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Request clarification with high rep RPE

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  • Request clarification with high rep RPE

    Hi everyone, I hope I’m not nagging you all with too many questions, but I am confused about RPE for high rep sets. I think I’ve got the hang of it for the 1-5 rep ranges, but I am new to high rep work and am afraid I may be using the wrong weight.

    For example: my program calls for a set of 10 squats at RPE 8; I make a weight estimate based on the chart in the Bridge. I am able to do the squats (not perfectly but to depth with no serious back rounding, chest falling or knee caving), but after about the 5th rep, they feel awful, grindy and really unpleasant, but as much as I would hate to, I could still probably grind out 2 more. Would this still be an RPE 8? Also, despite the fact that the high rep sets feel much worse while I’m doing them, I find they are actually much easier to recover from than my low rep/higher intensity sets. Is this common?

  • #2
    Granted, higher rep sets can be a little more difficult to gauge, if the program is calling for 10 @ RPE 8, and you find yourself struggling by the fifth rep, you need to lower the weight. Knock say, 10% off the bar and see how you go.
    You certainly dont want it' grindy and unpleasent', you want it 'optomal' for your performance on the day, or as near as possible. Its one of the definite pros RPE has over strict percentage based programming.


    • #3
      It’s subjective. If it feels like you could certainly do 2 more than it’s an 8 and you did the prescribed work.

      3-0-3 tempo squats for sets of 8 grind like this for me. I’m really good at grinding out high rep squats though so I rate 2 in the tank as an 8 even though I’m staggering to the wall when I get out from under the bar.

      One thing I try to keep in mind about a grindy high rep 8, is that some supplemental variants also are prescribed to help dial in proper form, and if that hellacious [email protected] is getting sloppy, then you probably are not getting the desired technique training that is a large part of why we do tempo work instead of just more straight competition lifts. So in cases where tempo work gets sloppy, you should think more carefully about what you want to call the RPE.
      Last edited by Serack; 09-04-2019, 08:27 PM.
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