What is a one-rep maximum (1RM)?

One-rep Maximum (1RM)

In strength and conditioning, a one-rep maximum (1RM) is a measure of the maximum weight an athlete can lift in a given movement. A “true 1RM” is found when an athlete performs maximum-weight testing in a movement, increasing the loading until they cannot complete more than a single rep at a given weight without failure. However, true 1RM testing can be dangerous and is generally not recommended for younger or less-experienced athletes, with exceptions for athletes training to compete in strength sports (like Olympic weightlifting competitions). Instead, many coaches will test their athletes to find their 3RM or 5RM, to reduce the risk of injury during testing. An athlete’s 1RM, whether found through true 1RM testing or extrapolated from 3RM or 5RM measurements, is used to help determine proper loading during workouts (e.g., 75% 1RM) and for charting athlete progress over time.

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