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How to Calculate TM and Training Percentages?

If this has been asked and answered feel free to point that out and ill try to find it,
I have been in the gym for the past 4 -5 months and want to give this a go.

I understand the program as far as doing what and when, my confusion is on figuring out what my training max is, and with the percentages listed in the program. Is Jim saying to do a certain percent of a training max on lifts?

In the time ive been lifting i have not “maxed out” at all, ive never really been too concerned about how much i could bench or squat one time, just how much i can do during the workout.

example is today i did legs and did 265 x3 with squats.

Again if this is already somewhere and i just wasnt able to find it, just let me know!


Percentages are always in relation to your training max.

So 5x5 at 75% is 75% of your training max. Not your actual or estimated max.

You can get an estimated 1 Rep max using different calculators. Jim actually has a formula in his Forever book that can be used. Just Google a 1 Rep max calculator and they should pop up. From that number you get the training Max based off of whatever percentage Jim says to use for a program.

Generally speaking, your TM is 90% of your actual or estimated 1 rep maximum. (some programs scale this back to 85%).


Let’s use your 265x3 and assume this was your maximum effort. That translates to about a 1 RM of about 285 (I used an on-line calculator).

So, your TM would be 285 x 0.9 = 256.5 lbs, so let’s round it to 255 lbs.

So, your TM = 255 lbs for squat. Then, if you’re doing the 555 week:

65% (of your TM) = 167, round to 165
75% = 192.3, round to 190
85% = 218, round to 220

Make sense?

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https://www.t-nation.com/ /531-how-to-build-pure-strength

Thanks all, i got it pretty well figured out now and know what weights i would need to use for what sets!!