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How is upper body strength measured?

The most common method for testing upper body strength is to estimate one-rep maximum on the bench press.

  • For safety purposes, this test always requires a spotter. Additionally, good form should be utilized throughout the test: feet straight ahead, low back neutral, hips remain in contact with the bench.
  • Start out by doing 8-10 repetitions with a light weight that can easily be performed independently.
  • Rest for one minute and then add 10-20 pounds and lift three to five times.
  • Rest for two minutes and then add 10-20 pounds more and lift again for 3-5 repetitions. Continue this step until you reach a weight that you cannot lift five times with proper form.
  • Use a “one-rep max estimation chart” to calculate your 1 RM, based on the amount of weight and number of times lifted.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.