Ben Johnson Squat 1rm?

Charlie if you tested BJ’s 1rm in the squat what do you think he would of been capable of…700 maybe…you used 2x6x600lbs for maintenance so that could of been about 80%…or does strength endurance play a role and ben was aple to perform reps at close to his max because it had well developed strength endurance…

I have no real idea on that as it was of no consequence but I’m sure that the normal pyramid rules would not apply to most sprinters because of their high SE abilities (that means the max would not be as high as a 6RM would suggest.)

Charlie, SE in this case means speed endurance or strength endurance? This is an interesting point and says something about intensity. Many readers look at someone like Ben, who I believe you stated rarely if ever went fewer than 6 reps, and use a 6RM for the upper end of their workouts. For the ‘typical’ athlete that is about 85% of 1RM. For elite sprinters/athletes like Ben with optimally developed SE, pushing to a 6RM could have actually been 90% of 1RM. Does that seem consistent with Ben’s case?

SE is special endurance from what he has said before.

yes, SE is Special Endurance and you are right about the probable percent. The difficulty with squats to parallel for comparison is that if the weight gets near max, it’s pretty likely the squat will be less deep and therefor will go higher but it’s not a true comparison. As an example, Milt Ottey, (World no1 HJ in 1982) was well above 700 but quite shallow as this is more appropriate for his event which is not back dominant.

if a sprinters 5rm in the squat is 80% of their max[1rm]…could this indicate a lack of special endurance??..muscle fibre tests using weights then are useless and unreliable…

Special Endurance will give you a totally accurate assessment of fitness for Special Endurance!! If you tire and die, well…

How to conduct the Charles Poliquin muscle fibre test

Determine your one repetition maximum (1RM) on an exercise
Rest for 15 minutes
Perform as many repetitions as possible with 85% of your 1RM

Less than 5 repetitions - fast twitch (FT) dominant
5 repetitions - mixed fibre type
more than 5 repetitions - slow twitch (ST) dominant
If you are FT dominant, then you should use heavier loads and lower repetitions predominantly in your training. ST dominant individuals, on the other hand, will respond better to lighter loads and higher repetitions

I have heard this before from CP. This holds true with what CF just said in that "if you tire and die, well… "
However - according to this article, SE is not shown/neglected/not trainable or all of the above? Ie - If bens squats were 6 x 600lb and 85% of max = Slow twitch dominant…

Unless the article is talking about beginners - according to CP however, it can be used for nearly everybody at any stage…

Does this suggest sprinters, who I think would like to be fast twitch dominant, should use higher loads (i.e.85% and above)?

However - according to this article, SE is not shown/neglected/not trainable or all of the above? Ie - If bens squats were 6 x 600lb and 85% of max = Slow twitch dominant…
I think it is mixing apples and orange to suggest Ben is slow twitch. FT effect on this measurement could be overcome by very high level of SE, as Charlie suggested. I’m not sure Polequin’s cuttoff took into account athletes with such a high level of endurance.

Tomas Janku ( Czech HJ with PB 234) did squat ( more 1/4) a couple of times with 660!

For a fast twitch dominant athlete they would use:

Number of reps/%'s:







I read an autobiography of Ben Johnson (published think 1987 or 1988) and there was a picture of him doing squats. I do not know how many pounds was there, but there was a someone behind him and helped him very well (his arms were around Ben to help him standing up and trying a lot!)
Question: 2x6x600 was done without spoter and without any help? Clear?

My best with 90% of max is 5 reps… and 77% of max is 10 reps…

Slow twitch dominant:


When you say 1RM do you mean Training Max or Competition Max there can be a 10-15% difference in the TM compared to the CM

He had a spotter most of the time but when I did it I didn’t help him up and he didn’t need it, just for insurance in case there was a problem. Mostly he was spotted by me or Desai or Mark and they would have done the same as me but he sometimes was spotted by others if I wasn’t there for some reason and I can’t vouch for anyone else in my absence. At times he may also have done it without a spotter but he wasn’t supposed to. I assume you would recognize us.

This is what CP suggests (from what i have read). To do so, you might still do say 30reps total workout in say bench, you just break it up more, ie, 10 sets of 3 instead of 3 sets of 10.

CP normally tries to target more Elite level, or higher level guys than he does with beginners. Surely though, even though CP’s guys dont do SE running, surely they push hard on these weights, creating a WEights SE effect over time?

Therefore - how do we read the results from such a position? Perhaps they have the Fast twitch / Slow twitch back to front??

I dont doubt that however, the results that one can get from training to your strengths, ie, should you train high or low reps depending on your 85% rep base for guys looking to get bigger and stronger. How though, does it apply to sprinting?

I’m lead to believe, CP and those guys TEST often, and use current testing Max, whether that be comp or what?

Utilizing repetition tests with sub-max weight and weighing the results against a 1RM, competition or training max, is an unwise and inaccurate measure of fiber type dominance/composition.

The training program that one has been on can easily sway the results one way or the other.

Simple training adjustments may increase the oxidation potential of type IIa and IIb/x fiber.

For this reason, with all due respect to those who place value on the significance of any RM weighed against a 1RM, this vehicle of indication is science fiction.

Short of muscle biopsy, the most accurate measure of white fiber dominance, or not, is to assess activities that are a direct reflection of the capacity of white fiber; i.e. short sprints, jumps, and throws

Using 1RMs and reps with heavy weights is doomed from the start in this regard as the last direction you should look in, with respect to identifying to what extent a subject is gifted with explosive potential, is slow activities.

Take a look at the attached chart:

Any way you slice it, the closer the athlete is to scoring 100 on the test the more white fiber they have.

True - i actually do agree here!
But we are talking Charles Pol… He is a self promoted Guru, charges hundeds $$ per hr training sessions, charges thousands so you can Study Under him and become just like him…

Just cause i posted CP stuff, doesn’t necessary mean i endorse it as a means of sprinting training (including teams). Its just that HE and his stuff gets quoted a lot, and the Fibre thing based off 1Rm is something i see a lot.