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  • Questions about Hypertrophy I

    Hi there,

    I'm on week 2 of the Hypertrophy I template and had some pretty basic questions. I tried to set these all up as Yes/No questions to make it easier to answer.

    Understanding the programming -- some days say to do something like
    •8 Reps @ 6 RPE (67%)
    •8 Reps @ 7 RPE (71%)
    •8 Reps @ 8 RPE (74%). Repeat 8 @ RPE 8 x 1 more set.


    For the last one, it's not a superset, correct? I should take the recommended 3-5 minute break?

    Do I make steady increases or try to calibrate RPE every time? I'm new to RPE and still trying to get a handle of it. I don't think I'm supposed to calibrate my RPE with every workout, or am I? I worry I will subconsciously be too conservative, and it would just add so much time to each workout to build up from an empty bar to a measured RPE. Not to mention that by the time I get to RPE 7, my muscles would be fatigued from everything before?

    Here's an example.

    I'm on Week 2, day 1, which calls for high bar squats. My 1RM for high bar squats before starting this template was 275 LBS. I did Week 1, so now do I add on 5% to 1RM, meaning my new 1RM is now 285ish? And then input that into the calculator to figure out my XX reps @ YY RPE? How should I figure out my weights for today's workout?

    What should RPE 7 and RPE 8 feel like? From the graphic included in the package, an RPE 7 should be tough but you shouldn't have trouble finishing it, an RPE 8 requires some effort at the end but means you have meaningful gas left with 2 reps, and an RPE 9 is you did, and man you could squeeze one more but that's it? Do I have it generally right?
    Last edited by vashts85; 06-04-2020, 07:26 PM.

  • #2
    Not a superset, rest what ever amount you need to, I do 3 minutes on Hypertrophy I

    Calibrate RPE every time, being too conservative is better than consistently going over. You'll get used to it.

    RPE 7 feels like you can do three more, RPE 8 two more with good form. So for 8 reps pick a weight you can do for 10 reps with the last taking everything you have (or going to failure) and do 8 reps. Again, you'll get better with time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adam_a View Post
      Not a superset, rest what ever amount you need to, I do 3 minutes on Hypertrophy I

      Calibrate RPE every time, being too conservative is better than consistently going over. You'll get used to it.

      RPE 7 feels like you can do three more, RPE 8 two more with good form. So for 8 reps pick a weight you can do for 10 reps with the last taking everything you have (or going to failure) and do 8 reps. Again, you'll get better with time.
      Thanks!! I've been using the full 5mins just to recover, I was doing 3x5 before with 2min breaks and this workout is kicking my butt.

      By your logic, it seems like I would end up doing 2 full sets at RPE 8 to figure out my RPE 8? Wouldn't I be sort of wasting the "gas in the tank"?

      Comment


      • #4
        I typically use my warm up to gauge how the RPE will be for the day. So for squats if I'm aiming for 215 lbs for 8 it would look like:
        5 x 8 with the empty bar
        1 x 8 at 95 lbs
        1 x 8 at 135 lbs
        1 x 8 at 185 lbs (this set being where I start paying attention more)
        If this last set felt good I would do:
        195 x 8 @6 (see how this felt)
        205 x 8 @7 (again feel it out)
        2 x 215 @8

        If that last warm up set feels heavy I'll reduce it some for that workout and not worry about it too much. If 215 felt like I couldn't get 2 reps I would lower it for the next set to hit the @8.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam_a View Post
          I typically use my warm up to gauge how the RPE will be for the day. So for squats if I'm aiming for 215 lbs for 8 it would look like:
          5 x 8 with the empty bar
          1 x 8 at 95 lbs
          1 x 8 at 135 lbs
          1 x 8 at 185 lbs (this set being where I start paying attention more)
          If this last set felt good I would do:
          195 x 8 @6 (see how this felt)
          205 x 8 @7 (again feel it out)
          2 x 215 @8

          If that last warm up set feels heavy I'll reduce it some for that workout and not worry about it too much. If 215 felt like I couldn't get 2 reps I would lower it for the next set to hit the @8.
          Thanks again, this is helpful. My question would be what to aim for -- in your post you say you were aiming for 215 x 8 @8. How would I know to be aiming for 215 or whatever? Based on my 1RM? If so how do I increase over time?

          Comment


          • #6
            That was just a random example. At first I would go with a slow ramp up of warmups. Once I hit an @6, there is the @6. From there I add 5% for an @7 and an additional 5% on top of that for an @8. It is a rough rule of thumb I've seen Leah site as an example before. The first set on Hypertrophy I is either a @6 or @7. This is the set I can use to figure out the rest. If the @6 is a real @6 I know where to go. If it is too light I'll go up, too heavy, say an @7, I'll hold it for the next set and then go up. I take notes and know where to go next session. I always start with the idea of adding weight, unless the top end set felt too heavy, I'll hold the weight and repeat next time. Each session of training is just that, a training session. I may not go up every time but I'm aiming to hit the RPE as best I can and have it add up over time.


            I've been doing BBM stuff for a little over 2 years and it just kind of comes with time. I can look at my notes and see where I was on an @8 for 5 reps and get a pretty good idea on the weights for 8 reps for an @8. So, it gets a lot easier over time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Adam_a View Post
              That was just a random example. At first I would go with a slow ramp up of warmups. Once I hit an @6, there is the @6. From there I add 5% for an @7 and an additional 5% on top of that for an @8. It is a rough rule of thumb I've seen Leah site as an example before. The first set on Hypertrophy I is either a @6 or @7. This is the set I can use to figure out the rest. If the @6 is a real @6 I know where to go. If it is too light I'll go up, too heavy, say an @7, I'll hold it for the next set and then go up. I take notes and know where to go next session. I always start with the idea of adding weight, unless the top end set felt too heavy, I'll hold the weight and repeat next time. Each session of training is just that, a training session. I may not go up every time but I'm aiming to hit the RPE as best I can and have it add up over time.


              I've been doing BBM stuff for a little over 2 years and it just kind of comes with time. I can look at my notes and see where I was on an @8 for 5 reps and get a pretty good idea on the weights for 8 reps for an @8. So, it gets a lot easier over time.
              Thanks buddy -- appreciate all of this.

              How would you describe a 6? It feels like a effort is required, but you have no trouble hitting the rep requirement?

              Comment


              • #8
                Just to be clear, RPE as used by BBM has a very exact meaning - RPE 6 means you have 4 reps left, RPE 7 three reps left, etc.

                The "feeling" part is just an acknowledgement that you will be guessing at the RPE rather than actually knowing it.

                You have a lot of experience so you probably know what failure feels like, what @10 feels like, what @9 feels like.

                The farther down you get the vaguer it gets. Also in high rep ranges you have little experience with it can be hard to guess even @9.

                I'm not sure if BBM would put it this neatly but I think they think @6 has low value as a hypertrophic stimulus and @5 or lower has basically none. So really your focus is on getting in the @[email protected] range as prescribed.

                It can be tricky but insofar as hypertrophy is the intended result according to BBM past a certain threshold of intensity there is no marginal benefit. So if you intended @8 and actually got @7 it may simply not matter for hypertrophy, although it may be a less effective stimulus for strength (i.e. neuromuscular adaptation or whatever it's called) in that rep range.

                ETA - Technically you're not guessing at your RPE. Your RPE itself is the guess at something factual, call it the RIR.
                Last edited by HansAndFranz; 06-04-2020, 09:47 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by vashts85 View Post

                  Thanks buddy -- appreciate all of this.

                  How would you describe a 6? It feels like a effort is required, but you have no trouble hitting the rep requirement?
                  6 is hard to gauge for me. It's pretty tough sometimes to say whether I had 4 reps left. I'm sure my "6's" have been off anywhere from 4s to 7s before (i.e. I might have called something that was actually RPE 4 an RP6, or something RPE7 that was RPE6).

                  My intuition would say that being off on a 6 is probably less negatively impactful to training progress than being off on a 9.

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