What Does One Rep Max Mean (1RM)GymPaws
When you started working with your Personal Trainer they likely did an evaluation to determine your One Rep Max or 1 RM. This is a common test of muscular strength that helps personal trainers understand your current level of fitness. You might not have even know they were doing it. Learn why knowing your own 1RM is important and what it actually means.
What Does One Rep Max Mean
Muscular strength is usually referred to in two different terms, Absolute Strength and Relative Strength.
Absolute Strength = the greatest amount of weight that can be lifted one time. This is what is called One Rep Max or 1 RM in Sports Science.
Relative Strength = the maximum weight a person can lift in comparison to their body weight.
Why Do You Need To Know Your 1RM
If you’re following a workout program or even a workout you find in one of the fitness magazine at the grocery store, they usually express to you the amount of weight you should be lifting. The problem is that it may be too much or too little weight for you, in which case you’re not going to benefit as much from the workout. Obviously if you’re lifting too little you’re muscles aren’t going to grow and strengthen as quickly and if you’re lifting too much you risk serious injury.
How To Figure Out 1RM
Note: It’s best to do this test with a Certified Personal Trainer, or at the very least someone who is qualified to watch you to assure you’re performing the exercise with proper form. There is no one test to determine someone’s muscular strength so a personal trainer will likely have you do a series of different exercises. The 1RM Squat Test is one of them:
1. Make sure you’re warmed up adequately. I’d suggest 10 minutes on the exercise bike to get the blood pumping.
2. Assuming you understand the Proper form for Squats you can begin. Get some lifting grips to help ease the pressure of the Squat Bar and help you maintain a solid grip.
3. Let’s assume you anticipate your maximum weight is 100 pounds. Warm up using about 50% of that for 5-10 reps.
4. If you can easily perform these reps, rest and add about 20% more weight. Let’s say 20 pounds more for 3-5 reps.
5. Rest a couple of minutes and add another 15 pounds to your barbell. Shoot for 2-3 reps.
6. On the third rep you should be at your 1RM or one rep max. This is the maximum amount of weight you can move for one rep.
There are other exercises that your trainer may use to help you determine this, and if your trainer is asking “what does one rep max mean” then it’s time to get a different trainer!