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1 x 20 RM

Dr. Michael Yessis

What is the best regime to develop

strength for high school players?

3 x 15 - 20 RM
3 x 10 RM
3 X 8 - 12 RM
3 x 15 RM
5 x 5 RM


To understand why in the quickest and

most productive way, it is necessary
unlearn everything you have learned
on this topic

Reasons why NONE

Intensity too high
Limited number of exercises
Insufficient number of repetitions for learning
Insufficient capillarization
Lack of muscular endurance development
Insufficient tendon and ligament strength development
Lack of good exercise technique development
Inability to adequately strengthen all the muscles and
joints of the body.
Athletes more susceptible to injury
Less time available for other types of training

1 x 20 RM program

effective is the 1 x 20 RM program

for high school athletes
This is substantiated by theory and
practice and is based on sound
physiological principles

Advantages over highintensity programs


Less intensity

Intensity in the 1 x 20 program is lower

but high enough to elicit positive
adaptation for strength and muscular
In the 1 x 20 RM program each exercise is
done for the maximum number of

Advantages contd

Ability to do more exercises

Doing three or more sets of a high-intensity

exercise requires adequate rest in between each
set and after completion of the exercise. This is
why most programs use only 5 to 10 exercises.
In the 1 x 20 RM program less rest is required in
between exercises and there is little overlap
between the muscles involved.
A typical program involves over twenty exercises

Advantages contd

More repetitions for better

learning of new exercises

Learning requires many repetitions with

good form.
In the 1 x 20 program the athlete
executes many more repetitions to ensure
better and faster learning

Advantages contd
4. Greater capillarization

The 1 x 20 RM program is better suited for

development of more capillaries because
there are many more repetitions done in
one training session.
The greater the number of capillaries the
faster the recovery and the more energy
delivered to the muscles

Advantages contd
5. More muscular endurance

The 1 x 20 RM program, because of the

higher number of repetitions, it is best
suited for development of not only
strength but also muscular endurance.
Muscular endurance is needed by all
athletes especially those involved in
team, dual and endurance type sports

Advantages contd

Greater ligament and tendon

strength development

All strength programs develop or

strengthen ligaments and tendons.
However, the 1 x 20 RM program is
more suited for this purpose because of
the greater number of capillaries
developed and amount of blood flow.

Advantages contd
7. More suited to effective exercise

Development of good exercise technique

requires a high number of repetitions,
especially when learning new exercises.
The greater the number of repetitions
with good form the faster and more
effectively will the technique be ingrained
in the athletes neuromuscular system.

Advantages contd
8. More suitable for strengthening all
the muscles and joints of the body

Because you can do more exercises, the 1

x 20 program is best suited for
strengthening all the major muscles and
joints of the body.
1 x 20 RM programs are especially
effective for high school and novice
athletes and in GPP

Advantages contd
9. Athletes are less susceptible to injury

In the high-intensity programs athletes are more

susceptible to injury. Because of the lower intensity
in the 1 x 20 RM program, injuries are minimized if
not eliminated.
In high-intensity programs injuries occur because of:

in technique
weights that the muscles and joints cannot handle.
(Muscles and joints are overstressed)
greater fatigue
insufficient learning and preparation

Advantages contd
10. More time available for other training

Strength is only one factor that is needed in the

training of an athlete.
How much strength is needed is dictated by the
In most cases strength must be transformed
into explosiveness, speed and quickness.
The 1 x 20 program makes it possible to spend
more time training for other important factors
such as technique, agility, speed and quickness

The Training Program

1) heel (calf) raises
2) leg (knee) extensions
3) squat (one half full squat) or
leg press
4) hip flexion
5) hip abduction
6) hip adduction
7) hip extension)
8) back raises
9) 45 sit-up
10) reverse trunk twist
11) reverse sit-up
12) bench press

13) bent over row, two variants

14) overhead press, two variants
15) full and partial range front arm
16) full and partial range lateral
arm raises
17) lat pulldown
18) biceps curl)
19) triceps push down
20) supination-pronation
21) wrist curls
22) reverse curls
23) finger and grip exercises.

Levels of the 1x 20 RM

1: basic preparation


2: two sets of selected exercises

depending on the sport


3: three sets of selected exercises

depending on the sport

Moving through the Levels


athlete stays on the same level for as long

as he continues to get gains in strength and
muscular endurance. It could last over one


addition, performance on the field must

continually be improved.!


gains cease, it is time to move onto the

next level

Whats Next?

1x14 RM
1x8 RM Explosive
1x8 RM Strength
1x14 RM Endurance