Anyone who spends any significant time “under the bar” is going to eventually want to know what a 1 rep max bench calc, and a squat max chart is. The problem is that you’re likely not hitting the gym to go for a new max bench anytime soon, nor should you even attempt a new max deadlift that often.
If you know how to calculate your one rep max, this might not be an issue. The problem is that not many know the proper formula. Lucky for you, we have an ORM Calculator below to make it easy. All you have to do is enter the weight you used into the max rep calculator below, then select how many reps you did. You’ll then be given:
- Your estimated One Rep Max
- How much weight you should be able to lift for 1 to 12 reps
Calculate Your One Rep Max Here:
Rep Max Bench Calc Formula
You might be wondering how this 1 rep max calculator works. If you were interested in 1 rep Max Bench calculating, you’d first want to reference the below chart, as it compares rep maxes to percentages. In other words, if you can do X reps, then that corresponds to Y% of your 1RM:
Rep Max Percentages
If you did 3 reps with weight before failing, then that was your 3RM (three rep max), and your 3RM equates to 93% of your 1RM. You’d then divide the weight you lifted by the percentage to find your 1RM. So say you benched 230lbs for 10 reps, wanted to know what your estimated one rep max was, but didn’t have our max rep calculator handy. You could save the details on the 1 rep max calculator chart above, and find 10RM since that’s how many reps you performed. 10RM = 75%, so divide 230lbs by .75 and round to the nearest 5lbs increment. 230/.75 = 306.7 which rounds to 305
Using this 1 rep max bench calculator formula, your estimated bench press 1RM would be 305lbs. On the flip side, if you wanted to calculate a particular RM, and knew your one rep max, you could just apply the percentages above to it. So if you knew your Deadlift calculator 1RM was 260lbs and needed to know what your corresponding 8RM would be, you’d look above at the 1 rep max calculator chart.
You’d see that 8RM = 80%, then multiply and round accordingly: 260 x .8 = 208 which rounds to 210 Based on a 1RM of 260lbs, your Deadlift calculator 8RM would be roughly 210lbs. It bears mentioning that anything figured from this 1 rep max calculator, while as accurate as possible, should still be considered an estimate. There can be variances due to rounding weights to the nearest increment, and from person to person, since not everyone responds to rep ranges the same way. Also, remember that all calculations only ever apply to a single exercise. You can’t input max Bench calculator press numbers, expecting the formula to work for your incline press. Back Squat poundages won’t apply to your front squat, and so on.
Other 1 Rep Max Considerations
It can be tempting to work up to and test your 1RM often, but you don’t need to do it any more than once every 3-4 months. Doing it more than that can be hard on the joints, leave you susceptible to injury, and be quite draining on the central nervous system. Having said this, some people might like to bring up Louie Simmons, who has his lifters at Westside Barbell building up to a 1RM in a bench press and squat variation every single week. Louie’s system is different in that he rotates exercise variations every 3 weeks, meaning his guys aren’t always maxing out on the same lifts.
At the same time, this is only part of his system and his lifters are among the best in the world. What applies to them won’t apply to you and they’re the exception to the rule. Besides, while competitive powerlifters need to keep a close eye on their 1RMs for obvious reasons, bodybuilders, athletes, and regular gym goers need to be getting stronger across the board. This is where an ORM calculator can come in handy. Not only can you figure your estimated 1RM without having to put 1RM Stress on your body, but using the chart above, you can also compare rep ranges as you progress.
Say this week you deadlift 275lbs for 6 reps, then two weeks later deadlift 315lbs for 3 reps. While that’s a significant jump in weight, you’ve also cut your reps in half. Using an ORM calculator can normalize those two sets of data. This will help you gauge your progress and ensure you’re getting stronger overall instead of in just one particular rep range.
How to Test Your 1RM
When the day comes that you want to test your 1RM instead of relying on a max rep calculator, then be sure to put safety first. Have a spotter with you if possible. If you can’t, then bench or squat inside of a cage-style power rack where you can bail out on a lift when you hit failure. Do a couple of easy Warm Up sets, followed by progressively heavier singles. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to do this, as it will depend on how much weight you’re building up to. You’ll want to do enough sets to adequately prepare you and warm you up for your max attempt(s), but not so much that you’re overly fatigued when you hit the top end. If you knew your max was around 230lbs, an example buildup might look like:
Take 2-3 minutes to rest between sets to recover completely and let your CNS be ready for your next set. You’ll see that jumps in weight were bigger earlier on but then decreased to a minimum once you got near and beyond your estimated max. Now say your estimated max was 425lbs. An example buildup might look like:
This time, because you were building up to a much heavier weight, your jumps had to be bigger and you’d do more buildup sets. A one rep max bench calc isn’t going to always be perfect, but it’s pretty close. It can give you a good estimation of how your strength is progressing without having to put excess wear and tear on your body. Also, percentage charts give you something to compare to when weights are going up, but reps going down. Use these tools to keep accurate records, and you’ll be in a much better position to gauge and analyze your strength progress.
Increase Squat Max
Bodybuilders measure gains in several ways, one of which is the “squat max.” Also referred to as the “one-rep max”, it refers to the maximum amount of force you can generate in a single contraction. If you are looking for bigger gains or would like to improve your athletic performance, knowing how to increase squat max is important.
#1. Utilize a Pause
Paused squats make this exercise more challenging, and also allow you to take advantage of what is known as the “stretch-shortening cycle.” This refers to the elastic properties of your muscles when they are stretched. To perform a paused Squat, descend as usual until you are at your lowest depth. Keeping your muscles tight, pause for between one and five seconds before exploding upwards with lots of energy. This will provide you with greater time under tension, something that will also produce Hypertrophy.
#2. Do Fewer Reps
If you want to know how to increase squat max, it may seem counterproductive to perform fewer reps. Even so, doing fewer repetitions with heavier weight is a great way to develop strength. One recommendation is to do five squats during your first set, three on the second, and only one on the third. You may also perform slightly more reps in each set if you have a spotter.
#3. Focus on your Form
Your squat max isn’t likely to improve if you have a bad form. Strength Training coach Mark Rippetoe recommends focusing on your hips while squatting, ensuring the angle of hip flexion is equal to the angle of your back. He also dispels the myth that the back must remain nearly vertical while squatting. According to Rippetoe, having a rigid back is more important than keeping it straight up and down, meaning you should try not to arch your spine. Looking down instead of up will also help you keep the correct back angle – this might be contrary to what you’ve been told.
#4. Add Anderson or 1 ½ Squats to your Workout
Named for powerlifter and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson, these squats are performed by starting in the “down” position rather than standing straight up. To complete a full repetition, lift your body until your legs are fully extended, then lower it back down into the starting position. On your last repetition, you will also end in the “down” position. This type of squat is designed to help you develop greater starting strength.
A variation of this is “1 ½ squat.”
Beginning in the down position, lift yourself halfway up, then return to the starting position and lift yourself fully up. Going halfway up, down to the bottom, then fully back up is considered one repetition. If you have been wondering how to increase squat max, these tips will help. You don’t have to follow all of them-just include one or two of them in your workout and you should see a noticeable difference in your one-rep squat max.
Increase Max Bench
Almost every lifter wants to increase their max bench. Whether it’s because they want to enter a lifting contest, build a bigger chest, or even just brag to their gym buddies. A bigger bench press is always a better bench press max. However, it’s often difficult to increase the weight after a certain point. Here are 6 tips you can use to get past your plateau.
Test Your Current 1RM and Determine a New Goal
Before you can increase your max bench, you have to know what your current bench press 1RM is. If you’re not sure what your current max is, you can learn how to find it by using our one rep max calculator. After you know what your current bench is, you can decide how much you want to increase it by. When choosing a new 1RM to shoot for, you need to be realistic. Sure, it might be cool to add 100lbs in a few months, but it’s probably not going to happen. Adding 10-15% within 8-16 weeks can be a good, attainable goal, but this will vary from person to person.
Use a Dedicated 1RM Workout Progression
It might sound overly simple, but if you want a bigger bench press, then you have to train for a bigger bench press. The best way to do this is with a max bench workout. You’ll start light and every week for 8-16 weeks, you’ll add on weight, sets, and/or reps. These progressions (read more about progressive overload here) are usually based on your current 1RM, all culminating with your testing for a new 1RM at the end of the program.
Dial-in Your Technique
Bench press performance can almost always be improved if your technique gets better. Too many guys just lie down on the bench, unrack the bar, and bench it. If this is all you’re doing, chances are you are your own worst enemy simply because you’re not being as efficient with the strength you already have as you could be. Getting a competitive powerlifter to assess your form in person would be best, but if not, here’s a shortlist of things to focus on:
- Keep your feet planted.
- Squeeze the bar hard, almost trying to “bend” it.
- Keep your upper back tight & shoulder blades squeezed together.
- Lower the bar with your upper arms at a 45-degree angle to your torso.
Work the Triceps
The Triceps are crucially important in building a max bench as they are the primary movers near the “lockout” position. Practicing bench press lockouts are a good way to overload the triceps, strengthening them in this part of the range of motion. Also adding in close grip bench presses for heavy sets of 6-8 is a good idea for assistance work.
Add Dynamic Effort Work to the Mix
Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell (home of some of the strongest powerlifters in the world) has all his lifters do “dynamic effort” (DE) bench press work every week. This is done with lighter weight for many sets of few reps to generate maximum explosive power with every set. Doing this teaches the muscle fibers to contract faster, which in turn, causes them to contract harder. And when muscle fibers contract harder, you’ll be able to put up more weight. Separate your DE bench workouts from your heavier bench workouts by at least a couple of days.
- Use 55-65% of your 1RM for 7-8 sets of 2-3 reps.
- Keep rest breaks in the 45-60 seconds range.
While other assistance work can be done with other bench press variations (dumbbells, machines, incline, etc), DE work should always be done with your standard Barbell bench press.
Don’t Neglect Your Upper Back
Most lifters concentrate on the Shoulders, chest, and triceps to improve their max bench. However, the rear delts, traps, and upper back play a critical role, as well. Firstly, having strong upper back “pulling” muscles balances out the “pushing” muscles, which can eliminate muscular imbalances and reduce the risk of injury. What’s more, important is that having a strong upper back can stabilize and better support you when you’re on the bench. This leads to your torso (and entire body) being tighter, which keeps you more solid as a whole. When you’re more solid, you can bench more. By adding in just a few of these elements to your overall routine, you can increase your max bench in as little as a few weeks.