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  • Using [email protected] to add weight to the bar

    Male
    26
    210 pounds
    35in waist
    6ft
    Getting ready to start week 0 of 12 week strength template, finishing up week 7 of hypertrophy template this week

    Hello, I have a question regarding adding weight to the bar session to session.

    Say for a comp. lift, lets use bench as an example, my [email protected] feels appropriate and using the RPE calculator I complete the rest of my sets for that lift. Next week when I come in I shoot for 5 pounds over last weeks [email protected] If that lift feels more like [email protected], do I continue to add weight for the following week? For example using bench:

    Week 1 - [email protected] for 280 pounds
    Week 2 - shooting for [email protected] for 285, ends up feeling more like [email protected]
    For week 3 do I try for [email protected] with 285? Or try for 290?

    I think I'm just so used to making linear progress that it feels to weird to not add weight each week.

    Also, when warming up, do I go up by 5% once the weight starts to feel like @6? My warm up for bench normally has been something like this:
    bar x 5 reps
    135 x5
    185x3
    225x1
    255x1
    280x1 - [email protected]

    Should I change anything about my warm ups?

    Thank you for your time

  • #2
    Cody,

    Yea so I think there are lot of variables here that are the potential source of error. A few things:

    1) If we are assuming that the 1 @ 8 is relatively accurate then subsequent weights for that day should be adjusted. If we have doubts about the accuracy, then we can do the first back off set at the planned weights without modification. E.g. if the rx is 1 @ 8, -20% x 5 x 5 and 300 was supposed to be the 1 @ 8, but it felt like 1 @ 9- then I would still do the first back off set of 5 @ -20% from 1 @ 8 and see how that goes. If the bar speed, technique, and effort are in line with the goals of the day then keep the volume sets there. If it moves worse, I'd base the back off weights off 5% less than the 1 @9, which should've been the 1 @ 8 for the day.

    2) If your 1 @ 8 feels like 1 @ 9 instead, the next week's goal should be to move the e1RM up, which can be accomplished by planning on repeating the weight the following week. That said, your warm ups dictate what you should do in practice.

    3) Looks like you're taking a > 10% jump from 255 to 280 and your warm up is not what I'd recommend if the prescription is 1 @ 8, -20% from single x 5 x 5. If planning on 285 for a single @ 8 I'd do this:
    Bar x 5 reps
    115 x 5 reps
    165 x 5 reps
    225 x 5 reps (may be able to count this as one of your back off sets depending on the 1 @ 8)
    270 x 1
    285 x 1
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

    Comment


    • #3
      Jordan,

      That answered my questions. Thank you very much for your excellent response. I appreciate all you do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jordan,

        Your response about warmup sets jumped out at me because it seems like I have been doing them all wrong. Do you have an article somewhere that talks about proper weight increases for warmups? How many sets to the single, how do the rep ranges change the warmups, etc? For example the press program has sets with reps that range from singles to 10 reps. I like the idea of being able to use a warmup set as a back off set too, it will save me some time in the gym.

        Thanks,

        Tim

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by timistim View Post
          Jordan,

          Your response about warmup sets jumped out at me because it seems like I have been doing them all wrong. Do you have an article somewhere that talks about proper weight increases for warmups? How many sets to the single, how do the rep ranges change the warmups, etc? For example the press program has sets with reps that range from singles to 10 reps. I like the idea of being able to use a warmup set as a back off set too, it will save me some time in the gym.

          Thanks,

          Tim
          I haven't written an article about this yet, but that's not a bad idea....

          I think you should do ~4-5 sets from empty barbell to work sets and I would do the prescribed rep range all the way up until you the single, more or less. I often do one work set before hitting my top single to save time and to give me better feedback on the accuracy of my top single, if applicable.
          Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
          ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
            225 x 5 reps (may be able to count this as one of your back off sets depending on the 1 @ 8)
            270 x 1
            285 x 1
            Doing it in Kg with approximations, is it ok if the warmup / first work set (5reps) is like 130, but then when reaching the [email protected] -20%, the other worksets result as 132.5 ?
            So basically is it OK if the first workset (during warmup) is 2.5kg less than the later worksets calculated from the [email protected]?

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, that's fine.
              IG / YT

              Comment


              • #8
                Count me as a vote towards a good warm-up article. I struggle with this still, even after lots of experimentation and digging. I've heard what you guys advise, and also tried what Mike T advises. I know he has different recommendations for warming up to singles @8 versus multiple sets @8. I for one feel much more fresh for my worksets on something like the 12-week template using a [email protected] before doing backoffs for reps. As soon as I swap to something like uses anything like [email protected], [email protected], and then [email protected] before doing backoffs, the volume difference is immediately noticeable in producing much more overall fatigue. I'm currently dealing with this via the group power-building programming.

                I'm curious about a few things here if you please.

                1) For something like [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] plus % backoffs, do you consider the [email protected] to be something like an activation set?

                2) Using the same prescription above for finding your worksets, how can I know if it's okay to count either of the [email protected] or [email protected] sets as one of my backoffs? Saving time is great for me, but even better it could really help with fatigue, of which 99% of what I deal with is always in my lower back. I notice it very quickly. FWIW, I'm pretty sure I'm undershooting RPE slightly as I've had this problem before. I recently posted a form review in the group programming for a set @8, and even Tom suspected me of undershooting. I think part of my issue is I work out in a home gym, so I can only select exercises based around barbells versus having an option like leg press.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by leGDE View Post
                  Doing it in Kg with approximations, is it ok if the warmup / first work set (5reps) is like 130, but then when reaching the [email protected] -20%, the other worksets result as 132.5 ?
                  So basically is it OK if the first workset (during warmup) is 2.5kg less than the later worksets calculated from the [email protected]?
                  Happens to me a lot! Or it goes the other way, I used 135, when I only "need" 132.5. Since I am now a bit over, I decide for subsequent sets whether I should just stay at 135 or go down to 132.5.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                    Cody,


                    225 x 5 reps (may be able to count this as one of your back off sets depending on the 1 @ 8)
                    Coaches,

                    I had no idea this was an option. Is there an article (or other source) that talks more in detail about this? I would love to hear more about how this works.

                    Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yohan753 View Post

                      Coaches,

                      I had no idea this was an option. Is there an article (or other source) that talks more in detail about this? I would love to hear more about how this works.

                      Thanks!
                      It works like that. :-) What are you wondering? If you are familiar enough with your own training and RPE, you can often come VERY close to judging the appropriate weight as you warm up. If you do one of those sets of 5 before the single at 8, you can count that as a working set.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Leah Lutz View Post

                        It works like that. :-) What are you wondering? If you are familiar enough with your own training and RPE, you can often come VERY close to judging the appropriate weight as you warm up. If you do one of those sets of 5 before the single at 8, you can count that as a working set.
                        Thanks Leah. I think it was just more of a lightbulb moment for me and in my excitement, I asked a very vague question.

                        I do see that both you and Jordan say...that you "can" use one of those as a working set. Would it be a best practice to count it as a working set? Or is that more for time saving?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Totally understand that lightbulb feeling!

                          I don't think there is a strong preference either way as it largely depends on how well you manage your work on the way up. I think that someone newer to RPE and the common BBM workload often does better to work up to the single at 8, then drop from there with the prescribed percentage. This allows your focus to be on a solid 8 for the day. If you're newer and attempting to correctly hit a set of 5 and then the 8, there are a few more decisions to make. So if that creates more mental stress for the session, I would not do it. But if you have some RPE under your belt, if you are pretty proficient and estimating your set of 5, it's a very reasonable training option.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Leah Lutz View Post
                            Totally understand that lightbulb feeling!

                            I don't think there is a strong preference either way as it largely depends on how well you manage your work on the way up. I think that someone newer to RPE and the common BBM workload often does better to work up to the single at 8, then drop from there with the prescribed percentage. This allows your focus to be on a solid 8 for the day. If you're newer and attempting to correctly hit a set of 5 and then the 8, there are a few more decisions to make. So if that creates more mental stress for the session, I would not do it. But if you have some RPE under your belt, if you are pretty proficient and estimating your set of 5, it's a very reasonable training option.
                            Thanks Leah! Appreciate the answer! Makes sense :-)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wow, never thought of doing one work set before the single, very cool!

                              Comment

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