What does it mean when a workout calls for you to lift at a certain percentage of your one rep max (also listed as 1RM)? Let’s take a look…
Your one rep max is the most weight you can perform on any given lift for ONLY a single rep. A one rep max is generally referenced for:
- Bench Press
- Military Press
- Barbell Row
For example, you may be able to lift 180 pounds on the bench press, or 250 pounds for squats for a single rep. This is your one rep max. Many workouts will recommend that you use a percentage of your one rep max. The statement might look something like this:
Use 60% of your one rep max on the bench press for 5 reps.
“60% of your one rep max” means that for this set you should be using 60% of the most you could lift for a single rep. If your bench press one rep max is 180 pounds, you multiply 60% times 180 pounds and get:
60% times 180 pounds = 108 pounds.
Here are more examples, this time using a lifter who has a 200 pound bench press one rep max.
- 90% for 1 rep – 90% of your one rep max (200 pounds) would require you to lift 180 pounds for one rep.
- 80% for 3 reps – 80% of your one rep max (200 pounds) would require you to lift 160 pounds for three reps.
- 50% for 10 reps – 50% of your one rep max (200 pounds) would require you to lift 100 pounds for ten reps.
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