Max Strength

After performing a max strength phase (sets 1-2 reps away from failure) for around 7 weeks would the neurones be firing at max or could several sessions of true RM increase firing rate and hence improve strength?

You can’t consider the weights as the lone contributor to this picture, as all other training elements are involved. In fact, I imagine that the max neuron activity would occur at the peak of performance, which is past the max strength phase and well into the maintenance phase (remember that, even though the max lifts are not occurring here, the max output POTENTIAL is present at this time).

So would true RM sessions be unnecessary or would they aid in peaking?

We never used 1Rms.

Charlie how much do you decrease the distance on the track, when doing max strength work?

It’s more a matter of controlling the intensity of runs rather than the volume. The intensity is controlled by the distance over which you accelerate.

Very interesting thread! From personal experience I found max performance came AFTER a max strength phase during the unloading phase. My body seemed to rebound and was almost supercompensating for a period of time with weights in a maintainence mode. (Usually for ~2 weeks) Speedwork times were significantly faster.

One reason weightlifters and powerlifters perform one repetition maximums is to develop optimal inter and intra muscular coordination for the specific exercise being trained. These are adaptations that sprinters need not be overly concerned with.

Full recovery from a 1RM test for a mature lifter may take up to two weeks. 3 and 5RMs for basic compound exercises allow maximums to be tested, if so desired, without the associated CNS stress (since absolute load is less).

A very important point about recovery from 1RM lifts. It runs a similar period to sprint performances at the highest levels- 10 to 14 days. This was why I dropped max 1RM testing in 1985, after talking with Bishop Dolegiewicz (the Can shot record holder with massive lift PBs)

I don’t actually use 1RM and was really refering to 3-5RM. I realise muscular coordination regarding RM would not be neccessary to develop as a sprinter, but would increased neural firing rate result from RM whether 1, 3 or 5RM after a period of 1-2 reps less than RM, and would this aid peaking on the track?