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The 2 BIG Reasons for 3RM Testing
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The 2 BIG Reasons for 3RM Testing

This week at 3PC, we are gearing up for an exciting challenge—testing our three-rep-max (3RM) for the back squat, bench press, and deadlifts. But why do we put ourselves through this intense testing? Strap in and get ready to find out the two big reasons why 3RM testing is a crucial part of our training routine!

First things first, what exactly is a 3RM? Well, it's the maximum weight you can lift three times with reasonable form and without compromising safety. The 3RM test serves a variety of purposes, including measuring strength, identifying imbalances, and evaluating the effectiveness of our training program. So, let's dive right into the two big reasons why you should join us in this adventure.

Reason One: Tracking Performance and Setting Foreseeable Targets

Imagine a world without goals—a world where you aimlessly wander through your training routine with no clear direction. Doesn't sound very motivating, does it? That's where 3RM testing comes in. By regularly testing your 3RM, you can keep track of your progress and set tangible targets for future training blocks.

For example, let's say your current deadlift max is 85 kg. During the next testing session, you can challenge yourself to surpass the 90 kg mark. Having a concrete goal not only provides motivation but also helps you stick to your training routine. Several studies have shown that when individuals have a purpose and a target in mind, they are more likely to remain dedicated to their fitness journey.

Additionally, observing your progress along the way can be incredibly satisfying. You'll be able to witness firsthand how your hard work and dedication pay off. So, whether you're aiming to add more weight to the bar or improve your overall performance, 3RM testing keeps you engaged and focused on your fitness goals.

Reason Two: Assessing Strength Imbalances

We're all unique individuals with our own strengths and weaknesses. Some of us might have the legs of a Greek god but struggle when it comes to shoulder strength. Others may find themselves in the opposite situation. That's where the second big reason for 3RM testing comes into play—identifying and addressing these strength imbalances.

By testing your 3RM in different exercises, such as the bench press and squat, you can assess whether there are any significant discrepancies in your strength levels. For instance, if your bench press max is 40 kg while your squat max sits comfortably at 140 kg, it's evident that your upper-body strength could use a little extra attention.

This valuable insight allows you to modify your training program and focus on strengthening your weak spots. Incorporating exercises specifically tailored to address these imbalances can lead to a more well-rounded physique and improved overall strength.

A Quick Note: The Benefits Extend Beyond Individual Progress

While the primary focus of 3RM testing is on personal growth, it's worth mentioning the positive impact it has on the 3PC community as a whole. By collecting tangible results and outcomes from the testing sessions, we can continuously improve our classes and optimise future training blocks. This commitment to progress ensures that each member's journey is maximised, leading to better results and a more fulfilling fitness experience for everyone involved.

So, the next time you find yourself prepping for a 3RM test, remember the two big reasons why it's worth the effort. Not only does it help you set achievable targets and track your progress, but it also allows you to identify and address any strength imbalances you may have. And remember, by striving for personal improvement, you're contributing to the collective growth of our vibrant fitness community.


  • Schoenfeld, B. J., et al. (2017). Effect of Resistance Training Frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine, 47(5), 941-950.
  • Schoenfeld, B. J., et al. (2016). Differential Effects of Heavy Versus Moderate Loads on Measures of Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 15(4), 715-722.
  • Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L. (2018). Physiology of Sport and Exercise (6th ed.). Human Kinetics.
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