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Adding weight on the bar on The Bridge

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  • Adding weight on the bar on The Bridge

    1.
    I am a 25yo male 5ft10 160lbs, finished my SSLP at 280lbs squat
    I'm doing Bridge now and I know it depends, but can you tell me, on average, how much weight should I add to the bar every week if the program is working fine?

    2.
    As suggested on the template, I replaced the bench with the press because I have a history of a shoulder issue(press two times per week and bench one time per week). However, I found out that I can't press the weight I lifted on Monday on Friday. Is it normal that I'm not be recovered from Monday's OHP stress on Friday?

  • #2
    1) I'm not as familiar w/ the Bridge, but the goal as outlined in the 12 Week Strength program is to increase your e1RM by 1-5lbs/week. That may mean having a goal of adding that to the bar week over week (while still using RPE/autoregulation as your guide), or if the rep or RPE workload varies for a given exercise then looking at the e1RM with the goal of increasing it by 1-5lbs over last week.

    2) I would say with fatigue that it's not unlikely. Use RPE as your guide. If you find you can't lift on this mon what you did last mon, or this Fri to last fri, then that might indicate a larger issue.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      1~5lbs sounds too small since I'm not very advanced lifter. I think I once heard jordan says that stop doing micro loading-Starting strenght when you can't add 5lbs a week. So I thought I should be able to add over 5lbs a week doing the Bridge.

      I'm adding weight every week so far but my press is weeker on friday than monday. I do bench on Wed but still it doesn't feel right that i can't recover from the lift that I did 4days ago.. I don't think it's big deal since I'm adding weight in weekly basis but just curious if it's normal

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      • #4
        What Jordan stated was "stop microloading to make a mediocre program (i.e. starting strength) last a little bit longer".

        The problem with starting strength is that you keep increasing the weight and grinding out reps and at some point maybe aren't getting stronger anymore even though you increase the weight on the bar. So you do one weigth in a week @ RPE8, the next week a bit more @ RPE9 and the next week a bit more @RPE10. Given the same rep range this could be a weight increase of about 10% without any strength gain. Maybe you even start going "beyond RPE10" by unreasonably extending the time under the bar (imagine taking a few deep breaths before squatting again like 20 squats style). This is what a lot of starting strength trainees describe.

        Keeping this cycle going by increasing the weight in smaller increments is what bbm advises against. This is what makes people quit the gym because they are frustrated (and maybe hurt).

        You probably shouldn't expect making more weekly gains on the bridge than you made as a novice (even though you might). And of course you should try to increase e1RM. But this doesn't necessarily translate into weekly strength gains. The starting strength mantra of "you are not strong enough to not have gotten stronger/to be allowed to increase the weigth this little" just isn't productive.

        Still, unless there is proof to the contrary the standard assumption is you have gotten stronger within the last week. This could be translated to adding a few pounds in your first working set @6 or @7 and figuring out from there if RPE is working out. If you overshoot RPE by 0.5 or 1 it won't kill you. But what determines the weight on the bar and the progression is solely RPE.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Matthias View Post
          Still, unless there is proof to the contrary the standard assumption is you have gotten stronger within the last week. This could be translated to adding a few pounds in your first working set @6 or @7 and figuring out from there if RPE is working out. If you overshoot RPE by 0.5 or 1 it won't kill you. But what determines the weight on the bar and the progression is solely RPE.
          This is pretty much how I do it. I add 5% to the first working set and if it feels fine, I add 5% to the rest. Unless what should be an RPE8 feels like an exausting grind. Then I probably was too optimistic with my previous sets, so I reassess where I made the mistake and try to recalibrate my internal RPE ruler.

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          • #6
            I did the Bridge after SSLP and my weights all went up but Jordan has written (or said on a podcast) that the increase in weights is not linear on the RPE based programs (I'm paraphrasing here). More important than the weight is making sure the RPE is dialed in correctly and that you are getting all of the prescribed volume. That may mean that you have to decrease the weight initially from where you ended on SSLP. It may also mean that you increase the weights on weeks 1-3, but on week 4 you're not feeling it and the weights go down or stay the same. As long as the RPE is appropriate, you're still getting stronger.

            So let's say that you ended SSLP for the squat with 285 lbs 3 sets of five. The Bridge calls for more volume and often at RPE lower than 10. Five sets of 5 at an RPE of 8 may well be below 285 lbs.

            It sounds like you may have underestimated the RPE. It takes a while to calibrate when you are coming off of SSLP.

            Sunil

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