5 Ways for beginners to Test Max Strength (and not get hurt).

Do you want to know your one rep max? Or maybe you just want to know your baseline strength level? I’m going to give you 5 exercises that give you a baseline of your strength level. These testing protocols work for athletes (high school, college, or pro)  and general fitness enthusiasts. No matter your your fitness level these exercises have proven to be extremely safe and effective.

For the lower body we will look specifically at the rear foot elevated split squat (R.F.E.S.S.). This exercise specifically tests single leg squat strength. Testing single leg strength in my mind, is a huge plus. For most situations individuals are on one leg (running, jumping, etc.) so testing single leg strength is a bit more practical. Although I do believe for someone with an intermediate level of training experience the typical barbell back squat reigns supreme. For the R.F.E.S.S. continue to load as much weight as possible for a single rep until you can’t complete a single repetition.

For upper body max strength testing we will test the pull-up, push-up (or bench press), and inverted row. For all of these upper body tests technique has to be completed correctly. Full extension and full flexion of the limbs are required for the exercises. Pull-up: arms must be fully locked out at the bottom of the exercise to count. Push-Up: chin must touch the ground. Bench press the bar must touch the chest and be fully locked out. Inverted row: legs are straight and body is parallel to the ground. All of these tests except the bench press are completed for reps to failure. Bench press we are putting on the maximum weight for one single repetition.

These tests are best suited for someone who’s at a beginner to intermediate level of training experience. Give these exercises a try and continue to test them in the future. Train Inspired!

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