When it comes to strength training, progress is the name of the game. There are different ways to measure progress; and measuring your 1RM is one of those ways. You can establish your 1RM by either doing a a 6RM or 10RM test and plugging your results into a calculator or you can do a full 1RM test. Apart from being fatiguing, there are a host of reasons why performing a full 1RM test isn’t ideal. To view some of these reasons, visit the this post and this one.
At PUSH, it’s been our goal to provide users with a tool that could help them optimize their training while reducing their risk of injury. We now have another way to take your training to the next level - enter the 1RM estimation test. You no longer have to put your body through a maximal test to determine your 1RM. We’ve done the work for you - you’ll be able to easily (and safely) measure your 1RM using submaximal loads...and you probably won’t need a spotter either.
On behalf on the entire team at PUSH, we’d like to officially introduce our 1RM test for the following exercises:
Two Reasons You Should Regularly Test Your 1RM
1 - Progress
Do you know if your current program is working for you? If you can’t measure your progress, chances are, you’re not making the necessary strides towards your strength goals. Often times, strength & conditioning coaches will test their athletes’ 1RM every few months, but we now know that an individuals 1RM changes on a day to day basis. Having the ability to measure 1RM on a more regular (bi-weekly or monthly) basis, will help determine strength gains. The benefit - you won’t maximally stress your body, but you’ll know if you’ve made gains.
2 - Percent-Based Exercise Prescription
Velocity based training (VBT) is a great method that enables coaches to auto-regulate training loads from a set by set or session by session basis. That said, when it comes to hypertrophy type training, it may be best to use a traditional percent-based approach. Why? Remember, 1RMs fluctuate - your 1RM on Week 1 for bench may be different than Week 3 (because of residual fatigue, sleep patterns, time of day, or strength gains made in that time period, etc.).
The Science Behind the Predicted 1RM Test
To determine an estimated 1RM, we consider the following three variables:
Strength Level - when you first register an account with PUSH, you’ll be asked what level of skill you’re at. This is important information that will dictate the amount of load that is used during the 1RM protocol. The final set of the 1RM test should be ~80% of your 1RM - the closer the load is to this percentage, the more accurate the prediction.
Gender - males and females obviously differ in their level of strength which means that the loads prescribed during the 1RM test will be higher for males than females.
Bodyweight - this also helps us pinpoint what loads to assign to an individual. Heavier individuals will be prescribed heavier loads.
These three factors combined, help determine the loads that are used during the 1RM protocol. You’ll be assigned 5 submaximal loads - the key is to perform every rep of every set with maximal effort. If you slack off, the estimation becomes less accurate.
Because there is a very strong relationship between velocity and load (Jovanovic and Flanagan 2014), a regression line can help estimate 1RM for each individual (look at the figure below).
PUSH 1RM Test Walkthrough
Here’s a step by step guide - measure your strength and improve your game.
Select your lifting experience.
Navigate to the Tests Screen.
Complete the prescribed sets. Make sure you use maximum effort.
View your analytics after each set.
A summary of your estimated 1RM appears.