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One Rep Max Living: When the demands of daily life leave you exhausted

One Rep Max Living: When the demands of daily life leave you exhausted

By Philip Silverio PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT

How many times have you taken on a project you weren’t prepared for? Professional bakers recommend getting ingredients out (and measured) before starting a baking project. Painters ensure their tools are in place before taking their first brush stroke. Even marathon runners have a series of tasks to do prior to their race. If you’re not a baker, a painter, or a marathon runner, you may be wondering, “why is this important to me?”

Four words – One Rep Max Living. Still confused? Read on.

Exercise prepares the body to safely, and effectively, perform activities of daily living (ADL). For example, lifting a grandchild, a gallon of paint, a medium bag of dog food, or a bag of lawn fertilizer may cause injury if you aren’t used to lifting 40-lbs. We know that recovery time increases significantly with advanced age, so that leaves two options: 1) don’t lift your grandchild; or 2) prepare your body to manage the weight and avoid injury.

One Rep Max (1RM) Living is when the demands of your daily life are near or exceeding your maximum capacity. Simply put – if your 1RM is 10-lbs, and your full laundry basket is 15-lbs, doing laundry may become exhausting and potentially unsafe. You may use this as an excuse to never do laundry again or you can increase your 1RM and make laundry – and other ADLs – easier and, most importantly, safer. You may now be wondering, “what do I do next?”

Two words – Resistance Training. Sound scary? Read on.

Resistance training, or strength training, is the performance of physical exercise, which is designed to improve strength and endurance. This type of training is often associated with the use of weights but can also be achieved using simple bodyweight exercises (calisthenics), static contraction (isometric), and plyometrics (jumping). Developing an exercise program with the intention to improve your 1RM will ensure you are strong enough to manage the weight of everyday tasks.

A trained physical therapist can work with patients to improve 1RM by focusing on three important areas of the continuum:

  1. Squat Continuum, which focuses on standing from a seated position;
  2. Deadlift Continuum, which focuses on lifting; and
  3. Carries Continuum, which focuses on forward/backward motion.

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is a rehabilitation-focused, non-profit health system that provides inpatient and outpatient care for people at every point in their journey from illness or injury to maximum recovery. As part of our mission to enhance health, maximize function and transform lives, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare hosts a series of interactive virtual sessions on various topics of interest. Learn more about Gaylord Physical Therapy