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Beginner template: What to do when 8 reps of the empty bar is too much?

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  • Beginner template: What to do when 8 reps of the empty bar is too much?

    I'm helping my partner get started training. If someone is unable to complete the prescribed number of reps (e.g., sets of 8 or sets of 10) with the empty bar for one or more of the lifts in Week 1, and they don't have convenient access to machines or dumbbells, would you recommend repeating Week 1 until they can hit the prescribed empty-bar reps or moving on with the program?

    Additionally, if someone can't hit the prescribed reps with the empty bar, would you recommend stopping at the prescribed RPE to manage fatigue instead of getting as many of the reps as possible?

    I've asked this question on Facebook ( and someone reminded me to try the forum.

    We train at home and don't have access to a lighter bar. If I were to spend the money to get one, there's a good chance it would be obsolete shortly after arrival.

  • #2
    Hi Reid,

    A lighter bar could still be very helpful for warm ups for a reasonable about time if this person is unable to do one set of 8 with the 45 lbs bar. A lighten bar provides most warm up options, particularly for the press and bench.

    That said-if you have DB, you can use those. And then yes, I would help this person, as the coach, to lift a reasonable number of reps to aim for something close to a fitting training stress for the day. As far as progress, I would not move past phase 1 until you can complete the reps prescribed, but I don't know if we're talking about all the lifts here, one, or how far off this person is from being able to do these, so I don't know if I would necessarily just repeat week 1.


    • #3
      I got a 30lb training bar for my wife and it was a good cheap investment. She still uses it even though she's progressed quite a bit
      The CAP is cheap and good enough quality

      (Hope it okay to chime in like this. If not, sorry)