the lnie...The multiple rep training seems to maybe make more sense for them because their strength has to be sustained vs absolute maximal. I know that is overthinking a bit, but I am a self admitted pencil neck, and frankly if you really want to split hairs, then split them accurately.