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Understanding RPE at an RPE of 6

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  • Understanding RPE at an RPE of 6

    I've been taking a look at both RPE charts found in the Bridge e book and I have also calculated some working weights with the percent and it seems to be accurate. (Starting the Bridge program here shortly)

    Couple of questions however.

    1. Alan (and I think it mentioned it in the ebook) said that RPE "generally speaking" is around 5%. If your E1RM is ~325 then that means the weights used for [email protected] would be 265. He says that [email protected] would be (265 x 1.05) = 278. But if I were to bypass the ( [email protected] x 1.05) and find [email protected] using the chart from the e book, [email protected] would be ( 325 x .84) 273. That's a whole 5 lbs difference. Can't that change your entire perception about the set? Can't just "add 5%" set you up for overshooting an RPE especially doing a supplemental movement ( ex. 2 ct pause squat)
    I am not disputing Alan, I am just missing something here.

    2. Assume someone has finished the LP at 220 for [email protected] (E1RM = 261.9 or just simply 260) and the first workout for belted squats are: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

    @6 is a warm up weight so we will leave that alone.

    The appropriate weight for @7 would be (260 x .79) 205 lbs. Let's say that this individual did this set and was rated @6.5. Does that mean that the individual must recalculate their E1RM based of that 205 for [email protected]?(I am using 6.5 because the percentage for @6 is not on the % chart) Would the individual go with 3rd set A or B?
    A for [email protected] would be 210 (260 E1RM)
    B for [email protected] would be now 215 (266 (265 to round it) E1RM)

    Or do I finish the 3 sets at E1RM of 260 and then add 5 lbs after the workout?

    My apologizes if this post was long.


  • #2
    Yeah, I think we've discussed how the 5% rule is not perfect according to those percentages somewhere around here - I don't have a link to the thread handy.
    With that said,
    1) the whole idea with RPE is that there's more "fuzz" and wiggle room. The percents and calculations are there as a GUIDE. You have to use your brain to select appropriate weights.
    2) 5 lbs is not as big of a difference as you think (consider if someone "snuck" 2.5 lb plates on your bar before you started your set and you had no idea. Would it COMPLETELY CHANGE your perception of the set? Probably not, unless the set was something like a very, very light overhead press.

    Again, you're obsessing over the calculations too much. If you rated a set @6.5 that was supposed to be @7, then you can take a slightly bigger jump than planned for the next one. Use your brain.

    IG / YT


    • neandrewthal
      neandrewthal commented
      Editing a comment
      I am always tempted to sneak those 2.5s on any unattended bar I walk by on the way to put them away.

    • Paramveer753
      Paramveer753 commented
      Editing a comment
      Your probably thinking “You’re killing me Smalls”
      Thanks doc.