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  • Bridge 2.0 Question: % Guidelines Compared to RPE

    Hey Coaches, my apologies if this is an "asked and answered" question,

    I am about to start week 3 of the Bridge 2.0. I have quite enjoyed it so far but want to make sure I'm not screwing up my numbers here. According to the RPE chart, [email protected] would be 81.1%, yet the % guidelines in the template for the competition lifts say to use 70-75% for the 5's. Is the lower intensity due to the fact that we are doing sets across? In general what I've been doing is hitting my single @8, then doing 88% for my 5's, which is essentially how the RPE calculator gets to the [email protected] from the [email protected], but now I fear I might be overshooting my 5's.

    So for instance on yesterday's Deads, I did a 405 single @8, then 3x5 at 355. This matches the "RPE Calculator" for [email protected], but not the "Percentage Guidelines" in the template sheet. The percentage guidelines would have put me somewhere in the 310-330 range for the 5's.

    I appreciate any time you can lend in assistance and hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

    - Casey

  • #2
    The lower intensity is due to the pre fatigue from the single and warm ups and somewhat from the sets across. Stick to the percentage drops.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
      The lower intensity is due to the pre fatigue from the single and warm ups and somewhat from the sets across. Stick to the percentage drops.
      Jordan, would you consider some kind of article or podcast where you definitively give your take on questions like this? I notice that they're very common here. And while this answer is clear with what to do in The Bridge 2.0, it opens up more questions than it answers.

      For example, the GPP endurance template has a single @ X followed by X sets of X. Using the table included in the same file, the lifter would use 81.1% for these lifts, but actually all 3 components of your answer above are present here - the single, the warm-ups, and the sets across. So should the lifter use a lower % on this template too? How would they know to do this, and what load drop to use?

      Here are the inconsistencies that I've noticed:
      - For volume, some programs use load drops or %s of 1RM, others use "@ 8", and others use both (with a big difference between the two, as described in this thread)
      - There is repeated reference throughout the Bridge PDF, the podcasts, etc, that 1 RPE is 5%; e.g. "all the way up until you get to something that feels like a RPE 7. Then, add 5% to the bar, which should get you close to an 8. Then add another 5% to the bar for your @9 set". But it isn't! You can clearly see that it's miles out in the table. It's so far out that if you follow those instructions and add 5% to a 5 @ 7 set, you'll get an @ 9.5! If you add 5% twice to a 5 @ 7 set, you'll fail the set so badly that you won't even be able to get 4 reps before failure, never mind 5 (and it was supposed to be 5 @ 9!).
      - There are a lot of references to being able to do repeat sets @ 8

      ---

      My theory (I wanted to separate this from the above part of the post, since this is just my conjecture):

      I think that when you, Austin, etc, refer to volume sets @ 6, 7, or 8, you are referring to weights considerably lower than that specified by the RPE chart and descriptions. In other words, I think your RPE chart probably looks something like this:

      @ 10 = maximum
      @ 9 = 5% less
      @ 8 = 5% less
      @ 7 = 5% less
      @ 6 = 5% less

      This helps solve the inconsistencies. It's worth remembering that this is dramatically different from the table included in the templates and really does make a big difference.
      Last edited by Jordan Feigenbaum; 06-04-2018, 02:34 PM.

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      • #4
        Hi Jordan - don't accept this post.

        I submitted a reply to this thread a few days ago. Could I ask why it hasn't been approved? Cheers

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnBloggs View Post
          Hi Jordan - don't accept this post.

          I submitted a reply to this thread a few days ago. Could I ask why it hasn't been approved? Cheers
          Mostly because we're fairly busy coaching, writing, etc. and sometimes it takes a few days to get back to it.
          Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
          ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JohnBloggs View Post

            Jordan, would you consider some kind of article or podcast where you definitively give your take on questions like this? I notice that they're very common here. And while this answer is clear with what to do in The Bridge 2.0, it opens up more questions than it answers.
            That's understandable, but the real issue is that there are no clear answers that apply generally for "questions like this"- which is one of the reasons it's hard to do a podcast or write definitively about them without become too abstract.

            For example, the GPP endurance template has a single @ X followed by X sets of X. Using the table included in the same file, the lifter would use 81.1% for these lifts, but actually all 3 components of your answer above are present here - the single, the warm-ups, and the sets across. So should the lifter use a lower % on this template too? How would they know to do this, and what load drop to use?
            There is no percentage drop used in the GPP and thus, we are advocating use of strictly following the RPE's prescribed.

            Here are the inconsistencies that I've noticed:

            - For volume, some programs use load drops or %s of 1RM, others use "@ 8", and others use both (with a big difference between the two, as described in this thread)
            Is this an inconsistency?

            - There is repeated reference throughout the Bridge PDF, the podcasts, etc, that 1 RPE is 5%; e.g. "all the way up until you get to something that feels like a RPE 7. Then, add 5% to the bar, which should get you close to an 8. Then add another 5% to the bar for your @9 set". But it isn't! You can clearly see that it's miles out in the table. It's so far out that if you follow those instructions and add 5% to a 5 @ 7 set, you'll get an @ 9.5! If you add 5% twice to a 5 @ 7 set, you'll fail the set so badly that you won't even be able to get 4 reps before failure, never mind 5 (and it was supposed to be 5 @ 9!).
            I think this is a rather dramatic response to some practical advice.

            For lower rep ranges the "add 5%" advice is relatively more accurate than on higher rep sets, sure, but then again rating RPE's on higher rep sets tends to be more difficult anyway. I could've said to, "add 3-5% within the same rep range to go up 1 RPE," but I think that ends up being less useful. I do think that 5% is as fine of a recommendation as 3%, but I don't really get worked up about this. Percents are being used to help get to the more important RPEs in this scenario, you know?

            - There are a lot of references to being able to do repeat sets @ 8
            In general, yes.


            My theory (I wanted to separate this from the above part of the post, since this is just my conjecture):

            I think that when you, Austin, etc, refer to volume sets @ 6, 7, or 8, you are referring to weights considerably lower than that specified by the RPE chart and descriptions. In other words, I think your RPE chart probably looks something like this:
            I don't think so. When I say 5 @6, 5 @ 7, 5 @ 8, repeat 5 @ 8 x 2 sets I'm calculating average intensity to be around 80% (give or take). That's inline with the calculator, though I would then argue that the calculator should/could be adjusted for each person and each lift based on history.

            @ 10 = maximum
            @ 9 = 5% less
            @ 8 = 5% less
            @ 7 = 5% less
            @ 6 = 5% less
            This is almost dead on accurate for singles and doubles, but this is not how I think about higher rep sets. Rather, we use the "add 5%" thing to help get to the target RPE if we have little or no previous experience with RPE, the given exercise, or for other reasons.

            This helps solve the inconsistencies. It's worth remembering that this is dramatically different from the table included in the templates and really does make a big difference.
            It's not though, really.

            1) There are no @6's calculated here.
            2) The % difference changes across the rep range
            3) Relying on the calculator is not what were trying to do here
            4) Adding 5% to sets on the way up can be effective
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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            • #7
              I may be oversimplifying things here, but i feel that this could be an useful cue for a lot of people overthinking RPE programs.

              You don't need to be accurate to the half pound when choosing your weights based on the prescribed RPE, and there is no big harm done if one given set is "misloaded" by 2 or 4 pounds here and there, or if you over/undershoot one given set by 0.5 or 1 while getting the hang of the RPE evaluation for a specific exercise in a specific rep range. What is important is to understand where your RPEs are to better gauge them on next session and to achieve the prescribed number in average over time. Weight on the bar during training is just an arbitrary amount of iron that is being moved from here to there and back again, and it's not the most important thing to focus on during training. The hard brain work is made by the ones who design the program, and it's important not to freak out with details if you're just following it.

              Percentage drops are a different matter, and even easier to the trainee overall, since he/she doesn't even has to think about the weight of next set.

              This simplicity is one of the things that attracted me to RPE-bases programming. Jordan (et al), does this make sense or am I being too simplistic?
              Me gainzz

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              • #8
                Originally posted by t_angeiras View Post
                I may be oversimplifying things here, but i feel that this could be an useful cue for a lot of people overthinking RPE programs.

                You don't need to be accurate to the half pound when choosing your weights based on the prescribed RPE, and there is no big harm done if one given set is "misloaded" by 2 or 4 pounds here and there, or if you over/undershoot one given set by 0.5 or 1 while getting the hang of the RPE evaluation for a specific exercise in a specific rep range. What is important is to understand where your RPEs are to better gauge them on next session and to achieve the prescribed number in average over time. Weight on the bar during training is just an arbitrary amount of iron that is being moved from here to there and back again, and it's not the most important thing to focus on during training. The hard brain work is made by the ones who design the program, and it's important not to freak out with details if you're just following it.

                Percentage drops are a different matter, and even easier to the trainee overall, since he/she doesn't even has to think about the weight of next set.

                This simplicity is one of the things that attracted me to RPE-bases programming. Jordan (et al), does this make sense or am I being too simplistic?
                Yea, we're just moving arbitrary loads using arbitrary movements for arbitrary rep and sets. I'm serious and I agree with your points here.
                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
                  Is this an inconsistency?
                  I think there is room for clarification because The Bridge 2.0 does not prescribe a percentage drop the same way the 12 week programs very clearly and obviously do, but in this thread you have specified that we should "stick to the percentage drops" for The Bridge 2.0.

                  In the back end of both the GPP Hypertrophy and the HLM templates, you are doing [email protected] followed with some back offs sets, and the corresponding percentages are in line with the prescribed reps @8 from the percentage charts provided. This is also how everyone would approach back off sets on The Bridge 1.0, because there are no percentage guidelines, only the RPE chart. Why would I do it any differently for The Bridge 2.0?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Squib View Post
                    I think there is room for clarification because The Bridge 2.0 does not prescribe a percentage drop the same way the 12 week programs very clearly and obviously do, but in this thread you have specified that we should "stick to the percentage drops" for The Bridge 2.0.

                    In the back end of both the GPP Hypertrophy and the HLM templates, you are doing [email protected] followed with some back offs sets, and the corresponding percentages are in line with the prescribed reps @8 from the percentage charts provided. This is also how everyone would approach back off sets on The Bridge 1.0, because there are no percentage guidelines, only the RPE chart. Why would I do it any differently for The Bridge 2.0?
                    There are no percentage drops in the Bridge 2.0, but rather there are percentage guidelines for volume sets, which should be adhered to.

                    In the other templates, there are no prescribed percentage ranges for volume sets and thus the RPE should be adhered to
                    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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