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One-Rep Max Calculator

A one-rep max (1RM) 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. The easiest way to calculate your one-rep max is to review your training log, find the most weight you've lifted on an exercise for 3 to 6 reps, and plug in the weight and reps into the Legion One-Rep Max Calculator. By tracking your one-rep max over time, you can ensure you're gaining muscle and strength effectively.

The Legion One-Rep Max Calculator

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A one-rep max (1RM) 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. The easiest way to calculate your one-rep max is to review your training log, find the most weight you've lifted on an exercise for 3 to 6 reps, and plug in the weight and reps into the Legion One-Rep Max Calculator. By tracking your one-rep max over time, you can ensure you're gaining muscle and strength effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s a “good” one-rep max for the squat, bench, and deadlift?

This depends on several factors, the main ones being your gender, body weight, and level of training experience. That is, a “good” one-rep max for a woman, lighter person, or beginner weightlifter might be mediocre for a man, heavier person, or intermediate or advanced weightlifter.

Thus, the best way to see how you stack up against other lifters is to use what are called strength standards—strength benchmarks for different exercises based on your sex, body weight, and training experience.

Strength standards are useful for setting strength goals and deciding what lifts to work on the most, but they can easily over- and underestimate how much you should be able to lift. They’re just estimates, so take them with a grain of (smelling) salt.

A good rule of thumb when setting strength goals is to try to move up to the next category on the strength standards chart by getting stronger or maintaining your strength while reducing your body fat percentage.

How does tracking your one-rep max help you build muscle?

The most reliable way to gain muscle is to get stronger.

As your one-rep max is simply the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single repetition for a particular exercise, it’s an excellent way to determine whether or not you’re getting stronger. In other words, your one-rep max is a rough proxy for muscle growth.

The relationship between muscle gain and strength isn’t perfect and doesn’t work well for comparing progress between two different people, though. For example, just because one person has a higher bench press one-rep max than another doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily have a bigger chest, as other factors also influence muscle growth.

What you can count on, though, is that if your one-rep max is going up for a particular exercise, the muscles that are trained by that exercise are growing.

How can you improve your one-rep max?

First things first—you need to be training whatever exercises you want to improve.

If you want to improve your squat one-rep max, you need to squat. If you want to improve your bench press, you need to bench, and so forth. A good rule of thumb is that if you want to knuckle down and set new personal records on an exercise, you should do that exercise at least twice per week.

Second, you need to train hard.

More specifically, your training program needs to have you gradually increase how much weight you lift over time, a process known as progressive tension overload.

Research shows this is the most powerful stimulus for strength and muscle gain, and if you don’t include this in your program, you’re going to drag anchor.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a method known as double progression, which you can learn about by listening to this podcast.

If you do these two things: train the right exercises and gradually add weight to the barbell (or dumbbells) over time, your one-rep max will improve.

Get Your Free 12-Week Strength Training Program Now

Enter your email address below to get 12 weeks’ worth of 3, 4, and 5-day per week strength training workouts, all expertly laid out in Google Sheets. Follow the plan, and watch your one-rep maxes climb.

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