1 RM Fitness Test for Squat with Example Calculation Formula

Friday, January 5, 2018

1 RM Fitness Test for Squat with Example Calculation Formula

1 RM Fitness Test for Squat with Example Calculation Formula. According to various researches, squat has been regarded as king of all the exercises as the hormonal response to squat is favorable to strength gains and fat loss. Many individuals can't perform basic free squats, hence either avoid squat exercise or simply always depend on assisted squats. To calculate 1 RM of squat for people who never exercised before or not comfortable with barbell squat test, a pair of dumbbell is sufficient but before doing this test, few basic analysis must be done.

Free squat: During the free squat, about approximately 70% of body weight (head, arm and trunk) is used as resistance. This approximate figure is based on Williams and Lissner, 1962. (Textbook: Basic biomechanics explained by John Low & Ann reed). According to Williams and Lissner, HAT (Head - 7%, Arm-11% and Trunk-50%) can represent 68% of the total body mass; where as the lower limbs can represent 32%. In fact, to perform a proper free squat, optimal pelvic alignment and optimal hip-knee-ankle interactions must take place.

For example, excess posterior tilt of pelvis can lead to obligatory exaggerated forward leaning of trunk to ensure stability. On the other hand, excess anterior tilt of pelvis can lead to obligatory exaggerated lumbar lordosis. While availing the advantage of closed kinematic chain ankle dorsiflexion, but too much of ankle dorsiflexion can pose risks to the ankle itself especially if weighted squats are performed.
1 RM Fitness Test for Squat with Example Calculation Formula
Qualitative analysis: Firstly, assess the quality of the free squat. There are so many incorrect forms I have noticed while conducting fitness tests like (1) Knee convergence (2) Tendency to elevate heels (3) Too much forward inclination of trunk (4) Exaggerated lumbar lordosis (5) Preferential acceptance of load on one particular lower extremity (6) Uncontrollable descent and inability to raise from the squatted state (7) Over emphasize to push the knees forward (8) Too incomplete range of motion (9) Pain issues (10) Requires support to squat and raise.

Quantitative analysis: Only after ensuring that the quality of free squat is good, assess the number of correct forms of free squats.

Example:1 - Let us take an example of 70 kg male, who is capable of doing only 3 good quality free squats (3 reps), then his 1 RM of squat can be calculated using 1 RM formula, 1 RM = [(r/30) +1] + 70% of body weight. His 1 RM of squat will be [(3/30) +1] + 49 kg], which equals 54 kg. This means, just holding 2.5 kg dumbbells in each hand will only enable this individual to perform only one acceptable free squat.

Example:2- In case, if this individual is capable of easily doing more than 10 good quality free squats, then additional load is required to proceed with the test. Example, if this individual grasps a pair of 20 kg dumbbells (with arms dependent) and can produce only 5 proper forms of squat (5 reps), then his 1 RM squat can be;

1 RM = [(r/30) +1] + [70% of body weight + Dumbbell weight]
= [(5/30) +1] + [49 kg + 40 kg]
= 104 kg.

Using this finding, if the fitness expert wishes to prescribe 60% 1 RM squat (62.4 kg), then holding a pair of 7 kg of dumbbells will suffice.

Example:3 - As explained in the example:1, if this individual's 1 RM squat is 54 kg and if the fitness expert wishes to prescribe 60% 1 RM squat (32.4 kg), then his HAT weight should be made 32.4 kg instead of the actual 49 kg. This can be easily done like assisted dips/pull ups with machine. For assisted squats, these individuals can use cable-pulley machine and perform assisted squats by holding rope or bar or handles connected to this machine, at its top. The following formula can also be used;

Magnitude of assistance for squats = 70% Body weight - % of 1 RM

According to this example,

Magnitude of assistance for squats = 49 kg - 60 % of 54 kg
= 49 kg - 32.4 kg
= 17 kg

Hence, the cable-pulley machine will impart 17 kg of assistance to control the squat and enable raising from squat (probably for 15-20 reps).

Conclusively, squat must be an integral part of fitness test and exercise prescription.

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