I think there’s a big misunderstanding in the part of the powerlifting community that is composed of people without coaches and new lifters. A lot of people think OOH! MY NUMBERS NEED TO GO UP! I NEED TO UP MY 1RM EVERY TIME I GO TO THE GYM! AND I NEED TO LIFT HEAVY EVERY SINGLE DAY! Which is 1000000% the wrong mentality. You won’t get anywhere trying to max every week. All you’re doing is frying your CNS and putting yourself at risk for injury. You may increase your max for a bit, but after that small window, you’re going to fail, you’re going to burn out, and you may even injure yourself.
Sets of 5 and sets of 3 do wonders for you strength wise. And there are such thing as rep maxes! And there are also such things as heavy singles! So you can still get excited about your progress and ‘maxing.’ The concept is periodization in your training. There’s a lot of research on it.
You can also think about it in terms of the turtle and the hare. The hare runs head first into training and ends up overtraining and hurting themselves with only short term numbers in mind. The turtle goes into training with the notion that he needs to make short term gains in order to see long term progress. The turtle will plod along and see improvement in several years with little injury because he periodizes his workouts and thinks about long term gains. The hare only thinks about what kind of numbers he can put up in a few months, and sets himself up for injury and failure.
I think we should be educating new lifters on how to program instead of just blindly pointing them in the direction of one or another pre-established program without them understanding WHY the program is set up that way. And we should also be telling them why programming is important.
Sometimes you have to be down now to be up later.