CSCS Practice Questions – Program Design Part 2

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in Practice Questions, Program Design | 3 comments

First, let’s talk about the last question:

Your athlete recently completed set a 6 rep back squat PR of 285lbs.  However, he recently decided to switch up his training and start preparing for endurance events and you want him to start completing higher volume sets of 15.  What would you predict his 15RM to be?

A.  335lbs B.  215lbs C.  235lbs D.  205lbs

This is a very easy question if you have the table in front of you.  6RM correlates to 85% of 1RM.  So you take 285/0.85 = 335.  15RM is roughly 65% of 1RM, so you take 335 x 0.65 = 215lbs, so the answer is B.

Not very exciting to go over some basic algebra here, so let’s dig into some different techniques to hopefully commit this table to memory.

Here is the table for predicting 1RM:





So there are a few quirks about how humans respond to rep-maxes and loading.  Weird that between the first and the second rep, there is a drop of 5%, and the only other time there is a drop that steep is between rep eleven and rep twelve.


This is the tactic I used to commit this table to memory.  Only memorize the reps that correspond with a drop of 5%.  In this case, it’s 1,2,4,6,8,10,11,15…I didn’t have to look to remember those numbers, and I know between each of those numbers there’s a 5% drop so I can recreate the other column 100,95,90,85,80,75,70,65.


1RM Table Recreation

1RM Table Recreation

Looking back at the original table, you can recreate by filling the rest in by subtracting 3 from the previous number.  So for 5 reps, subtract 3 from 90 and you get 87.  Sometimes it’s 2, but for the purposes of the test you can just use 3 or 2.5 and get close enough.

That’s my trick for remembering the table, hope it helps!

Next Question
An athlete you are training wants to improve his performance on the final leg of a 10km race.  You decide repetition training is appropriate for this.  Which of the following describes repetition training?

I.  work:rest ratio: 1:2
II. frequency: 1x/week
III. intensity: greater than VO2 max
IV. duration: 3-5minutes


  1. Are we allowed calculators on the exam?

    • No calculators are allowed

  2. Duration, 3-5 mins

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