Squat Max Calculator
Calculate your max squat by entering the weight and reps.
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How to Calculate Your Max Squat
The squat, often dubbed the “king of all exercises,” is a fundamental movement in strength training since it engages multiple muscle groups and provides an effective measure of lower body strength. Calculating the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a single repetition (often referred to as a one-rep max or 1RM) provides valuable insights into your strength level.
While the most accurate method to calculate your one-rep max is to actually find the maximum weight you are able to lift a single time, doing so can increase your risk of injury. Fortunately, you can calculate your max squat while minimizing risk of injury by using one of the following formulas.
One-Rep Max Formula
The squat max calculator uses the Brzycki formula to estimate a one-rep max based on the number of reps lifted at a lighter weight. To use this formula, you will select a weight you are capable of lifting and how many repetitions you are able to perform at that weight before failure.
The number of repetitions achieved is then inserted into the formula to calculate your estimated 1RM. Keep in mind for all 1RM estimations, the greater number of repetitions you perform, the less accurate the formula becomes. Ideally you select a weight that you can lift no more than 10 times.
The formula states:
1RM = weight lifted × 36 / 37 – reps
This formula was developed by Matt Brzycki and is a popular method to estimate a max squat without performing one.
Alternate One-Rep Max Formulas
While the Brzycki formula is widely used, there are several other formulas that can also be used to estimate a 1RM. These include:
1RM = weight lifted × (1 + reps/30)
1RM = weight lifted × reps0.10
1RM = weight lifted × (1 + (0.025 × reps))
Each formula offers a slightly different estimate based on the weight and reps input. It may be beneficial to try multiple formulas to get a range of estimated max squat lifts to determine the most realistic one-rep max.
It’s important to note that these formulas provide an estimate for the max weight lifted, but are usually accurate to within a few pounds when used with 3-5RM tests. However, the estimates are much less accurate as the number of reps for the test increase.
Tips For Improving Your Squat One-Rep Max
There are several ways you can improve your squat 1RM.
- Progressive Overload: In order for an individual to achieve a certain training adaptation, the body must be stressed by working against a stimulus or load that is greater than that to which it is accustomed. For continued adaptation, the training stimulus must gradually and constantly increase. However, if increases occur too quickly, poor technique, and injury may result. If increases are progressed too slowly, improvements and adaptations may be slow or minimal. Gradually and progressively increasing the weight you squat over time, will ensure you continue to challenge your muscles at a level sufficient to induce adaptation, which is pivotal for muscle strength and development. One method for increasing training load is known as the 2-for-2 rule. This conservative approach dictates that if an individual can perform 2 or more repetitions over their goal during their last set, for 2 workouts consecutively, weight should be added to that exercise during the next training session. Absolute load increases of 2.5-10lbs or relative load increases of 2.5-10% can be safe and effective when determining load increases.
- Periodization: Depending on your goals, you may implement different sets, reps and intensities to most efficiently induce muscle adaptation. For example, when training for muscular strength it is recommended that you utilize loads that you can perform <=6 repetitions, and you perform 2-6 sets. For training muscular endurance, performing >= 12 repetitions during 2-3 sets is recommended. Varying workout intensities and periodizing your training program can help prevent injuries, plateaus and overtraining.
- Refine Your Technique: Proper squat form isn’t just safer but can boost the weight you lift. Seek feedback from knowledgeable trainers or coaches. While your max lifts may decrease in the short term as you perfect your technique, you will see the benefits in the long run.
- Integrate Accessory Exercises: Exercises like lunges, deadlifts, and box jumps can help improve your squat by developing associated muscle groups.
- Prioritize Recovery: Giving yourself ample rest between squatting sets and sessions is key. Muscles grow during recovery, not while training. Adequate rest and recovery between sets and sessions is essential for optimizing muscular adaptation and performance. Depending on your goals, different rest periods between sets are recommended. For example, the NSCA recommends a 2-5 minute rest between sets when the goal is muscular strength, or less than 30 seconds when the goal is muscular endurance. It is also recommended to give your muscle groups a 24-hour period of recovery between sessions before working them again.
- Nutrition: A balanced diet with sufficient protein and calories can back muscle growth, aiding in strength gains. Use our calories burned lifting calculator to estimate how many additional calories you need. Depending on your sport or training, the NSCA recommends different nutrient intakes. For example, proper nutrition for strength includes a protein intake of 1.4-1.7 grams per kilogram body-weight daily, with 20-30 grams of protein consumption within 2-3 hours following training. 5-6 grams per kilogram body-weight of carbohydrates per day, with 30-100 grams of high-glycemic carbs being consumed following training is recommended, and adequate hydration to prevent water weight losses exceeding 2% of body-weight.
- Sleep: Our bodies recover and adapt while we sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, adults should consistently achieve at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night in order to optimize recovery both physiologically and psychologically.
- Mental Conditioning: Mentally prepping and envisioning your success in squatting heavier can significantly impact your actual performance.
You might also be interested in our calories burned calculator to track your workout progress.
- Brzycki, Matt, Strength Testing – Predicting a One-Rep Max from Reps-to-Fatigue, The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 1993, 64.1, 88-90.
- Muscular Development, Why Squats are the King of all Exercises, https://www.musculardevelopment.com/training/13175-why-squats-are-the-king-of-all-exercises.html
- Ribeiro Neto, F., Guanais, P., Dornelas, E. et al., Validity of one-repetition maximum predictive equations in men with spinal cord injury, Spinal Cord, 2017, 55, 950–95. https://www.nature.com/articles/sc201749
- Macarilla, C., Sautter, N., Robinson, Z., et al., Accuracy of Predicting One-Repetition Maximum from Submaximal Velocity in The Barbell Back Squat and Bench Press, Journal of Human Kinetics, April 26, 2022, 82, 201–212. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9465738/
- Klein, D., Post-Workout Nutrition—Nutrient Timing and the Anabolic Window, National Strength and Conditioning Association, https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/ptq/httpswww.nsca.comeducationarticlesptqpost-workout_nutrition_nutrient_timing_and_the_anabolic_window_u2014nutrient_timing_and_the_anabolic_window_/
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Seven or more hours of sleep per night: A health necessity for adults, https://aasm.org/seven-or-more-hours-of-sleep-per-night-a-health-necessity-for-adults/