How Strong is Strong Enough?

Why Do We Test Strength?

To better maximize our training time in the gym, we need to focus on only what the athlete needs without taking away the attributes that they are already good at.

Testing max strength helps us determine what the focus of training will be throughout the upcoming training period. This enables us to prioritize the athletes “lowest hanging fruit” when it comes to Strength (> 80% 1RM) vs Power (between 30-80% 1RM). We utilize VBT to help better pinpoint specific strength zones.

What does Strong Enough Mean?

What is strong enough? For us, “strong enough” is the point at which gains in max strength no longer transfer to improvements in performance of the sport. Below is what we deem “strong enough” for our athletes who throw a 5 oz. baseball.

Exercise (est. 1 RM)

    • Trap Bar Deadlift – 2.25 x BW
    • S. Leg Squat – 55% BW (for 3 reps)
    • Bench Press – 1.25 x BW

How We Test?

Perform 3 reps:

    • At 50%, 60% and 75% of the athletes est. 1RM (see above)
    • 90 seconds of rest between each set
    • Record set velocity at each intensity

At 75%, the athlete must have a Set Velocity of > .60 m/s to be determined strong enough for that particular lift.

VBT Deadlift


Example – Deadlift

    • Male: 6’0
    • Weight: 190 lbs.
    • BW x 2.25 = 427.5lbs Est. 1RM

Below is the breakdown and testing set up expected in a 1RM of 427 lbs.

Tracking Results:

Based off of bar speed, this athlete has an Estimated 1RM of 458lbs and is deemed “strong enough” in this particular lift.


    • Posterior chain training for this athlete would focus on lighter loads to help increase power.
    • Max strength would only be hit approx. 2-3x’s/month to maintain training residuals
    • No deadlift would be above 80% – focus will be on lighter loads (30-80% 1RM)
    • Re-Test /6 weeks- monitor for increases in power. (make sure we are moving in the right direction)

Give the athlete what they need.

See ya’ in the gym…

By Nunzio Signore (Owners at RPP Baseball)

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