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Progress comes easy when you first start lifting weights. You show up and get stronger almost without even trying. 

As you get stronger, though, smooth sailing turns into choppy waters. Progress stops being linear. Some weeks you’re a little weaker, other weeks you’re a little stronger, and it becomes harder to tell if you’re really getting stronger or not over time.

At this point, the best way to measure your progress is to start tracking your one-rep max.

A one-rep max is the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single repetition of a given exercise through a full range of motion with proper technique.

There’s a problem with actually testing your one-rep max, though:

True one-rep max tests are time-consuming, risky, and exhausting, and can significantly disrupt your normal workout routine. 

Thus, a better alternative is to estimate your one-rep max using what’s known as a rep-max test. 

While not quite as precise as a real one-rep max test, rep-max testing is far less arduous and still accurate enough to track your progress over time.

Let’s get started.


5:18 – Why should I track my one-rep max? 

13:26 – How do you do rep-max testing? 

21:16 – What are some tips for performing your best on rep-max testing? 

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger


What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!