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Is RPE a good idea?

Z

Zager

New Member
Apr 7, 2024
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Hey guys, I’m hoping you’re able to help me. I’m recently jumping back into training. I trained many years ago when I was a kid and had no real idea quite what I was doing. Soon enough my wedding is coming (in 8 months!) and I kind of want to get in a decent enough shape for when we take the pictures that are forever going to plaster the stairway walls.



Ive started to follow Jeff Nippards training programme the functional basic hyper trophy one. It’s an 8 week programme that I am following until I go onto his upper/lower split. Now, it has a mix of reps ranging from 8-15 depending on the excercises whilst implementing the RPE. This is something I haven’t really come across before. When I used to train it was always an 8-12 rep range making sure you go until failure or fairly close if not.



Now my question for you guys is I always , excuse my ignorance, believed that rep till failure in a rep range of 8-12. Having an RPE of 7/8 makes me feel I still have more left in the tank and I’m not truly pushing myself as hard as I should be Am I just being naive and infact this is a perfectly valid and good way to train or am I best going until failure? Are there alternative programmes which have a good outcome on a 4 day upper/lower split?
Thankyou for your help and apologies for my lack of experience.
 
jipped genes

jipped genes

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Oct 22, 2022
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I have never heard of it. I took a cursory look online. I mean it will certainly work. Just getting in the gym will give you results. If you have 8 months and feel you do best in a regimented training then by all means. Some folk stick to training better when they pay for something. Diet is 80-85% of how you will look at the end. Say you do this RPE and don't eat well. At the end you will be bigger but will not have lost much fat.

Here is a program I know is good as I have done it. Many guys love it, a few don't but they are wrong. :)

 
Z

Zager

New Member
Apr 7, 2024
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I have never heard of it. I took a cursory look online. I mean it will certainly work. Just getting in the gym will give you results. If you have 8 months and feel you do best in a regimented training then by all means. Some folk stick to training better when they pay for something. Diet is 80-85% of how you will look at the end. Say you do this RPE and don't eat well. At the end you will be bigger but will not have lost much fat.

Here is a program I know is good as I have done it. Many guys
This looks like a good program and I may well give it a go! So with the rest pause method correct me if I’m wrong it’s going until failure in that rep range so if I get 8 then stop for a couple of seconds and push the last 4 out that is acceptable or am I misunderstanding it?
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

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Dec 28, 2015
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Using RPE is more of a powerlifting technique and replaced the percentage formulas a lot used in the past. Like Jipped mentioned, DC is a great program. A lot of us used it and adapted Dante's training style techniques into our own styles of training. You could also check out Fortitude or Mountain Dog.
 
Z

Zager

New Member
Apr 7, 2024
5
0
Using RPE is more of a powerlifting technique and replaced the percentage formulas a lot used in the past. Like Jipped mentioned, DC is a great program. A lot of us used it and adapted Dante's training style techniques into our own styles of training. You could also check out Fortitude or Mountain Dog.
And what kind of sets would you be adapting with the DC method? I appreciate it’s 1-2 on the compound excercises but what about the rest? And with the rest pause is it work as hard as you can until you get the reps, e.g if i hit 11 then need to drop it and squeeze 4 more to finish the set then i dont leave the bench until its done?
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

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And what kind of sets would you be adapting with the DC method? I appreciate it’s 1-2 on the compound excercises but what about the rest? And with the rest pause is it work as hard as you can until you get the reps, e.g if i hit 11 then need to drop it and squeeze 4 more to finish the set then i dont leave the bench until its done?
When I talk about adapting, we use a lot of his principles, but do not follow his program to the letter. I incorporate rest pause sets and stick to a lot of the compound movements. However, I stick to a higher rep range, use more machine work and have a warm up exercise before getting into heavy compound movements.

I don't necessarily stay at an exercise until a I hit a specific number of reps, i.e. 20 reps. I typically pick a weight I know I am going to fail at between 12-15 reps depending on the movement. Push it is generally closer to 15, pull and legs it is closer to 12. Take it to failure then I take 15 deep breaths and take it to failure again, take 15 deep breaths and take it to failure again. I stop after the 3 rounds, otherwise I am just cranking out singles and doubles. If I am doing Inclines on the Smith Machine, I might fail at 14 reps on the first round, 4-5 reps on the second round and 2-3 reps on the last round. If I am doing a Machine Iso Row or Pull Down, I might fail at 12 reps on the first round, 7-8 reps on the second round and 4-5 reps on the last round. You usually have more muscle endurance with pull and leg movements than push movements.
 
Z

Zager

New Member
Apr 7, 2024
5
0
When I talk about adapting, we use a lot of his principles, but do not follow his program to the letter. I incorporate rest pause sets and stick to a lot of the compound movements. However, I stick to a higher rep range, use more machine work and have a warm up exercise before getting into heavy compound movements.

I don't necessarily stay at an exercise until a I hit a specific number of reps, i.e. 20 reps. I typically pick a weight I know I am going to fail at between 12-15 reps depending on the movement. Push it is generally closer to 15, pull and legs it is closer to 12. Take it to failure then I take 15 deep breaths and take it to failure again, take 15 deep breaths and take it to failure again. I stop after the 3 rounds, otherwise I am just cranking out singles and doubles. If I am doing Inclines on the Smith Machine, I might fail at 14 reps on the first round, 4-5 reps on the second round and 2-3 reps on the last round. If I am doing a Machine Iso Row or Pull Down, I might fail at 12 reps on the first round, 7-8 reps on the second round and 4-5 reps on the last round. You usually have more muscle endurance with pull and leg movements than push movements.
Wow this is brilliant thankyou. So you would typically do 3 rounds per excercise or the 3 rounds class as 1 set? Apologies for my lack of knowledge!
 
Kluso

Kluso

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Oct 30, 2022
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Rest pause sets are great for time too. But you may find yourself taking longer breaks between exercises. Lol. They are brutal. But if your eating right your body will start changing quick.
 
Kluso

Kluso

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Oct 30, 2022
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Wow this is brilliant thankyou. So you would typically do 3 rounds per excercise or the 3 rounds class as 1 set? Apologies for my lack of knowledge!
I would do a couple warm up sets increasing the weight. Then just do one drop set. You’re gonna be dead after that one set and would need like 15min to do another. Your strength should be gone after that drop set. You shouldn’t be able to do another one really. Maybe after 15-20min. But not necessarily. One is good per exercise if you’re doing it right.
 
Kluso

Kluso

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Oct 30, 2022
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If you have 8 months and need to lose bodyfat also. I would start with a cut and get super lean first before bulking up. And if you’re cutting you don’t want to be doing drop sets. Save that for bulking stage. I would do more of 4 sets each exercise and hit failure on last set. Most of us are old school here so we like failure but science doesn’t lie. Reps in reserve works. Fortitude training may be way to go because the inventor Scott Stevenson has different ways to train, including reps in reserve, depending on if you’re cutting or bulking. But really anything is gonna work when you first start lifting again. But yeah, if you have a beer gut or bodyfat you want to lose also it will work better if you diet first then trying to do it the other way around. IMO. Getting really lean is best way to prime body and muscles for growth too. If your already fairly lean, 12% or so then you could always bulk now and lean out before wedding. Just throwing out ideas.
 
Z

Zager

New Member
Apr 7, 2024
5
0
If you have 8 months and need to lose bodyfat also. I would start with a cut and get super lean first before bulking up. And if you’re cutting you don’t want to be doing drop sets. Save that for bulking stage. I would do more of 4 sets each exercise and hit failure on last set. Most of us are old school here so we like failure but science doesn’t lie. Reps in reserve works. Fortitude training may be way to go because the inventor Scott Stevenson has different ways to train, including reps in reserve, depending on if you’re cutting or bulking. But really anything is gonna work when you first start lifting again. But yeah, if you have a beer gut or bodyfat you want to lose also it will work better if you diet first then trying to do it the other way around. IMO. Getting really lean is best way to prime body and muscles for growth too. If your already fairly lean, 12% or so then you could always bulk now and lean out before wedding. Just throwing out ideas.
So I would say yeah I probably do need to drop some weight so instead of doing the DC method you recommend we essentially having 3 sets then the final one being a slightly heavier working set until failure? Also how many reps am I looking for, the alternating amount or a given 8-12 reps? Thankyou for your help
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

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Dec 28, 2015
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Rest pause sets are great for time too. But you may find yourself taking longer breaks between exercises. Lol. They are brutal. But if your eating right your body will start changing quick.
Only if you are a pussy. Haha. I just jump from one exercise to the next. Just long enough to quickly unload, wipe down the equipment and run (sometimes literally to get a piece of equipment before someone else jumps on it) to the next exercise. I also do not take long breaks between warm ups, Myo matching sets or top/back off sets.

Before you say, you are a genetic freak. I make all my clients do the same. They say it is brutal the first couple weeks, that they have never been pushed so hard in their life. However, after a couple weeks their bodies adapt and it becomes normal training for them. Now I hear them making comments, "That guy is training like a bitch." I have to remind them, that was them not too long ago. Haha.
 
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