Strength is an essential component of physical fitness, and it’s often measured by how much weight you can lift. But when it comes to comparing your strength to others or even your own progress, it’s important to consider your relative strength. Relative strength is the amount of weight you can lift relative to your body weight. This measurement is a better indicator of true strength because it accounts for differences in body size and weight.
At One Life, we use our Squat Endurance Assessment which has 32 different levels of progression for relative Strength (we’re doing this in class today). We use Air Squats, Bulgarian or Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats, and Back Squats.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of relative strength, why it’s important, and how to calculate it using the example of a 20 rep back squat.
What is Relative Strength?
Relative strength is a measure of strength that takes into account your body weight. It’s calculated by dividing the amount of weight you can lift by your body weight. For example, if you can squat 300 pounds and you weigh 150 pounds, your relative strength would be 2 (300/150).
Why is Relative Strength Important?
Relative strength is important because it provides a more accurate picture of your strength compared to yourself and your own bodyweight. For example, two people may be able to lift the same amount of weight, but if one person weighs significantly more than the other, they will have a lower relative strength.
How to Calculate Relative Strength Using a 20 Rep Back Squat
A back squat is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The 20 rep back squat is a challenging variation that requires endurance and strength. To calculate your relative strength using a 20 rep back squat, follow these steps:
1. Warm up properly with some dynamic stretches and light squats.
2. Load the barbell with a weight that you can lift for 20 reps with good form.
3. Complete the 20 reps.
4. After finishing the set, record the weight that you lifted.
5. Weigh yourself to get your body weight.
6. Divide the weight lifted by your body weight to calculate your relative strength.
For example, let’s say you completed a 20 rep back squat with 200 pounds and you weigh 150 pounds. Your relative strength would be calculated as follows:
Relative strength = 200/150 = 1.33
This means that you can lift 1.33 times your body weight with a 20 rep back squat.
How Can I Improve My Relative Strength?
If you want to improve your relative strength, there are several strategies you can use. First, focus on increasing your overall strength by lifting heavier weights. Second, consider losing weight if you are carrying excess body fat. Finally, make sure you are eating a balanced diet that provides enough protein and nutrients to support muscle growth and recovery.
In conclusion, relative strength is a crucial component of strength training and provides a more accurate picture of your strength compared to your bodyweight. By calculating your relative strength using the example of a 20 rep back squat, you can see how strong you are relative to your body weight and track your progress over time. Remember to focus on improving your overall strength, losing weight if needed, and eating a balanced diet that supports muscle growth and recovery. By doing so, you can improve your relative strength and become a stronger, healthier version of yourself.