A lot of people believe that 1 rep max (1RM) calculations are only for those iron addicts in the squat rack focusing on strength, size and setting new PBs. This is simply not true.

Knowing and understanding your 1RM is important when training. Effective explosive, endurance, muscle and power training all rely on you training at a percentage of your 1RM. So even if you never do a lift at your 1RM you should still know what it is.

So how do you calculate your 1RM without lifting it? Maths!

REPS %1RM
1 100
2 95
3 93
4 90
5 87
6 85
7 83
8 80
9 77
10 75
11 73
12 70

So for example, if you can do 5 lifts at 70KG and don’t have a 6th in the tank, it means that 70kgs is roughly 87% of your 1RM. As such your 1RM would be 70kg / 87 x 100 = 80.5kg.

Everyone is different so you should not take the above as 100% accurate for everyone, we have however found it to be quite a useful guide. In the coming weeks we will post some articles on how to structure a training session to lift your 1RM and the percentage of your 1RM you should lift at for different training goals.

Note: It is important to remember that each lift will have its own 1RM. Your back squat 1RM will be very different to your bench press and even your front squat. As with all lifting, if you are uncertain you should be cautious and take a few sessions to slowly build up your working sets and then use this to calculate your likely 1RM.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us.