T Nation

Estimated 1RM Percentages Off the Chart for Me

So you all know these Estimated 1RM charts that if you’re 1RM is 400lbs in squat than according to the chart you supposed to do 5-6 reps at 85% of your 1Rm.

Now for me these charts are wildly inaccurate in most cases.
My squat 1rm is 330lbs now according to one of the chart my 85% is 281lbs and I supposed to do 6 reps with that.

In reality I can do 4 reps maybe 5 but I’d not try the 5th without a spotter and that is on a really good day.

Same with all the other exercises, now dose this means I’m more of a fast twitch dominant or am I just not pushing it enough ?

so you’re saying your calculated reps are 1-2 reps different from the chart. And you’ve decided this is ‘wildly inaccurate’? On a lift where you may be inconsistent with depth?

I think the most likely case is that you aren’t hitting depth on your 1rm, or you just happen to be a little better at 1rm than most. or maybe you just aren’t very good at rep work. In any event, it sounds like you’re pretty close to the chart.

An example of not being close would be, say being able to hit 12 reps, or maybe 2 reps, when the chart says 6. THAT would make the chart wildly inaccurate for you.

1 Like

Yes, maybe wildly inaccurate wasn’t the best word to use.
Generally I’m below the recommended numbers by 2-3 reps.

Depth is good, I have someone checking it and occasionally I make videos about my reps and rewatch them.
Usually my 1RMs are, well, if you consider a true 1Rm when if you put 2 more pounds on the bar then you would not get up from the floor, then my 1RMs are fairly confident, meaning I could put maybe 4-6 pounds more on them and still be able to do the rep but with a lots of struggle and I don’t like reps like that, so I always leave a small safety margin, so to speak.

But, if I’m doing 10-12 reps I go crazy and it is very rare that I do more than 4-6 weeks of this high rep training, I just don’t feel good with high reps, so maybe you’re right.

I’ll tell you how I adress this. My true 1RM squat is 355 pounds. It is legal to depth and would be green lighted but it is not a perfect squat (I bend a bit forward, my knees slightly go in). So I use my max squat with a perfect form, 330 pounds. I suggest you do the same for big lifts, or use 90% of your true max. Because there’s always bad days and most likely at our level, our technique isn’t as good as it could be

Depending on muscle fiber ratio and training experience there can be a lot of variation relative to the charts.

In fact you can use the80% test to estimate your muscle fiber dominance. You try to get as many reps with your 80% as you can. The number of reps you get gives us a clue about your fiber dominance (at least in the tested muscles).


80% of max
3-4 reps = VERY fast twitch dominant
5-6 = fast twitch dominant
7-8 = High proportion of fast twitch and intermediate fibers
9-11 = High proportion of intermediation and slow twitch fibers
12+ = Slow twitch very dominant

Training experience also plays a role… if you have always trained using low reps, you will be more efficient with low rep so you will get less reps with 80-85% than the chart says (as well as with other percentages). If you have always done higher reps you will be better with higher reps and you might be above what the chart says.

1 Like