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Struggling with letting go of week to week progression

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  • Struggling with letting go of week to week progression

    My question is something like this;

    Lets say I did [email protected] Squat last week. I go into the gym and 250x6 feels like a grindy 8/8.5. I know that after a short rest I can probably do 275x6 but it is definetly not going to be the prescribed RPE. I still find myself attempting it, and as predicted not at the prescribed intensity. So the question I have is when my warm-up feels awful and intense (as it does some times)

    1. Do I repeat the weight from last week?

    2. Do I take some weight off of last weeks attempt? i.e I decide to do 265 (this is at the prescriptino)

    2-1. Next week do I increase based off of the lowered weight? i.e Do I return to 270, or go for 275? Should I always
    roughly base the current weeks weight off of the previous?

    3. Is this all just something I should feel out? i.e If I think my previous weeks weight will be too intense then I go down 5lbs instead of up? My issue with that is I get in my head "when will I even progress if I'm taking weight off the bar. Now it will be two weeks before my weight on the bar is at its best" Something like that. I now understand that stress recovery adaption is a cycle, and it may take time for me to realize the results of my training. It's really just hard for me to adapt to this way of thinking when the meathead side of my brain just wants to slap on more weight.

    What happened to me in the past is that I kept adding 2.5 lbs to my lifts and ignored RPE. Predictably, my workouts felt grindy, extremely intense, and I wasn't enjoying myself. I was doing almost all of my work sets at too high of an intensity. I Injured my back and that set me off consistent training for a few months. I'm ready to put my ego in the garbage and do what it takes to properly get stronger, just looking for ways for me to appropriately use RPE.

  • #2
    You do whatever weight will achieve the proscribed RPE. If that means taking weight off the bar, do that. If it means adding weight to the bar, you do that.

    This is the whole point of RPE. Worry less about individual days/sessions and pay more attention to the broader trends. Keep in mind that it is literally impossible to add weight at every session for more than a relatively short time for most people in most circumstances.


    • #3
      5 pounds less or more weight doesn't really matter in the long run in your entire lifting career. This is after all: TRAINING, and not lets say a 6 rep max test every single week. Adding more weight gets also more and more fatiguing the closer you get to RPE 9s or 10s.


      • #4
        As an aside, I'd also argue that if 250 x 6 was @ 8/8.5, a subsequent 275 x 6 is going to result in failure/change in form (e.g. not to depth, etc.) OR the 250 x 6 wasn't really @ 8.


        • #5
          I went through this. You just have to change your mindset to a process-oriented one. Many training days will feel like simply punching the clock.. but that’s what you want: you want to just get the work in. Because you’re building something big. The bigger and taller it gets, the longer it takes to carry up the next block to the top.

          Remember that you’re trying to get the appropriate training stimulus in to stimulate strength or hypertrophic growth, not that you’re trying to hit numbers, explicitly. This is for sure a shift, but when you make it, training will feel more balanced.
          Last edited by tfranc; 11-30-2020, 05:05 AM.


          • #6
            I struggled with this too until recently. I thought of it this way - when I go for a run, I don't expect to set a PB every time as it would be impossible to get faster and faster each run. I do it because I know it's good for me and I feel good after exercising. So why should I think of lifting weights any different?


            • #7
              The thing that attracted me to RPE was when I heard Austin say something along the lines of every workout can't be the most important of your life.

              I think this is us that watch/read a lot of the SS stuff get in the mindset that anything other than adding to the bar is going backwards. It's pretty stupid to think that if your last workout was X that your body isn't going to react to anything other than X+5.