Bodybuilding And Microsoft Excel Part 1: 1RM Percentages

Yes, my friend, you read that right: bodybuilding and Microsoft Excel.

This is perhaps something you’ve never seen before in a bodybuilding blog or magazine, but that is the aim of GymTalk: breaking paradigms.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce some ways that you can combine MS Excel and bodybuilding.

Why Am I Doing This?

I’ve just started working for one of Denmark’s largest companies and it quickly became clear that I needed to improve my Excel skills.

So, I thought, how better to learn something new than to combine it with one of your passions?

As this site (and hopefully my employment) continues, I’ll attempt to regularly update you with further clever and/or completely pointless ways to combine spreadsheets and lifting weights.

1RM Percentages

Here’s a nice simple one to start you off with.

I came up with this after reading another popular bodybuilding publication.

A workout was profiled that would help you to increase your one rep max (1RM) on compound exercises.

The theory was to increase the weight percentage through the sets, and, in turn, increase the starting percentage each week until you worked up to 95% of your 1RM for 2-4 reps.

Once this was done, you’d attempt a new 1RM and was assured you’d be able to smash it.

Anyway, you don’t need a BA Hons to work out percentages if your 1RM on bench press is 100kg.

However, let’s take my 1RM on deadlift: currently 172.5kg (I don’t like to go to failure on deadlift).

The workout guided that in the first week you should structure your sets thusly:

1) 12 x 50% 1RM
2) 10 x 55% 1RM
3) 10 x 60% 1RM
4) 8 x 70% 1RM
5) 5 x 75% 1RM

On face value, perhaps you can work the 50% weight out fairly easy, but for me bodybuilding is all about forward planning, and I like to know what I’m going be doing before I arrive at the gym.

Using Microsoft Excel

Below is a screen shot of how you can work out these percentages using MS Excel:

Bodybuilding And Microsoft Excel

In Column C you simply type in =$C$3*B4 and this will calculate 50% of 172.5

Simple stuff – but be sure to set Column B to percentage and hit ‘F4’ on your keyboard after you’ve selected the ‘C4’ cell for the first time, as this will lock 172.5.

Then you simply drag your box down Column C and all the other percentages will appear as if by magic.

You will also want to round this to the nearest 2.5kg – unless you’re fortunate enough to have 0.375kg discs in your gym.

So Column D use the ceiling function sum =CEILING(C4,2.5) then drag down to all the other cells.

This will round everything up to the nearest 2.5.

Bodybuilding And Microsoft Excel

Therefore your deadlift set will be:

1) 12 x 87.5
2) 10 x 95
3) 10 x 105
4) 8 x 122.5
5) 6 x 130

A nice and simple one to start with that can be applied to any exercise that utilises barbells and some hammer strength machines.

Next Time…

For the next post in this series, I’ll be spicing things up a bit using Rank & Randbetween functions to help you select which exercises you’ll do within your workout.

Until then – lift smart and lift strong.