beginning any strength training program, you must first know your current
strength level by testing yourself on various lifts. This can be
accomplished by doing a 1 repetition max-out or by doing an
1 repetition max-out.
1 Repetition Maximum - How much weight can you lift 1
To do a 1RM, you
first do a light warm-up (light weight, about 60% of your previous 1RM)
of 10 repetitions
Then do a moderate
warm-up (moderate weight, about 75% of your previous 1RM) of 6-8
Then you do a heavy
warm-up (heavy weight, about 90% of your previous 1RM) of 2-4
If you feel you are
properly warmed-up, you then select a weight that you can only do 1-2
You should lift this
weight only 1 repetition. (If you fail to lift this weight, go
down 10-15 pounds and try again)
If you were able to
lift that weight, then you would add 10 pounds to the bar, wait 3
minutes, then lift the new weight again.
If you were able to
lift the new weight, then you repeat step 6 again, until you can not
successfully lift the weight (total failure).
The last successful,
completed repetition, with no assistance from a spotter, is your 1
repetition maximum. (1RM)
Advantages of doing an actual 1 repetition maximum
1. It is a true maximum test of your
strength level on that given lift.
2. It gives the
lifter a feeling of accomplishment.
3. If it is
completed properly, it is the most accurate method of testing.
Disadvantages of doing a actual 1 repetition maximum
1. It takes a lot longer time to
finally get to the 1RM set.
2. Handling the high
weight on a actual 1RM can be dangerous to the lifter and/or the spotter.
3. You could injure yourself because of the high weight being lifted.
4. There is a lot of stress on the muscles at work.
5. An estimate of how strong you are is all you need to set
up a good workout.
Estimated 1 Repetition Maximum
An estimated amount
of how much weight can you lift 1 time.
and University lifting programs have come up with a formula for estimating
one's maximum strength, based on the amount of weight lifted and the number
of repetition achieved during a particular set. The first person that
I am aware of doing this procedure was
Boyd Epley at the University of Nebraska. He has been estimating
1RM's since the middle 1980's. Here is how you do and estimated 1RM.
Do 1 set of
10-12 repetitions at a light weight selection (light warm-up).
Do 1 set of
8–10 repetitions at a moderate weight selection (moderate warm-up).
Then Choose a weight
that you know that you can not lift more than 10 to 15 repetitions, then
lift that weight as many times as possible, working until total fatigue.
For a bit more accuracy, choose a weight that you can not lift more than
8 to 10 repetitions.
locate your estimated one repetitions maximum, use the chart labeled
“Find your strength level", or
click on this link to
fill in your weight and the number of repetitions you completed to
locate the estimated one repetition Max-out.
To download the Estimated Max-out Form
Click on link
Fitness Max-Out form
To download the chart to print out find your Estimated 1RM
Click on the link below.
chart (PDF file)
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