I am regularly asked about calculating maxes and using percentages for training. I am not a fan. Sure, you can calculate your max, but working off percentages assumes that you have the right numbers to begin with. What if you have an unusually good day—or worse, a really bad day? Then your initial starting point may be more or less than what you actually need. This will affect your weights on all your exercises and workouts, forcing you to lift heavier than you should or lighter than you want. Instead, you need to pick a weight and go. If you have been doing sets of eight reps, start with 5–10% more weight than you normally lift. If you’ve been doing sets of 10, go 10–15% more and if you’ve been doing sets of 12 or more, start with at least 15% more and possibly as much as 20%. Within a few reps, you’ll know where you stand. If you can easily hit the target number of reps on an exercise, increase on the following set. If you’re struggling on consecutive sets, then lighten the load. It’s that simple. Always hit your target reps and you’ll improve with this program. Your target should produce local failure on the rep before your last one and should have you struggling with a spot to complete that last rep. With a true strength program, your strength will continue to drop as you get deeper in to the workout. Don’t be surprised if you find your last few exercises are using lighter-than-normal weights. For big strength, you go all-in and front-load your training day. This forces all the muscle fibers to give 100% and quickly recruits all your other fibers to help. Strength training is not about gimmicks. It’s about pure desire to push past your body’s natural desire to quit. Rather than trying to determine what you should be lifting, just go out and lift it. Lift what you can, not what you think you should be lifting.