Richens B. & Cleather D.J.
completed 15.2 ± 6.5 and 19.4 ± 9.0 repetitions respectively at
80% of 1RM whereas Jacobs et al.  found that trained subjects
completed 13 ± 5 repetitions with the same relative load. Figure 1
presents a comparison of the relationship between intensity and num-
ber of repetitions found in this study and other commonly quoted
relationships. It is apparent that these oft quoted relationships had
poor predictive power for the leg press in the athletes studied here
(and also for the amount of repetitions at 80% of 1RM found in the
other studies referred to here).
The comparison of the different ndings in Figure 1 suggests a
need for the scientic community to revisit this issue to produce more
robust, sport-specic estimates. It is the authors’ opinion that the
wide variation in the number of repetitions that a given individual can
complete with a given relative load is not adequately recognised by
coaches. This need is magnied by the fact that differences have
been found in the relationship between intensity and repetitions com-
pleted between upper body and lower body exercises , between
single-joint exercises and multi-joint exercises [10,23], and between
males and females with the same exercise . An alternative is for
practitioners to use alternate methods of prescribing intensity. In a
review by Tan  it is suggested that the repetition maximum (RM)
method is more appropriate, as it focuses more on the individual,
rather than a marker of maximal strength they may have achieved
sometime in the past. Poliquin  also recommends this method
of prescription and suggests it can also reduce the risk of uninten-
tional under or over-training in a session which may happen when
prescribing intensity by normative 1RM data.
This study demonstrates the importance of using sport-specic
estimates of the relationship between repetitions and percentage
of 1RM. In addition, this study suggests that traditional guidelines
may underestimate the potential number of repetitions that can be
completed at a given percentage of 1RM, particularly for endurance
Conict of interest: Authors declared no conict of interest.
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