Before we start, we understand the importance of one rep maxes, especially as a performance indicator.

With this in mind, we do encourage members and individual’s to schedule a performance assessment with one of our coaches to test out their one rep max. But, we like to advise them to leave a little in the tank (RPE 8-9). Otherwise you will end like up old mate in the video above.

There are multiple reasons why we do not attempt one rep maxes, particularly on a regular basis or in a class setting.

  • We’re not Olympic Weightlifters or Power Lifters – These are the two sports that athletes truly need to complete a 1 rep max. However, it’s only on the competition floor, rarely in the gym.
  • Strength training is a skill – It takes years to master a single lift, even the best lifters around the world still practise their technique during warm ups or light weeks.
  • Failing reps – No ones likes to fail, but we do understand that failure can fuel performance. However, when it comes to strength training, failing a heavy rep is very taxing on the nervous system and the body.
  • Safety – Often or not when we complete 1 rep max, we fail or form goes out the window. As we described earlier, we like to advise individuals to leave a little bit in the tank. Otherwise you run the risk of failing the rep, technique goes or worse, you will injure yourself.
  • Too many people – Class sizes vary from 5 to 20 plus and if we’re doing 1 rep maxes for the class, it becomes physically impossible to watch over or monitor everyone’s technique.

With all this being said, we still like to lift heavy weights, but we lift from 6 to 2 rep maxes. Dohoney et al (2002) described in their study that lifting sub-maximal weights up to 6 rep maxes can be a valid and reliable tool in predicting a 1 rep max. Furthermore, the risk of injury was limited with sub-maximal lifting.

Therefore, this is why since re-opening we have been using Wodify to enter lifting results as it can assist in predicting max lifts and percentages.

Key notes –

  • Technique is everything when testing out a 1 rep max
  • Don’t test 1 rep maxes every week
  • Regress and practise the skill of the lift
  • Leave a little bit in the tank (RPE 9) and do not fail a rep
  • Ensure you are guided by a coach when testing out a 1 rep max

If you want to learn more or need assistance with 1 rep maxes, then you can message us online or through text.

M – 0488 178 252

E –