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A Simple and Accurate One-Rep Max Calculator (and How to Use it)

A Simple and Accurate One-Rep Max Calculator (and How to Use it)

If you want to know your one-rep maxes, how they measure up, and how to use them to help you make better progress, then you want to read this article.


You know you’re serious about weightlifting when you care about your one-rep maxes.

And especially when you care about your numbers on the “real” lifts like the squat, deadlift, bench press, and military press.

So…I’m glad to have you here. 🙂

And regardless of what you want to know your one-rep maxes, this article is going to help.

If you’re just curious, the calculator is all you need.

If you want to know how your numbers compare against strength standards, you can find that here too.

And if you want to know how to use your one-rep max numbers as a tool for monitoring and optimizing your progress, this article has you covered as well.

The One-Rep Max Calculator

one rep max calculator bodybuilding

I’m going to start this article with the one-rep max (1RM) calculator in case you just want to get to your numbers and so you can get back to it easily and quickly in the future.

Now, the only 100%-accurate way to know how much weight you can lift for a certain number of reps is to actually do it…but there are equations that can predict results with a fair amount of accuracy.

The three equations most commonly used are the Brzycki, Baechle, and dos Remedios equations.

As you’ll see, the results are very similar formula to formula.

I’ve included all three because some people like to get fancy and average the results from each, but personally I just stick with the Brzycki.

Weight Lifted: lbs.  kgs.

Number of Reps:

95% 1RM90% 1RM85% 1RM80% 1RM75% 1RM70% 1RM65% 1RM60% 1RM
Estimated Reps and Weight Based on One-Rep Max
dos Remedios

If you’d like to know a bit more about how your numbers stack up and how to use 1RM as a training tool, then keep reading!

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

How Do Your Numbers Measure Up?

powerlifting one rep max calculator

Once you know your 1RMs, you inevitably want to know how they rank.

Well, you can use the tables below to find out.

They come to us from Dr. Lon Kilgore and Mark Rippetoe and are based on a systematic review of decades of competitive weightlifting performance.

The numbers are one-rep maxes and keep in mind they don’t represent the highest levels of strength possible–they’re just performance benchmarks.


This is what you would expect from someone who hasn’t trained on the exercises but who can do them correctly.


This is what you would expect from someone who has trained regularly on an exercise for up to several months.


This is what you would expect from someone who has trained regularly on an exercise for up to a couple of years.


This is what you would expect from someone who has trained regularly on an exercise for up to multiple years.


This is what you would expect from someone who is an athlete competing in strength sports.


Bench Press – Adult Men

Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Bench Press – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Bench Press – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Bench Press – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Deadlift – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Deadlift – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Deadlift – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Deadlift – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Overhead Press – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Overhead Press – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Overhead Press – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Overhead Press – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Squat – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Squat – Adult Men
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Squat – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
Squat – Adult Women
Body WeightUntrainedNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite

Do Your Numbers Suck?

one rep max chart

When I first saw these strength standards, it was a bit of a rude awakening.

I had been training for about seven years and wasn’t anywhere the advanced/elite numbers.









I was weak…and I didn’t have much of a physique, either:

one rep max calculator wendler

To be fair, I don’t think I looked awful…but that’s not what you aspire to look like after seven years of hard work.

Well, I made quite a few changes in my approach to training and diet and here’s me a few years later:

one rep max calculator squat

The improvements aren’t just skin deep, either.

I was able to take all my lifts from novice or intermediate to advanced or elite levels and I’ve since been able to maintain this physique and strength year-round with relative ease (4 to 6 hours of exercise per week and flexible dieting).

If you want to know more about what made all the difference, check out this article.

Why You Should Track Your One-Rep Maxes

weight lifting percentage chart

Many people wanting to gain muscle gauge their progress by body weight alone.

If they’re gaining weight, they’re happy. If they’re not, they’re not.

This simplistic method of measuring results can work, but it also can trip you up.

For example, if you’re new to weightlifting are restricting your calories for fat loss, you’re going to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

This makes weight an unreliable guide on both fronts (fat loss and muscle growth) because it’s not going to change nearly as much as your physique.

And if you’re an experienced weightlifter that can no longer “recomp” effectively, putting too much emphasis on weight can cause other problems.

The most common one is excessive fat gain during bulking periods.

You see, when your primary goal is to just “gain weight,” “bulking” can easily become “bingeing,” which gives the immediate gratification of a bigger number on the scale…but also gets in the way of muscle building.

There are two main reasons for this.

As your body fat percentage rises…

Insulin is a hormone that shuttles nutrients into cells.

Insulin sensitivity refers to how “sensitive” your cells are to insulin’s signals.

As insulin sensitivity drops, the body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle decreases and the likelihood of weight gain increases.

These downsides don’t need much explanation.

Testosterone is the primary hormonal driver of muscle growth and promotes leanness whereas estrogen promotes fatness.

As you can see, gaining fat too quickly and letting your body fat levels go too high while bulking is just counter-productive.

It directly impairs muscle growth and supercharges fat gain, which is bad enough, but it also sets you up to fail in the long term as well.

The bigger picture is like this:

  1. The higher you allow your body fat levels to go, the longer you’re going to have to spend in a calorie deficit to undo the “damage.”
  2. Once your “newbie gains” are behind you, when you’re in a calorie deficit, you’re not going to build any muscle to speak of.

Thus, what happens when you get this wrong is you spend relatively short periods of time bulking at half-mast, wherein you don’t gain much muscle, followed by relatively long periods cutting, wherein you don’t gain any muscle and may even lose some.

This an extremely inefficient way to build a physique.

This is why I recommend that you plan and manage your bulking and cutting periods based on your body fat percentage, which you can read more about here.

Alright, then…what does all this have to do with your one-rep maxes?

Well first, there’s this:

If you want to gain muscle, you’re going to have to get stronger.

In fact, building strength on the core four lifts (overhead press, bench press, squat, and deadlift) should be your number-one priority.

These fundamental exercises are the most effective way to build the foundation of muscle that you need to go from “scrawny to brawny.”

And the easiest way to track your progress on them is to keep track of your one-rep maxes.

If your 1RMs for these lifts are going up over time, you’re doing a lot right and moving in the right direction.

Sure, you can still hit plateaus and have to take “special” actions to break them…and you and still need to know how to adjust your diet based on what’s happening on the scale and in the mirror…but in many ways you’ve got the “hardest” part of gaining weight down (training correctly).

Put it all together and keep everything on track and you’ll never get stuck in a rut like I did.


And you’ll be well on your way to having the body you really want.


What’s your take on one-rep max calculation? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Rich

    Great article as always Mike. Just curious, I’m bulking at the moment and am relatively new to weight training (coming up to the end of BLS year 1). My lifts are increasing but only by around one rep per lift per week. Is that about enough or should I be progressing quicker than that? Thanks Mike

    • Bill

      If the workout increased by 1 rep in 1 set in 1 exercise in comparison to last week, then you can call it successful and be glad that you made progress. With that being said always try to improve your form, program, and come up to a better meal plan. Never believe that you developed THE PERFECT.

    • Thanks Rich! Yep, that’s great progress. Keep it up.


  • Renier

    As a strength training fan, I loved this article.

    Just a quick question,

    have you ever tried testing your 1RM using this formula on any of the four lifts?

  • Bill

    I imagine Mike. It must have been difficult for you. Seven years of training and still not advanced? Well the fact that you did research and found out the truth and you didn’t just rage quit and said that without drugs none can be stronger than me in less that seven years. That means that you are humble, a characteristic which is disappearing species nowadays. If I was living in Florida I would have chosen you as a friend.

    • Yeah I was a bit surprised when I really looked at it, haha.

      Thanks man, I appreciate the support.

  • Steven Scott

    Do these calcs assume a parallel squat or the “butt to heels” style? I’m solidly intermediate on all but the squat, and I’m thinking style difference might account for the discrepancy.

  • MetalJohn

    Hey Mike, check out this little known site I discovered a few weeks ago. It’s http://www.StrengthStandards.co (not .com) and it has some strength programs such as Starting Strength, StrongLifts, 5/3/1, etc with numbers based on your 1RM.

  • Andres

    Hey Mike,
    Could you use this formula for dumbbell exercises; if so how? Is there a good way of figuring out especially when all your exercises would be using dumbbells?

    • You know I’m not sure. Check it out and see if it’s even close to accurate…

  • Rich

    Hey Mike,

    For the overhead press is that seated, standing or either?

    The calculator is fantastic, I find it’s accurate within a couple of pounds.

    • Thanks Rich. That’s standing.

      • Bogdan Stefan

        Hi mike ! Are you sure that this is correct ? you even mention in the videos that you do sitted military . also , having 100 kg over your hear standing ? isnt that superman stuff?
        I feel so weird that i can lift just maybe 50 kg .
        Thank you !
        Im still cutting ! boy is it hard to get from 12 , 13% to single digits ……im kinda stuck at maybe 13 %

  • Crateria

    Nice suicide grip bench press picture you have at the start of the article. Let me share with everyone why we don’t do that.


    • Just a pic! I definitely don’t recommend that grip.

      Way too many videos like this to risk that grip haha.

      • Crateria

        Yup, only takes one accident…

        • Exactly. Just not worth it.

          • Ednamar

            Hi Mike, could you please explain what is wrong with that first picture? I’m a newbie to weightlifting girl!

          • NP!

            The bar should be gripped with the thumbs on the other side of the bar so he has a good grip on the bar to prevent accidents like in the video above.

  • Mick Leary


    Thanks for the info on one rep max I find the charts to be very close in my case … it is really amazing how close … Keep up the research it is very helpful

  • Kelvin Guzmán

    This is accurate as hell. Thank you Mike

    Your content is on point as usual!

  • David

    What are reasonable targets for gains in 1 rep max weight during a bulk and to put a time on it lets say an 8 week cycle? Does it change as you reach various levels such as a novice can gain 20% while an Intermediate will be lucky to gain 10%?

  • ianmayne

    Hi Mike, hope you’re doing well. I wanted to know how often do you track your 1RM and make the necessary adjustments based on that. Once a week… once a month? I continue coming back here and my numbers change up and down every week. Could be due to stress.. sleep.. glycogen stores..etc. but how often do I apply the 1RM and it’s % numbers effectively so that I’m constantly making gains. I hope the question is not too confusing.

    Also, any updates on the App?

    • It really depends on what program you’re running. I pay more attention to weight and reps than 1RM per se because if my reps and weight are going up over time, so is my 1RM, you know?

      Nothing worth sharing yet. New dev team is up and running and I will have an official completion date next week I believe.

      • Dan


        • The dev team is still rolling on it! Planning on releasing it this summer. 🙂

  • Георги Лозанов

    Hello Mike,
    I never trained in my life before and am now 4th month into BLS program.
    I would like to consider myself Novice, unfortunately I look like something in-between Untrained and Novice. The only lift that comes close to the Novice category is the deadlift of 100kg for my body weight of 79kgs and am still 25kgs away.
    What does several months mean ? Or better question, what is the minimum number of months before you move up from Untrained? I imagine some people are naturally strong and can jump through categories, I am not.
    Looking at these charts got me a little bit disappointed as I am giving 110% in my workouts and yet am far off the realistic numbers :S

    • Awesome!

      Don’t worry too much about that because there are quite a few factors that will determine how quickly you gain strength, ranging from diet to training intensity to genetics and more.

      What matters most is that you’re making progress…

  • sean_noonan

    hey my squat is kind of in the novice range but i dont feel like i have to push through the reps too hard like they seem to go smoothly does this mean im not lifting enough? im steadily progressing though

    • It’s possible. You want to be lifting as heavy as you can with good form. It needs to be light enough so you can do at least 4 reps, but it should be heavy enough where you can’t get more than 6 reps.

      • sean_noonan

        ill try and add maybe 10-20 pounds hopefully that should work

        • Sounds good. LMK how it goes.

          • sean_noonan

            i ended up doing 5 more pounds and then i thought maybe i am doing enough because i tried to go to completely 90 degrees ill probably try 5 more though pounds though then i should be good also one more question would you reccomend adding 100 calories if weight isnt consistently rising 1 pound per week

          • sean_noonan

            also one more thing sorry for all the questions its helped so much. on my bench my left arm seems a bit week is this normal? would it be better to go light maybe for like a week? like drop 5 pounds

          • sean_noonan

            yeah today i kind of realized i may need to go a little deeper so im gonna lighten it 5-10 pounds and it should be good hopefully

          • That’s totally fine. Go as light as you need to go to get full ROM and proper form.

            Most people have a dominant side, but imbalances normally resolve with proper training. Let’s give it 6-7 months and see. If, after that time, it’s still an issue, we can address it with some extra sets for the lagging side


          • sean_noonan

            It used to be like that for dumbbell press but then I gained more strength on my bench and it kind of resolved. I’ll try and give it some time and maybe do sets for the lagging side. Would you recommend just with a dumbbell

          • Sounds good! LMK how it goes.

          • sean_noonan


  • Dan

    Hi Mike, just plugging some numbers in, then looking at the estimates by formula below, it seems the calculator is using Baechle, not Brzycki? In otherwords, but 150kg in for 5 reps, then look below and 150 at 5 is for Baechle, and Brzycki has less weight…is that right?

    Otherwise, thanks, this is helpful!

    • Huh? The 1RM on all the formulas calculate the same. Then, as the reps increase, there are some differences. It displays the estimated reps at different weights for all of the formulas, though if you look at the chart. Check it out.


      • Dan

        Yeah, maybe not explaining clearly, plug in say 150 lbs for 5 reps, you get 169 for 1RM, but then below you get this:
        Brzycki 169 161 152 149 145
        which seems to say you are only at 145 lbs for 5 reps…the next line Baechle is closer at 147 for 5, which could be rounding error…unless I’m missing something?

        • I see what you’re saying. The chart is using different formulas to estimate the amount of weight you can lift for different reps based off the 1RM that was calculated. The formulas are pretty accurate, but they won’t be exact.

          I hope that clears it up!

  • Hey Mike, I’m still a bit confused what 1RM actually is? Any pointers to other articles or perhaps you can add it here? 🙂 Thanks!

    • 1RM stand for one rep max. It is simply the maximum amount of weight you can lift for 1 rep. It’s too heavy to lift for more than 1 rep, but it isn’t too heavy where you aren’t able to lift it at all.

      Hope that clears it up. My pleasure!

      • Aha! That makes sense now 🙂 It is what it says on a tin – doh. Thank you for clarifying.

  • Dan

    If I’m currently at around 90% of the 1RM novice targets for my BW for bench and military press, but at around 70% for squat and 75% for deadlift, what would you suggest to play catch up? I’m currently doing the BLS workouts. I was thinking of switching out the BLS back and leg workouts for the ‘ultimate back workout’ and ‘ultimate leg workout’. Or is there a better way to catch up?

    • Sure, you can do that if you want.

      How long have you been rolling on the BLS routine? Also, are you bulking or cutting? I don’t recommend focusing on bringing up lagging muscle unless you’re bulking, and I don’t recommend focusing on more than one muscle group at a time.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Dan

        Thanks for the reply and the advice. I’m bulking at the moment. Been doing BLS routine inconsistently for about 8 months. As in few weeks on, few weeks off type of thing. On week 6 of an eight week period of training just now, and I’m looking to even things up and become more consistent.

        My legs have been stronger in the past so as they are likely to catch up faster I’ll probably up just the leg workout, if u think playing catch-up on legs AND back might b too much.

        • No problem Dan. Catching up on legs first sounds good!

  • robingupta

    Thanks for the awesome information base sir. Can you please tell me :
    1. Apart from the mathematical way of calculating 1RM, is there a better practical way of determinig this number?
    2. Also, should we start with the 80% of 1 RM or build our way upto it?
    3. How often should we check our RM?

    P.S. – My goals are strength training/muscle build up while reducing tummy fat 🙂

    • YW!

      1. Sure! Physically performing it.

      2. You mean when starting to work out? I would first practice with lighter weights until your form is perfect before lifting heavy.

      3. Not necessary to check that often. It doesn’t contribute to strength gains and it’s more constructive to just keep training. The calculations are pretty close to actual performance.

  • Geoff McFadden

    Enjoyed your book Bigger Leaner Stronger and I am working towards the training program in the Beyond one by trying to reach your suggested factors for the four basic exercises of bench, squat, DL and shoulder press. Reading the above for shoulder press are the book recommendations correct i.e. 1 times my body weight is almost putting me in the elite category and doesn’t seem to stack-up when compared to the other exercises which fall in the intermediate to advanced range.

    • Happy to hear it!

      The figures in this article are for OHP. The 1 x body weight is for military press. For OHP, it’s more like 0.8 x body weight.

      Hope that clears it up!

  • Aris Efraimidis

    Hi! I’m started doing the BLS program, appr. 3 months after starting resistance training in my local gym, with default 3×15 isolation exercises. I’m 41 yo and since February (when I started BLS), I have seen increase in strength on all my major lifts, but I was looking at the tables and got me thinking. (Btw, I was bulking and now I started cutting). For Bench Press and OHP i’m ranked as Novice, but for Deadlift and Squat, I’m ranking as Intermediate. As of now (78,5kg bodyweight), my 1RM for Bench is 79kg, OHP is 58kg, Deadlift is 164kg and Squat is 131kg.

    Should I be worried that my lower body is making faster progress than my upper body or should I just stick to progressing to my major lifts and reasses after a year or so? Thanks!

  • sean_noonan

    quick question im kinda confused if I can squat 320 for 5 how does that make 317 my 4 rep max?

    working my way up though I think I may even hit 350 x 4 by the end of the bulk

    • Hey Sean, if you can squat 320 for 5 reps, then your estimated 1RM would be 360lbs. Remember, it’s just an estimate, and the chart gives you three different equations. Good luck on the bulk 🙂

  • A Murphy

    Hello, I am entirely new to this exercise regime and wanted to gain a better understanding of this article. However, I feel even more at a loss. This article appears to be for those individuals who have already learnt this system and not for those who are only just coming into it. I would appreciate if you could provide a clearer, basic understanding of the 1RMs programme and how to read these diagrams you’ve displayed.

  • Jake

    HI there. I’m a little confused. I get what 1RM is but I’m trying to figure out what reps I should be looking to do and how many sets. If I’m focusing on chest and triceps for day one, how many reps should I do for benchpress? Will I be doing a few sets of 85% of my 1RM, or will I climb from 85% in set 1, 90% in set 2, and 95% in set 3 (assuming I’m only doing three sets)?

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