how to build to your 1rm

The Basic Principles


  • Make informed decisions, not predictive decisions. Check your recent records and use your current performance to guide your planning. When making decisions during lifting, don’t use the perception of effort to determine what will happen in the next ones. Let your movement and technique be the facts on which you base your decisions.
  • Find your three numbers. Make sure that you are as emotionally ready as you are physically ready. Check this video to help you here.
  • Moderate and small jumps. Before your get to the 90% zone, perform moderate jumps of 5% at most. Once you get to the upper zne, keep the jumps small t 3% at most.
  • Claim your 1% gain. Always claim your 1% gain. If you are worried that you will lose energy and not have enough oomph to get a 105%, you will not get it no matter what. Get your 101%, always. If the number you think you should get is higher than 101%, get 101% and then get that other number.


the numbers for a 1RM test


Set 1: 5 reps at 70%

Set 2: 3 reps at 75%

Set 3: 2 reps at 80%

Set 4: 1 rep at 85%

Set 5: 1 rep at 90%

Set 6: 1 rep at 95%

Set 7: 1 rep at 98%

Set 8: 1 rep at 101%

Set 9: 1 rep at ?

Set 10:?


rest 2-3 minutes between sets

all percentages are based of your recent max. Don’t estimate over your recent max.



the numbers for a 3RM test


Set 1: 5 reps at 70%

Set 2: 3 reps at 75%

Set 3: 2 reps at 80%

Set 4: 1 reps at 83%

Set 5: 1 reps at 85%

Set 6: 1 reps at 87%

Set 7: 3 reps at 90%

Set 8: 3 reps at 93%

Set 9: ?


rest 2-3 minutes between sets

all percentages are based on your recent 1RM. Don’t estimate over your recent max.



the numbers for a 5RM test


Set 1: 3 reps at 70%

Set 2: 3 reps at 75%

Set 3: 3 reps at 80%

Set 4: 3 reps at 83%

Set 5: 5 reps at 85%

Set 6: 5 reps at 87%

Set 7: ?


rest 2-3 minutes between sets

all percentages are based on your recent 1RM. Don’t estimate over your recent max.




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