By Sam Cannons.
Rep maxes are the heaviest weight you lift for a prescribed repetition.
For example a 5RM is the heaviest weight you can lift for 5 repetition... not 6, 5. 1RM is the heaviest weight you can lift for 1 repetition, you get the point. Now finding you RM can be a bit of an experiment and the more experience with lifting heavy weights and knowledge of your abilities you have the easier it will get.
Until then this is the guide for you to get there
They only caveat is for the Olympic lifts, the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. For these two lifts you will need to reduce around 5% for the 5 and 3RM. This is mostly due to the explosive nature of the lifts. So a rep maxes for Snatches and Clean and Jerks will look like this:
Now with that as a guide for, with the program we like to run at VSC we will try to progress our maxes week to week. So that means that on week 1 of the program 85% is a great start for a 5RM and you should stick to the above plans.
However on week 2 we want you to increase you max.
Week 1 Back Squat 5RM (100kg 1RM)
Week 2 Back Squat 5RM
Week 3 Back Squat 5RM
Week 4 Back Squat 5RM
95x5RM (felt great made a big jump)
This is a good example of what I would like to see over a 4 week progression. After that we might drop to 3RM and try to progress it further or we could test the 1RM again and then restart the 5s. The idea being we constantly are getting stronger even if its 1kg a week over a few months that adds up quickly.