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.
How are reps counted for exercises that work one side at a time?
For exercises that target one side at a time, the reps mentioned in the standards refer to reps done on each side. For instance, when it says "5 reps," it implies performing 5 reps on the left side and then 5 reps on the right side.
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.
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.
We've noticed users often have questions about logging dumbbell exercises. Here's a quick guide:
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.
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.
How should I log the weight for cable exercises like cable flyes?
For exercises like cable flyes, where each hand pushes independently, log the weight used for each stack individually. This is similar to logging dumbbell exercises. If you set 20 lbs on each side of the cable machine, log it as 20 lbs, not the total combined weight.
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.
How should I log the weight for hack squat exercises?
For hack squat exercises, include the total weight of the plates added to the machine, not the weight of the sled itself. Since the sled's weight can vary significantly between different machines and isn't standard across gyms, it's not factored into the total weight lifted. For example, if you add 100 lb of plates to the machine, log 100 lb as your lift weight. We recommend adding a note in our standards section for hack squat to guide users on this convention.
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.
Why are the strength standards so high on Strength Level?
Our standards are informed by the lifts recorded by our active Strength Level community. It's worth noting that those who regularly log their progress on our platform might be, on average, stronger than the general population. This is because users who actively engage in lifting and track their progress tend to be more dedicated. As a result, the benchmarks provided by Strength Level reflect the standards of an active and committed community of lifters, rather than the general public.
Strength Level accounts
How do I delete my account?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will delete your account as soon as possible.