The submaximal strength test is a test with which you can easily calculate your 1RM (One repeatable maximum). Testing the 1RM is often very time consuming and strenuous. That is why different submaximal tests were created. The submaximal test is completed by carrying out exercises that address many different muscle groups. That way an athlete gets a good impression of the complete strength of his or her body. It is important to do a good warming up before the test. It is also important that you are in good command of the exercise you are testing.


The test consists of the following components:

  • Warming up
  • Test phase of one or more exercises

Submaximal test protocol

Prior to the submaximal test, you decide which parts of your body you want to test, and which exercises you choose for this. Large exercises are often chosen, such as a squat, bench press, or deadlift. Do a good warm-up. Set your testing weight. Choose a setting that you can repeat eight to twelve times. Start your exercise, try not to take any breaks and keep going until you can no longer continue. Write down the number of repetitions and the weight.


  1. Do a good warm-up that fits the chosen exercises;
  2. Set the weight to the amount with which you can do eight to twelve repetitions;
  3. Start the exercise. Continue until you are tired and do not take breaks in-between;
  4. If you are no longer able to use the correct technique or if you are too tired to continue, the test is finished;
  5. Write down the weight and the number of repetitions that accompany this weight.


In the pyramid below you can read which percentage corresponds with the number of repetitions you made. To calculate your 1RM (1 repeatable maximum) you can use the following formula:

(100 * your training weight) / the percentage that corresponds with your repetitions

Required equipment

For this test you need the following:

  • Exercise equipment
  • Weight bar and weights
  • Assistant who counts along and provides tips

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