I have set PR's twice in one week!
Friday, I broke my 45# overhead squat PR by 20#!!! Yes, I can lift 65# right over my head and squat with it. 5 times! Overhead squats are such a challenge for me, because my upper body strength does not match my lower body strength. My shoulders and arms give out, limiting my load. Usually, one arm/shoulder gives out first, so the bar is all wonky and lopsided. Friday, I really concentrated on locking out my shoulders and arms and maintaining that position through the squat. I guess it worked!
This morning, I back squatted 155#. That is 10# more than my old PR! A 165# attempt was a fail, then I failed at 155# the second go round. If I hadn't been rushed, I feel like I was strong enough for the 165#, but it was pushing 6:30 AM and I had to go home to shower before work.
Max weight WODs at CrossFit don't alwasy feel like as intense or good of a workout as AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible) or timed WODs. For this reason, I used to hate them, but my heart rate monitor always shows as much calorie burn on max weight WODs as AMRAP or timed WODs. Plus, max weight WODs are a good way to track progress and work on form.
This article explains why it's important to know your 1 rep max, how to warm up to a 1 rep max lift, and how to calculate it lifting multiple reps.
Why you should lift heavy and knowing how much weight you should lift can be found in this article.
Do you ever lift to your max? Or do you prefer to use a weight with which you can complete a lot of reps? How do you decide how much weight to use?