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RPE vs Percentage Based Programing

franchise24

franchise24

Senior Member
Oct 20, 2015
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I've used both RPE and Percentage based programing. I am in know way knocking either or. I would just like to see what other think.

In my opinion I am seeing RPE being mentioned more and more. Recently the Raw nationals seemed to have a lot of lifters being trained by coaches that are using RPE's. I feel that it is more of a fad than a programing style.

In my opinion RPE is intricate and fancy way of auto-regulating. If you have a coach or lifter that understands this or isn't an ego maniac then percentage based works the same way. If I have an athlete that I prescribe to hit 85% of his 1 rep max on bench for 6x3 and he feels shitty then he will back off by 10% and complete his training. This is how RPE works if I am not mistaking. I have the RTS manual and have read it a few times.

I am interested to hear from others.
 
BrotherIron

BrotherIron

VIP Member
Mar 6, 2011
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It's just another way of skinning the cat.

I personally use %'s on my main lifts and RPE on my assisting lifts. You're probably saying... wtf is he talking about. I like to have the leeway to change my numbers in my assisting lifts (depending on how I feel) but follow my %'s to the letter on my main lifts.

For example... today, my low back is feeling like shit so I cut my paused squat numbers by quite a bit but I made sure to hit all my bench numbers while keeping an eye on how my back/hip felt. Bench was the main lift and paused squats was an assistance lift.
 
monsoon

monsoon

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Nov 1, 2010
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I also use both, in a slightly different way. I like to do most work at 80%. But sets and reps are done at an RPE with a minimum. So for example usually a minimum of doubles at 80% 5 sets. But at the same time I have daily rep goals. Today was 4 and I got it. If I feel like complete shit, it's [email protected]% and mentally I know I won't miss.


POB has gone to RPE, but he hasn't been around much lately. I think he could give you the best answer. Maybe search and see if he already did.
 
franchise24

franchise24

Senior Member
Oct 20, 2015
181
36
I also use both, in a slightly different way. I like to do most work at 80%. But sets and reps are done at an RPE with a minimum. So for example usually a minimum of doubles at 80% 5 sets. But at the same time I have daily rep goals. Today was 4 and I got it. If I feel like complete shit, it's [email protected]% and mentally I know I won't miss.


POB has gone to RPE, but he hasn't been around much lately. I think he could give you the best answer. Maybe search and see if he already did.
I have read up on his write ups on RPE's. Very intelligent person. I like RPE. I used it roughly this whole year made some great gains. But still prefer percentage based programing. Ass far as assistance work. You could say I use RPE for assistance.
 
chicken_hawk

chicken_hawk

MuscleHead
Oct 28, 2010
718
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I have read up on his write ups on RPE's. Very intelligent person. I like RPE. I used it roughly this whole year made some great gains. But still prefer percentage based programing. Ass far as assistance work. You could say I use RPE for assistance.

I prefer RPE myself and think they are superior, but most vets understand themselves and will make adjustments to a % based program when they need to. Percentages are almost necessary for a noob, but at the same time I have seen missed lifts during peaking when online coaching and percentages where involved. One just last week when a chick was supposed to do a double with 95% six weeks out...wtf But if she could understand the RPE and was told do a double with RPE 9 maybe there would be a different result who knows? Would she be able to understand with less than a years experience what a 9RPE is? The true crime was probably the idiot online coach programming such nonsense.

Hawk
 
P

Physiqz

New Member
Jan 9, 2018
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2
I completely understand the take on RPE, but one thing I haven't seen discussed for percentages is that they can help to adhere strictly to hit your numbers. I'll be honest, if you are using an RPE to judge your lifts it can be easy to chip off a few pounds and rationalize you will recover better. I find that using percentages keeps myself "honest"--though i still write down the RPE and use that as a valuable training metric for measuring progress.
 
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