Strength Standard Guide

STRENGTH STANDARDS are objective benchmarks that show how strong you are when compared with other strength athletes. Strength standards are beneficial when setting goals and tracking your individual progress. We divide strength standards into body weight intervals and into five separate levels: untrained, novice, intermediate, advanced and elite. Each test exercise has one strength standard table both for men and women.

Every published program has between 1 – 3 test exercises which are performed in the first and last week of the program (test & training weeks). By using a «Test (AMRAP) set» we can calculate your 1 repetition maximum (1 RM). AMRAP stands for «as many reps as possible». By using your calculated 1 RM and body weight, we can establish your level in the test exercise. Your post- and pre- 1 RM values (kg) are saved in the Strength Standards along with your psysical traits, and in the Performance Table:



Currently, we only use dumbbell and barbell strength standard exercises, as the results from different strength athletes in these exercises are the most comparable. A 30 kg dumbbell is a 30 kg dumbbell no matter where in the world you train. The strength standards exercises are the same as the Experience Bank exercises. We use the strength standard calculations (pre- and post- 1 RM) to work out the strangth athletes’ results in the Experience Bank.



On the strength athlete’s Trophy Wall you can click on available test exercises from completed programs and monitory their development closely. You will be able to see how your strength progresses from one program to the next and compare your 1 RM to other strength athletes. Get rewarded with a golden trophy each time you reach a new and higher level. Total Percentage Increase reveals your total increase from your very first to the last completed program for the same exercise. The level lines in the Performance Graph obtain their values from the Strength Standards, and the You are stronger than section compares your last 1 RM with other strength athletes 1 RM values for the same exercise.

Every major body part has its own Trophy Wall: chest, back, shoulder, thighs, upper arms and calves.

A program where the performance line is heading upwards indicates that your strength level has increased. The steeper the line, the more progress you have made. If the performance line is flat or heading downwards, it may be better for you to choose a program with a different program design.



Your strength level is mainly based on your calculated 1 RM in the test exercise and your body weight. However, there are several other variables which can affect your strength level:

1. Level

The strength athletes’ level is a product of your one repetition maximum (1 RM) in a given exercise combined with your body weight or weight class. We operate with five separate levels: untrained, novice, intermediate, advanced and elite.


2. Body Weight

In general, the heavier you are the more absolute strength you can develop, which means that a heavier lifter can usually lift the greatest weight.


3. Height

Lifting weights involves applying force against a resistance. The amount of force you apply over a given distance shows us just how much work you have done. A person with longer limbs needs to apply force over a longer distance.


4. Waist- to- Hip Ratio

Waist- to- hip ratio is an easy and indirect measurement of your body-fat mass. For example, a smaller waist to hip ratio and high body weight indicates more muscle mass and a lower body-fat percentage.


5. Age

Someone who is in their 20s will have greater potential to lift heavier weights and respond better to strength training in general, compared to someone in their 50s.


6. Dominant Muscle Fiber Type

Fast-twitch muscle fibers generate more power and strength but fatigue much faster and require more time for recovery. Slow-twitch muscle fibers can sustain activity for longer periods of time.


7. Gender

The biggest difference between gender appears in relation to the metabolism, muscle fiber size and anabolic hormones, giving men an advantage.



In addition, you can go to the Strength Standard section and calculate your 1 RM and level in a desired (test) exercise, and see how strong you are compared to other strength athletes. The strength standards tables collates data from all test exercises from all published programs that strength athletes have completed. Use the section to establish your objective level and set realistic goals.

Someone who has performed strength training for several years does not necessarily need to be an advanced lifter. If this is the case for you we recommend you to use the Experience Bank search section and Top Program designs’ table more actively.