Taking my monthly browse of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, I found a study that peaked my interest entitled – Using the load-velocity relationship for 1RM prediction. One of the main reasons it peaked my interest was due to it’s use of an experimental approach to try and derive a predictive equation with some real world application. These types of studies are few and far between but highly influential when they have any form of validity (RM % studies as a direct example).
- they report a bench press 1 RM of 60kg +/- 17 kg for the group placing the heaviest bench at 77 kg and lightest at 43 lg which by any means would represent a novice population.
- Using a concentric smith machine bench press negates eccentric/concentric action and linear deviation which would be experienced in a bench press. A uniform bar path and concentric only motion produces a “goldilocks” world of bench press where all reps move in a fixed path one way, which almost instantly sets up an environment for a very convincing force/velocity relationship.
- Their recommended protocol calls for 3-4 loads, with 3-5 trials at each load with enough rest between trials to facilitate full recovery. At 90 seconds a trial (which would not allow for full recovery) you are looking at a 13.5 minute investment with a lot of arsing around with computers and traducers making this protocol almost more time consuming and less accurate then a 1 RM test.
These concerns aside this is a reasonably encouraging study that with a more efficient protocol could be used to quickly measure an athlete’s 1RM also the authors point out this protocol’s applicability to populations such as the elderly or children.