T Nation

Process for Determining Traning Max?

Should you do ONE or TWO muscles per day?
Should you do warm up sets or should you determine your max from the get go?

Someone has not read the book?

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You can jump right into lifting maximal weights if you want, but, literally no one would recommend that.

That is why I am asking for the process. From the top of my mind:

  1. Determine your 1RM
  2. 85% of your 1RM
  3. Do as many reps as you can
  4. Plug the values on the formula : Weight x Reps x .0333 + Weight = Estimated 1 RM
  5. Work with your Training Max= 1RM x 90%

Before doing that should you:

  1. Warm Up like a normal routine. 1 x 5 40%, 1 x 5 50% and 1 x 3 60% and then determine your training max.
  2. Should you do all exercises in one day to determine your TM. 2 per day or should you do just one per day so you are not tired?


No need to do both as it’s pretty redundant. Pick whatever one you think will work better for you.

Definitely warm up. You’re not looking for a competition PR with your TM test so whatever your normal warm up in your routine is probably your best bet.

Shoot for 1 per day if you can as you’ll have the best performance. You might be able to combine a couple (for example, I don’t think my squat or dead would suffer if I tested my press prior) but you must be smart about it. Doing them all in one day would not be advisable, but again, it’s up to you.

The first two steps out of five are actually all you really need. If you have a realistic idea of what your 1RM is for a lift and take 85% TM you could just start there and you would likely be fine. If you really wanted to be sure you could take an 80% TM as well.

You could go through all five of the steps you listed if you wanted to be really sure of where you ended up, but in the end if you start light your gonna add weight regardless.