While there is definitely a time and a place for percentages, it’s important to understand that percentages, much like stop signs, are merely suggestions.
My dad always says, “when the pan is hot, do the cooking”. And while this also applies to the culinary arts, he’s moreso referring to an athlete’s job of being in tune with their body.
In our sport, there are days when we should be feeling great, but we feel like death. And then there are days when we should be feeling like death, but we feel like we just finished a cycle of Anavar.
*Let it be noted that we do not condone usage of steroids, but believe in talking about them to help provide some comic relief for longer than necessary blog posts *
Because of this, following percentages to a T can be frustrating and/ or detrimental to progress.
The frustration comes in when life throws unexpected stressors into our life and keeps our body from being able to perform at 100%. When we’re fixated on hitting certain percentages, it’s easy to get frustrated if we’re unable to hit specific numbers. Negativity or distrust in a program creeps in and this will cause unproductive training sessions.
A delay in progress can occur when the weightlifting gods decide to bless us with ache-free joints and snappy movement, BUT the program only calls for 70% of our max for the day. It’s important to have the flexibility to take advantage of the days when we feel amazing and go for those bigger weights! Again… “when the pan is hot, do the cooking”.
Of course all of this is on a case by case basis and completely dependent on where you’re at in your cycle or what your goals are for each cycle. So, be honest with yourself as an athlete and have a trusting relationship with your coach… that way the two of you can work together to determine when to stick with percentages and when it’s safe to stray.