Importance of the One Rep Max

Knowing the correct amount of weight to lift during your workout sessions is vitally important. The majority of programs available are designed around lifting a certain percentage of your maximum strength, so it is logical to know what that is so you could give your best in the gym.

The one rep max (1 RM) is the most commonly used measure which finds the heaviest weight a person can lift for just one repetition (1) (2).

But how does one find his or her 1 rep max? And how to put the 1 rep max in to practice?

Just continue reading and find out!

How to Find Your One Rep Max?

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to find your 1 RM would be using a one rep max chart. This chart provides a rough estimate of the number of repetitions and the amount of weight a person corresponds to with the maximum amount of weight he can lift.

A one rep max chart works through a simple principal that mathematically assumes the number of reps and the amount of weight a person can lift, taking all manual work out of the equation.

One Rep Max Chart Advantages

As mentioned, having the knowledge on the appropriate weight you should lift for a certain number of reps is crucial.

For example, you can squat 165lb for 12 reps, then what weight should you aim to squat if you are going for 8 reps?

Using a one rep max chart can be an efficient way to easily calculate the amount of weight you should be lifting for a given number of repetitions. Additionally, you are also able to end your curiosity by seeing the amount of weight you could lift for only a single rep without the need to actual perform the exercise. This completely removes the risk of unnecessary injuries that can place you in the hospital in no time.

However, the one rep max chart is not perfect. There is a possibility that some exercises respond better to the chart than others. The chart also provides only estimated predications, your strength and endurance output may vary from workout to workout. Overall, the one rep max chart is a very good guideline that can help you in achieving a linear progress.

If you really don’t prefer to mess around with estimated math predictions, there is also an option for you. Simply find your 1 RM by completing 6 reps of all basic lifts (bench, squat, deadlift, etc.). Then aim to increase the strength over time by increasing the 1 RM.

Although I still believe that the one rep max chart is a far superior option.

How to Use the One Rep Max Chart

The following chart is based on the “old school” strength percentages which are most commonly used in this segment. This chart is grounded on the principal of a linear connection such that 10 reps correspond to 75% of your maximum. Every additional rep corresponds to +/- 2.5% change in the total amount of weight that can be lifted.

The left hand column has the one rep max, and the right hand columns represents how much weight can be lifted for a specific amount of repetitions.

For example, 10 reps of 135lb (75% of max lift) equals out to a 180lb max. And for instance 6 reps of 135 (85% of max lift) is a 158lb max.

Give this one rep max chart a go, and see how it can benefit your training and progress!




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