Joe D. Answers YOUR Training Questions | Joe Defranco Podcast #53 Summary

The 225lb bench press rep test

Is inherently a test of muscular endurance because you’re doing as many reps as you can, but maximal strength still plays a huge role.

The stronger you are the higher your 1RM is and the less of a percentage 225 is of that 1RM.

E.G. If someone can bench 405lbs than the 225 test is only 55% of their 1RM you could lift 55% of your 1RM your going to bang out a lot of reps compared to a guy whose max is only 275lbs.

Main Takeaway

Therefore if you have bellow average to average strength you top priority should be bumping up your 1RM. You don’t need to be worrying about doing a bunch of high rep work. You will get much more of a return on investment through lower rep strength training. 

But lets say we have a really strong guy with above average strength than now we do need to work on his muscular endurance, because at that point going from 405 to 425lbs might not get you that many reps extra as opposed to sticking with endurance work. 


Most people that can hit 20+ reps of the 225lbs are failing in the 40-45 second range. So we can see that it almost becomes an issue of time as it is strength and endurance.

So through observing hundreads of ahtletes Joe found that you dont just want to incorporate muscular endurance training but you want to focus on your ability to do more work in that 40-45 second time frame.

Organize sprinting and lifting in the same session / day

The general rule is your going to perform the exercise that has the greatest neurological demand FIRST.

So it would be sprinting first above lifting weights because sprinting has the highest neurological demand of pretty much any exercise. But this is a true speed session, not running stairs until you puke. Keep the volume low, full recovery that should put you in a heightened state when your about to get into the weight room.

Exception To The Rule

If your sprinting and lifting on the same day you can perform the strength training first if you’re ‘contrast training’. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that is. Just a note for those who do.

Troubleshooting the barbell squat

Example: 15 year old with good flexibility and mobility but rounds forward on squat when approaching parallel. 

Every movement requires both mobility and stability.

So he has the necessary mobility, so its safe to assume hes lacking the necessary stability to demonstrate that mobility in a deep squat.

From here we know that your bodies not stable enough to get into that squat position.

Barbell squatting is often not the best choice for beginners to strength training. Instead replace the barbell squat with a goblet squat temporarily.

The goblet squat keeps the weight anterior and adds stability, which should result in being able to demonstrate that mobility because you’ve shifted the displacement of weight.

This is an example of how adding a load to the movement can make it easier for those training, especially beginners and those with poor stability giving you time to work on form before moving to a barbell.

Specific upper body training guidelines for females

Joe Defranco’s observation has been women’s upper bodies respond better (in general) around the 12-15 rep range compared to lower body where women can push lower reps from 2-10 reps because of the higher amount of muscle mass they usually hold in the lower body. But this doesn’t mean picking up light weights, it means you still want to lift the heaviest weight possible with good form. You have to challenge the muscle for it to grow and get stronger.

Because women have a lot less testosterone, less muscle mass and more slow twitch muscle fibers they tend to respond better that mid rep range according to Joe.

That doesn’t mean you wont lift heavier in that 5-8 rep range which you can in a conjugate training periodisation.

The BEST time of day to train

Main Takeaway

The closer you can train to the time of competition the better. Train at similar times to when your performing your sporting event and your body and mind adapt and is primed to perform through that habituation. But adherence is the most important thing. Train when you think you can consistently adhere to your training.

Morning Training Note

If you do train first thing in the morning it is well advised to wait 2-3 hours post wake

1. Your spinal discs and ligaments are at a much higher risk for injury first thing in the morning compared to later in the day. Especially if your doing a lot of bending, hinging or rotational movements.

This is due to your discs being very hydrated upon wake, this makes them much more vulnerable to rupture or herniate. (another reason your taller in the morning)

2. So your body temperature can reach normal core levels as your cortisol levels lower.