Preparing for a 1RM.

On days that we are testing a 1RM it helps to have goals. Know what numbers you’d like to hit. You can take numbers that you’ve been working at recently and figure out 1RMs using a nifty 1 Rep Max Calculator. Preferably you will have some rep maxes in the 2-5 rep range since the further away you get from that the less reliable the predictions become. If you haven’t been training long and don’t yet have any 3-5 rep max then use the today to establish those (we will probably go with a 3RM) and wait until next time around to do 1RMs. There is still so much learning to do on the lifts and hence no sense hitting 1RMs with such little experience, ego be damned.

Next have a plan. Map out your warm ups. Today is not the day to be doing a metric ton of warm up reps. Let’s take a hypothetical lifter with a previous 1RM of 355 hoping to establish a new 1RM on the squat of 365lbs, his or her time under the bar should look something like this.

45×5, 135×5, 185×5, 225×3, 275×3, 315×1, then

1st attempt – 335
2nd attempt – 355
3rd attempt – Set a new 1RM at 365

Establishing a new 1RM of 185 with a previous best of 177.5 might look like this.

45×5, 75×5, 105×5, 125×3, 145×1

1st attempt – 165
2nd attempt – 177.5
3rd attempt – 185

This is obviously subject to change depending on how the warm ups feel and how the 1st two attempts go. Maybe you have more in you than you and the 1RM calculator thought you did, but maybe you don’t.

Let’s get after it!


Back Squats:

Heavy Single Test

Today we are going to find a new 1rm. You will get three attempts to find this.



For Time:

50 Kettlebell Swings

25 Pull Ups

40 Kettlebell Swings

20 Pull Ups

30 Kettlebell Swings

15 Pull Ups

If needed scale the pullup to either jumping pull ups or ring rows.