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A One Repetition Maximum Is Most Important In Developing Muscle

Recent studies have shown that a one repetition maximum (or 1RM), is crucial for muscle mass development. While it is a vital component of building muscle, this figure shouldn’t be overemphasized. A 1RM is more important than the number and intensity of reps. There is a strong case for performing more reps at a lower intensity when first starting to train.

The one repetition maximum, also known as the 1RM, is a benchmark that determines an exerciser’s maximum strength. Your 1RM is a benchmark that will help you achieve your full potential. You can either use a one rep-max calculator or trial and error to calculate your 1RM.

To test the theory, I used a database that compiles scientific studies on the subject. I searched Scielo, Science Citation Index, National Library of Medicine, Scopus, and CINAHL. I selected 35 studies in which the researchers looked at both acute responses and chronic adaptations. In most of them, the main variable was rest interval length. The researchers concluded that 3-5 minutes between sets produced greater absolute strength.

The strength zone that allows individuals to increase their 1RM is consistent with the repetition continuum and provides proof for the causality of the adaptation. Some studies showed that lifting heavy loads in a “practice” phase was enough to maximize strength adaptations. However, this is only a hypothesis and further study is needed to establish the frequency at which heavy weights should be lifted. The left-side of a repetition continuum is the strength zone. In general, training in this zone has been associated with greater improvements in leg extension RT to failure.