1RM trength testing in the elderly
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.