Build Strength instead of testing it every workout
Throughout your training toward reaching a specific goal you should focus on building strength instead of testing all the time. By constantly maxing out or testing your strength, your neurological system never really adapts to the stimulus. Plus your CNS will become fried and have you feeling tired and weak. If you can maintain the discipline to building strength and locking down all the techniques of the lifts, I guarantee you will PR when it comes to max out time. One of the keys to building up to your max is to leave a rep or two in the tank during training. You still need to battle under the bar and push yourself physically and mentally, but you shouldn't be grinding out sh*tty reps every workout. If you are, you will develop compensations and eventually get hurt. You'll never develop the true strength it takes to reach your PR. I recently designed a 15-week customized program for one of my clients, Sullybear. He did all the right things to set himself up for success, committed to nutrition that supports the training, stayed disciplined throughout the entire program, focused on improving weaknesses in the big 3 and paid attention to his recovery. The program consisted of a 5-week hypertrophy phase, followed by a deload, then a 3-week strength phase, deload, another 3-week strength phase, deload, culminating with a 1RM bench, squat, deadlift. When it came time to max out at the end of the program, Sullybear deadlifted 500lbs, which is a lifetime PR for him. That was a 60lb. jump from the time he started the program! That's solid PR for a guy weighing in at 185lbs. His reaction at the end is great: The first attempt was @485, 2nd attempt for the win @500lbs.
If you're a strength maniac like Sullybear, reaching a lifetime PR as you get older becomes more and more difficult. It requires more and more attention to detail. When you finally reach one, you know all the work you put toward it was well worth it! Have a good week!
Dominate Another Day. - Coach Hoke