Back To Categories

Redefining Bodybuilding | Maxing Out


You dedicate several hours to the gym, carefully monitor what you eat and spend hard-earned money on supplements. Most of us don’t do this for the stage. We do this for ourselves!


You may not classify yourself as a bodybuilder, you simply enjoy bodybuilding - The art of aesthetics. However, there’s nothing like hitting a new PR and benching a weight you’ve never completed prior. Some of us would do this every workout if we could, but constantly testing your 1 rep max won’t add size or strength.


Training your 1 rep max can be advantageous for strength and hypertrophy. However, training for both disciplines will involve some changes to your routine. Today we will discuss how to test your 1 rep max in a safe and effective manner while still building upon a hypertrophy based workout.


USPlabs School Of Mass


Chest Day | Maxin’ Out Bench



Warm Up


Forget traditional stretching. Static work will be counterproductive at this stage. Instead, start with a general 5 minute warm up followed by some exercise specific mobility work -


Dumbbell Fly
Use a light weight for controlled reps with a 1-second stretch at the bottom of the movement.


Bench Press
Start with a light weight approximately 30-45% of your 1RM. You may have to guess here, but it’s a weight that could easily be bench 25+ times if needed. Bench for 8 reps as fast as possible. Rest for 90 seconds and move on to your second set. Your next two sets will be 5 reps and 3 reps respectively. Use a weight that you can move in less than 10 seconds for completed reps. Rest 90 seconds between these. Your next 4 sets will be singles. Your first should be a weight that you can move 10 times, press as quick as possible. Rest 3-5 minutes. Your next single should be a weight you can press 6 times. Rest 3-5 minutes. Your 3rd single is a weight you could press 4 times. Rest 5 minutes. Your last set is your true max. To find this divide what you can press 10 times by .75. This will give you an approximate 1RM. Use a spotter here.


Keep constant tension on your chest by not locking your elbows out at the top. If your dip bars angle out, use the narrower grip as the wider puts the shoulder in increased external rotation.


Low to High Cable Fly
This is an excellent movement to help fill in your upper chest. The function of the upper chest is flexion and horizontal adduction. Raising your arms and bringing your hands together is the perfect example of the role of the clavicular head of the pec.


Push Ups
If you can’t get 25 go to your knees to complete set.


Dumbbell Pull Over
A classic mass-building movement from a near-forgotten era. John Davies founder of Renegade training instructs: Grab the dumbbell, creating a ‘v shape’ of your interlocking hands and grasping the inside of the weight. Position yourself such that your shoulders are on top of a very secure bench. The best approach, particularly when making use of a heavier load is to have your training partner hand you the weight with your arms outstretched over your eyes. With feet firmly planted, inhale deeply as you lower the dumbbell with a slight bend to your arms as if ‘expanding’ the rib cage. Maintain constant tension with slow eccentric and a full range of motion.




General Warmup/Mobility Work


Dumbbell Fly 2x12


Bench Press


Dips 4x10


A1) Low to High Cable Flies 2x15
A2) Push Ups 2xfailure


Dumbbell Pull Over 3x12





If you’re looking to increase your 1 rep max try this routine once a week for 4 weeks. Keep us updated with any new personal records! #BeUltimate


TEAM USPlabs AJ Williams


Prepared by Nik Ohanian


Follow Nik




Follow John

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.


The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.