Physical Size Correlates To 1RM

Physical Size Correlates To 1RM Appearances can be deceiving, but most of us like to generalize. For example, most weight room regulars assume that a bigger muscle is a stronger muscle. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research takes a scientific approach to matching body type with bench press strength.

Scientists measured the body mass, arm length and shoulder width of 36 male volunteers before assessing their one rep max (1RM) for the bench press. This was achieved through 4 separate tests: Lifting as much weight as possible for 1 rep and performing 4 sets of bench presses to failure at 40%, 55% and 75% of 1RM. They also measured peak force, velocity and power. In the end, scientists concluded that body mass was a good predictor of 1RM.

True Strength Moment: While the stereotype about body size and strength did hold up, the same study determined that shoulder width had an inverse relationship to the number of reps per set at lighter loads. This isn't to say there aren't exceptions to the rule. We're all a little different physiologically speaking.
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