1RM trength testing in the elderly
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Im in need of information regarding strength testing, mostly maximal voluntary dynamic strength in older individuals. We are using the widely used and old fashion 1-RM strength testing procedure. Unfortunately, we often are unable to really achieve a valid 1-RM measurement and are forced to use a equation to assess the maximal weight from 2,3 or 4 maximal repetitions since our subjects are not always able to perform the single lift. Some equations exist to estimated the 1-RM strength but, they are not necessarily representative of our sample population [1-5]. Looking through the literature (medline, pubmed, sportdiscus, ovid) I could not find a single text on the origin and justification of the 1-RM testing procedure yet, it is widely use in most study relying on resistance training as a primary intervention. It also appears that there is some form of disagreement upon the normalisation and presentation of the data [6, 7].
My interrogations are:
- Should we transform a number of maximal reps into a 1-RM (if we were unable to achieve a true 1-RM) with a equation in order to assess strength and to compare the evolution of strength (ie: before intervention, after) ?
- If so, what would be the proper criteria for equation selection ?
- How should we present data (relative strength weight lifted/kg body weight, or more complex ratio equation including body weight²?) to compare between subject strength ?
- How many testing sessions are required to achieve a true 1-RM  ?
Agent de Recherche
Département de nutrition
Faculté de Médecine
Université de Montréal
(514)343-6111 ext 1619
1. Abadie, B.R., G.L. Altorfer, and P.B. Schuler, Does a regression equation to predict maximal strength in untrained lifters remain valid when the subjects are technique trained? Journal of strength and conditioning research. 13(3): p. 259-263.
2. Abadie, B.R. and M.C. Wentworth, Prediction of one repetition maximal strength from a 5-10 repetition submaximal strength test in college-aged females. Journal of exercise physiology online. 3(3): p. http //www.css.edu/users/tboone2/asep/JEPonlineABADIE.html.
3. Brzycki, M., Strength testing. Predicting a one-rep max from reps-to-fatigue. Journal of physical education, recreation and dance. 64(1): p. 88-90.
4. Dohoney, P., et al., Prediction of one repetition maximum (1-RM) strength from a 4-6 RM and a 7-10 RM submaximal strength test in healthy young adult males. Journal of exercise physiology online. 5(3): p. http //www.css.edu/users/tboone2/asep/Dohoney.pdf.
5. Whisenant, M.J., et al., Validation of submaximal prediction equations for the 1 repetition maximum bench press test on a group of collegiate football players. J Strength Cond Res, 2003. 17(2): p. 221-7.
6. Jaric, S., Muscle strength testing: use of normalisation for body size. Sports Med, 2002. 32(10): p. 615-31.
7. Kroemer, K.H. and J.M. Howard, Towards standardization of muscle strength testing. Med Sci Sports, 1970. 2(4): p. 224-30.
8. Ploutz-Snyder, L.L. and E.L. Giamis, Orientation and familiarization to 1RM strength testing in old and young women. J Strength Cond Res, 2001. 15(4): p. 519-23.