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Accuracy Of Estimating Reps To Failure

There’s a good chance you’re aware of your current best bench, but how many reps can you bang out using 70% or 80% of your one rep max (1RM)? According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it’s more difficult for many people to estimate this number.

Researchers had 48 men with weight room experience warm up with 3 sets of 10 reps using 70% 1RM. Then they did 3 sets of reps to failure on chest press and leg press. Two days later they repeated this workout using 80% of 1RM.

Subjects had the greatest difficulty estimating reps to failure during the 1 set of chest presses, with an average error of 2 reps. Estimates of reps to failure were off by an average of 3 reps for the first set of leg presses, and subjects didn’t get much better in their estimates during the second day of training with 80% of 1RM.