Importance of 1 Repetition Maximum (RM)

Performing a 1RM isn't simple but once done correctly, a precise program can be written up for you. Correct form, motivation and reliable spotters are all necessities while performing a 1RM for exercisers like squats, bench press, military press and dead lifts.

Mind set - To perform a 1RM you must first believe you can lift it, if you're mentally defeated then the likelihood of a successful lift will drastically decrease. Your peers can also motivate you, whether it's through positive talk or physically motivating/switching you on. Music of your choice can also get you pumped up for the up coming lift. 

Form - Go through the cues of the lift in your mind then execute it. For example in a deadlift; maintain a neutral back, push off the ground, drive through the quads and finish with the glutes. Each individual may have a different process to set up for their lift, whether it's short and precise or detailed. If you even feel that your form is breaking down, let the spotter/s know and they will help you rack the weight. This is where ego lifting can become a problem, as some lifters just want to lift the weight at all cost. This can lead to major injuries and a long stint out of the gym.   

Now you have your 1RM, what now?

Now a program will be created, whether you or your personal trainer writes it up. This enables you to have a precise and individualised program. 


Squat 1RM - 120kg

Recommended reps per set is 3-6 at 70-80% 1RM

Therefore 3 sets of 6 at 75% 1RM or 90kg

With this methodology you should be working hard enough to acquired optimal adaptations and progressively get stronger. Week by week the repetitions and sets may differ to enable a sufficient stimulus to occur. Variations of the exercisers like a deficit deadlift can also improve the floor speed (where the bar leaves the ground) of your deadlift. 

You may be thinking, do I need to do a 1RM for every exercise?

The answer is no, as it wouldn't be practical for some exercisers like the bicep curl. 1RM's are generally performed for compound exercisers like a clean and jerk, squat ect.

Using a percentage of your 1RM with a specific set and rep range in your program generally increases your overall strength, power and most importantly health. If you have an inquirers please feel free to ask me or any CFC staff member.

Singkik Li