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Establishing Normative Data for 10RM Strength Scores in College-Aged Males

Open Access. Recently published in the International Journal of Strength and Conditioning "Establishing Normative Data for 10RM Strength Scores in College-Aged Males" by Timothy Piper, Seth Furman, Thomas Smith and Michael Waller.


Training recommendations for novice to intermediate lifters, and numerous research studies, include loads that correspond to a 10RM, yet there is no normative data for college-age males available with which to make comparisons. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to provide 10RM normative reference values for various strength exercises for 18 to 25-year-old males.

Cross-sectional performance and anthropometric data were obtained over the course of five years as part of a college basic strength training course under the direct supervision of an NSCA-CSCS*D. All exercises were performed according to the guidelines established by the NSCA. All testing and training occurred in the same facility and utilized the same equipment for testing and training. Testing occurred prior to the structured training program began and then again upon completion of 12 weeks of training.

A total of 1095 subjects (age = 19.94 +1.633 years; height = 70.57 +3.017 inches; pre-test bodyweight = 188.30 +40.975 pounds; post-test bodyweight = 190.31 +40.688 pounds; years of strength training experience = 3.76 +2.484 years, ranging from zero experience up to 13 years) participated in the study.

Bodyweight categories were derived based upon two established classification systems used in competitive lifting sports. Percentiles for each weight category were reported, where the weighted average method was used to determine the percentile break points.

These norms provide a range of possible 10RM loads as well as a reference to the strength levels, which could be useful for fitness professionals to more effectively assess and design resistance training programs.

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