Skip to main content

Test–Retest Reliability of the One-Repetition Maximum (1RM) Strength Assessment: a Systematic Review

Abstract

Background

The test–retest reliability of the one-repetition maximum (1RM) test varies across different studies. Given the inconsistent findings, it is unclear what the true reliability of the 1RM test is, and to what extent it is affected by measurement-related factors, such as exercise selection for the test, the number of familiarization trials and resistance training experience.

Objectives

The aim of this paper was to review studies that investigated the reliability of the 1RM test of muscular strength and summarize their findings.

Methods

The PRISMA guidelines were followed for this systematic review. Searches for studies were conducted through eight databases. Studies that investigated test–retest reliability of the 1RM test and presented intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and/or coefficient of variation (CV) were included. The COSMIN checklist was used for the assessment of the methodological quality of the included studies.

Results

After reviewing 1024 search records, 32 studies (pooled n = 1595) on test–retest reliability of 1RM assessment were found. All the studies were of moderate or excellent methodological quality. Test–retest ICCs ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 92% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 97% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The CVs ranged from 0.5 to 12.1% (median CV = 4.2%). ICCs were generally high (≥ 0.90), and most CVs were low (< 10%) for 1RM tests: (1) among those without and for those with some resistance training experience, (2) conducted with or without familiarization sessions, (3) with single-joint or multi-joint exercises, (4) for upper- and lower-body strength assessment, (5) among females and males, and (6) among young to middle-aged adults and among older adults. Most studies did not find systematic changes in test results between the trials.

Conclusions

Based on the results of this review, it can be concluded that the 1RM test generally has good to excellent test–retest reliability, regardless of resistance training experience, number of familiarization sessions, exercise selection, part of the body assessed (upper vs. lower body), and sex or age of participants. Researchers and practitioners, therefore, can use the 1RM test as a reliable test of muscular strength.

Key Points

  • The 1RM test has good-to-excellent test–retest reliability.

  • The reliability of the test seems to be high regardless of resistance training experience, number of familiarization sessions, exercise selection, part of the body assessed (upper vs. lower body), and sex or age of participants.

Introduction

Muscular strength can be defined as “the ability to exert a force on an external object or resistance” [1]. Higher levels of muscular strength may result in better performance in a range of sport-specific tasks and decrease the risk of injuries in athletes [1]. An adequate level of muscular strength is also needed for a range of activities of daily life. In older adults, for example, greater strength improves physical functioning and quality of life and reduces the risk of falls [2,3,4]. Higher muscular strength is also associated with a reduced risk of premature mortality [5]. Taking these factors into account, it is not surprising that organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend participating in muscular-strengthening activities on a regular basis [6, 7]. Investigating aspects of strength as a muscular quality in relation to performance in different exercise tasks is important from a sports performance perspective. Studying associations of strength with health outcomes, such as mortality risk, chronic disease, and quality of life, is important to advance public health.

Resistance training is the most commonly used exercise intervention for increasing muscular strength [6]. Resistance training can be performed using isometric muscle actions (i.e., with no net change in muscle length), isokinetic muscle actions (i.e., with a constant rate of movement), and, the most commonly selected, dynamic muscle actions (i.e., coupled eccentric and concentric actions) [6]. To determine the efficacy of a given resistance training program, it is paramount to measure the level of strength as accurately as possible. Furthermore, studies that explore the acute effects of resistance exercise on physiological parameters, such as muscle protein synthesis, hormonal responses, muscle soreness, electromyography outcomes, as well as studies on ergogenic effects of supplements, also use muscle strength testing as a basis for their respective exercise protocols [8,9,10,11,12,13]. Additionally, exercise prescription for repetition ranges in resistance training is also often based on a given percentage of maximal strength values [6], which further highlights the need for an accurate method of testing strength.

In laboratory-based settings, muscular strength is most commonly assessed using isokinetic dynamometers [14]. However, a disadvantage of such tests is the cost of the necessary equipment [14]. Another limitation of isokinetic dynamometers is that they are generally only single-joint-based tests of strength. A commonly used field-based test of strength is the one-repetition maximum (1RM) test [15]. As suggested by the name, the 1RM is defined as the maximal weight that can be lifted once, while maintaining the correct lifting technique [15]. The 1RM test has several distinct advantages over a laboratory-based test. In the 1RM test, eccentric actions are usually coupled with concentric actions, which is more reflective of dynamic muscle actions that are most commonly used in resistance training and of natural movement in most activities of sport and daily living. The 1RM test allows for assessing strength in multi-joint exercises. Given it does not require expensive equipment, it is highly cost-effective. In trained individuals, 1RM test is also commonly performed using the same exercises as in the training sessions, which might reduce the need for prior familiarization with the test. In addition to these advantages over isokinetic dynamometers, the 1RM test has been shown as safe across different populations, even among children, older adults, and clinical individuals [16,17,18]. Even though 1RM test can be time-consuming when strength is assessed in a large number of participants, many researchers consider it as the “gold standard” test of dynamic strength [15].

Test–retest reliability represents the consistency of results in a given test across repeated measurements [19, 20]. Reliability of strength tests may be influenced by a number of measurement-related factors, as well as by biological and technical variation in performing a given exercise [20]. Low reliability may reduce statistical power and thus increase the probability of a type II error [20]. In the sport and exercise science area, reliability is commonly expressed using the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and the coefficient of variation (CV). A detailed description of ICC and CV as measures of reliability can be found elsewhere [19, 20].

The test–retest reliability of the 1RM test varies significantly across different studies [16, 18, 21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50]. For example, in one study [48], ICC was 0.64, while in another [26], it was 0.99. Similarly, in the Seo et al. [46] study, CV was 0.5%, while in the Ribeiro et al. [40] study, it was 12.1%. Given the inconsistent findings, it is unclear what the true reliability of the 1RM test is and to what extent it is affected by measurement-related factors, such as exercise selection for the test, number of familiarization trials, and resistance training experience. No previous systematic review has summarized evidence on the test–retest reliability of the 1RM dynamic strength assessment. Therefore, this paper aimed to investigate the reliability of the 1RM test reported in individual studies and summarize their findings.

Methods

Search Strategy

The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for this systematic review [51]. English-language literature searches of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Academic Search Elite, CINAHL, MasterFILE Premier, PsycINFO, and SPORTDiscus databases were conducted on January 5th 2020 using the following search syntax: (1RM OR “1 RM” OR 1-RM OR “1 repetition maximum” OR “one repetition maximum”) AND (reliability OR repeatability OR reproducibility). To minimize the study selection bias, the searches were performed independently by two authors (JG and BL) of the review.

Inclusion Criteria

To be included in the review, studies were required to meet the following criteria: (1) published in English and in a peer-reviewed journal, (2) investigated test–retest reliability of the 1RM test, and (3) presented ICC and/or CV values. As suggested by Koo and Li [52], ICC values were deemed to indicate poor (less than 0.50), moderate (0.50 to 0.75), good (0.75 to 0.90), and excellent (> 0.90) reliability. Even though there are no universally accepted thresholds for classifying CV, values lower than 5% are generally deemed acceptable [53].

Data Extraction

Two authors (JG and BL) of the review independently extracted the following data to an Excel spreadsheet: (1) details regarding the sample (including sample size, age, and resistance training experience), (2) protocol used for the 1RM test (including the warm-up protocol, number of days between the assessments, and rest between attempts), (3) ICC and/or CV values, and (4) any adverse events associated with the 1RM test. Coding files were checked between the authors, and all discrepancies were resolved through discussion and consensus.

Methodological Quality

To assess the methodological quality of the included studies, Form B of the validated COSMIN checklist was used [54], which is designed for reliability studies. This form has 11 items that refer to reporting of missing items, adequacy of the sample size, number of measurements, measurement administration, time interval between the assessments, similarity of conditions for both measurements, important flaws in the study design, and the reporting of ICCs. Additional details about the form can be found elsewhere [54]. In all of the questions (besides question ten), the answer “yes” corresponds to one point. Question 10 is as follows: “Were there any important flaws in the design or methods of the study?” In this question, the answer “no” corresponds to a point. The maximal score on the checklist is 11. Studies scoring 10 to 11 points were considered as being of “excellent” methodological quality. Studies scoring 7 to 9 points were considered as being of “moderate” quality, while studies that scored less than 7 points were considered as being of “poor” methodological quality. Studies were rated independently by two reviewers (JG and BL). Any observed differences in the assessment between the reviewers were resolved through discussion and mutual agreement. Study quality was not an inclusion/exclusion criterion in this review.

Results

Search Results

The searches through the databases yielded 1024 search results (Fig. 1). Of these, 955 documents were excluded based on their titles and abstracts, while 69 papers were read in full. After assessing the full texts, 37 additional studies were excluded as they did not meet the inclusion criteria. The study selection process, therefore, resulted in the inclusion of 32 studies in this review [16, 18, 21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50].

Fig. 1
figure1

PRISMA flow diagram

Study Characteristics

The pooled number of participants from all included studies was 1595 (median = 35; range = 10–376). Most of the studies were conducted among apparently healthy individuals with two studies examining the reliability of the 1RM test in clinical populations (individuals with Parkinson’s disease and older adults with chronic heart failure [16, 29], respectively). Fourteen studies were conducted among individuals with some resistance training experience, while 22 studies included individuals without any previous resistance training experience (note that four studies included both groups). The period between 1RM test and retest varied between 1 and 10 days. Out of fourteen studies that included familiarization sessions, nine studies used one session, four studies used two sessions, and one study used three familiarization sessions. All but one study presented ICCs, while 15 studies reported CVs (14 studies presented both ICCs and CVs). Table 1 summarizes relevant information pertaining to the included studies.

Table 1 Summary of the included studies

1RM Test Protocols

Out of the studies that detailed their respective warm-up protocols, 16 studies used one submaximal set, 10 studies used two or three submaximal sets, and 2 studies used five submaximal sets for the warm-up (Table 1). Submaximal sets were most commonly performed with loads ranging from 40 to 80% of estimated 1RM. The repetition range in the submaximal sets generally ranged from 1 to 10 repetitions. Eleven studies also incorporated some form of light aerobic exercise during the warm-up (e.g., 5 min of cycling; Table 1). The number of 1RM attempts per testing session ranged from 3 to 8, with 1 to 5 min of rest between attempts.

Methodological Quality

Based on the COSMIN checklist, all studies were classified as either having excellent (17 studies) or moderate (15 studies) methodological quality. The mean ± standard deviation values of the checklist were 9 ± 1 points (range = 8 to 11 points). The results of the quality assessment can be found in Table 2.

Table 2 Results of the methodological quality assessment using the COSMIN checklist

Overall Reliability of 1RM Test

Test–retest reliability of 1RM assessment is summarized in Table 3 and Fig. 2. When considering all available studies, ICCs ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 92% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 97% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 12.1% (median CV = 4.2%).

Table 3 Summary of reliability data from the included studies
Fig. 2
figure2

Summary of test–retest reliability of 1RM assessment

Reliability in Relation to Training Status and Familiarization

Twenty-two studies included untrained individuals. ICCs for 1RM tests among untrained individuals ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 92% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 99% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 1 to 12.0% (median CV = 5.5%). Fourteen studies included individuals with some previous resistance training experience. ICCs for 1RM tests among individuals with previous resistance training experience ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.98), where 93% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 96% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 7.8% (median CV = 3.3%).

Eighteen studies did not include a familiarization session. ICCs in these studies ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.96), where 90% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 96% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 1.0 to 9.0% (median CV = 5.3%). Fourteen studies included one or more familiarization sessions. In these studies, ICCs ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.98), where 90% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 93% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 12.1% (median CV = 3.8%).

Reliability in Relation to Exercise Selection and Body Region

Seventeen studies used single-joint exercises. ICCs for 1RM tests using single-joint exercises ranged from 0.74 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 93% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 96% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 9.0% (median CV = 4.1%). Twenty-eight studies used multi-joint exercises. ICCs for 1RM tests using multi-joint exercises ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.98), where 88% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 92% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 1.0 to 12.1% (median CV = 4.3%).

Twenty-one studies assessed upper-body strength. ICCs for 1RM tests of upper-body strength ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.98), where 94% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 96% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 1.0 to 7.9% (median CV = 4.1%). Twenty-eight studies assessed lower-body strength. ICCs for 1RM tests of lower-body strength ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 86% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 92% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 12.1% (median CV = 4.7%).

Reliability in Relation to Sex and Age of Participants

Fifteen studies included female participants. ICCs for 1RM tests among females ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.98), where 92% of all ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 96% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 1.0 to 8.0% (median CV = 4.4%). Nineteen studies included male participants. ICCs for 1RM tests among males ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 88% of all ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 91% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 12.1% (median CV = 4.0%).

Twelve studies included older adult participants. ICCs for 1RM tests among older adults ranged from 0.80 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.97), where 93% of all ICCs were ≥ 0.90. The range of reported CVs was from 1.0 to 9.0% (median CV = 5.4%). Twenty-two studies included young to middle-aged adult participants. ICCs for 1RM tests among young and middle-aged adults ranged from 0.64 to 0.99 (median ICC = 0.98), where 91% of all ICCs were ≥ 0.90, and 97% of ICCs were ≥ 0.80. The range of reported CVs was from 0.5 to 12.1% (median CV = 3.5%).

Systematic Changes in Results Between Repeated Measurements

In 66% of the analyses that assessed potential systematic changes in 1RM test results between the repeated measurements, no significant changes were found. The remaining studies found higher 1RM values in the retest condition. For lower-body exercises, the reported increases in 1RM ranged from 1.1 to 17.5 kg (median = 5.5 kg). For upper-body exercises, the reported increases in 1RM ranged from 0.5 to 4.9 kg (median = 1.8 kg).

Discussion

Main Findings of the Review

The main finding of this systematic review is that the 1RM test generally has excellent test–retest reliability, regardless of the previous resistance training experience, sex, and age of the participants; whether or not the testing procedure includes familiarization sessions; whether the exercises are classified as single- or multi-joint movements; and whether the testing is conducted for upper- or lower-body musculature. This finding is based on 32 included studies that showed either excellent or moderate methodological quality.

Reliability in Relation to Training Status and Familiarization

Research has established that the response to resistance exercise varies between resistance-trained and untrained individuals [55, 56]. For example, studies have reported differential molecular and epigenetic responses between trained and untrained individuals following an acute bout of resistance exercise [55, 56]. Duez et al. [57] also reported larger action potentials and electric activity of motor units in resistance-trained participants, compared with untrained participants. Accordingly, some authors [58] speculated 1RM test reliability may be different between resistance-trained and untrained individuals. However, when we grouped the ICCs and CVs according to training status, the data showed similar reliability for individuals with and without resistance training experience. These results suggest that resistance training experience might not be as important for the 1RM test as previously thought [58]. From a practical perspective, the results suggest that exercise practitioners may consider using the 1RM test as a reliable test of strength even among untrained participants. Furthermore, the 1RM test seems to be generally safe, as the studies reported very few adverse events associated with the measurement. Most commonly, only muscle soreness was reported (Table 1).

In the Ploutz-Snyder and Giamis study [59], the authors reported that untrained individuals needed as much as eight familiarization sessions with the 1RM test to obtain a reliable measurement. Specifically, these authors reported an average increase in the 1RM test by 13 kg from the first to the final testing session (~1.6 kg per session). They employed a protocol in which the 1RM test was conducted every two days over a period of 2 to 3 weeks. The included participants were required to return to testing if their 1RM on one session exceeded their 1RM on the previous session by 1 kg. Such a strict familiarization procedure might be inefficient and could potentially lead to an increase in the dropout rates of participants. Also, such a testing design might even result in an unwanted training effect, as studies show that merely practicing the 1RM test can produce similar strength gains as high-volume resistance training routine [60]. Studies that did not include any familiarization and studies that included at least one familiarization session showed very high and similar ICC values (over 90% of ICCs were ≥ 0.90). These results suggest that familiarization sessions are not necessary for a reliable assessment of 1RM. While the results would suggest that a familiarization session is likely not required for a reliable 1RM assessment, there may be cases when some familiarization with the exercise to needed, e.g. when a practitioner estimates that the participant's skill in a given exercise is not sufficient and that, therefore, performing the test without further familiarization may increase the risk of injury. To avoid the abovementioned potential issues, in such cases, familiarization can be incorporated into the first testing session, as done by Benton and colleagues [24, 25].

Reliability in Relation to Exercise Selection and Body Region

Besides training experience, variables such as exercise complexity have been suggested to play an impactful role in the reliability of the 1RM test [48]. For example, one study used the squat and knee extension exercises for the 1RM test [48]. For the squat, which is the more complicated exercise to perform, the ICC was 0.64, while for the knee extension exercise, the ICC was 0.90. However, when examining the whole body of literature, the data for single- and multi-joint exercises showed that the reliability of the 1RM test is high regardless of the resistance exercise selection. Indeed, even studies that assessed the 1RM test using very complex exercises, such as the power clean, reported ICCs of 0.98 and 0.99 [28, 30], albeit these findings are specific to young athletes. Similar results, indicating no substantial differences in reliability, were seen in the subgroup analyses for upper- and lower-body exercises.

Reliability in Relation to Sex and Age of Participants

Even though there are physiological differences between men and women, especially in muscle contractile properties, fiber type proportion, and perfusion [61], we found no clear indication of a difference in 1RM test reliability between sexes. Research has also established physiological differences in voluntary muscle activation by age, with younger adults having higher muscle activation than their older counterparts [62]. However, we found no clear indication that age affects the test–retest reliability of the 1RM test. It should be noted that making direct comparisons between sex and age groups across different studies is challenging, given that exercise selection and other elements of the testing protocol vary. The evidence base would benefit from more studies that include analyses stratified by sex and age groups within a single study. Nevertheless, the currently available evidence suggests that the 1RM test is a reliable test of muscle strength among both sexes and different age groups.

Systematic Changes in Results Between Repeated Measurements

Most studies did not find systematic changes in results between the repeated measurements. In those that did, the observed changes were generally small. Their size was well below the average increases in strength commonly found in strength training interventions [63,64,65,66,67]. This is important to consider given that the most common application of the 1RM test is for evaluating changes in strength following a given training program.

Methodological Quality of Included Studies

The included studies were classified as having excellent or moderate methodological quality based on the COSMIN checklist. While 31 studies presented ICC values and thus received a point on item 11, one study presented only CV values (Table 3). Therefore, future studies should consider presenting ICC coupled with the CV values as both can provide valuable information about reliability. Detailed reasoning for presenting both of the reliability coefficients is available in the paper by Atkinson and Nevill [20]. Despite the moderate-to-excellent quality of the included studies, there is one limitation noted that needs to be highlighted. Namely, not all studies presented the type of ICC used in the analysis. There are ten different types of ICCs that provide different estimates of reliability [52]. When calculated from the same data, one study demonstrated that six different types of ICC ranged from 0.51 to 0.87 [68]. This issue is not limited to the studies included herein as recent reviews that focused on the test–retest reliability of the Yo-Yo test and the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15 IFT) also highlighted this as a limitation [69, 70]. Even though not all studies reported the specific type of ICC types they used, 92% of all ICCs were still ≥ 0.90, suggesting that this limitation might not have had a profound impact on the findings of this review. Nevertheless, future studies conducted on this topic should clearly state which ICC was used for the analysis, to allow for better-informed comparisons of results between studies.

Recommendations for Future Research

Evidence on the reliability of the 1RM test in clinical populations is scarce, as our search revealed only two such studies. Buckley and Hass [16] included 46 individuals with Parkinson’s disease and explored the reliability of 1RM test assessment of four resistance training exercises. The authors reported ICC values ranging from 0.91 to 0.97. Ellis et al. [29] included individuals with chronic heart failure and reported excellent reliability of the 1RM test for the leg press (ICC = 0.97). These findings would suggest that the 1RM test is a highly reliable test of strength even among clinical individuals. However, the evident lack of studies that explored specific clinical populations highlights the need for future research.

The included studies generally focused on test–retest reliability. However, four studies [23, 29, 47, 48] also provided data for inter-rater reliability. The respective ICCs ranged from 0.85 to 0.98, where 83% of all ICCs were higher than 0.90. Although it seems that the inter-rater reliability of the 1RM test is also high, given that the number of studies was relatively small, this topic should be further explored in future research.

The warm-up protocols varied across the included studies. For example, the studies used between one and five sets with submaximal loads for the warm-up (Table 1). Additionally, some studies also incorporated light aerobic exercise into the warm-up (Table 1). The number of 1RM attempts in some studies was limited (usually to a maximum of three to five attempts), whereas others used progressive increases in the load until the participant could no longer perform a successful 1RM attempt (Table 1). Despite the differences in the warm-up and testing protocols, the reliability of the 1RM test was generally high across all studies. However, future studies may consider exploring the influence of different warm-up strategies and testing protocols on the reliability of 1RM test.

Limitations of the Review

There are some limitations that need to be considered when interpreting the findings of this review. While there are different statistical measures to express test–retest reliability, the current review focused only on ICC and CV as the two most commonly used reliability coefficients in this research area. Twelve included studies additionally used Bland–Altman plots [18, 21, 23, 28,29,30, 34, 40, 42, 44, 47, 48] and found relatively narrow 95% limits of agreement (LoA). For example, 95% LoA for the bench press, power clean, leg press, and squat were ± 3–5 kg, ± 5–8 kg, ± 8–13 kg, and ± 10–15 kg, respectively [23, 28,29,30, 40, 44, 48], which further indicates a high reliability of the 1RM test. However, given the small number of studies that used Bland–Altman plots, future research may also consider using this statistic to provide further insights into LoA for other resistance exercises used for the 1RM test.

Conclusion

Accurate assessment of strength is the foundation upon which optimal resistance training programs for dynamic strength gains can be developed and evaluated. Based on the results of this review, it can be concluded that the 1RM test generally has good-to-excellent test–retest reliability. The reliability of the 1RM test tends to be excellent regardless of resistance training experience, number of familiarization sessions, exercise selection, part of the body assessed (upper vs. lower body), and sex or age of participants. No or only small systematic changes in 1RM are expected between repeated measurements. Researchers and practitioners can, therefore, use the 1RM test as a reliable test for assessing maximal dynamic muscular strength.

Availability of Data and Materials

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

References

  1. 1.

    Stone MH. Position statement: explosive exercises and training. Natl Strength Cond Assoc J. 1993;15(3):7–15.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Katula JA, Rejeski WJ, Marsh AP. Enhancing quality of life in older adults: a comparison of muscular strength and power training. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2008;6:45.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Liu-Ambrose T, Khan KM, Eng JJ, et al. Resistance and agility training reduce fall risk in women aged 75 to 85 with low bone mass: a 6-month randomized, controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(5):657–65.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Steib S, Schoene D, Pfeifer K. Dose-response relationship of resistance training in older adults: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(5):902–14.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Edwards MK, Loprinzi PD. Adequate muscular strength may help to reduce risk of residual-specific mortality: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Phys Act Health. 2018;15(5):369–73.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(3):687-708.

  7. 7.

    World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Geneva, CH: World Health Organization. 2010.

  8. 8.

    Baroni BM, Pompermayer MG, Cini A, et al. Full range of motion induces greater muscle damage than partial range of motion in elbow flexion exercise with free weights. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(8):2223–30.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, Willardson JM, et al. Muscle activation during low- versus high-load resistance training in well-trained men. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014;114(12):2491–7.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Duncan MJ, Weldon A, Price MJ. The effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on back squat and bench press exercise to failure. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(5):1358–66.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Grgic J, Mikulic P. Caffeine ingestion acutely enhances muscular strength and power but not muscular endurance in resistance-trained men. Eur J Sport Sci. 2017;17(8):1029–36.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Fink JE, Schoenfeld BJ, Kikuchi N, et al. Acute and long-term responses to different rest intervals in low-load resistance training. Int J Sports Med. 2017;38(2):118–24.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    McKendry J, Pérez-López A, McLeod M, et al. Short inter-set rest blunts resistance exercise-induced increases in myofibrillar protein synthesis and intracellular signalling in young males. Exp Physiol. 2016;101(7):866–82.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Perrin DH. Isokinetic exercise and assessment. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1993. p. 9.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, Fry AC, et al. Strength testing: development and evaluation of methodology. In: Maud PJ, Foster C, editors. Physiological Assessment of Human Fitness. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2006. p. 119–50.

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Buckley TA, Hass CJ. Reliability in one-repetition maximum performance in people with Parkinson's disease. Parkinsons Dis. 2012;2012:928736.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Faigenbaum AD, Milliken LA, Westcott WL. Maximal strength testing in healthy children. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(1):162–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Levinger I, Goodman C, Hare DL, et al. The reliability of the 1RM strength test for untrained middle-aged individuals. J Sci Med Sport. 2009;12(2):310–6.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Currell K, Jeukendrup AE. Validity, reliability and sensitivity of measures of sporting performance. Sports Med. 2008;38(4):297–316.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Atkinson G, Nevill AM. Statistical methods for assessing measurement error (reliability) in variables relevant to sports medicine. Sports Med. 1998;26(4):217–38.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Amarante do Nascimento M, Januário RS, Gerage AM, et al. Familiarization and reliability of one repetition maximum strength testing in older women. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(6):1636–42.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Augustsson J, Bruno M, Swärd J. Development of a new isometric strength test using an isoinertial-based weight machine. Adv Physiother. 2010;12(2):81–6.

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Augustsson SR, Svantesson U. Reliability of the 1 RM bench press and squat in young women. Eur J Physiother. 2013;15(3):118–26.

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Benton MJ, Raab S, Waggener GT. Effect of training status on reliability of one repetition maximum testing in women. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(7):1885–90.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Benton MJ, Swan PD, Peterson MD. Evaluation of multiple one repetition maximum strength trials in untrained women. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(5):1503–7.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Barbalho M, Gentil P, Raiol R, et al. High 1RM tests reproducibility and validity are not dependent on training experience, muscle group tested or strength level in older women. Sports. 2018;6(4). pii: E171.

  27. 27.

    Carabello RJ, Reid KF, Clark DJ, et al. Lower extremity strength and power asymmetry assessment in healthy and mobility-limited populations: reliability and association with physical functioning. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2010;22(4):324–9.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Comfort P, McMahon JJ. Reliability of maximal back squat and power clean performances in inexperienced athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(11):3089–96.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Ellis R, Holland AE, Dodd K, et al. Reliability of one-repetition maximum performance in people with chronic heart failure. Disabil Rehabil. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2018.1443160.

  30. 30.

    Faigenbaum AD, McFarland JE, Herman RE, et al. Reliability of the one-repetition-maximum power clean test in adolescent athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26(2):432–7.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    García-Ramos A, Haff GG, Pestaña-Melero FL, et al. Feasibility of the 2-Point method for determining the 1-repetition maximum in the bench press exercise. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(4):474–81.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Grosicki GJ, Miller ME, Marsh AP. Resistance exercise performance variability at submaximal intensities in older and younger adults. Clin Interv Aging. 2014;9:209218.

    Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Hageman PA, Walker SN, Pullen CH, et al. Test-retest reliability of the rockport fitness walking test and other fitness measures in women ages 50–69 years. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2001;24(2):7–11.

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    LeBrasseur NK, Bhasin S, Miciek R, et al. Tests of muscle strength and physical function: reliability and discrimination of performance in younger and older men and older men with mobility limitations. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008;56(11):2118–23.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    McCurdy K, Langford G, Jenkerson D, et al. The validity and reliability of the 1RM bench press using chain-loaded resistance. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(3):678–83.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    McCurdy K, Langford GA, Cline AL, et al. The reliability of 1- and 3Rm tests of unilateral strength in trained and untrained men and women. J Sports Sci Med. 2004;3(3):190–6.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Neto JC, Cedin L, Dato CC, et al. Single session of testing for one repetition maximum (1RM) with eight exercises is trustworthy. JEPonline. 2015;18(3):74–80.

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Patterson P, Sherman J, Hitzelberger L, et al. Test-retest reliability of selected LifeCircuit machines. J Strength Cond Res. 1996;10(4):246–9.

    Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Phillips WT, Batterham AM, Valenzuela JE, et al. Reliability of maximal strength testing in older adults. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85(2):329–34.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Ribeiro AS. do Nascimento MA, Amarante M, et al. Reliability of 1RM test in detrained men with previous resistance training experience. Isokinet Exerc Sci. 2014;22(2):137–43.

    Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Ribeiro AS. do Nascimento MA, Salvador EP, et al. Reliability of one-repetition maximum test in untrained young adult men and women. Isokinet Exerc Sci. 2014;22(2):175–82.

    Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Rydwik E, Karlsson C, Frändin K, et al. Muscle strength testing with one repetition maximum in the arm/shoulder for people aged 75+ -test-retest reliability. Clin Rehabil. 2007;21(3):258–65.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Salem GJ, Wang MY, Sigward S. Measuring lower extremity strength in older adults: the stability of isokinetic versus 1RM measures. J Aging Phys Act. 2002;10(4):489–503.

    Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Schroeder ET, Wang Y, Castaneda-Sceppa C, et al. Reliability of maximal voluntary muscle strength and power testing in older men. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007;62(5):543–9.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Scott BR, Dascombe BJ, Delaney JA, et al. The validity and reliability of a customized rigid supportive harness during Smith machine back squat exercise. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(3):636–42.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Seo DI, Kim E, Fahs CA, et al. Reliability of the one-repetition maximum test based on muscle group and gender. J Sports Sci Med. 2012;11(2):221–5.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Sugiura Y, Hatanaka Y, Arai T, et al. Estimations of one repetition maximum and isometric peak torque in knee extension based on the relationship between force and velocity. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(4):980–8.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Tagesson SK, Kvist J. Intra- and interrater reliability of the establishment of one repetition maximum on squat and seated knee extension. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(3):801–7.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Tiggemann CL, Guedes MG, Bgeginski R, et al. The reliability of the one maximum repetition in sedentary, active and strength-trained subjects. Motriz. 2011;17(4):700–7.

    Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Urquhart BG, Moir GL, Graham SM, et al. Reliability of 1RM split-squat performance and the efficacy of assessing both bilateral squat and split-squat 1RM in a single session for non-resistance-trained recreationally active men. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(7):1991–8.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, et al. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med. 2009;6(7):e1000097.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Koo TK, Li MY. A guideline of selecting and reporting intraclass correlation coefficients for reliability esearch. J Chiropr Med. 2016;15(2):155–63.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Machin D, Campbell MJ, Walters SJ. Medical statistics. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester; 2007. pp. 203.

  54. 54.

    Mokkink LB, Terwee CB, Patrick DL, et al. The COSMIN checklist for assessing the methodological quality of studies on measurement properties of health status measurement instruments: an international Delphi study. Qual Life Res. 2010;19(4):539–49.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Fernandez-Gonzalo R, Lundberg TR, Tesch PA. Acute molecular responses in untrained and trained muscle subjected to aerobic and resistance exercise training versus resistance training alone. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2013;209(4):283–94.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    Bagley JR, Burghardt KJ, McManus R, et al. Epigenetic responses to acute resistance exercise in trained vs. sedentary men. J Strength Cond Res. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003185.

  57. 57.

    Duez L, Qerama E, Fuglsang-Frederiksen A, et al. Electrophysiological characteristics of motor units and muscle fibers in trained and untrained young male subjects. Muscle Nerve. 2010;42(2):177–83.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Ritti-Dias RM, Avelar A, Salvador EP, et al. Influence of previous experience on resistance training on reliability of one-repetition maximum test. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(5):1418–22.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Ploutz-Snyder LL, Giamis EL. Orientation and familiarization to 1RM strength testing in old and young women. J Strength Cond Res. 2001;15(4):519–23.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Mattocks KT, Buckner SL, Jessee MB, et al. Practicing the test produces strength equivalent to higher volume training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017;49(9):1945–54.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Hunter SK. Sex differences in human fatigability: mechanisms and insight to physiological responses. Acta Physiol. 2014;210(4):768–89.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Stevens JE, Stackhouse SK, Binder-Macleod SA, et al. Are voluntary muscle activation deficits in older adults meaningful? Muscle Nerve. 2003;27(1):99–101.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Contreras B, et al. To flex or rest: Does adding no-load isometric actions to the inter-set rest period in resistance training enhance muscular adaptations? A randomized-controlled trial. Front Physiol. 2020;10:1571.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Schoenfeld BJ, Contreras B, Krieger J, et al. Resistance training volume enhances muscle hypertrophy but not strength in trained men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019;51(1):94–103.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Mangine GT, Hoffman JR, Gonzalez AM, et al. The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. Physiol Rep. 2015;3(8). pii: e12472.

  66. 66.

    Hackett DA, Amirthalingam T, Mitchell L, et al. Effects of a 12-week modified German volume training program on muscle strength and hypertrophy—a pilot study. Sports. 2018;6(1):7.

    PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Lasevicius T, Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, et al. Similar muscular sadaptations in resistance training performed two versus three days per week. J Hum Kinet. 2019 Aug 21;68:135–43.

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Trevethan R. Intraclass correlation coefficients: clearing the air, extending some cautions, and making some requests. Health Serv Outcomes Res Methodol. 2017;17(2):127–43.

    Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Grgic J, Oppici L, Mikulic P, et al. Test-retest reliability of the Yo-Yo test: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2019;49(10):1547–57.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Grgic J, Lazinica B, Pedisic Z. Test-retest reliability of the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (IFT): a systematic review. J Sport Health Sci. 2020.

Download references

Acknowledgements

None

Funding

No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

JG and ZP conceived the idea for the review. JG and BL conducted the study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment. JG drafted the initial manuscript. ZP, BJS, and BL contributed to writing the manuscript. The authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zeljko Pedisic.

Ethics declarations

Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

Not applicable

Consent for Publication

Not applicable

Competing Interests

Jozo Grgic, Bruno Lazinica, Brad J. Schoenfeld, and Zeljko Pedisic declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Grgic, J., Lazinica, B., Schoenfeld, B.J. et al. Test–Retest Reliability of the One-Repetition Maximum (1RM) Strength Assessment: a Systematic Review. Sports Med - Open 6, 31 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-020-00260-z

Download citation