1 Rep Max Living: Physical Therapy for Injury Prevention
Injury Prevention

Many people unknowingly live at their 1 repetition-maximum (1RM) when it comes to daily activities.

A course I took last year discussed this topic, and it resonated with me as I see many patients who are 1 Rep Max Living.


What does “1Rep Max Lifestyle” look like?


It means that simple tasks like standing from a chair, carrying laundry, or getting into a car can leave them feeling exhausted and short of breath. Additionally, injuries may occur from activities as small as lifting a grandchild or walking an extra 3 minutes for an appointment.

As we age, there is a natural loss of muscle mass and power-type muscle fibers, which are critical for quick, explosive movements. This loss can also be reflected in daily activities and leave individuals feeling stuck on the floor, unable to get up independently. In fact, we cover the importance of strengthening for injury-prevention and healthy living in our course on exercise.

Additionally, many people come into the clinic with new injuries whose source they can’t quite pinpoint. When someone is living at their max physical capacity with daily tasks, adding an extra 2 pounds to the laundry basket, lifting a grandchild, or walking an extra 3 minutes for an appt may be all it takes to cause injury or strain a weak muscle. 


The Importance of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy for Injury Prevention


According to a course on Modern Management of Older Adults, physical & occupational therapists recognize the importance of identifying and preventing these issues before they lead to injuries. It is essential to take a proactive approach to improve your quality of life and avoid injuries. Integrating simple exercises and activities into your daily routine, such as squats, sit-to-stands, and overhead lifts, is the best way to prevent 1RM living.

Clinical Research Research supports the idea that physical therapy can be crucial for injury prevention. A study published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy found that regular physical therapy interventions improved function, decreased falls, and increased muscle strength and flexibility in older adults. [1] Another study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that exercise intervention programs improved muscle mass, strength, and power in older adults, leading to improvements in functional performance. [2]


Strength and Injury Prevention as We Age


A common consequence of aging is a loss of muscle mass, and more specifically of power-type muscle fibers. We have different types of muscle fibers, some slow twitch, some fast twitch. The fast twitch muscle fibers help us conquer big, quick movements such as quickly lifting something heavy, jumping or sprinting. This loss of power can also be reflected in daily tasks, when someone feels capable of walking once they are standing, but getting from a low chair into a standing position feels nearly impossible.  

If this sounds like you, take a proactive approach! You don’t have to be injured to benefit from physical therapy. Prevention can be critical to improving your quality of life, and avoiding injuries. Integrating simple exercises and activities in your daily life is the best way to stay away from 1 rep max living. These include things like squats, sit to stands, and overhead lifts.




To learn more about how physical therapy can benefit you, schedule an appointment today. In the meantime, check out this article for some inspiration on exercises to incorporate into your daily routine.


Courtney O’Neal, PT, DPT. Courtney graduated from Clemson University in 2010, and went on to get her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Augusta University in 2013. She has treated children and adults since 2013, and enjoys working with patients on improving health and wellness, helping them meet their goals, and returning to their highest level of function.



[1] Romero, S., Bishop, M. D., Velozo, C. A., Light, K. E., & Chan, L. (2013). Improved function, strength, and quality of life in older adults following a physical therapy program emphasizing functional training. Journal of geriatric physical therapy, 36(1), 24-30. https://journals.lww.com/jgpt/Abstract/2013/01000/Improved_Function,_Strength,_and_Quality_of_Life.5.aspx

[2] Pahor, M., Blair, S. N., Espeland, M., Fielding, R., Gill, T. M., Guralnik, J. M., … & Rejeski, W. J. (2006). Effects of a physical activity intervention on measures of physical performance: results of the lifestyle interventions and independence for Elders Pilot (LIFE-P) study. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 61(11), 1157-1165. https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/61/11/1157/597193

Are you dealing with pain?

We understand that struggling with the stress and strain of pain can be tough…Whether it’s waking up feeling stiff or severe tension after walking, running, or playing, no one wants to spend each day dealing with the soreness that pain brings. While many people choose surgery or injections for pain relief, at ProActive Rehabilitation & Wellness, we offer non-surgical therapies which prevents patients from going under the knife.


If you’d like to book a pain consultation now, with one of our top clinicians, click the button bellow or have your provider fax over a referral. We only book a limited amount of these consultations each month, so act quickly before they’re gone.

Rafi Salazar OT

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the CEO & President of Proactive Rehabilitation & Wellness, as well as the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show. Rafi’s career trajectory includes 10+ years of experience in healthcare management, clinical operations, programmatic development, marketing & business development. He even spent some time as an Assistant Professor in a Graduate Program of Occupational Therapy and has served on numerous boards and regulatory committees. Today, Rafi helps innovative healthcare companies humanize healthcare through his consulting workHe also leverages his experience as a professor and academic to speak and train on the topics around humanizing the healthcare experience.

Rafi also authored the book Better Outcomes: A Guide to Humanizing Healthcare