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Intentionally going to failure once on new lifts to better gauge RPE

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  • Intentionally going to failure once on new lifts to better gauge RPE

    I have a pretty good idea how RPE 10 feels like on the basic lifts, since I failed them all at some point. Lower RPE is a bit more difficult to guess, but doable. However, I have no idea how it feels like to be close to failure on e.g. barbell rows, since I just did them for the first time. How am I supposed to tell if it's RPE 8?

    On rack pulls, I was very much out of breath at the end, but maybe I would have been able to do quite a couple more if took some extra time for breathing. (The GPP conditioning work will hopefully fix this.) I have no idea whether that was RPE 9 or 6.

    Wouldn't it be useful to do one set to failure at some point?
    Last edited by user789; 07-31-2018, 11:49 AM.

  • #2
    No. You'll get better at it over time.
    There's no need to put yourself at risk for injury by going to failure.

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    • #3
      I find there is also a 'spectrum' if you will of what an RPE is on a given day. But clearly breaking the scale down to increments of ten or so per number would be ridiculous.
      As a rule of thumb I go of how my form is doing. When I need to start bouncing, yanking and generally using momentum to get the weight moving rather than squeezing, thats near enough to an 8.5 - 9.

      I find rack pulls (mid shin) humbling and have overshot my RPE for weeks. Seems counter intuitive that I struggle to get the same reps at a given RPE from a higher starting point with around 40kg less weight than I can pull off the floor. 3-0-3 tempo squats are equally nasty.

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      • user789
        user789 commented
        Editing a comment
        You're doing the rack pulls with LESS weight than your normal deadlifts? I thought they were supposed to be easier. At least I found them much easier and used more weight than I normally do. Maybe get a form check or something.

    • #4
      Anthropometry? Hamstrings? Weak? Who knows. All I know is when I fail in the lift, its always about mid shin.

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      • #5
        Originally posted by user789 View Post
        I have a pretty good idea how RPE 10 feels like on the basic lifts, since I failed them all at some point. Lower RPE is a bit more difficult to guess, but doable. However, I have no idea how it feels like to be close to failure on e.g. barbell rows, since I just did them for the first time. How am I supposed to tell if it's RPE 8?

        On rack pulls, I was very much out of breath at the end, but maybe I would have been able to do quite a couple more if took some extra time for breathing. (The GPP conditioning work will hopefully fix this.) I have no idea whether that was RPE 9 or 6.

        Wouldn't it be useful to do one set to failure at some point?
        hah the whole point of RPE is that it works according to perception!
        if it was supposed to be based on actual reps you can do based on your rep # to failure it wouldnt be called rpe anymore !

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