Testing “Functional Strength”

Patrick Gilbert PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS

It’s good to test your limits from time to time. Yesterday, I tested my “Functional Strength” with 7 lifting patterns I took from Dr. John Rusin and an article by Dr. Chad Waterbury. You can find the article here: https://drjohnrusin.com/functional-strength-standards/

Essentially, according to Dr. Chad, you should be able to hit a certain percentage of your bodyweight with these staple lifting patterns. While I didn’t hit all of these standards, it gives me a good starting point, and an objective baseline comparison for later tests. Here are the 7 lifts, the goal bodyweight, and what I was able to hit today.

My calculations based on 200# BW

Note: Some of these lifts included standardized BW percentage for females

Pull-up (1RM)
Male Standard: 140% BW (280#)
Female Standard: 100% BW
7/22/18: 125% BW (250#)

Barbell RDL (3RM)
Standard: 162% BW (324#)
7/22/18: 143% BW (286#)

Split-Stance Single Arm OH Press (1RM)
Male Standard: 40% BW (80#)
Female Standard: 30% BW
7/22/18: 32.5% BW (65#)

Chest-Supported Seated Row (1RM)
Male Standard: 140% BW (250#)
Female Standard: 100% BW
7/22/18: 110% BW (220#)

DB Reverse Lunge (3RM)
Standard: 40% BW (80#)
7/22/18: 50% BW (100#)*

Bench Press (1RM)
Standard: 125% BW (250#)
Female Standard: 85% BW
7/22/18: 110% BW (220#)

Farmer’s Carry (0:30 Carry)
“Non-Athlete” Standard: 100% BW (200#)
“Athlete” Standard: 200% BW (400#)
7/22/18: 100% BW (200#)*

* Standard achieved

Though I only hit 2 of 7 “standards” today, it gives me something to shoot for. It’s always good to have goals during the course of your training program. Stay tuned for progress!


  1. https://drjohnrusin.com/functional-strength-standards/

About the Author – Patrick Gilbert PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS


Patrick is a physical therapist, athletic trainer and personal trainer. He runs Summit Performance and Therapy in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been training clients of all backgrounds for years and has been a practicing physical therapist since 2016. His training philosophy combines his knowledge of rehabilitation as well as strength and conditioning in order to train clients to achieve great results and avoid injuries in the process. His physical therapy practice focuses on a three-dimensional view and treatment of the body and its many parts. Treatment emphasizes manual techniques and rehabilitative exercises to get patients back to previous activity levels without pain or dysfunction.

For more information about training or rehabilitating with Patrick, contact him at SummitPerformancePT@gmail.com or visit SummitPerformancePT.com

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