Relationship Between Repetitions and Selected Percentages of the One Repetition Maximum in Healthy Children

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between repetitions and selected percentages of the one repetition maximum (RM) in apparently healthy children. The 1 RM strength was measured on 13 boys and eight girls (mean age 10.4 ± 1.2 years) on the Heartline chest press and the Nautilus leg press exercises. Subsequently, subjects were tested to determine the maximum number of repetitions that could be performed to volitional fatigue at 50% and 75% of their 1 RM for each exercise. The results for the trials on the leg press and chest press indicate that at 50% 1 RM, the subjects performed 87.2 ± 56.5 and 39.2 ± 19.4 repetitions, respectively, whereas at 75% 1 RM, the subjects performed 18.2 ± 11.0 and 13.4 ± 4.3 repetitions, respectively. As the percent 1 RM increased, it is not surprising that the number of repetitions performed significantly decreased (p < 0.05). However, the number of repetitions performed at 50% 1 RM on the leg press was significantly greater (p < 0.05) than at the same intensity on the chest press, suggesting that the number of repetitions performed at a given intensity may not be same for all exercises. Although additional study is warranted, these findings suggest that progressive resistive strengthening programs should be prescribed with a RM load as opposed to a percentage of the 1 RM.

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