Something I learned a long time ago was that you need to leave your ego at the door when you step into the gym. This is a big problem for most people, especially dudes. They want to see a lot of weight on the bar and sacrifice form or a good deep repetition.
It took Nate and I a while to get back to the weight we were at before we started focusing on our form, but about 8-10 months ago we started lifting heavier weights than we did before the overhaul. Since that time our weights have gone up but nothing spectacular. We have each had our various plateaus and managed to get through them but we both still felt like we could do better!
What did we do? We knew about a lifting program, generally referred to as a "Bulgarian" lifting system and we thought we would give it a try. What this style of workout plan consists of is lifting close to your 1 rep max (~90%) then proceed to do a few drop down sets (~80% of your 1 rep max). And you do this virtually every single day! One of the best parts is you get a great leg workout and need very little gym equipment...a squat rack, barbell, and weights.
When you train you put your body under a certain stimulus. This stimulus thus results in an adaption your body makes to improve that specific stimulus. When most of us train we never go over 80ish%. The theory is that under 80% your body has one adaption, and over 80% a different adaption. Or simply if you want to get better at lifting really heavy weights...life really heavy weights!
Nathan: 1 rep max = 305 lbs
Although we did not follow an exact "Bulgarian" program we did follow the general guidelines. We decided to lift 4 days per week alternating between heavy and "light" days. We worked up to our 1 rep max each day slowly as to prepare ourselves for the heavy load.
Our Workout Plan:
3 sets of 2 reps @ ~ 85%
Tuesday (Light Squats): 1 set of 1 rep max @~95%
Thursday (Heavy Squats): 1 set of 1 rep max @~95%
3 sets of 2 reps @ ~ 85%
Friday (Light Squats): 1 set of 1 rep max @~95%
Along with this workout plan we also continued most of our regular lifts. Perhaps if we didn't our results would have been better?
Nathan: 1 rep max = 370 lbs
I improved my squat by 50 lbs in one month and Nate went up an astonishing 65 lbs. All in 4 weeks! This was incredible. Neither of us have ever seen such good gains in so little time. We didn't feel over trained and we truly enjoyed it. Mentally is was a great test to see what you could really squat. Neither of us had ever really played around with max reps so it was a little challenging at first.
Live Your Best Life!