1MR– What is Maximum Repetition and how can it be calculated

1MR– What is Maximum Repetition and how can it be calculated

If you’re looking to gain strength then this should be your goal when exercising. However, in order to be able to do that, you should first make sure that you really know your strength level or the maximum force you’re able to generate. A strength test is a must-do and should be a minimum requirement before starting any strength-based routine. Doing this test will help you to properly plan routines. Learn to calculate your maximum strength!

What is Maximum Repetition?

Maximum Repetition or 1MRis the maximum weight that you can lift and move in just one go. It’s worth noting that the speed with which the bar moves will be inversely proportional to our strength: a slower speed will mean that the weight is closer to our maximum. 1MRis a test of our actual strength


1MRis related to Maximum Strength

What is maximum strength ?

It refers to the highest strength that the neuromuscular system is capable of exerting during a maximum voluntary contraction. This is demonstrated by the highest load that an athlete can lift in one attempt, the concept involves recording in terms of percentage, with the maximum being 100%.

What is the purpose of Maximum Repetition?

The purpose of 1MRis essential in strength training as it predicts what will be the maximum load we can use as a reference point when planning our training routines and schedules. Without knowing our 1MRit would be impossible to start doing strength training , and even less feasible to actually develop strength.

Bench press

Lumbar arch for strength training

What exercises should we know our Maximum Repetition for?

Generally speaking, strength training related exercises, or those exercises also known essential and basic exercises: such as squats, deadlift, bench press and military press. It is important to know that these exercises require the use of multiple joints which will result in us using the majority of our muscle mass in order to carry them out correctly.

How is Maximum Repetition calculated?

There are two methods :

  1. Direct test: we will carry out lifting until we reach a weight impossible for us to lift while using correct technique
  2. Indirect test: is based on a formula and equations in order to be able to predict the 1RM.

Squat 1

Squats using high bar Maximum Repetition

Direct calculation of 1RM

This allows us to obtain our maximum strength in the easiest way: adding extra weight to the overall load until proving that we can’t move the bar or lift the weight while also performing the exercise correctly.

Indirect calculation of 1RM

This method is less trustworthy than the previous one (if a high number of reps is used) although it can prove to be safer , as it doesn’t calculate the 1MRdirectly, but uses various reps. Through monitoring the weight lifted and number of reps , we obtain the approximate Maximum Repetition.

Formula for calculating Maximum Repetition

Equations repetition maximum

Table of equations for calculating Maximum Repetition

Percentages for Maximum Repetition

Table intensity repetitions

Table shows intensity with MR% and number of reps

Maximum Repetition test using direct method

  • Initial warm up : activation of cardiovascular system (5-10min) and muscular mobility (bettering our movement range)
  • Warm up set : we do (2-3) sets with a low amount of weight made up of 6-8 reps.
  • Approximation set : we do (2-3) sets increasing weight as we go, doing between 2-3 reps.
  • MRtest : a 1 rep set, continuously increasing weight, based on previous experience, in ranges of 2-5kg (if necessary, use more exact loads )

Things to take into account when doing 1MR calculation

  • If it is not the first time, you can adjust your warm up or approximation set avoiding the fatigue that we accumulate during these sets
  • Sufficient rest,no less than 3 minutes in order to give your body a complete ATP resynthesis.
  • Ask for help from your gym buddies, especially when carrying out the bench press and squats, just in case we fail at these critical stages.
  • Avoid doing the MRtest more than twice in the same week.

Maximun strength test

It’s important to know your limits if you want to be able to overcome them!

Maximum Repetition for strength training

It’s important to know our MR to be able to start a strength routine. This type of training revolves around promoting and boosting a better ability through a series of progress based exercises focused on RM.

How often can we evaluate our strength?

Based on our experience and goals. If you are looking to focus on competing it will be necessary to plan different maximum strength phases ; whereas in other cases, every time we finish our strength routine we could do this test to prove our results.

Powerexplosive Maximum Repetition

Who should know what their 1MRis?

Those sportspeople and/or athletes that have many years of experience behind them will find knowing it a great advantage. In addition to knowing their exercise technique perfectly, they will be looking to continue improving their strength through adequate routines that match their goals


  • David Marchante (2015). “Efficient training”
  • Tudor O. Bompa (2009). Strength in different periods.
  • Brzycki, Matt (1998). A Practical Approach To Strength Training. McGraw-Hill.

Related articles

Assessment of 1MR - Maximum Repetition

Importance of knowing what it is - 100%

How to calculate it - 100%

Necessary for routines where the goal is gaining strength - 100%

Indicative of strength - 100%


HSN Evaluation: 5 /5
Content Protection by DMCA.com
About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
"Knowledge Makes Stronger", Javier Colomer's motto, sets out his clearest statement of intentions expressing his knowledge and fitness experience.
Check Also
Landmine training
Landmine, What it is, Benefits and Functional Exercises

Discover the functionality and the amount of exercises that are possible to perform with this …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *