Convert your 1RM
Fitness Blog

How should we view our 1RM or Maximum Strength (MxS) in its application to sporting and physical performance?  Essentially the higher our MxS the easier it becomes to produce larger power outputs.  Look at this example for instance.  Say you have two weightlifters competing in the clean & Jerk.  Lifter A can deadlift 300kg and Lifter B can deadlift 200kg.  Now lets say their competition has progressed and they are both about to take their turn lifting 150kg.  Who do you think is going to have it easier getting the weight to move off the ground?

Lifter A who is only at 50% of their max or lifter B who is now at 75% of their max?  It’s a no brainer really and it is this basic example that can be applied to basically any sport or physical activity requiring the use of muscular contraction against resistance.  Think about a sport that you have played in the past and come up with your own example and use this to justify day in and out why you are training your “heavy.”

So how do we actually convert our MxS into developing our main biomotor ability for sport?

For this article I’ll only focus on Power Endurance, so here we go…

Power Endurance

Without getting bogged down too much in defining, what is Power Endurance, lets keep it simple by explaining it here as the application of maximum strength over the shortest amount of time possible, repetitively.  It is this kind of biomotor ability which is used in sports such as crossfit, boxing, MMA, Rugby, sprinting, weightlifting and other Olympic throwing events such as, discus, shot put and hammer throw.  Whilst there are some basic programming guidelines to train this ability, the first thing someone training for this needs to do is to ditch the old bodybuilding methods of “slow and controlled.”  Developing this ability requires fast and dynamic movement (Bompa & Carrera 2005). Remember we want to apply our maximum strength over the shortest amount of time possible and repeat consecutive repetitions.  Now there are a number of ways we can do this and it is the movements required by the particular sport, which will determine the method and exercise of power development that you will adopt.  These methods include isotonic, ballistic, Power-resisting, plyometric and power endurance (Bompa & Carrera 2005).  Most sports will require some combination of these methods in order to achieve full specificity.  Here is a quick snapshot of the programming guidelines to develop Power Endurance:

Training Parameters



30-50 % 1RM




2-4 per exercise

Rest interval

3-5 mins

Speed of execution

Very Dynamic

Frequency per week


So if you want to develop your power here’s what to do:

Step 1 – do 8 weeks of developing your MxS

Step 2 – Ditch those antiquated bodybuilding methods and get dynamic and fast with executing your exercises.  To peak your power it depends on your sport and the calendar of events, but in general I would focus power training for about a month at a time, before transitioning back to a MxS phase.

As always if you’re not sure what to do, see a trained professional

Article Written by Daniel McTainsh


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