Before beginning any strength-training program, it is advisable that you, as a lifter, determine your one-
repetition-maximum (1RM) testing to gauge your current strength level. Essentially the result of 1RM testing
will give a precise indication of how much weight you are capable of lifting for one repetition across a range of
exercises, sport specific or otherwise.

Upon learning of your one-lift capacities, Coach Bob can design
Your 12-wk. Customized Personal Fitness
Strength & Cardio Training Program
around these maximal weights.  

In addition to consistency and effort, precision is one of the keys to a successful training experience. 1RM will
help to ensure that the amount of weight lifted is more precisely in line with your program objectives. I will
attempt to explain exactly how to conduct 1RM testing.

Why Use 1RM Testing?

Determining maximum load capabilities is important when aiming to:
1.Establish the load settings for an exercise program.
2.Determine the progress associated with an exercise program, and the efficacy of that program.
3.Rank ones muscular strength based on standard norms. Standard norms are used to determine your relative
strength ratio.

The main advantage of 1RM testing is that no special equipment is needed, as you will be tested with free
weights. In fact, given its efficacy and practicality, the 1RM test is widely regarded as the gold standard in
strength testing among Personal Fitness Trainers world-wide.

The 1RM also gives you a feeling of accomplishment as it is often very empowering to see the result of one
maximum lift! A bench-mark is set which serves as a target to inspire you to become stronger. This works
wonders for program adherence. Perhaps most importantly, 1RM testing, if done properly, is the most accurate
form of strength testing.

Like all fitness testing procedures, the 1RM does have some limitations. However, this does not warrant
forgoing it in favor of other tests. It has been shown that, in light of its many advantages, 1RM testing should
remain a cornerstone strength-testing procedure.

With 1RM testing, it takes a while to finally get to the 1RM set as there are generally 3-4 warm-up sets to
begin with, and this could be considered time consuming, and consequently a disadvantage. Also, handling the
highest weight on an actual 1RM can be possibly dangerous to the you, the lifter, and/or the spotter - hence
the thorough warm-up and insistence on correct form during the test.

In fact, injuries are more likely to occur with 1RM testing as opposed to 6RM or other methods. Finally, there is
a tremendous amount of stress on the muscles at work during 1RM testing and this could interrupt ones
established training routine in that
24-hours rest will be needed before the 1RM Test.

How To Conduct A 1RM Test:

Before beginning the test it is important to follow these steps:

  1. Warm up thoroughly.
  2. Always have a training partner to spot you.
  3. Leave at least 24 hours between exercising with weights and the test.

The 1RM test will comprise the following exercises for:
-Upper Body (Bench Press or one of the allowed substituted exercises listed) and
-Lower Body (45 degree Leg Press or one of the allowed substituted exercises listed)

Upper Body 1 RM Test:
  • Bench Press (using either a barbell or dumbbells) Or
  • Machine Vertical Chest Press.

Lower Body 1 RM Test:
  • Leg Press (45 degree) Or
  • Squat Or
  • Machine Leg Extension.

Other parts to the Fitness Assessment include:
  • Aerobic
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Pullups
  • Pushups
  • Abdominal Strength

Please Note: The 1RM test itself is actually quite simple, contrary to what one might think, given its status as
one of the best strength tests available.

To conduct 1RM Testing Please perform the following:
  1. Begin testing by completing a set of an exercise with a weight of which at least 15-repetitions can be
    achieved and no more than 20 repetitions. Do likewise with all exercises (Upper Body and Lower Body).
  2. Incrementally add a small amount of weight over subsequent sets, of each exercise, until, at a certain
    weight, no repetition can be achieved. The weight lifted before this set would be the 1RM.
  3. Before each 1RM test set allow for 3-5 minutes rest.
  4. Record your 1RM Results for Upper Body Exercise and Lower Body Exercise.
  5. Record your results for: Aerobic Test, Body Weight Squats Test, Pullups, Pushups and Abdominal
    Strength Exercises.


Any Concerns and/or questions, please send me an email at:
coachbob@patesrunning.com or Text/Call me
and I will contact you ASAP.
1 RM Testing
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