Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Sports Medicine




Centre for Human Performance / School of Medical and Health Sciences




Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions / Australian Government Research Training Program


Nuzzo, J. L., Pinto, M. D., Nosaka, K., & Steele, J. (2023). Maximal number of repetitions at percentages of the one repetition maximum: A meta-regression and moderator analysis of sex, age, training status, and exercise. Sports Medicine. Advance online publication.


The maximal number of repetitions that can be completed at various percentages of the one repetition maximum (1RM) [REPS ~ %1RM relationship] is foundational knowledge in resistance exercise programming. The current REPS ~ %1RM relationship is based on few studies and has not incorporated uncertainty into estimations or accounted for between-individuals variation. Therefore, we conducted a meta-regression to estimate the mean and between-individuals standard deviation of the number of repetitions that can be completed at various percentages of 1RM. We also explored if the REPS ~ %1RM relationship is moderated by sex, age, training status, and/or exercise. A total of 952 repetitions-to-failure tests, completed by 7289 individuals in 452 groups from 269 studies, were identified. Study groups were predominantly male (66%), healthy (97%), < 59 years of age (92%), and resistance trained (60%). The bench press (42%) and leg press (14%) were the most commonly studied exercises. The REPS ~ %1RM relationship for mean repetitions and standard deviation of repetitions were best described using natural cubic splines and a linear model, respectively, with mean and standard deviation for repetitions decreasing with increasing %1RM. More repetitions were evident in the leg press than bench press across the loading spectrum, thus separate REPS ~ %1RM tables were developed for these two exercises. Analysis of moderators suggested little influences of sex, age, or training status on the REPS ~ %1RM relationship, thus the general main model REPS ~ %1RM table can be applied to all individuals and to all exercises other than the bench press and leg press. More data are needed to develop REPS ~ %1RM tables for other exercises. © 2023, The Author(s).



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.