Don’t Waste Time Testing Your 1RM

It may surprise some of you but testing your one repetition maximum (1RM) on barbell lifts is not a very useful thing to do because of the stress on the body and the fact that you don’t build strength and muscle mass by doing singles.

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If you are not a powerlifter or Olympic weightlifters…

Olympic weightlifters and to some point powerlifters get paid to lift the heaviest weight possible. That’s the whole point of theirs sports.


However, many recreational lifters do not compete nor do they make a living based on their 1RM. If that’s the case for you, what’s the point of stressing the body and the central nervous system (CNS) by doing 1RM efforts?

You can get stronger by doing triples and sets of five with good form instead of jeopardizing your health for the sake of doing gym 1RM personal records (PRs).

If you can squat 300 lbs for 5 reps ( 300 x 5) and through effort and intelligent programming you take your squat to 350 x 5, you’ve gotten stronger without ever testing your 1RM. Don’t worry, when your 5 RM goes up, your 1RM goes up as well.

1RMs do not build muscle…

If all you do is test your 1RM, you will not build a lot of muscle mass because you won’t be lifting a sufficient tonnage (volume) for hypertrophy to occur.

The weight may be heavy but the actual work that your would be doing will not be sufficient for proper hypertrophy stimulus.

But John Broz said I can squat all day…

People want to believe that they’re Rambo and can lift the planet. That’s why when a guy like John Broz comes and say that every day squatting is one of the best way to progress, the idea is embraced with open arms.

However, the truth is that similar schedule is effective only for gifted professional athletes on anabolic steroids and growth hormone who have dedicated their existence to fighting gravity.

Regular folks will not benefit from such a schedule and maxing on squats everyday would probably cause a regression in life.

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