Do I need to know my 1RM – alternative view for recreational lifters.
Testing your 1 rep MAX might for a fun session, is great Instagram and could be a possible way to gauge your progress, but should you be doing it?
To weigh in, first you need to consider your training goals. If you’re training for strength development and you compete in barbell sport (like powerlifting or weightlifting), we believe there’s merit in testing. But if your goal is fat loss, muscle gain or just training to stay fit and healthy, this isn’t going to be your best measurement tool.
Second to goals, you need to think about your training experience. What a lot of people don’t realize is that training at super high loads (like your 1 rep max) is an actual skill. It takes years of practice and experience to do it safely and correctly. So if you’re somebody who doesn’t have a ton of time in the weight room, again, this probably isn’t your best bet to assess long term progress.
So what can you do?
If you’re a recreational lifter, one of our favourite ways to measure strength is through AMRAP sets. Basically, sub-maximal strength assessments where you take either a given percentage of a lift, or even a % of your bodyweight and rep it out! You can then directly compare your results against previous AMRAP sets and see where things are at. Here’s a quick breakdown on how to get it done.
GUIDE TO AMRAPS
- Select the lift you’re looking to assess – compound lifts like squats, bench press, pull ups, etc work great here
- Choose your intensity measure of assessment. Either:
- Given % of body weight (like 1 x BW Squat), or
- Given % of 1RM (like 85% your current estimated 1RM)
- Rep that bitch out!
- Record your results and compare again, the same way in the future.
Remember, whether you’re testing your 1RM or going through an AMRAP set, technique is king, so don’t sacrifice this for anything. Good technique keeps you SAFE!
If you want to find out more about how we can assist in getting you STRONGER, lift with great form and get the results you are after, get in touch with our team