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Codger's Quest

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  • #31
    Started week 4 of the Bridge yesterday--a "high stress week." Didn't get to my workout until late in the afternoon, when it was about 20 degrees F in my garage. Invigorating!

    Squat with belt: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest.

    Close-grip bench: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest. The last set or two might have been 9.5--maybe one more rep left. I'll probably stick with this weight for at least another week.

    Rack pull: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest; mixed grip. I can probably bump this weight up at least another five pounds for this rep range.


    • #32
      Great read and nice progress!


      • #33
        Still building that bridge:

        Two-count paused squat: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest. These felt strong so I went up to 275 for the last three sets. I think the RPE for the last sets was about right; I probably overestimated the RPEs for the first two sets since they felt a bit light.

        Press with belt: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest. These felt about right.

        BB row: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four minutes rest.


        • #34
          Originally posted by alex.starbuck View Post
          Great read and nice progress!
          Thanks, Alex!


          • #35
            Do you feel that you're getting the hang of estimating RPE, or is it still a work in progress?


            • #36
              I think I'm getting the hang of it. It seems like a very intelligent, long-term approach to training. If I understand it correctly, the idea is to train with a sustainable but challenging volume and intensity. In the past (i.e. all my training until a few weeks ago!) I've tended to work at near-maximum weights for whatever rep range I was working on. So one week I would emphasize sets of 5--all close to my 5-rep max, then sets of 3 close to my 3-rep max, etc. Eventually fatigue would catch up with me and I'd either regress, injure myself, or have to ease off and try to work my way back. With the Bridge, I'm doing much more volume than I've done before but the use of RPEs lets me adjust the intensity to make sure the volume is manageable. So far the volume doesn't seem to be hurting me at all. So I suppose I could be a test case for the question of whether geezers are volume sensitive or not.

              I'm about halfway through the Bridge now. It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks go when the program calls for some singles at RPE 8. Then I'll be better able to gauge what sort of progress--if any--I've made. After I finish the Bridge I'll start the 12-week powerlifting template. I'm tentatively planning to enter a meet in Arizona in April, and hope I can beat that new qualifying total for the raw nationals!


              • #37
                I think your previous total (which was 502.5 yes?) qualifies you for 2019.

                I'll confirm that for you...


                • #38
                  Yes, it was 502.5, in March 2018. I thought I might have to re-qualify by entering another meet in 2019, but it would be nice to know that I've already qualified! I'd like to enter a meet this spring anyway.

                  Today's workout: GPP

                  25 minutes airdyne; 25 chins with 10 pounds in seven minutes, 48 ab-wheel roll-outs, kneeling, in seven minutes.
                  Last edited by codgerus maximus; 12-07-2018, 09:47 PM.


                  • #39
                    Codge -

                    Here's what I was told today:

                    You'll need to re-qualify based on the fact that you competed in the 105's. So 497.5kg is your bogey...

                    The updated rule book is on line at USAPL, and you can check there to confirm what I was told.

                    No worries, you got this!


                    • #40
                      Thanks for checking on that, gymdad/browndog. Now I just have to be a bit more careful about my weight. When I competed last March I was something like 205.25--just missed the 93kg cutoff! But we've both got this, I'm sure!

                      Wrapped up week 4 of the Bridge this afternoon:

                      Deadlift: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Mixed grip, four to five minutes rest. These were all supposed to be done with a belt but I forgot to put a belt on until the very last set. Doh! The RPEs felt about right. I guess time will tell if I'm overdoing it but so far, halfway through the program, I feel good--not beat up at all

                      1-count paused bench: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest. Phew, lots of volume there--35 reps! But everything felt strong.

                      3-0-3 tempo squat: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four minutes rest. I dialed these back a bit after reading elsewhere in the forum that someone who normally squats over 400 started out with 185 on these tempo squats!


                      • #41
                        Starting week 5 of the Bridge, a moderate stress week with a few exercises I've never done before.

                        Squat with belt: [email protected]; [email protected] [email protected]; [email protected] The last 3 sets were all supposed to be at rpe 8 (definitely two reps left) but 315 felt more like an 8.5 (maybe two good reps left) so I took 10 pounds off the bar for the third set.

                        3-count paused bench. [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] I had no idea what to expect with these. The last two sets were supposed to be at rpe 9 but at 195 I think I still had two reps left in the tank so I added five pounds for the last set.

                        2-count paused deadlift (pause at one inch off the floor): [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] First time doing these so my rpes are pretty rough. I think I could add another 20 pounds for an rpe 9, maybe even a bit more.


                        • #42
                          I feel like the RPE approach is starting to click. I'm looking forward to training instead of dreading it. (Well, maybe I don't look forward to tempo squats) and I'm not feeling drained after each workout.


                          Pin squats, no belt: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest. The last two sets were supposed to be at RPE 9 but 280 felt more like an 8 or an 8.5 so I added 5 pounds for the last set.

                          Press with belt: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four minutes rest. I think the RPE for the last 5 sets was just about right for this weight.

                          BB rows: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four minutes rest.


                          • #43
                            Gonna have to have a conversation with my coach regarding RPE...


                            • #44

                              Gonna have to have a conversation with my coach regarding RPE...
                              It would be interesting to hear his take on it.

                              GPP today:

                              30 minutes airdyne at moderate pace

                              31 body-weight chins in 7 minutes. I had been doing weighted chins (with 10 pounds) but I thought I'd switch to regular chins for the added volume. I managed to eke out 6 more total reps than with the weighted chins.

                              50 ab-wheel roll-outs, kneeling, in 7 minutes. Two more total reps than last week.

                              While I was on the airdyne I started thinking about Rippetoe's helpful distinction between training and exercising. Maybe a further distinction could be made between training and testing. In every program I've followed until now, each workout was a test--could I make all the reps I was aiming for that day. Of course there were always days when I would fail, and the failed attempts invariably increased as the program progressed into ever heavier weights. That's not a sustainable way to train. With the Bridge I feel like I'm getting stronger without throwing myself against a wall with max efforts in every workout. I'm grateful to the barbell medicine crew for opening my eyes to a new way of training.


                              • #45
                                Almost finished with week 5 of the Bridge (have to do a GPP workout tomorrow). Today:

                                Deadlift with belt, mixed grip: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four minutes rest. I think the RPE for these is about right.

                                One-count paused bench: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four to five minutes rest. RPE felt about right, maybe bordering on an 8.5 for the last sets.

                                Squat, no belt: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected] Four minutes rest. The RPE for these six-rep squats was kind of hard to judge. I could probably add a bit more weight. I'm trying to avoid any grinding reps.