I don't even know why Ashiem mentioned that specifically; he is just taken with it. I had taken Poliquan's 1/6 Priciple or whatever he calls it (I'm sure it has the word principle in it), which was a "modified 5/1" thing, hence Ashiem's calling it that. I modified it so it made more sense and wasn't based on strict assumptions and glorified claims.
The whole plan was conceived to be a fun way for Ashiem to training being something that would appeal to him..and lo and behold he mentioned it here so I was right!
In any case, the "majority" of your work is not really maximal. If the majority of your work was maximal that would mean the majority of your volume was maximal which would quickly regress you. Doing maximal work often is not the same thing as it being the majority of the work overall. So even in the case of the 5/1 thing, you are focusing on the sets of 5 because they represent the majority of the work in that method.
I'll explain a few things about Poliquan's thing and the whole idea in general. The idea behind this 5/1 stuff is "waved sets" which I explain somewhat here: http://www.gustrength.com/newsletter:potentiation-stupid-exercise-names-and-more
So you can see this is about potentiation and trying to enable you to perform better at a rep range than you normally would, as the newsletter said:
The 5/1 method is another common one. It starts with a set of 5 using a 6 rep maximum, then a single using a two rep maximum. Then an increase to a five rep maximum and 1RM respectively. The idea being that the successive waves result eventually in using a weight you wouldn't have originally been able to perform a full five reps with followed by a heavier single than you pulled off with your "1RM".
So the idea is that you could start with a 6 rep maximum for 5 reps and by doing heavy singles in between sets you could maybe end up hitting 5 reps with a 4 rep maximum or something. And at the same time, lifting a heavier single toward the end (even though you've already supposedly hit a 1RM)
As you can see, that is maximal training. And it is about conditioning yourself to handle heavy volumes of near-maximal training, etc. Some of the purposes of these things are poorly defined, to be sure.
CP thought you should hit a "max single" followed by sets of 6 that kept increasing. I.E. the singles and the sets of 6. Not realistic and I don't know what the hell 6 reps have to do with anything. The difference between 5 and 6 is..one. That is, he wanted to make people think there was something special about 6 reps as opposed to 5.
What you don't know from this blog post is what lead up to this and how I integrated this plan into what led up to it.
Ashiem had taken singles at 90% (385) and turned them into sets of 5 and 6. So he had been working with 385 for quite a while, consolidating. So then the plan was still based around that 385, which he had already established that he could perform several sets of 5 to 6 with. He has also not been doing much other "maximal" work during that time. So, why not take that load, which represents a quasi 6RM, and try to build on it with waved sets, hopefully using potentiation to increase that RM? So the plan, as written:
Warm up to a single of about 395
Then do a set of 385 at 5 to 6 reps
So on and so forth so you have something like this:
385 x 5-6
400 x 1
387.5 x 5-6
402.5 x 1
390 x 5-6
You do the microloading whatever way suits you. I just made up a suggestion. This has nothing to do with trying to get big singles. It just has to do with increasing your ability to do more work at the 5 to 6 rep range by gradually lifting bigger singles which gives you post-tetanic potentiation. However the problem is most people make grand predictions and give grand plans about what you can do which is of course bullshit. You have to just play it by ear see what happens with it.
Then next week see if you can increase it.
There is no need to always use max singles to get a boost from potentiation…just heavier singles, as you see in the plan. Also, it is completely unrealistic to expect to take a 1RM and improve on it over one session because you do some sets of 5 between. The plan above represents a way to build on it over a couple of weeks.
Here's what you do: take a reasonable heavy weight and perform 1 rep. Take 10 lbs off and then do 5 reps.
As you can see from my explanation, we did not just pick a reasonably heavy weight out of thin air. This is the danger of throwing out individual training snapshots out of context. Look at my actual plan and you'll see the "maximal" nature of it more apparently, yes? It is not maximal in the sense of taking a percentage of some hypothetical 1RM but it is maximal in the sense of building off a weight range that is in one's "maximal range" of actual working loads. Here I wanted specifically to increase Ahs's tolerance to work in the range between 385 to 405 onward.
That was the "plan". What actually went down I do not remember.