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Big discrepancy between personal judgement of RPE and how sets look on camera?

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  • Big discrepancy between personal judgement of RPE and how sets look on camera?

    I've just finished up week three of the bridge. I feel much better at judging RPE than when I started the program, but there still seems to be a rather large discrepancy between my own personal judgement of RPE immediately following a set, versus what the RPE looks like when reviewing a video of the set.

    Here's an example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FasVvcEIVS8

    I rated this set at RPE 9 before I saw the video; the weight felt like it moved slow and my right leg was shaking the whole time. If that video was of a friend and they asked me to rate it, I'd probably say a 7/7.5 - bar speed doesn't seem to slow at all.

    What would you rate this set? If you were in my situation, would you go by the footage or still go by personal judgement immediately post set? I imagine in the long run I'll get better at rating sets and this won't be an issue, but I'd still like some opinions from people more experienced than myself here on this board. Thanks in advance!

    edit: I accidentally put this in the training logs section instead of training discussion. I'm still new to this board so I'm not sure how to switch it.

  • #2
    I have the same issue. I usually try to hold judging rpe until I watch the set afterwards. Interested in seeing what other folks say though.

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    • #3
      I think I've heard Mike Tuchscherer himself caution against having your RPE gauged by basically anybody other than a coach familiar with the system and with whom you have a decent amount of direct experience under. To many variables among one persons style to the next. Some of us are grinders, some more explosive.

      Personally, I generally rate a weight I can move like a 'dynamic' lift at around a 7.
      However, if that were me, rating me, I'd put it at 8.5.


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      • #4
        I've been training RPE since January, so I am still on my learning curve with it, but maybe my experience will be relatable and applicable to you. One of the things I am beginning to understand is how different I feel fatigue from the same RPE on different lifts. For a deadlift after my RPE 8 I am sucking wind and even 2 minutes after that I am still huffing and sweating. Nevertheless after 3 minutes I can repeat that same set which is a good indication that it was not RPE 9.
        Meanwhile, with a bench and especially a press it can be an RPE 9 or even 9.5 where I almost fail and still I feel more or less fine. I am not breathing heavy, I barely break a sweat, I feel good to go after 3 minutes, however there is no chance in hell I will repeat that same weight, which confirms to me that was above RPE 8 for sure.
        I think what that made me do is recalibrate how I judge RPE on squats and deadlifts. Even if I feel like they "drained" me and I am red in the face, huffing and puffing, it still doesn't mean I was at RPE 9.
        I think you will recalibrate yourself many more times in the future.

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        • #5
          RPE is defined as your perceived performance, and only your perception, of the lift when you rack the bar at the end of the lift. Not mine, not someone else on the internet, your perception of performance. The only exception to that is your coach who knows you and your lifting very, very well (the Mike T reference above).

          For example, you may call a lift @8 which took you, say, 0.4 seconds to complete as you considered you have two more reps before reaching max effort, which is @10. Someone else may take the same lift 1.0 seconds to complete and still rate it an @8. Speed has nothing to do with effort (I recall that there are some older threads discussing this). Some people are grinders and will grind everything from an @7 to @10. Some people are explosive and even @10 will be explosive until he/she puts 1kgs or even 0.5kgs on the bar and it just won't budge. This difference not only occurs between people but it also occurs between different lifts for the same person.

          RPE is for you and you alone (just as what the Oracle said to Neo in the Matrix). This is a good and a bad thing. Bad as you don't know sometimes and you will probably keep second guessing yourself. Good as it is bespoke tailored to you and you alone and you are the best judge of your RPE. Yes, your understanding and perception of RPE will change, but that is good as you are learning and adjusting as you go through your lifting life. Asking others and reviewing a video is just confusing only one person, you. Trust yourself, trust the process.

          I have been training with RPE for about a year, and I am still learning it and learning how to apply it. It is fine. You will learn too.
          Log

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          • #6
            It's also worth thinking about what you'd do with that RPE rating. If this was my first set and I rated it a 9 and I had 2 more to go I'd probably take a little weight off. If it was my last set then I wouldn't do anything differently. There is probably no discernible difference in training outcomes if you had or had not taken a little weight off either way.

            It may influence your next session if it changes your E1RM. I usually use my best E1RM for making an estimate for my next session. Again if your first lift was @9 and then you took a little weight off, then your next session plan may have been slightly lighter than if it was @8. Still not going to make a difference over a lifetime (or a few weeks) of training.

            The point being, getting a 7.5 or 9 mixed up doesn't really matter. Watching your videos and thinking about that next time as part of your RPE decision making will, over time, help you dial it in but there is no right or wrong and there really isn't any impact of choosing the 7 or 9 in your scenario above.

            FWIW I would have changed my log to an 8 after watching the video after my session and used that to make my next session plan. I wouldn't watch a video during the session.
            Last edited by ozneil; 05-01-2019, 05:22 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by teddyd View Post
              RPE is defined as your perceived performance, and only your perception, of the lift when you rack the bar at the end of the lift. Not mine, not someone else on the internet, your perception of performance. The only exception to that is your coach who knows you and your lifting very, very well (the Mike T reference above).

              For example, you may call a lift @8 which took you, say, 0.4 seconds to complete as you considered you have two more reps before reaching max effort, which is @10. Someone else may take the same lift 1.0 seconds to complete and still rate it an @8. Speed has nothing to do with effort (I recall that there are some older threads discussing this). Some people are grinders and will grind everything from an @7 to @10. Some people are explosive and even @10 will be explosive until he/she puts 1kgs or even 0.5kgs on the bar and it just won't budge. This difference not only occurs between people but it also occurs between different lifts for the same person.

              RPE is for you and you alone (just as what the Oracle said to Neo in the Matrix). This is a good and a bad thing. Bad as you don't know sometimes and you will probably keep second guessing yourself. Good as it is bespoke tailored to you and you alone and you are the best judge of your RPE. Yes, your understanding and perception of RPE will change, but that is good as you are learning and adjusting as you go through your lifting life. Asking others and reviewing a video is just confusing only one person, you. Trust yourself, trust the process.

              I have been training with RPE for about a year, and I am still learning it and learning how to apply it. It is fine. You will learn too.
              Going off this, I had a response to another member that had the same problem as the original post:

              The key to RPE is knowing how YOU felt. You might be someone like me who on a set of 6, even my first rep "looks" like it's pretty heavy. My girlfriend on the other hand would blast through the first 5 reps of a 6 rep set and the 6th rep looks like she's in slow motion. It's very very hard to accurately rate someone else's RPE without seeing a ton of their training history.

              Since this is your first time going pause squats, I assume you are new to RPE. I, as well as most people here, had troubles when first switching to RPE. Most of us came from SSLP where we would grind the shit out of every set to keep our ego up. RPE is NOT about ego. I made some mistakes the first time through the Bridge and lied to myself about RPE just to get more weight on the bar. Once I accurately followed RPE, my lifts jumped up like crazy.

              Did you 100% have 2 good reps left? That's a 8
              Did you think you have 2 more good ones, but not really sure if you could complete both? That's a 8.5
              DId you think you 100% had 1 good rep left but there's not even a chance you had 2 left? That's a 9

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              • #8
                I think it looked reasonably light but your RPE is your RPE and long term this won’t matter. Just keep pushing along and you’ll get better and better at this.

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