Bodybuilding 1 rep max

Published on February 3rd, 2013 | by George Conte

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The importance of One Rep Max in bodybuilding

I order to design an anaerobic exercise program we need to first know what our goal is.

  • If we want to build muscular strength we need a high intensity program with low amount of repetitions (1-5).
  • If we want to add muscle mass we need moderate amounts of intensity (6-12).
  • If we want to gain muscular endurance we need low intensity and high amount of repetitions (sets with 15+)

If we want to design different intensity programs we need to know our current strength levels. We need to know how much our one rep-max or 1RM is.

There are various formulas we can use to determine this:

Adams Formula w / (1 – (0.02 * r))
Berger Formula w / (1.0261 * (e ^ (-0.0262 * r)))
Brown Formula (r * 0.0328 + 0.9849) * w
Brzycki Formula w / (1.0278 – (0.0278 * r))
Epley Formula (0.033 * r * w) + w
Lander Formula w / (1.013 – (0.0267123 * r))
Lombardi Formula w / (0.522 + (0.419 * e ^ (-0.055 * r)))
Mayhew Formula w * (r ^ 0.1)
O’Conor Formula w * (1 + (0.025 * r))
Wathen Formula w / (0.488 + (0.538 * e ^ (-0.075 * r)))

(w=weight and r=repetitions)

Let’s say that we want to build muscular strength. This means that we need a high intensity program with low amount of repetitions (1-5). So we choose the range of 5 repetitions. For example we want to start doing 5 reps of squat but we don’t know how much weight we need to use for our first training.

First thing we can do is calculate how much weight we can now do before failure. So let’s hypothetically say we can do 10 repetitions of 100kg squats/220 pounds (taken to failure).

That means our 1RM is about 133kg (100% intensity) and we can do 10 reps at 75% intensity.

intensity %

kg

100%

133

95%

126

90%

120

85%

113

80%

106


75%

100

70%

93

65%

86

60%

80

55%

73

50%

67

We want now to build strength so we want to do 5 reps max (taken to failure).

reps %1RM

1

100%

2

95%

3

90%

4

88%

5

86%

6

83%

7

80%

8

78%

9

76%

10

75%

11

72%

12

70%

According to the statistics above we need to go from 75% (of our 1RM) intensity to 86% intensity and do 5 reps. we choose to do about 113kg X 5 repetitions.

Note that it is also important to frequently change our exercise programs from strength to muscle mass and endurance in order for our body to not remain static and improve even further.

As you can tell by now 1RM can not only help us create, change and improve exercise programs, but also is the universal indicator of our overall condition and improvement in bodybuilding.

 


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About the Author

George Conte is a student of Nutrition and Dietetics, a fitness and healthy living enthusiast. After seven years of personal experience with weight loss, exercise and a total body transformation where he managed to burn 121+ pounds of fat he became the founder of Dietuni.com. A website dedicated to help you overcome obesity and transform your life the same way he did!



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