I've been taking the approach of frequent exposures at less than max so I include them in my warmup. I used to do 5 reps/warmup and I stayed there for some time. A couple of months ago I started at 6, then 7, then your challenge started. I've been doing 8 for the last few workouts. It may be a while before I can go to 9 on a regular basis. Once a week, I do pull downs with challenging weight and different grips. I'll do a max attempt at the end of the month anyway and hope to break 10.
How about trying 3 sets of 3, or 4? I'd bet that would be pretty easy right now. Poliquin says to take half your max and do it for 10 sets. I haven't tried that, but it would be about what I'm doing right now for total reps.
If I wanted to do that I would have stuck with sets of 5 but I wasn't making any progress, I was just getting better at doing the same thing.
Thats always been my experience too. Max reps never seems to go up, but anything sub-max gets easier. Strange!
Jungledoc, you need to update my record, it still says 'retest soon'. You must have missed my post. I did retest, it's still 10 with a goal of 11.
Anyway, i'm trying ladders followed by a max effort set. Never tried that before, see what happens.
At the moment I cant dedicate a day for this, so it's kinda thrown in on my deadlift day. So far I supersetted deadlifts/push press/pull ups...it went 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 then I got 5.