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  • Regressing on The Bridge

    Age:29
    BW:207ish
    Weight gain: 0.5lb in 3 weeks (maintance was goal)
    Sleep: 7-8 hours
    Misc possibly pertinant info: I suspect I have a much higher fast twitch to slow twitch muscle ratio. I have always been good at intensity VS endurance/volume. Regardless of the sport. For example with no training I am a fast sprinter but terrible distance runner.

    Could the following be a sign that the bridge is simply too much volume for me and is causing regression or should I stick through it for 8 weeks and exam it then?

    My lower back in particular is getting hammered. My low back is at the very least a little tired at the beginning of every workout lately. In fact I recently pulled it doing deadlifts for the first time in a long time. The following summary should show just how much it seems to have regressed.

    1. Deadlift novice LP ended at 365x5. I then failed at 370 twice before moving onto the bridge.
    A. Rack pulls went from week 1 [email protected] to week 3 [email protected] (goal of 8). Then the next set was 300x4 which I stopped before it went to failure and finished up the set at 275x3 to hit a 9.
    B. Barbell Rows went from week 1: [email protected] to week 2 [email protected] Primary problem wasn't arm/back power but keeping form.
    C. Deadlifts week 1 was [email protected] and week 2 I did [email protected],[email protected],[email protected] Kept dropping weight, but it was still not enough and thats why I hit those 2 9s.

    2. Bench Press I finished my Novice at 242.5x5 and was going through a reset before starting The Bridge.

    A. Bench Press I started at 230x5 and week 2 I did [230x5,230x5,220x5,220x5]. I haven't got to the 3rd week set yet.
    B. CG Bench really took a hit. Started at [email protected] for my top set and week 3 was [email protected]

    3. Squat went up but that is simply because I started The Bridge using High Bar (Shoulder/arm issues) and I switched back to Low bar this last week.

  • #2
    Originally posted by timelinex View Post
    Could the following be a sign that the bridge is simply too much volume for me and is causing regression or should I stick through it for 8 weeks and exam it then?
    Seems more likely that you're not doing it correctly.

    1) You overshot rack pulls with the goal of intensity, rather the accumulation of volume. What happened week 2? I wouldn't expect these to necessarily go up week to week anyway given their placement in the workout and rep range.
    2) I wouldn't expect barbell rows to improve outside of technique/motor learning given the placement in the workout, the rep range, and the primary movers in the lift.
    3) Your bench seems like it's going fine from a volume stand point. I'd only be concerned about your close grip if it was hurting you or something. The function of assistance lifts is to drive the main lifts up, but the weight on them is typically not of primary concern.

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    • #3
      Was my last reply not approved for being too long and specific to my situation?

      No problem. I guess I can cut the extras and break down my problem to 2 simple question:

      1. What is the best way to know if a program, like The Bridge, is simply to high volume for your recovery resources.... Rather than it being a "you will get used to the volume" situation. This answer will most likely be even more pertinent for when I start to cut.

      2. When you say something like RPE 8. Should it be "2 reps left in the tank if there was a gun to my head", "2 reps left in the tank even if they are grindy and form deteriorated" or "2 solid and good form reps left".

      Depending on your answer, I believe question #2 might have been a big source of what went wrong for me.

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      • #4
        Sorry this slipped through the cracks, dude. I'll try to help out.

        I'll start with #2: I think a good idea when getting started with this stuff is to use the last strategy you mentioned (i.e., 2 reps solid reps with good form left). There is no reason for an early intermediate (or most intermediates, for that matter), to be training and treating their sets "as if they had a gun to their head" (hypothetically, of course). That requires a lot of psychological arousal and intensity that is itself inherently fatiguing, on top of the absolute weight on the bar. Even at this point in my own training, I don't treat any reps (except for a meet day performance) with that level of intensity.

        #1: If you follow the program, using ^ that strategy as your guide for RPE targets, don't overshoot, and immediately regress in performance with other variables in your life (stress and recovery-related) held constant. At your age and weight, I suspect you should be able to tolerate the workload in this program just fine.
        Last edited by Austin Baraki; 12-21-2017, 03:23 AM.
        IG / YT

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply!

          That is how I started viewing RPE and it has since helped alot.

          I think the other things that have helped are:

          1. Being very conservative in my warm ups. I lean towards undershooting RPE than overshooting. I would rather be able to get all 3-4 sets of the top set at the same weight, than overshoot the warmups and struggle through the top sets because my warmup ended up being @8-9.

          2. Accepting that progress is progress whether it is with weight on the bar or time between sets. I had terrible work capacity after the LP (10 min rest for lower body, 5-7 min for upper).Things started getting better on The Bridge when I accepted that I should maybe keep weight the same week to week while I cut my rest times. It worked and now I can hold most @8's at the same weight with 5-6min lower and 3-5min upper. Last week or two I've been able to add a little weight too.

          On week 8 now and I'm not sure if I'm stronger than week 1, but my work capacity is way higher and I think I'm ready to tackle it again and actually get stronger this time.

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          • #6
            Nice! Sounds like you're getting it figured out, and are developing the base you'll need for long-term progress. Good luck!

            I'll see about getting some of these issues you've had explained a bit more clearly in the e-book, as I'm sure you're not the only one who has run into them.
            IG / YT

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post
              I think a good idea when getting started with this stuff is to use the last strategy you mentioned (i.e., 2 reps solid reps with good form left).
              Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post
              I'll see about getting some of these issues you've had explained a bit more clearly in the e-book, as I'm sure you're not the only one who has run into them.
              Just another voice saying that this understanding of RPE is different than the impression I got on the first reading of Mike T's stuff and the info included in the templates for sale. I'm glad Austin mentioned including this in the e-book/templates.

              This would also be a great topic to include as part of a podcast. My guess is that most people have taken @8 to mean "I could do two more reps if I absolutely had to."

              I'd also be interested to the know the thinking behind the advice to treat as @8 as "two sold reps with good for left". I can guess why this would be the preferred metric but it would be good to hear Austin and Jordan talk a bit more about it.



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