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5% Jumps = about 1 RPE

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  • 5% Jumps = about 1 RPE

    I've found that this 5% rule is pretty close to true for me. And I know it'll be open to fluctuation, but if I plan to increase a little weight next week in my lifts, do I increase weight evenly on my RPE 6,7 sets as well? I want to make sure I'm not subconsciously keeping my RPE 6 and 7 sets lower than they should be to make my sets @8 or @9 easier. For example if on squats I did 275 [email protected] 290 [email protected] 305 [email protected] and I wanted to shoot for 310 next week, would I have to make it 280 [email protected] and 295 [email protected] then 310 [email protected]? I know this will vary but I'm already noticing a tendency to keep my sets of @6 and @7 lighter (more like @5 or @6) so it gives me more energy to hit sets of @8 or @9 with more weight. I know this isn't correct. Like if I'm up to 325 for [email protected] but my @6 is still 275 and my @7 is 295 I feel like it's not true.

  • #2
    I'm not 100% sure exactly what you're asking... but if you're asking if as your e1rm's go up your @6's and @7's should go up to I would say of course. Have you used the RPE chart before? Take your e1rm and use the chart to find the exact weight you should be lifting for each set in advance so you have an idea of a plan for the day going into the workout. Then adjust from there if your RPE's aren't matching up to your planned targets. If you purchased a template they have a handy calculator tab in there exactly for this. You should not hold back on your lower sets to save up for your higher sets. The higher RPE sets are not more important than the lower RPE sets. It's the total work as a whole done over a long period of time that matters. Moreover, if you hold back and intentionally undershoot your lower RPE sets you lose the valuable data from those sets to judge if you're on track to hit your numbers on your higher RPE sets that day. If, for instance, you are supposed to hit a 6 and it's clearly a 7 on your first set, you should auto-regulate lower the weight for subsequent sets by 1 RPE (3-5%).
    Last edited by PWard; 08-24-2018, 02:41 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PWard View Post
      I'm not 100% sure exactly what you're asking... but if you're asking if as your e1rm's go up your @6's and @7's should go up to I would say of course. Have you used the RPE chart before? Take your e1rm and use the chart to find the exact weight you should be lifting for each set in advance so you have an idea of a plan for the day going into the workout. Then adjust from there if your RPE's aren't matching up to your planned targets. If you purchased a template they have a handy calculator tab in there exactly for this. You should not hold back on your lower sets to save up for your higher sets. The higher RPE sets are not more important than the lower RPE sets. It's the total work as a whole done over a long period of time that matters. Moreover, if you hold back and intentionally undershoot your lower RPE sets you lose the valuable data from those sets to judge if you're on track to hit your numbers on your higher RPE sets that day. If, for instance, you are supposed to hit a 6 and it's clearly a 7 on your first set, you should auto-regulate lower the weight for subsequent sets by 1 RPE (3-5%).
      Thanks for your help dude. What I'm asking in a nutshell is this: obviously one should AIM to progress in weight from week to week. I plan to do this, but then I'll calibrate RPE during the set to see if I actually should or not. NOW... what I'm saying is if I did 315 last week for @8 and my set @6 was 285 and my set @7 was 300 and I plan this week to try 320 @8, do I also plan to start my @6 at 290? I use the @6 and @7 as "calibration sets" for what weights to use for my work sets that day. But how do I calibrate the calibration sets lol.

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      • PWard
        PWard commented
        Editing a comment
        It sounds to me like you are trying to progress each set separately. I would progress your e1rm and use the RPE chart to dictate your loads for each set. So say your e1rm last week in training came in at 300. You could simply add 5lb to your e1rm, so in this case 305, then use the RPE chart to figure out what exact load is @6, @7, and @8. This way, you are sure that your sets are the proper distance from each other so you can easily make adjustments intraworkout. For me, I find 3% is about on the money for 1 RPE. So if I was supposed to hit my first set @7, and it registers @7.5 I can easily take a half RPE off of what I had planned for @8 by taking the weight times .985 (basically subtracting 1.5%, or what is equivalent to 1/2 RPE for me) and that would bring my next set in line where it's supposed to be. Now what to keep in mind is that by increasing your e1rm 5lb it doesn't necessarily mean each of your sets are going to go up 5lb. Since they are a percentage of the e1rm it will vary how much your working sets increase. The RPE chart is the heart of training with RPE, so I would stick to using that every week. If you purchase any of the templates he does include a pretty handy calculator that does the math for you, but it's still simple enough even with just a calculator. I typically do kind of a weekly review on Saturday where I go through, look back at the past week, and plan out my entire next week of training by taking my e1rm from the past week (plus any increase I want to plan for) and using the RPE chart/calculator to translate that into loads for each set in the Strong app that I use to log my work in the gym. Then it's really only once a week I have to do it and I'm set. I can use the 3% rule that works for me to make any intraworkout modifications I need to make (and remember you can auto regulate up in the same way I showed to auto regulate down if you're feeling really good that day). I hope that makes sense. It is a lot to wrap your head around at first, but once you get that click, it starts to become second nature. It just takes a little practice. Let me know if I need to clarify or expand on anything there.
        Last edited by PWard; 08-25-2018, 02:17 AM.

      • Art Vandelay
        Art Vandelay commented
        Editing a comment
        This is it! Thanks so much man I'm gonna try it

    • #4
      Originally posted by PWard View Post
      I'm not 100% sure exactly what you're asking... but if you're asking if as your e1rm's go up your @6's and @7's should go up to I would say of course. Have you used the RPE chart before? Take your e1rm and use the chart to find the exact weight you should be lifting for each set in advance so you have an idea of a plan for the day going into the workout. Then adjust from there if your RPE's aren't matching up to your planned targets. If you purchased a template they have a handy calculator tab in there exactly for this. You should not hold back on your lower sets to save up for your higher sets. The higher RPE sets are not more important than the lower RPE sets. It's the total work as a whole done over a long period of time that matters. Moreover, if you hold back and intentionally undershoot your lower RPE sets you lose the valuable data from those sets to judge if you're on track to hit your numbers on your higher RPE sets that day. If, for instance, you are supposed to hit a 6 and it's clearly a 7 on your first set, you should auto-regulate lower the weight for subsequent sets by 1 RPE (3-5%).
      One thing I am finding for me is that RPE differences are more like 5% than 3%. I think I read Leah felt this also. And so the chart recommendations don't match up. The working set estimates are right, but for example the difference in the chart provided between any RPE ends up being 3% which is only like 5lbs a lot of the time. Even on deadlifts if my e1rm is 500 a set of [email protected] is about 405. Great. But then it says on the chart a set of [email protected] would be 395. I'm finding it's more like 385. Anyway, I'm wondering if this is normalnor if I'm so not used to RPE I'm I messing something up.

      *what I'm meaning to say is that the chart provided on the bridge 1.0 and the recommendation both in the PDF and on this forum that up or down 5% is about 1 RPE do NOT provide the same numbers. The chart shows differences in 3%, not 5%. And the higher you go up in weight the more different those percents make the weight jumps. Let me explain: using the chart for a set of [email protected] at 185 on press gives me [email protected] and [email protected] Those jumps seem too close together to be accurate. Now with the 5% suggestion it becomes [email protected] [email protected] and [email protected] And that seems more correct to me. Yeah the difference is only 5lbs here but on the press that's a lot. If I did 175x5 and 180x5 before attempting [email protected] I probably would have trouble doing the set. Multiple sets @8 this way? Forget about that. The difference between 5lbs or 10lbs jumps here could be the difference between getting the reps and missing one or two or rating RPE too high because the sets were too close together in weight. And since @6 is hard to judge you wouldn't notice it until you missed you working weight or rated it a @10. I don't want to not be doing this correctly so I don't know which to go off of (chart or 5%). I'm just gonna stick to the 5%. I don't think it'll make or break anything.
      Last edited by Art Vandelay; 08-25-2018, 06:53 PM.

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      • PWard
        PWard commented
        Editing a comment
        You're way overthinking this. Remember than an RPE is a range not an exact number. You don't have to be super precise. As long as you're in the ballpark you will be fine. Doing 395 vs 405 makes 0 difference in the long run. They both are a valid training stress. On deadlifts, I wouldn't be surprised if both 395 and 405 both registered at 8, there is some fuzz in RPE training. Personally, I would just stick with the chart for a bit as that is the standard. If you find that you're regularly coming in under target for your sets after your first one then I would first as yourself if you're not undershooting your first set, and if not, adjust and customize your RPE chart from there. You can do what you want, but that's what I would personally do, and what has worked for me and many others.

      • Art Vandelay
        Art Vandelay commented
        Editing a comment
        I see what you mean. The real reason I'm overthinking this is honestly because I don't want to subconsciously be undershooting my RPE 6 and 7's (making them feel more like @5 @6) so I can say my @8 or @9 went up more because I'm fresher from not truly doing the correct @6 and @7 ya know what I'm saying? The chart puts the jumps a bit closer together than the 5% suggestion does and I just don't want to regress so I wanted to stick to the percentages. I know I know part of the program is to accumulate stress and build work capacity but I'll be damned if I don't spend 8 weeks diligently doing something and not come out decently stronger as a result. Especially coming from making weekly progress on literally everything on my last program. I just don't see a reason why in 8 weeks my lifts don't go up at least 10-15lbs.

        I've only been at this two short weeks but I'm finding a trend that 1 RPE jumps are usually 10lbs in the high 100's, 10-15lbs in the 200's, 15-20lbs in the 300's, and so on. So maybe I'll use those markers and go by feel on the given day.
        Last edited by Art Vandelay; 08-25-2018, 07:07 PM.

      • PWard
        PWard commented
        Editing a comment
        But you assume that if you go down to 3% you will regress. This is simply not true. A valid training stress is a valid training stress. If your jumps are truly 5%, then that's fine go with it. But I wouldn't be afraid that your not going to progress if you do the program as it was originally intended to be done (which is with the RPE chart). One thing to keep in mind on programs like BBM or RTS is that they are very high volume, so weight doesn't always cleanly go up linearly. Especially in the higher stress weeks when your body is carrying a shit load of fatigue. Don't freak out if you have a week you don't get a gain, or even worse a week where you have to lift less. It's all part of the process. This is long term oriented programming, it's programming that will get you the strongest over the long term, not necessarily the short term. There is some patience required. You are developing things like work capacity, conditioning, and recovery along side strength to allow you to be able to add more stress to your body in the future to get further adaptation. It's not about how strong you are this week, or next week, or even at the end of this one single training block... it's about how strong and conditioned you are one year, two years, or ten years down the road that really matters. Have you listened to all 3 of their programming podcasts? If not I would highly recommend it. There's a lot to soak in so you may have to listen to them a few times to truly grasp it all. I just don't want to see you nocebo yourself, ya know?

    • #5
      Nice post american progressive life insurance really like it

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      • #6
        I want to add that some of the reps in your @6 and @7 (more so the 7) in a BBM program are considered training stimulus, and if you are consistently lowballing the weight and not hitting an actual 6 and 7, you may be giving yourself less of a training stimulus than was prescribed.

        For purposes of hypertrophy, as long as the weight is north of 30% of 1RM, the last 5 reps before failure are the reps that recruit max muscle fibers, and thus are prime training stimulus. Thus if a warmup set is actually an @6, then by definition, the last rep was within 5 reps of failure, and an @7 had 2 reps that were within 5 reps of failure. Those 3 reps of the prescribed warm up were prime training stimulus that are part of the program.

        Missing RPE on one particular warmup set probably won't mean much though, and even if you do it consistently, you might be one of the individuals that would respond better to that approach, although probably not.
        Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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