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Straight sets vs ramping sets

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  • Straight sets vs ramping sets

    hi BBM team just wondering what the argument for ramping sets vs straight sets would be ?

    Ive noticed following the bridge that the sets are ramping up for example 1set for 5 reps at @7 then second set at @8 and third set @9 meaning the weight increases each working set but why not just do multiple sets at RPE 8 for the same weight ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Cole123 View Post
    hi BBM team just wondering what the argument for ramping sets vs straight sets would be ?

    Ive noticed following the bridge that the sets are ramping up for example 1set for 5 reps at @7 then second set at @8 and third set @9 meaning the weight increases each working set but why not just do multiple sets at RPE 8 for the same weight ?
    Those are approximately the same average intensities and there's not a really great reason that definitively makes straight sets vs ramping sets better or worse (and vice versa). That said, here's my line of thinking behind this specific example:

    1) When using RPE to gauge appropriate loading you'll need to "test" your performance during the workout to accurately choose the weight on the barbell. In this case, we're working up to 5 @ 9, which is about 86% of a 1 Rep Max (1RM). It'd be difficult to know what your true 1RM is on any given day without testing it or something near it (1 @ 8), so we CAN use ramping sets to help us out. Calculating what your 5 @ 7 and 5 @ 8 sets SHOULD be based on previous training allows someone to test their current performance against past performance(s). If your 5 @ 8 feels easier than an @ 8, then you may add more weight to your 5 @ 9 than you had originally planned. If 5 @ 8 feels more like a 9 or a 10, then you wouldn't "just add weight" to the bar, right?

    2) When warming up, people are not always prepared for the work sets. Example, the 1st set of 5 feels harder than the 3rd set. Consider ramping sets as a better way to warm up to a higher intensity set while getting some volume in.

    3) While the average intensities are the same in both examples here, the sets across @ 8 does not allow someone to work at the higher intensity of 5 @ 9. Lifting at high intensities is necessary to improve performance at high intensities, though care needs to be taken that the stress incurred by the high intensity work produces the desired fitness adaptations rather than just excess stress. Example- doing 5RMs to improve a 1RM, lots of stress from a 5RM with inefficient carry over to a 1RM compared to having regular exposure to sets of 1 at ~90-93%.

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