How To Increase Your 1 Rep Max

How To Increase Your 1 Rep Max

The maximum weight you can lift in a given exercise (1 rep max) is a common way to measure your progression of strength over time.

As athletes, we want to be building towards something, so setting ambitious goals helps motivate us to grow and improve.

But when you’re at the start of a training block with a big new 1 rep max target, it can seem daunting and even unachievable.

It helps to break things down and make a plan, so here are some tips to give you the best chance of hitting your goal.

Test Sparingly

Consistent training is the key to improving your strength. Putting in regular sessions with good volume will bring about adaptations and improvements.

If you try to perform a one rep max once a month, for example, you’ll miss out on key sessions. You also run the risk of disappointing yourself if you haven’t improved as much as you were hoping to in that time period, which could knock your motivation to train.

Instead, commit to a longer training block of 8-12 weeks before testing your maximum strength.

Hone Your Warm-Up

A one rep max effort doesn’t come easily, so finding the best way to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically is key.

After your usual generic warm-up, build through the weights on the exercise you’re performing so it’s not a huge shock when you go for the new weight. Try to be explosive through the lifts so you stimulate the muscles.

Focus on technique as well. Getting the movement pattern right in your warm-up will mean it comes easier in the real lift at a higher weight.

Use A Peaking Programme

Building a big base will help you make steady improvements and move you forward as an athlete in the long term, but using periodisation in your training is a good way to achieve peak performance.