Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Rating lifts using the calculator

How do I ask for more exercises?

Submit your exercise suggestions using our online form and we will add them to our list of exercises for consideration.

Should I include the weight of the bar?

Yes, include the weight of the bar. Report the total amount you lift. If you lift 30 kg and the bar weights 20 kg, then you should report the total amount 30 kg not 10 kg.

Should I enter all repetitions done in a workout?

No, just enter the number of repetitions done in a single set into the calculator. If you do 5 sets of 5 repetitions, put in 5 repetitions not 25.

When logged in, we recommend putting in both the sets and repetitions so that you can track your progress.

Do the number of sets impact the number of repetitions in a given set?

Yes, to a small degree. With experienced lifters, muscles recover fast during strength training so if you can do 5 reps at maximum effort at a certain weight, you can normally do another set of 4-5 reps after 2 minutes rest.

Should I stand or sit when performing exercises?

Our exercises standards cover both standing and sitting. Sitting is often stricter so some lifters find that they can lift more standing. If you are performing a upwards pressing motion, like barbell dumbbell press, you should have a vertical or near vertical back rest otherwise it is more like incline dumbbell press.

Barbell exercises

Should lifts be paused or touch-and-go?

At the moment we don't take into account how you complete the movement. Feel free to rate both paused and touch-and-go lifts.

Dumbbell exercises

Should I double the weight for dumbbell exercises?

Put in the weight of what you have in one hand not both hands. For example if you can dumbbell press 90 lb in each arm, put in 90 lb not 180 lb.

Should I double the reps for dumbbell exercises?

No, log the amount of reps done for each arm and do not add them up. If you are logging dumbbell front raises and do 10 reps with each arm, then you would log 10 reps total not 20 reps.

Should I use both arms on one dumbbell?

No, the dumbbell standards are set for one dumbbell per arm. If you want to log lifts where you use both arms on a single dumbbell then treat them as barbell lifts, or ask us to add additional exercises on Facebook.

Bodyweight exercises

Why is additional weight rated better than higher bodyweight when the total weight is the same?

A lifter is better if they can lift the same weight at less bodyweight. Like at the Olympics where you have weight categories — heavier lifters have to lift more. That is why if you record bodyweight plus extra weight your performance is intermediate, whereas if you put all the weight into the bodyweight box your performance is classed as novice even though the total weight lifted is the same.

Cable exercises

Do some cable machines have an advantage over others?

Some machines have a 2:1 mechanical advantage on the pulley so you can lift double what you could with a dumbbell/barbell. Use machines with 1:1 pulleys or divide the weight lifted by 2 so that you do not look stronger than you are.

One-rep-max calculator

What formula do you use on the 1RM calculator?

Under 8 reps we use the Brzycki formula and over 10 reps we use the Epley formula. We found Brzycki is more accurate at lower rep ranges.

Between 8 and 10 repetitions we use a linear interpolation of Brzycki and Epley so 9 repetitions is 50-50.

Strength Level standards

Are the strength standards based on lifts entered?

Yes, we take all the lifts entered into Strength Level and calculate standards for each exercise.

How do you stop strength standards being affected by false lifts?

We perform analysis on the lifts entered and filter out robots and lifters who enter too many lifts.

Strength Level accounts

How do I delete my account?

Send an email to and we will delete your account as soon as possible.