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  • How to judge to grindy.

    Hello Team and Talent,

    I am having an issue judging if something is to grindy. For example today I failed the last rep (of faves) on the last set of 3. my ego is mad because I am either mentally or physically weak. This should have been about an RPE 8 for me but was more like and 11. I have found that most lifts, especially pulls, that I really dont know what heavy is I really believe that if I was blindfolded and someone loaded the bar with between 280 and 450 pounds that it would just feel heavy. I would not be able to tell the difference between 280 or 450. It would not be until I got to the end of the set that my work capacity would cause failure. In the case today, I was trying for three sets of five at 315. All this rambling aside how does one not be too grindy and yet ever reach say RPE 8? with my limited brain power an RPE 8 should be grindy. Please advise.

  • #2
    An RPE 8 lift may or may not appear "grindy", depending on the individual lifter. There are some whose first rep out of a set of 5 looks grindy, whereas others who are explosive and fast through the entire set, but might fail if they attempted one more rep. This is why developing this skill requires attention and practice, which takes time.
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      I recently asked why, when doing presses at about 75-80% I sometimes do 3-4 quickly and easily, then the next rep will be very grindy or a fail, and got this response:

      "There's very likely a complex relationship in firing rates between very-big and the-very-biggest Type II MUs at those intensities.

      "I'm guessing (we don't know this) the "very big" MUs are probably firing with max twitch rates from rep 1. The "very biggest" are not. In subsequent reps, the twitch rates of the "very big" MUs slow as the twitch rates of the "very biggest" ramp up to compensate.

      "Then, a whole bunch of "very big" MUs (which have been going batshit from the get-go) fatigue more or less simultaneously. Grind/fail."

      https://www.exodus-strength.com/foru...p=66219#p66219

      I'm wondering what you think about this.

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      • #4
        I wanted to pull that horribly written question so bad. Thank you DR. B. I guess using my self, for example, Deadlifting a set of 5 at 250 up to about 330 all feels the same. it is all hard. I need to learn how to figure out when it is truly an RPE vs just feeling heavy. Experience is the best teacher. Thank you again, sir.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by quark View Post
          I recently asked why, when doing presses at about 75-80% I sometimes do 3-4 quickly and easily, then the next rep will be very grindy or a fail, and got this response:

          "There's very likely a complex relationship in firing rates between very-big and the-very-biggest Type II MUs at those intensities.

          "I'm guessing (we don't know this) the "very big" MUs are probably firing with max twitch rates from rep 1. The "very biggest" are not. In subsequent reps, the twitch rates of the "very big" MUs slow as the twitch rates of the "very biggest" ramp up to compensate.

          "Then, a whole bunch of "very big" MUs (which have been going batshit from the get-go) fatigue more or less simultaneously. Grind/fail."

          https://www.exodus-strength.com/foru...p=66219#p66219

          I'm wondering what you think about this.
          It's a plausible theory, and is probably part of the picture. As with most things, it's almost certainly multifactorial.

          Changes in motor unit recruitment/performance, sure.

          Maybe your technique decayed and generated some inefficiencies resulting in your bar speed slowdown.

          Maybe some metabolic/work capacity issues start to catch up to you during the set.

          Maybe some psychological factors of knowing you're approaching the end of a set influence your performance. (This sort of thing has been shown in studies comparing groups performing sets to a determined endpoint versus "not knowing" how many more reps they'll be doing during the set).

          Probably a whole bunch of things I'm either forgetting, or am not even aware of in the first place.

          Turns out human performance is ... complex.

          Originally posted by MSupply View Post
          I wanted to pull that horribly written question so bad. Thank you DR. B. I guess using my self, for example, Deadlifting a set of 5 at 250 up to about 330 all feels the same. it is all hard. I need to learn how to figure out when it is truly an RPE vs just feeling heavy. Experience is the best teacher. Thank you again, sir.
          This is why people who say "RPE is stupid because it's all about your FEELINGS" demonstrate that they have no idea what they're talking about. We aren't trying to decide whether it "felt heavy" or not. Every time I unrack 550 it "feels heavy", but that's not the point. We're assessing performance. How many more reps could you do?

          If you literally, honestly, and truly have NO IDEA how many more reps you could perform at the end of a set with 250 versus with 330, there is a problem.
          IG / YT

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by quark View Post
            I recently asked why, when doing presses at about 75-80% I sometimes do 3-4 quickly and easily, then the next rep will be very grindy or a fail, and got this response:
            .
            probably a more simple answer . . . if by "presses" mean OHP.

            OHP, much like CGBP, the curve just falls off a cliff after a few toughish reps. The smaller muscles, say the triceps, are doing a lot compared to you shoulders, upper pecs, etc.

            They get spent a lot quicker. Couple this with the fact OHPs are easy to misgroove, (its a real balancey lift) and misgrooving a rep will really fuck you in the OHP.

            I find the CGBP, Front squats, etc are this way. Deadlifts are the opposite.

            This is my theory.

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            • Technically_Strong
              Technically_Strong commented
              Editing a comment
              I've missed groove an OHP that started as an RPE 8 and it shot up to an RPE 10 by the end because of the effort to get back in the groove.

          • #7
            "If you literally, honestly, and truly have NO IDEA how many more reps you could perform at the end of a set with 250 versus with 330, there is a problem." All BS aside I do have an issue. My mind limits my performance. I always walk away from a lift "feeling" like I should have given a litter more or I gave too much. I rarely if ever feel like I hit the intended RPE. When I lift the bar speed "feels" extremely slow and I am always surprised when I review the video that it is actually moving pretty fast. Hopefully, with more experience and learning I can use RPE more effectively. Thank you, Sir, for your time answering my silly questions.

            Comment


            • #8
              I have been doing RPE for half a year or so. After watching my all out Novice LP sets, I learned that my RPE 7 is the first rep thats slowed down and my RPE 8 is the first drastic slow down, but only through the sticking point.

              Here are two things that I've noticed:

              1.
              My experience so far has been that my given RPE rating's sometimes drift from 'the truth', if I'm not as motivated that day or maybe not as warmed up. I don't know why exactly. Resulting performance isn't effected, but my mental perception is. So there will be some times that I feel like that last rep HAD TO of been an RPE 9+. It felt like I stopped at the sticking point foreeeeeeevveeerrrr. Then I look at the video, and god dang it, it was as solid of an RPE 8 as it can be. If I didn't have that video, I would have to lower the weight based on my incorrect assessment.

              So videoing your sets could be priceless info.

              2.
              I've realized that for some of the lifts, it's easier for me to judge whether it was an RPE 8 by thinking about it a different way. Rather than thinking whether I could do 2 more reps I have to reframe the thinking to "well, what it so wasy that I could do a a few more reps" (RPE 7 or below) or "well was that so hard that I would be sweating doing only 1 more rep" (RPE 9). I know that it's literally describing the definition of RPE 8, but this framing of mindset really helps me with those. It sounds like it might be a similar issue that you are having and maybe this will help?

              So an example of this would be my conventional deadlifts. For me, the bar either comes off the floor and shoots up fast, or it doesn't. It can be hard for me to truly tell because after a heavy set, it always felt damn heavy (even RPE 7). And video doesn't help since once it's off the floor it goes pretty fast even at the higher RPEs. So every week, I add 5lb (as prescribed) blindly to my first work set. I know 5lb aint going to bring me from 8 to 10. So the question is whether its an 8 or 9. So I don't try to judge whether I felt like I could do 2 more. I judge based on how easy do I think doing 1 more is. "I'm not so sure" or "yea probably" == RPE 9. "I can definitely do one more no doubt" == RPE 8, since if right after doing a heavy set I am really confident in 1 more, that means I can typically do 2 atleast.

              Also, now that I've realized my experience from point #1 happens.. I sometimes can catch this "drift" before even consulting the video. I do this by trying to access how my rep before last one went. If it was very hard as well, then I likely did just hit RPE 9. But if that 4th rep of 5 went pretty smooth, I know that that last rep is probably an RPE 8 and for some reason "hard" just FEELS a little extra hard today lol.

              So maybe reframing your thoughts on your RPE assessments might help you? you might have to figure out your own "tricks" as mine might be unique to me and my pace.

              -------

              I don't really know if I'm just weird or if this is typical of inexperienced RPE lifters. But these things helped immensely.

              Austin, do you (or DID you when you were more inexperienced) ever go through such things?

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