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  • Rep Ranges - Bridge

    Hi BBM team,

    Let me first thank you for giving the community so much when it comes to knowledge and expertise as well as keeping such a positive vibe in this forum.

    My 1st question concerns the rep ranges recommended in the Bridge 1.0.
    What is the rationale behind the specific number of repetitions for each exercise? The comp lifts get fives (clear enough why);
    Why though: - 4's for the Close Grip Bench & 2ct Squat;
    - 7's for the rack pull and then 8's for the 303 squat and BB rows?

    Is there a specific reason behind the 7's vs 8's / 4s vs 5s?

    Correct me if I am wrong, the sets of 4 seem to allow exposure to a heavier weight as well as stirring things up a bit. I don't get though why the 7's vs the 8's. Sorry for the hairsplitting but I would like to learn about your views on rep range selection and programming in general.

    2nd question is: Would you recommend after finishing week 8 of the bridge having a mock meet day to test my 1RM's? I've been training regularly for 2 years now and never tested my 1RM at the comp lifts.

    Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    1. I would recommend starting with our 3-part programming podcasts, as well as our more recent beginner programming podcast.

    2. This is entirely up to you
    IG / YT

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pedro_CorteReal View Post
      Hi BBM team,

      Let me first thank you for giving the community so much when it comes to knowledge and expertise as well as keeping such a positive vibe in this forum.

      My 1st question concerns the rep ranges recommended in the Bridge 1.0.
      What is the rationale behind the specific number of repetitions for each exercise? The comp lifts get fives (clear enough why);
      Why though: - 4's for the Close Grip Bench & 2ct Squat;
      - 7's for the rack pull and then 8's for the 303 squat and BB rows?

      Is there a specific reason behind the 7's vs 8's / 4s vs 5s?

      Correct me if I am wrong, the sets of 4 seem to allow exposure to a heavier weight as well as stirring things up a bit. I don't get though why the 7's vs the 8's. Sorry for the hairsplitting but I would like to learn about your views on rep range selection and programming in general.

      2nd question is: Would you recommend after finishing week 8 of the bridge having a mock meet day to test my 1RM's? I've been training regularly for 2 years now and never tested my 1RM at the comp lifts.

      Thank you in advance!
      I think the question about the rep ranges are interesting. I also think programming is a mix between art and science. Obviously the programmer is using specific exercises and rep ranges to focus on specific goals, but there are so many variables in play that it ends up being a bit of a balancing act (hence the art part).

      I don't know why BBM used the rep range they did, but guesses are

      1. Close grip bench: I take it the exercise is trying to build finishing strength on the Bench Press and Overhead Press from a competition standpoint. In terms of the rep range I would have predicted the exercise would have a slightly higher rep range because its usually done more for general strength rather than peaking (unless you are talking about equipped lifting when bench press shirts will help you off the chest and you need arguably your highest neurological efficiency in the end part of the motion).

      2. 2 ct pause squat: I would guess the exercise selection is to get more strength out of the bottom of the squat. Thus in order to translate to a one rep squat the weight has to be somewhat heavy. This is kind of the opposite of close grip bench. In close grip bench you are working the part of the competition lift where you arguably have the best leverage. There are raw lifters who cannot finish one rep maxes but more people fail on the bottom or mid part of the lift. For pause squats you are working the part of the lift with weakest leverage so it makes sense to me to go heavy because you want to try it was a good amount of weight.

      3. Rack Pulls: You are kind of working the end part of the Deadlift. I think the goal is to work on technique and to build the finishing muscles while putting less stress on the nervous system. Probably slightly higher reps are used simply cause you can get away with due to the lower stress on the nervous system. This assumes you are not in a peaking phase.

      4. 303 Squat: I think of these as mainly aimed at hypertrophy. You have a lot of time under tension. Are you going to quickly drive up your squat with these. Maybe not, but you will build mass in the legs and eventually you'll need that mass to avoid a pleateau. Since the goal is time under tension using a higher rep makes sense.

      5. BB Row: It seems like since back is made of a bunch smaller muscles rather than larger muscles like the chest or leg, the consensus seems to be it responds better to higher reps.

      It'd be interesting to hear Jordan's reasoning. BBM is pretty good about giving information about nutrition and the science of getting stronger. In fact there are one of the best at that. But in terms of programming--the application of that science, I would say people like Chad Wesley Smith are probably more informative about why they program what they program.

      Comment


      • #4


        Originally posted by philibusters View Post

        1. Close grip bench: I take it the exercise is trying to build finishing strength on the Bench Press and Overhead Press from a competition standpoint. In terms of the rep range I would have predicted the exercise would have a slightly higher rep range because its usually done more for general strength rather than peaking (unless you are talking about equipped lifting when bench press shirts will help you off the chest and you need arguably your highest neurological efficiency in the end part of the motion).
        There's no such thing as general strength and peaking has more to do with total fatigue vs. rep ranges. We didn't want to get too far away from the demands the person is already presumably used to either from starting from the LP. If we could start from scratch, we would pick different rep ranges (see Beginner Template).

        The selection of close grip bench is arbitrary outside of it having a similar ROM, joint angles, contraction type and velocity to the regular bench press, but not being the same. We felt that adding some movement variety was useful.

        Also, the neurological efficiency comment is incorrect.

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        2. 2 ct pause squat: I would guess the exercise selection is to get more strength out of the bottom of the squat.
        No, not really. It's just another squat variation that - like the close grip bench- has similar ROM, joint angles, contraction types, and velocity.

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        Thus in order to translate to a one rep squat the weight has to be somewhat heavy. This is kind of the opposite of close grip bench. In close grip bench you are working the part of the competition lift where you arguably have the best leverage.
        No to both of these things.

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        3. Rack Pulls: You are kind of working the end part of the Deadlift.
        No, because these are from the mid shin.


        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        I think the goal is to work on technique and to build the finishing muscles while putting less stress on the nervous system.
        No. The same muscles are working throughout the movement.

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        Probably slightly higher reps are used simply cause you can get away with due to the lower stress on the nervous system. This assumes you are not in a peaking phase.
        Not really. Just wanted some more volume, but still using an intensity range that encourages both neurological and structural improvement.s

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        4. 303 Squat: I think of these as mainly aimed at hypertrophy. You have a lot of time under tension.
        No. This does not matter at all.

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        5. BB Row: It seems like since back is made of a bunch smaller muscles rather than larger muscles like the chest or leg, the consensus seems to be it responds better to higher reps.
        We wanted to add volume in the row pattern to improve strength and hypertrophy here. Has nothing to do with muscle size.

        Originally posted by philibusters View Post
        It'd be interesting to hear Jordan's reasoning. BBM is pretty good about giving information about nutrition and the science of getting stronger. In fact there are one of the best at that. But in terms of programming--the application of that science, I would say people like Chad Wesley Smith are probably more informative about why they program what they program.
        That is an interesting sentiment. We like CWS
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

        Comment


        • #5
          You are just want to have straight nos.

          Going over your points:

          1. There is no such thing as general strength

          I see your point. That said by "general strength" I meant an increased in strength in all the common rep ranges (say 1 rep to 12 reps). You could argue that once you reach a certain level of proficiency you cannot really improve all rep ranges between 1 to 12 at the same time, but at least when you are a newbie it seems very possible.

          2. Peaking has more to do with total fatigue than rep ranges

          I also think of it as both. Obviously you provide a stress and then in order to get stronger you have to get an adaption. So in order to peak you need to make sure you don't have a lot of accumulated fatigue and you body has gotten any adaptions you can can get. That said you could keep the stress down by doing light 5 or 8's or whatever number you want. People use low reps during peaking to train the central nervous system for a specific task, the one rep max.

          3. For equipped lifting you do not need the best neurological efficiency for the end of the lift

          It depends on how strong your chest vs. triceps are. That said some people fail raw lifting on the end of the lift. In equipped bench pressing you are effectively lifting quite a bit more at the end of the lift than off the chest which is why equipped lifters doing a lot of things like floor presses, bands, and chains--things that make the heaviest part of the lift the heaviest part of the lift and that only train the end of part of the lift (floor presses which are basically partial reps).

          4. 2 ct pause squats were not programmed to improve power out of the hole in the squat: What your intent in programming as you did is subjective. That said I think pause squats train your strength out of the hole the most. Lets say you had strong legs and a weak back so you were good at getting out of the hole but quickly hit a pause once you are out of the hole. Would training with 200 pounds for pause squats rather 225 pounds for normal squats help or hurt that person. Pause squats put them at disadvantage coming out of the hole, but there are not necessarily disadvantaged once they are out of the hole. It seems using a squat designed to maxmize fatigue at the bottom but to lessen fatigue compared to a normal fatigue on all other portions of the squat (the negative, and the last 2/3rds of the positive) seems like a bad idea to improve those other portion of the squat unless overtraining was an issue.

          5. You don't have you worst leverage in the squat on the bottom

          People can do partial squats for a lot more than below parallel reps so it seems to me you have better leverage higher in the squat. In fact I would bet that if you had somebody do 5 reps at RPE 10 without stopping after the 5th rep they would be able to do a few more partial half reps simply because the leverage is better for the top half of the lift.

          6. The leverage for the bench press is not best at the end of the lift: I don't have any data, but my impression is people can do 1/3rd bench press reps at a higher weight than they can a full bench.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post



            There's no such thing as general strength and peaking has more to do with total fatigue vs. rep ranges. We didn't want to get too far away from the demands the person is already presumably used to either from starting from the LP. If we could start from scratch, we would pick different rep ranges (see Beginner Template).

            The selection of close grip bench is arbitrary outside of it having a similar ROM, joint angles, contraction type and velocity to the regular bench press, but not being the same. We felt that adding some movement variety was useful.

            Also, the neurological efficiency comment is incorrect.



            No, not really. It's just another squat variation that - like the close grip bench- has similar ROM, joint angles, contraction types, and velocity.



            No to both of these things.



            No, because these are from the mid shin.




            No. The same muscles are working throughout the movement.



            Not really. Just wanted some more volume, but still using an intensity range that encourages both neurological and structural improvement.s



            No. This does not matter at all.



            We wanted to add volume in the row pattern to improve strength and hypertrophy here. Has nothing to do with muscle size.



            That is an interesting sentiment. We like CWS

            Hi Jordan - a lot of your 'no' answers suggest that the variations you've chosen aren't necessarily to target 'weak points', but rather because they use the same movements/muscles as the big lifts. If this is the case, does that mean that if I hate doing 2ct pause squats, 3-0-3 squats, rack pulls etc I could just supplement these for the main movements, but keep the same intensity? e.g. if 3-0-3 was scheduled for 8 reps at RPE8, could I just do normal squat for [email protected] instead?

            Thanks and apologies for piggybacking on the original post.

            Comment


            • #7
              In this same thread, will BBM be putting out some kind of pdf, video, podcast, etc. on how to practically sit down and make a program from some sort of general template skeleton? The programming podcasts are a great source on the theory of programming, but I think it would be beneficial to lifters to learn how to actually sit down and write out a program from scratch. Something of that sort would seem to answer the OP's question, and many other I have seen on the forum....

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by philibusters View Post
                You are just want to have straight nos.
                I just don't want to be mischaracterized or misrepresented, you know?



                Originally posted by philibusters View Post
                1. There is no such thing as general strength

                I see your point. That said by "general strength" I meant an increased in strength in all the common rep ranges (say 1 rep to 12 reps). You could argue that once you reach a certain level of proficiency you cannot really improve all rep ranges between 1 to 12 at the same time, but at least when you are a newbie it seems very possible.
                Eh, that's another topic, but that's not what you insinuated with your reply, e.g. higher reps being "general strength" and lower reps being "peaking." Nevertheless, the reason close grip bench was programmed the way it was in The Bridge was covered above.

                Originally posted by philibusters View Post

                2. Peaking has more to do with total fatigue than rep ranges

                I also think of it as both. Obviously you provide a stress and then in order to get stronger you have to get an adaption. So in order to peak you need to make sure you don't have a lot of accumulated fatigue and you body has gotten any adaptions you can can get. That said you could keep the stress down by doing light 5 or 8's or whatever number you want. People use low reps during peaking to train the central nervous system for a specific task, the one rep max.
                Not really the way this works, e.g. performance improvements can be demonstrated during high states of fatigue and your 2nd to last sentence suggests your first sentence was said in error. I agree with the last sentence, but that is irrelevant here.

                3. For equipped lifting you do not need the best neurological efficiency for the end of the lift

                Originally posted by philibusters View Post
                It depends on how strong your chest vs. triceps are. That said some people fail raw lifting on the end of the lift. In equipped bench pressing you are effectively lifting quite a bit more at the end of the lift than off the chest which is why equipped lifters doing a lot of things like floor presses, bands, and chains--things that make the heaviest part of the lift the heaviest part of the lift and that only train the end of part of the lift (floor presses which are basically partial reps).
                Lifters do a lot of things that don't necessarily reflect what's actually going on.

                Originally posted by philibusters View Post

                4. 2 ct pause squats were not programmed to improve power out of the hole in the squat: What your intent in programming as you did is subjective.
                '

                No it's not subjective. It's arbitrary. There's a difference. Your rational is not something I agree with and do not wish it to be characterized in that way.

                Originally posted by philibusters View Post
                That said I think pause squats train your strength out of the hole the most. Lets say you had strong legs and a weak back so you were good at getting out of the hole but quickly hit a pause once you are out of the hole. Would training with 200 pounds for pause squats rather 225 pounds for normal squats help or hurt that person. Pause squats put them at disadvantage coming out of the hole, but there are not necessarily disadvantaged once they are out of the hole. It seems using a squat designed to maxmize fatigue at the bottom but to lessen fatigue compared to a normal fatigue on all other portions of the squat (the negative, and the last 2/3rds of the positive) seems like a bad idea to improve those other portion of the squat unless overtraining was an issue.
                '

                This is all incorrect.

                Originally posted by philibusters View Post
                5. You don't have you worst leverage in the squat on the bottom

                People can do partial squats for a lot more than below parallel reps so it seems to me you have better leverage higher in the squat. In fact I would bet that if you had somebody do 5 reps at RPE 10 without stopping after the 5th rep they would be able to do a few more partial half reps simply because the leverage is better for the top half of the lift.
                By definition, no they wouldn't. Additionally, the worst leverage in the squat is about 1/4 of the way up.

                Originally posted by philibusters View Post
                6. The leverage for the bench press is not best at the end of the lift: I don't have any data, but my impression is people can do 1/3rd bench press reps at a higher weight than they can a full bench.
                Not with a close grip. You're changing your argument now.

                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                Comment


                • ionRod
                  ionRod commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I really liked this: "Lifters do a lot of things that don't necessarily reflect what's actually going on."

              • #9
                Originally posted by Pat Hughes View Post


                Hi Jordan - a lot of your 'no' answers suggest that the variations you've chosen aren't necessarily to target 'weak points', but rather because they use the same movements/muscles as the big lifts. If this is the case, does that mean that if I hate doing 2ct pause squats, 3-0-3 squats, rack pulls etc I could just supplement these for the main movements, but keep the same intensity? e.g. if 3-0-3 was scheduled for 8 reps at RPE8, could I just do normal squat for [email protected] instead?

                Thanks and apologies for piggybacking on the original post.
                Sure, though I think there are advantages to having movement variety with respect to motor learning, strength improvements, and hypertrophy outcomes.

                I think it's also very early in someone's training career (when running the bridge) to "hate" a movement.

                That being said, I don't care.
                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by cbphillips2 View Post
                  In this same thread, will BBM be putting out some kind of pdf, video, podcast, etc. on how to practically sit down and make a program from some sort of general template skeleton? The programming podcasts are a great source on the theory of programming, but I think it would be beneficial to lifters to learn how to actually sit down and write out a program from scratch. Something of that sort would seem to answer the OP's question, and many other I have seen on the forum....
                  Probably just be in the book.
                  Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                  ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

                    Probably just be in the book.
                    Does said book have a set/general release date?

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

                      Sure, though I think there are advantages to having movement variety with respect to motor learning, strength improvements, and hypertrophy outcomes.

                      I think it's also very early in someone's training career (when running the bridge) to "hate" a movement.

                      That being said, I don't care.
                      Nice one thank you.

                      Yes definitely too early I agree - sorry, I suppose I meant I prefer some movements to others (prefer regular low bar to 3-0-3, for example).

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by cbphillips2 View Post

                        Does said book have a set/general release date?
                        Not at this time, unfortunately.
                        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

                        Comment


                        • Mr.Quindazzi
                          Mr.Quindazzi commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I keep thinking of people for whom I'm going to buy this book. Up to about 15 now

                      • #14
                        I am glad you are on top of it because that guy lives up to his name.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Definitely recommend "the Programming Podcast" - part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IEFJ_90vGE

                          Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCPAffRLtNo

                          Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI6QwgKLP0M

                          RPE Origins with Mike Tuchscherer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAAUG-9MK9c

                          The RPE episode really explains things!

                          An interesting thing Mike T. once mentioned was that he'd do things like say "I want someone to do a 14 rep max, but leave 3 reps in the tank, so I'll have them do 11 @ 8." And you get all these "funny" rep schemes - 4s, 7s, 11s, 13s... and sometimes it's so weird that people can't handle it.

                          The other thing, and BBM has mentioned this in some of their podcasts, is that for a few years, their training templates and seeing what works with people, they make adjustments. So initially they came in with theory and personal experience, but now BBM templates are also significantly based on empirically what has been observed to benefit most people more. And when something works, we can yea try to figure out why it works, but really it's like "we basically did an A-B test on _____ number of people people, and the B version of the template did better," iterated however many times. And also the "old" Templates, sure maybe they've figured out some new things, but literally thousands of people have seen great results using these tested and true templates. So there's something for that too.

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