As I said in previous articles, there are different ways of quantifying what is the daily status of a person for a particular exercise. So far, one of them, which has been used is the maximum repetition (1MR). Basically, it consists in raising the maximum possible weight in an exercise, because this is an indicator of our physical form for a specific exercise and strength in general. But it raises some problems: doing repetitions with the maximum capacity requires experience and technique, and it can be harmful if not done well (Brzycki, 1993, Reynolds, Gordon, & Robergs, 2006). In addition, even if we manage to do it well every day, we would get too tired with such a big effort before training. That is why today we are going to see how to calculate the 1MR from the velocity of execution.

The problem

So we have a problem: We need to know our physical form every day, because it changes daily. We have a method, the 1RM, but knowing it is harmful and we could tire ourselves excessively by doing it.

The solution

We could change the method… Or we could have simpler ways and without so many negative consequences to get to know the MR. It is already proven that the MR is a good method to get to know the physical form of a person, and why change it? Which is that simpler way, to find out our MR to do an MR test? By doing a submaximal repetition before starting the training, measuring the velocity of that repetition, and obtaining a very precise calculation of my MR that day.

It is simple, it is precise, it does not tire, and hardly takes up time.


Calculate the 1RM from the velocity

The execution velocity is the best expression of the intensity that a given weight represents for a person (Juan Jose Gonzalez-Badillo, Sanchez-Medina, Pareja-Blanco, & Rodriguez-Rosell, 2017). We must not forget that the more force applied, the faster we will move a load, which means that depending on the velocity at which the bar moves, I am able to apply more, or less force. There is a very high correlation between the velocity at which we move the bar, and the % of MR that is a load for us, as long as we move the bar as fast as we can (J Gonzalez, Badillo & Sanchez-Medina, 2010)

This does, that we can do in a graph, a curve, joining each % of the MR of an exercise with the velocity at which we have moved it. This is known as force-velocity profile. And from this curve, we can draw an equation, which is what will allow us to calculate the MR.

Some authors have published equations that could be used to calculate our MR based on the execution velocity. But knowing that each person has a different strength-velocity profile, it makes more sense that we have our own equation. Thus we would increase still more the precision of the calculation of the MR based on the velocity of a repetition with a load of a% of the MR.

In any case, the formulas that exist to our disposition, for the exercises of bench press, squat and rowing (JJ Gonzalez-Badillo & Sanchez-Medina, 2010, Sanchez-Medina, Pallares, Perez, Moran-Navarro, & Gonzalez- Badillo, 2017; Sanchez-Moreno, Rodriguez-Rosell, Pareja-Blanco, Mora-Custodio, & Gonzalez-Badillo, 2017) can also serve us. They are equations based on studies with very large and diverse samples, not will be the most accurate, but it will be interesting as an approach to our RM.

Average equation obtained from the force-velocity profile

Bench press

% 1 RM = 8.4326x VMP2-73.501x VM P + 112.33


% 1 RM = -5.961x VM P2- 50.71x VMP +117

Remo lying down

% 1 RM = 13.2596x VM P2-93,867x VM P + 144.38

Therefore, based on the data from these three studies, we could also know the velocity that we would have with each% of the MR. It is wrong to say that the data that comes out of AHL is your velocity of execution. But leaving a study with such a large sample, we serve as a reference to know where part of the population moves, with said% of the MR. Creating our own curve.

But that is not real. Scientists have long understood that the force-velocity curve is different for each subject (Cormie, McCaulley, & McBride, 2007, Jimenez-Reyes, Samozino, Brughelli, & Morin, 2017), so the best thing is to have our own force-velocity curve to obtain data based on our own performance. Fortunately, some velocity measurement devices, such as velocity4lifts, give us the option of creating our own equation. How? Velocity4lifts asks us to do a load progression until the MR, and from the points in the graph, creates a custom equation. Quantifying the lifting with Velocity4lifts we can calculate the 1MR from the velocity, and the other data of interest that we can obtain from this equation.

Be careful, the force-velocity curve is trained (Cormie et al., 2007), therefore, it is convenient to renew it every few months, because otherwise it could happen that our velocity at a % of the MR changes, and the data that we obtain from the measurements of the velocity of execution distense from reality.


Brzycki, M. (1993). Strength Testing-Predicting a One-Rep Max from Reps-to-Fatigue. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 64(1), 88-90. https://doi.org/10.1080/07303084.1993.10606684

Cormie, P., McCaulley, G. O., & McBride, J. M. (2007). Power versus strength-power jump squat training: Influence on the load-power relationship. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(6), 996-1003. https://doi.org/10.1097/mss.0b013e3180408e0c

González-Badillo, J. J., & Sánchez-Medina, L. (2010). Movement velocity as a measure of loading intensity in resistance training. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31(5), 347-352. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0030-1248333


Jiménez-Reyes, P., Samozino, P., Brughelli, M., & Morin, J. B. (2017). Effectiveness of an individualized training based on force-velocity profiling during jumping. Frontiers in Physiology, 7(JAN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2016.00677

Reynolds, J. M., Gordon, T. J., & Robergs, R. A. (2006). Prediction of one repetition maximum strength from multiple repetition maximum testing and anthropometry. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(3), 584-592. https://doi.org/10.1519/R-15304.1

Sánchez-Medina, L., Pallarés, J., Pérez, C., Morán-Navarro, R., & González-Badillo, J. (2017). Estimation of Relative Load From Bar Velocity in the Full Back Squat Exercise. Sports Medicine International Open, 1, E80-E88. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-102933

Sánchez-Moreno, M., Rodríguez-Rosell, D., Pareja-Blanco, F., Mora-Custodio, R., & González-Badillo, J. J. (2017). Movement velocity as indicator of relative intensity and level of effort attained during the set in pull-up exercise. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(10), 1378-1384. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0791