Nobody Gets Hurt Doing Their One-Rep Maxes*

Says my physical therapist.

I hurt my back most recently doing back squats. 135lbs on the bar. That’s nothing for my big elephant legs. It was my third rep of what was going to be 60 reps over 15 minutes as part of an EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) workout involving box step-ups as well.

I was hurrying to start the reps as the gym was waiting for me to start. I treated the weight too casually. I didn’t brace up. Tighten my core and glutes. Bend that bar.

That’s what you do when you’re going for a one-rep max, you are psychologically and physically braced to do it. You go into it with the right prep. That’s safe. Loosey goosey = not safe.


* I’m sure plenty of people have hurt themselves doing one-rep maxes. I just like the thinking here.

2 responses to “Nobody Gets Hurt Doing Their One-Rep Maxes*”

  1. Mundi says:

    Honestly, doing 60 reps of back squats seems insane to me.

    I’ve never seen a program that had more than 15 total back squats in one session

    Same for deadlifts. Fundamentally, not a high volume movement. (Which is how i jacked up my back, btw)

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  2. Geoffrey says:

    I’m in a similar situation after deadlift reps on Wednesday. I felt fine for a whole 24 hours and then froze up part way through Friday.

    My lesson is to always do post-workout back alignment exercises even if I don’t think I need them.

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