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Jerry L. Mayhew, Sidney Palmer Hill, Melissa D. Thompson, Erin C. Johnson and Lyndsay Wheeler

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of repetitions to fatigue (RTF) using absolute and relative muscle-endurance performances to estimate 1-repetition-maximum (1-RM) bench-press performance in high school male athletes.

Methods:

Members of high school athletic teams (n = 118, age = 16.5 ± 1.1 y, weight = 82.7 ± 18.7 kg) were tested for 1-RM bench press and RTF with an absolute load of 61.4 kg and a relative load that produced 7 to 10 RTF (7- to 10-RM). All participants had completed a minimum of 4 wk of resistance training before measurement.

Results:

All 7- to 10-RM-prediction equations had higher correlations between predicted and actual 1-RM (r > .98) than the 61.4-kg absolute-load equation (r = .95). Despite the high correlations, only 3 of 11 equations produced predicted values that were nonsignificantly different from actual 1-RM. The best 7- to 10-RM equation predicted 65% of the athletes’ performances within ±4.5 kg of their actual 1-RM. The addition of simple anthropometric dimensions did not increase the validity correlations or decrease the prediction errors.

Conclusion:

The 7- to 10-RM method can provide an accurate method of estimating strength levels for adjusting loads in a training program and is more accurate for predicting 1-RM bench press in high school athletes than the 61.4-kg repetition method.