What is "maintenance lifting" anyway?


So off season I was cranking along, lifting more and more and feeling quite macho. Now that I’m in a build phase for big events in May and June…how is lifting supposed to work now? You know “in maintenance”? Do you just keep your workout the same as your top workout during base and repeat it once or twice per week until fall or what? Thanks :slight_smile:

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I typically keep the volume the same but don’t look at increasing the weight.

For example, if I do 5x3 squats at 225lbs, then I’ll just stay there, instead of looking to add weight every week or two to get stronger.

Other people will have their own way of maintaining though. Some people might drop that 225 to 185 and holding it there (which is maybe 65% of your 1RM where the 225 was 85%). That way you at least have a floor.

Grapplers (mma / wrestlers, etc) are all good st this. Olympic trials are coming up for wrestling so a few I follow did their last strength training sessions about 6 days out from the trials.

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You can reduce frequency of lift days, but need to maintain intensity to maintain gains


I reduced lifting to two days a week. For squats and DL, I reduced 15% and weekly work my way back up to max. then a week at +max if I am feeling it. This has been working for me without interfering with the bike training.

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Why would you do a build longer than 6 weeks?

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Just following the plan(builder) and it says I’m in build now. Well sorta, I keep irritating the crap out of my patellar tendons and ligaments by overdoing outdoor rides. But I’m trying to follow the plan(builder)

When I’m trying to make strength gains I lift 2-3 times/week and regularly increase the weight, and typically do 3 sets of each exercise.

For maintenance it’s more like 1-2 times/week, keeping the weight about the same and slightly below what I’m capable of so that I’m not lifting to failure, and if I’m feeling tired or have a race or big training week coming up I might also reduce to 1-2 sets.

I keep my supplementary routine pretty much the same. I.e. all the stuff like planks and single leg exercises that is more about mobility, balance and muscle activation than just strength gains.


My advice: keep the intensity up, but reduce volume. I come from a strength training background, and this has always been the way to go for me. If you used to lift 3 worksets at 5 reps just reduce the number of sets to 1, but keep the weights you work with the same.