Test yourself to the max! Finding your 1RM.


How To Find Your One Rep Max

You might think your one-rep max doesn’t matter because you’ll never train that heavy on most lifts anyway. But then, one day, you see a program that asks you to use 65% of your 1RM on a lift.

When that happens, you have to either test for your 1RM or estimate it. Testing your 1RM can be a pretty intense operation, and it requires a high degree of caution to avoid injury. If you do decide you want to test it, be sure to go about doing it with a spotter and use proper technique to avoid injury.

Fortunately, you can also estimate your 1RM without testing it. Exercise scientists have devised a formula that’s fairly accurate for most people to determine an estimate for each movement. There are quite a few formulas that have come out over the years, yet can often over complicate the data.

1 rep max

1RM chart

This quick reference guide will allow you to choose to find you 1RM via the old school lift it til you can’t technique, or good old fashion math!

Let’s say you know you can lift 225 pounds for 10 reps—and only 10 reps, with good form—on the bent-over row. Based on that we can estimate not just your one rep max (100% of your 1RM), but other loads as well: your 85% 1RM , 70% 1RM , or 55% 1RM , depending on what your program calls for. Now you can just plug in and review the chart as a quick reference tool to continue to make progress and shatter plateaus!


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