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# ESTABLISHING PREDICTION EQUATIONS FOR “THE BIG 3”: BENCH PRESS, SQUAT, AND DEADLIFT

## Abstract

Amanda A. Wheeler-Gryffin1, Brian Church1, Lance Bryant1, Greg Allen1 1Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR

The bench press (BP), squat (SQ), and deadlift (DL), often referred to as “the big 3”, are three exercises implemented into programs to improve muscular strength, power, and hypertrophy. Many times athletes are limited by injury to perform only one or two of these lifts. Identifying a relationship that would allow prediction of the 1RM for one of these lifts based on the other two would help clinicians, coaches, and other fitness professionals in these situations. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to use the 1RM bench press, squat, and deadlift for top ranked power lifters and Division I football athletes to establish prediction equations for “the big 3”. METHODS: Upon University IRB approval, 174 (88 power lifters; 86 Division I football athletes) experienced participants’ bench press, squat, and deadlift 1RM scores were collected via the International Powerlifting Federation website and the local university strength and conditioning coaches. Multiple regression was used to determine variability within each set of scores as well as to determine strong predictors. RESULTS: Multiple regression analysis demonstrated 86% of variance in 1RM DL is explained by BP and SQ [F (2, 169) = 511.861; p<.001] with SQ (b=.670) being the stronger predictor. Eighty-three percent of variance in 1RM SQ is explained by DL and BP [F (2,169) = 415.904; p<.001] with DL (b=.798) being the stronger predictor. And71% of variance in 1RM BP is explained by DL and SQ [F (2, 169) = 201.718; p<.001] with DL (b=.624) showing as the stronger predictor. CONCLUSION: When taken together, scores from two of the three lifts may predict the score of the third lift. This allows regression equations to be developed for each of the lifts. The following equations were developed to predict scores for DL, SQ, and BP, respectively, and where DL = 1RM for DL, SQ = 1RM for SQ, and BP = 1RM for BP.

DL = 40.511 + (.632)SQ + (.382)BP

SQ = -18.829 + (.847)DL + (.179)BP

BP = 7.855 + (.489)DL + (.171)SQ.

Clinicians, coaches, and other fitness professionals may use these equations to estimate 1RM scores of power lifters and football athletes in instances where a new 1RM is being established, a return to play decision is being made, or any lift may not be completed for other reasons.

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