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Melissa Dygulski

Great question, Suzanne! I do not test for 1 RM in the clinic because usually these patients have a multitude of impairments and may be unsafe. I feel that 1 RM is something used more in the healthy population or near discharge depending on the level of the patient and what they are trying to return to.
That being said, there is a way to use % of the 1 RM to get optimal results for resistance training. Below I’ve listed the training intensity vs. number of repetitions that can be used when determining amount of resistance for your patients. Note: The number of reps listed means that at the patient is only physically able to complete that number, no more, with good form in one set. Use clinical judgment to determine what percentage to start your patients at.

100% of 1 RM = 1 rep
95% of 1 RM = 2 reps
90% of 1 RM = 4 reps
85% of 1 RM = 6 reps
80% of 1 RM = 8 reps
75% of 1 RM = 10 reps
70% of 1 RM = 12 reps
65% of 1 RM = 14 reps
60% of 1 RM = 16 reps

Does that help?