Hi all. I’m aware that the off season chart in the book is a guide, and I understand how it’s laid out, and I do understand the top set explanation. With that being said, I have a question concerning the programing of the main lifts.
Seems like it starts with a weight, (5×5) goes down the next week, (4×4) then de loads (and repeats).
Ex. RPE 6. 5×5- RPE 6. 4×4- De load.
Then week 8 is supposed to beat week 4, but both PRE’s are 7, and the reps and sets are the same (understanding trying to beat by a top set). I’m assuming the ‘beat week 4 by 5-10 lbs in week 7 is the ‘ramping up’ part of the progression.
Just don’t understandwhy week 1&2, for example are both RPE 6, but the reps and sets are lower the second week.
Think that volume and intensity have an inverse relationship. Meaning that the more intense (or heavier) you go, the less volume (sets and reps) you’ll have.
So as the progression goes, 5×5 is more volume so the weight used even at the same RPEs will be lighter. Drop to a 4×4 and the weight will go up. An RPE 7 for 5 reps means 3-4 reps left in the tank. An RPE 7 at 4 reps will be about 3 reps left in the tank. So that should be a higher number.
Now when you come back to beat that weight later, there’s the ramping up. It should (although some days are better than others) be more than the first time you were to do that same rep range at even the same RPE. So when you come back to doing the 4s again, even at the same RPE you should be stronger and pushing more weight. Go for a small jump over the previous attempts. Keep it within the RPE.
I agree with Jason and Will but really, you answered the question with “I understand this is a guide.” You are asking why I have something stated, when in the same book – I tell you make it your own. I think this is a simple of case overthinking.
The reps are lower because in the end: Who cares what you can 5, 4, 3, 2 etc, all that matters is your single. Nothing else matters and I don’t want you to be too concerned with the reps schemes. I’m trying to push you toward (low reps) singles, but at the same time, keeping you fresh with more reps before you approach a peaking phase which will be 3 reps, then shortly only singles.
Another thing to remember is that the RPE has no influence on the number of reps in a set. Its an indication of the intensity. A 20 rep set at RPE 6 will use lighter weights than a 3 rep set at RPE 6. So in the book, Brian laid out a way for you to increase load within the RPE 6 range. In order to do that, he dropped a rep and a set.
When it comes time to “beat week 3” (or similar) in the future, you have had some training under your belt and should be able to beat the weight you did for 4 reps at the same RPE. This is one way you can objectively measure your progress during an offseason.
“Last time I did a 5 rep at RPE 7, I used 400lbs. This week I did 415lbs at RPE 7.”