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How do I determine percentage on each lift for their RPE on the bridge program

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  • How do I determine percentage on each lift for their RPE on the bridge program

    I have been following different programs for the past 4 years but never looked into RPE. Now I have no idea how to use it. I realized I haven't been doing things the way they are supposed to be done, like incorporating gpp to increase work capacity so with this program I want to learn as much from it to reach where I have never been before.
    Last edited by Sandokan13; 01-04-2019, 01:32 AM. Reason: Not enough information

  • #2
    Hi Sandokan13, welcome to BBM forums.

    One thing people newly exposed to RPE need to realise is that RPE based programs as drafted by BBM and others (inlcuding RTS), are not percentage based programs.

    Before continuing, it might be worth asking, have you actually read The Bridge program e-book? There is a pretty good description of RPE and how it is not a percentage based program, although there is a rough mapping table to estimated 1 rep maximums ("e1RM") as at a specific point in time. The training weights in an RPE program are not based on a training max and taking a percentage thereof (the purvue of percentage based programs). RPE programs are based on your performance of a lift on that specific day, and the percentages are used to calculate an e1RM post training with a goal (not the only goal) to see the e1RM increase over time. The percentages are also used to monitor average intensity as a percentage of e1RM as part of autoregulation of loading over the course of a training block (or the course of a training program such as The Bridge).

    Have a read of The Bridge e-book and have a look around the forums here as there are a couple of threads that go deeper on RPE, the definitions of an RPE (i.e. @7, @8, or @9), and the application of RPE. Here is a start (after you have read The Bridge e-book): and If you enter into google the following "RPE" you will get a ton of threads discussing RPE.

    As with many things, one gets better at using RPE by using RPE. I and a couple of people here had quick discussions today and yesterday of RPE application being a continuum, sometimes being overly aggressive rating RPE and choosing working weights accordingly, and sometimes being too conservative rating RPE and choosing weights accordingly, and that there is always a fluctuation up and down, but generally trying to be pretty accurate, but not perfectly so.


    • #3
      In the Bridge e-book there's a chart towards the end. I would assume you know either a 1RM, 3RM, or 5RM for your competition lifts, so use that chart to figure out what 5 reps @ RPE 8 would be, for example. Keep in mind the chart is not the end-all be-all, but is merely a guide. Over time you'll find how "exact" it is for you.

      For the supplemental lifts, the first time you do them you're going to have warm up and add weight to the bar until you get to the prescribed RPE. Don't try to take a percentage of your competition lift and apply it to the supplemental lift to figure out your weights. The next week you'll know ahead of time about what weights you should use.


      • #4
        I now have an idea on how it works. Thanks for your answers. Now its trial and error.


        • #5
          Yes and usually the percentages between one RPE point are between 3-5%. So for example let's say you're benching 225lbs for [email protected] A decent estimation of your [email protected] and [email protected] would be [email protected] and [email protected] or around there.