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Beginner Template Phase 1 Question

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  • Beginner Template Phase 1 Question

    So my gym reopened last week, and I have completed the first week of the beginner template. According to the instructions, I am supposed to base my weight selection on increasing the e1RM by 1-5 lbs and adjust according to RPE. The error occurs in that phase 1 has less exercise variation, and the e1RM's are all separated according to the rep prescription in the table "Totals by Exercise." I have three different e1RM for the back squat, and they have a large enough difference among them to make me unsure how to best proceed (whereas my two e1RM bench presses only have a difference of 1 lb). I perceive four options: use the average of these three e1RMs, use the e1RM from the 4 rep prescription day (likely more accurate to a 1RM than the higher rep days), use the heaviest e1RM, or use RPE without reference to last week at all. What do you think?

  • #2
    Hi reygunz,

    I found it was best, at least for a while, to use the E1RM for each rep range (x4/x7/x8/x10 etc) and track them separately. When I first ran the Beginner Template, I used the heaviest (usually 4 rep) one and got flattened on the higher-rep sets. After a lay-off and re-running the BT to get back into lifting, I deliberately tracked each rep range's E1RM and it was a much better progression with less failures. By the end of 2nd Phase (second time round) as my conditioning to the template got better, the E1RMs for the different reps started to converge to only a few percent difference.

    I'm pretty sure Jordan posted somewhere that he considers the different rep ranges a 'different' exercise and should have their own E1RM. If I find it I'll edit this post.

    There's advice here about E1RM when there are multiple rep ranges in the same exercise in the same slot (e.g. Phase 3 of the BT)
    https://forum.barbellmedicine.com/fo...1271#post41271
    Last edited by Docjitters; 06-13-2020, 05:37 PM. Reason: Added link

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    • #3
      I would treat each exercise separately and have a goal of improving 1-5% over the last time you did it.

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      • #4
        Thanks, Docjitters. I forgot about that option. I will treat every rep range as its own exercise.

        HansAndFranz I think that this is what you meant by "treat each exercise separately." Also, I saw that the instructions that come with the full template differ than the instructions off the website as far as increasing e1RM. At the moment, Adding 5 lbs falls into the range of 1-5%, but I could be increasing the load a bit higher if I went with 5%. (I am using this as projected loads and adjusting according to RPE. I am not doing a hard "just add 5 lbs" approach.) I might go with 5% this week to see how if it comports with what is practical. I'm not sure yet.

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        • #5
          Are you sure it's "1-5lbs" and not "1-5%"? The latter is how I remember it and would seem to be more logical.

          Regardless it's just a guideline. I think the general point is they want you to be making fairly steady progress or moving on to the next phase.

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          • #6
            HansAndFranz Just double checked. Its like I said. The PDF says lbs and the website says %. Like you said, it doesn't seem to be a big deal either way. I agree, though. Percent seems more in line with what BM usually says.

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            • #7
              It should be % because the typical loads run from small (say split squats) to very large (leg press). There would be no reason to even suggest people limit themselves to 5 pound increases on the latter.

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