Hey I love your book just have a question. I am new to Powerlifiting but not working out. I don’t understand the whole rpe thing. In the off-season template you have in your book. It says in week 1 5×5 with 1 top set with rpe of 6. In week 5 it says to try and beat weeks 1 top set, but it has an rpe of 7. Wouldn’t an rpe of 7 already beat an rpe of 6? I’m really confused on this.
Thank you for your question and for the compliments. What I suggest is giving it time and rereading the RPE section more, and the FAQ’s at the end. Correct, all I’m trying to get you to do is advance in weight over the course of weeks ever so slightly. Would an RPE of 6 beat an RPE of 7? Yes, but you’re missing the point: RPE is different from day to day and I am simply encouraging you to go heavier as the cycle progresses but not too heavy. The template is just an example, not an in-stone way of lifting linear.
I am going to piggyback on Brian’s response here and add that the RPE is one way to control intensity. Using RPE as opposed to percentages allows for you to adjust the workload based on your preparedness on that given day. The “RPE 7 beat previous…” simply means that a heavier set of 5 is warranted here and that you have the ability to push the lift to a 7/10 difficulty. Say for example your set of 5 at RPE 6 was 300lbs, in the RPE 7 week your goal would be to exceed 300lbs, but in doing so, not exceed an RPE of 7. I hope that makes sense. The template in the book is simply one example of a way to linearly progress loading over time, using RPE as a guide.