Weight lifters will use the term "one rep maximum" in order to refer to the maximum amount of weight that they can lift one time. The one rep max is often used as a proxy for how strong someone is (or isn't).
Recreational lifters, other types of athletes, and the general population rarely bother with testing themselves in order to determine their maximum strength.
From a human factors and usability point of view, it can be useful to know what the average maximum strength of a population is so that design can take those limitations into account. Please see the footnotes 1,2,3 for some practical applications of this question.
My question is if it's possible to estimate a person's maximum strength for a given activity by seeing how many repetitions they can complete at a lower weight. For example, if someone can bench-press 100 lbs 10 times in a row, can that be used to estimate the maximum amount they could bench-press once?
If so, does that estimation model:
- hold consistently across activity types?
- hold consistently across increasing amounts of weight?
- hold consistently across age and gender distributions?
1An entertaining example: amusement park / carnival attractions can be designed differently in order to accommodate the various distributions of strength.
2A mobility example: aids for the disabled can be enhanced if it's found that their maximum strength is below the threshold for a device.
3A diagnostics example: restraints can be designed just to the maximum of a particular demographic's abilities in order to provide a more comforting or friendly appearance. This provides a humanizing touch while maintaining the accuracy of the diagnostic test.