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RPE 9 and Fatigue

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  • RPE 9 and Fatigue

    Hey all. Running the free version of the Bridge. Starting my second go at week and plan on repeating until I stall. Question regarding RPE and accounting for fatigue. According to Reactive Training Systems, it is fairly common to take off 5% of your first set @ 9 to complete subsequent sets. So, I have CG bench tomorrow at 3 sets @9. Am I to take off 5% before starting sets 2 and 3? I could not find such information as cut and dry as this in our forums and BBM website. I just wanted to clarify that 5% is the common percentage to reduce the load. Also, by doing this, my last set at 9 would be less than my first set at 7? Common? Am I making a mistake? I am overthinking this, I think, but I just want to make sure I am running the program correctly.


  • #2
    So the programing for RTS and BBM are different although BBM pulls heavily from RTS style programing. You do not remove 5% from the bar unless specified. So 3 sets at 9 is just that. I have read in past answered questions that ideally you would use the same weight at the same RPE for all sets. Sometimes you need to lower the weight to stay at the RPE and that is OK. BBM programs tend to be very explicit when you should do something.

    For the -5% weight reduction it is called a load drop and is seen in RTS programing as well as some BBM templates. The way that works is you work up to a set at 9. Then drop 5% of the weight from the bar then you do sets until you get back to an RPE of 9. So the actual number of sets isn't programmed but dependent on the level of fatigue. You may complete 1 or 6+ sets depending on the day. There are other ways to perform different types of fatigue stops based on changes in reps, weight, or RPE. But I haven't seen many of those other types in BBM templates.


    • #3
      Okay, I think I have a better grasp of this now. Thanks, Ben!


      • #4
        Jordan wrote an article 3 years ago that has some great examples of how he expects certain sets to go for a BBM style training session.

        Here are a couple relevant quotes:

        A true RPE 9 set means there’s one rep left in the tank. It also means that the next set is likely going to have a reduced load if it’s also going to be a RPE 9 because if the load was kept constant, it’s likely the next set would be a 9.5 or 10.
        And here is an example of managing the load for multiple sets programmed @9.

        -Bar x 5 x 3

        -95 x 4

        -135 x 4

        -185 x 4

        -215 x 4 @ 7

        -230 x 4 @ 8

        -240 x 4 @ 9 (ding ding, nailed it)

        -235 x 4 @ 9

        -230 x 4 @ 8.5 (oops a little low, better repeat it)

        -230 x 4 @ 9
        Forum topics and other links I've found useful


        • #5
          You should not be able to repeat sets @9 without RPE creep. If you are doing sets @9 you will have to take weight off to maintain the prescribed RPE.


          • #6
            This is along the lines of what I was originally thinking. Thank you both.


            • #7
              Im on week 6 of the bridge and I don't take the weight off till I can't get the reps. So far this has not happened. sets that start out at a 8 end up around a 9 on the 4th and 5th set. is that a big deal? I don't think so. have I gotten fatigued and had to lower the weight for a workout yes. Did that one workout lower my max?? No seems like everybody is worried about having perfect rpe selection. I use it as a guideline and just train hard.