During a workout, you’re taking the final set to failure. How accurate is your estimate of the reps it will take to get there? An interesting study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research analyzes estimate accuracy on different exercises with male and female subjects with varying levels of weight room experience.
Eighty-one volunteers performed 10 sets of 10 reps using 70% and 80% of their one rep max. They did both chest presses and leg presses. After a set of each exercise with each load they estimated reps to failure on the next set.
Subjects were better at estimating reps to failure on the chest press compared to the leg press, where the estimates of males were generally more accurate than those of female subjects. Weight room experience wasn’t much of a factor in estimating reps to failure.
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