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3-0-3 tempo squats performance decrease

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  • 3-0-3 tempo squats performance decrease

    On Week 2 of The Bridge 1.0 here. Coming off from SSLP, I lack quite a bit of work capacity to handle the higher-volume training in The Bridge.

    The first set of last week's 3-0-3 Tempo Squats was 135 lbs for [email protected] This week, however, I failed doing 8 reps with 100 lbs with the 3-0-3 tempo (it was an @10 RPE). I had to reduce the tempo to 3-0-0, and even then the first set with 127.5 lbs was [email protected] instead of the predicted [email protected] (and the second set was [email protected], I basically failed). To put my experience vaguely, I felt really out of breath.

    Just for reference, my best Squat w/ belt so far was 202.5 lbs - 205 lbs for [email protected]

    Is it because of the higher-volume Deadlifts and Benches earlier in the workout? Do I just let it be and let my work capacity increase, or should I sub in another movement like High Bar Squats or Front Squats (which may allow me to use a bit heavier weights)? Not to be a quitter, but I thought it was crazy to fail with only 100 lbs on my back doing the 3-0-3 tempo.

    Also, I have always wanted to incorporate Front Squats (never officially programmed them before), but I want to stick to the programs that I follow and both SSLP and The Bridge do not have them.
    Last edited by Abel J; 11-03-2018, 01:36 AM.

  • #2
    Is it your first time doing the 3-0-3 squats?
    Slowing down the tempo can reduce the weight on the bar more than you expect on the first go. I would lower the weight on the bar and keep doing the 3-0-3s you’ll get better at them. You’ll be ok!

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    • #3
      This is my second time doing them, since I did 135 lbs for 3-0-3 tempo last week. But yeah, technically this is the first program that had me do 3-0-3 squats. I guess I’ll lower the weight and proceed from there.

      Also, if I were to run The Bridge for the second time, can I incorporate Front Squats somewhere? To be really honest, I’m really itching to try a more upright/quad-dominant squat, and I want variation aside from Low Bar Squats. Do Front Squats serve a certain purpose for an early intermediate other than psychological (introducing variation, making me enjoy training a bit more)?

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      • #4
        Yes lower the weight. Don't change it to a 3-0-0 to try to cheese more weight on the bar. You'll get better with these over time. For the bridge I would not substitute in front squats, as it is a strength development block and front squats fit a bit better in a more hypertrophy/gpp type block. If you want to try some front squats out after the bridge run one of the hypertrophy templates. You could sub in high-bar in place of the squat no belt in the last couple of weeks if you're really itching to do something more quad dominant. But I would at least run the program all the way through once before you make any substitutions.

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        • #5
          In addition to what has been said, I would recommend against over-analyzing or reacting with programming changes to one bad workout, specially if it one single exercise in one workout.

          Regarding the Front Squats, I did change 303s for them in my 2nd run of The Bridge, because I like FS for back development, mainly. My results for the squat were much less solid, but this is both expected (since it was a re-run) and not necessarily related to the front squats. Your results could be similar or completely different, but I would advise to wait for your potential second run to make these changes, as you and PWard said.
          Me gainzz

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          • #6
            Reducing the tempo of a tempo squat more or less negates the purpose of the exercise in the first place. Remember, RPE is about adjusting the weight based on performance. Use a weight that lets you get your 3 0 3 in and work it from there.
            You wont find much love for the movement anywhere - it sucks - but it's a great tool for honing your technique because you cant exploit all those other great things like stretch reflex and momentum..

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            • #7
              Thanks for the advice guys. I guess I'll just try my best to love them.

              Thing is, being a newb in RPE training, I sometimes misjudge what the RPEs are for the exercises, particularly the higher-rep ones (Rack Pulls and 3-0-3 tempo squats). More often than not I overshoot the RPE (sometimes to a @10) and my next work weights take a hit. In a set that was around @9, for example, where the bar speed slows down, I always rationalize how I "could've done 2 more reps" and I rated it an @8. Maybe that's why I regressed in the 3-0-3s.

              I think I'll have to slightly undershoot RPE and/or lower the weights for now until I can get the RPEs spot-on.

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              • #8
                If you have a pattern of over-shooting/under-rating regularly try to think more along the lines of "how many reps could I have done without any form break down" as opposed to "how many reps could I have done at all costs". That's what I eventually had to start doing. I've learned the hard way that it's better to under do it than over do it, especially as you progress into higher volume programs later on down the line. The bridge is still fairly low volume relatively speaking, so it's a bit on the forgiving side as far as being overly aggressive is concerned. You'll get better with RPE as you get more experience, and you'll never get perfect at it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dave_E View Post
                  Reducing the tempo of a tempo squat more or less negates the purpose of the exercise in the first place. Remember, RPE is about adjusting the weight based on performance. Use a weight that lets you get your 3 0 3 in and work it from there.
                  You wont find much love for the movement anywhere - it sucks - but it's a great tool for honing your technique because you cant exploit all those other great things like stretch reflex and momentum..
                  Hey hey let’s not nocebo . Tempos are just what they are. I find they really help me .

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                  • #10
                    Abel, do you do any GPP/conditioning? That will also help w higher rep work!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by c1sarena View Post

                      Hey hey let’s not nocebo . Tempos are just what they are. I find they really help me .
                      No nocebo here. I let the unloved suck factor inspire me. So to speak.

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                      • #12
                        Abel, do you do any GPP/conditioning? That will also help w higher rep work!
                        I have one GPP day as per The Bridge 1.0 before Week 5.

                        Last week I did Lat Pulldowns 7 min. EMOM x 10 reps for back work and kneeling ab wheel 7 min. EMOM x 7 reps for ab work (again, overshot the intensity not stopping short of failure in the last sets). I also walked on the treadmill set at 5% incline for steady-state cardio.

                        I was able to complete the incline treadmill walk at a conversational pace (RPE 6). However, I'm not doing any form of HIIT until Week 5 arrives. I think the HIIT sessions would improve my work capacity quite a bit.

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                        • #13
                          I am finding the volume in the bridge 3-0-3 challenging as well, doing 100kg for the 8, but running out of gas in the third & foutth sets- struggling/not finishing the reps. The weight.is fine

                          So, do I lower the weight to get the volume or just suck it up and increase the conditioning?

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                          • #14
                            Lower the weight to get the volume. That will increase your conditioning, your strength, and your skill in doing tempo squats.

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