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One Repetition Maximum Strength Testing

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How to test 1 rep max strength

There are a few things that need to be mentioned here before we get into the specifics on how to do the test. The first is that if you have not been lifting for very long, your single wonít represent your best effort. It takes time and practice to develop the necessary neuromuscular coordination to make your best lift with your first and only lift.

The reason is that beginners tend to do their best lift a few reps into the set and that means that for beginners, a 5 rep max is a more helpful indication of strength. The second thing that needs to be mentioned here is you need to be solid in your technique in order to do a good single in the first place.

If your technique is not good, you wonít be getting an accurate reading of your strength. Many people need to spend months working on mobility and flexibility in order to achieve a decent squat for example. OK now that we have got that covered letís get down to the specific procedure.

The purpose is to measure maximum strength of various muscles and muscle groups and measuring isotonic muscle strength. It is a measure of the maximal weight a subject can lift with one repetition. It is important to reach the maximum weight without prior fatiguing the muscles.

You do this first by warming up correctly and then choosing a weight that is achievable. Then after a rest of at least several minutes, increase the weight and try again. You then choose subsequent weights until you can only repeat one full and correct lift of that weight.

It is a good idea to record the sequence of lifts as these can be used in subsequent tests to help in determining the lifts to attempt. To standardize the score it may be useful to calculate a score proportional to the person's bodyweight.

It is good to note that there are variations and modifications on this measuring technique. Sometimes a three or five repetition maximum is used, particularly for less experienced lifters. These greater reps would require less weight and may be considered less dangerous. Changing the number of repetition also changes the muscle energy systems and validity of this test.


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