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RPE and new e1rm

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  • RPE and new e1rm

    Hi BBM team I’m current running your powerbuilding 1 program and have reached week 7 last week I hit 195kg @8 on deadlift and this week I hit 200kg @8 which increased my e1rm now do I go off that new e1rm for my back off sets or from my actual max that I started the program with ?


  • #2
    Hey Cole,

    We think should base predicted training on the most accurate performance metric(s) available. So, you can use repetition-effort sets at a relatively high RPE (e.g. 5 reps @ RPE 9) or single-rep efforts (e.g. 1 rep @ RPE 8) to determine your estimated 1RM (e1RM) for the day. You can then use the e1RM to calculate your back off work if it's percentage-based, e.g. 76% of e1RM or similar. We think doing this each workout is a good idea rather than using strictly percentages that may be based on now-defunct performance data (e.g. historic 1RMs) OR using arbitrary load increases based on a made-up progression rate that does not comport with the existing literature (e.g. just adding 5lbs).

    That all being said, I would also recommend taking a look at the rep and intensity prescriptions of the workout to see if try a get a sense of how difficult the volume work or back off sets should be. For example, let's say you're supposed to squat 1 rep @ RPE 8, then perform 5 reps @ RPE 9, followed by 4 sets of 5 reps @ 76% of the e1RM. In this case, I would recommend calculating the day's e1RM by averaging the predicted e1RM's of both the 1 @ 8 and 5 @ 9 sets.

    Next, from the outset this looks like a volume-focused workout given the average intensity, rep range, and total volume. We also know that the back-off sets should be RPE 6- RPE 7 for the most part, given that 76% of 1RM is pretty close to a 10RM and we're only doing sets of 5 with that load - albeit in a pre-fatigued state. Nevertheless, I wouldn't expect any of the back off sets to be > RPE 8 and if they start to get much harder, I'd prefer folks reduce the load and get in the rest of the volume instead of terminating the workout or grinding it out, which serves no real purpose here.

    Hope that helps.

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