The 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM) is often considered as the ‘gold standard’ for assessing the absolute strength capacity of individuals in non-laboratory environments. It is simply defined as the maximum load an individual can lift for one repetition with correct technique.

Equipment Required: Access to free weights and a barbell, test administrator x 2 (one spotter and one to record results), stopwatch


  1. Participant performs a warm-up with a self-selected load that will allow them to complete a minimum of 6-10 bench press repetitions.
  2. Participant rests between 1-5 minutes (time will be agreed by both participant and test administrator).
  3. Participant now selects an increased load that will enable them to complete 3 bench press repetitions.
  4. Participant rests for the agreed upon time (between 1-5 mins).
  5. Participant now increases the load again and begins to attempt single bench press repetitions. Participant should continue to attempt single bench press repetitions at increased loads (5-10% increments) until a 1RM is achieved.
  6. Rest periods should remain at the agreed upon duration between each single repetition attempt, and this time should remain between 1-5 minutes.
  7. If multiple 1RM tests are being completed on the same day, it is recommended that all test exercises should be separated by a 5-10 minute rest period.
  8. Participant inputs their largest load lifted into SharedGoals by clicking on the green “Add score” button.
Absolute Strength Heavier is better.