Photo: Skydive Erick (Shutterstock) Last week we did a little test to see how many reps you could do (whether of push-ups or your favorite exercise) and how long you could hold something like a plank. This week, let’s take a look at that classic strength benchmark, the one rep max (1RM). The idea is to determine the heaviest weight you can lift. Powerlifting and weightlifting competitions are set up to let you show off a maximal lift, but if you’d prefer to keep your true max efforts to the platform, it’s fine to do a low-key max out day. Go for the heaviest weight you can lift smoothly, or one that leaves you feeling like you have a rep or two in the tank. Personally, I enjoy maxing out every chance I get, whether that’s at a meet, at the end of a multi-week training cycle, or nearly every day on a Bulgarian-inspired program. I log my max lifts in my training journal every time I hit a new number, and it’s pretty amazing to look back at how this year’s lifts compare to the ones I did last year. A caveat, though: if you want to compare, you should choose lifts you’ve been working on consistently. If all you’ve been doing is push-ups, your bench press max may not be very impressive. But if you were to train bench presses for a few weeks, your strength would quickly translate to the new format. How to test your […]