In order to achieve optimal results in my upcoming powerlifting meets I am being coached by a very well respected power lifter Eric Koenreich. He also happens to own a gym which is very powerlifting focused named Sarasota Barbell (Sarasota, FL). We’re currently running a 10 week program he put together in preparation for my meet on June 29th.
Eric has me on a program that is based on RPE. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “RPE” it stands for Rating of Perceived Exertion. In simple terms what this means is that you must be HONEST with yourself and determine how hard a particular set was on a particular day. Take a look at the image below to have a better understanding.
This image above gives you a basic understanding of RPE. Below is how I relate it to my workouts.
- RPE 10 – Absolute 1RM
- RPE 9 – 1 Rep left in the tank, possibly 2
- RPE 8 – 2 Reps in the tank, possibly 3
- RPE 7 – 3 Reps in the tank, possibly 4
- Anything below 7RPE I count as warming up!
I love using RPE programs and I have used them in the past with great success. One of the biggest benefits of running and RPE program is the auto-regulation that comes along with it. I’m sure we’ve all had those days where you enter the gym and you’re just not feeling it. Well this is where RPE really comes into play. One day I may feel strong and hit a bench press of 225 x 10 @RPE9, and the next week I may not feel as strong and hit 215 x 10 @RPE9 and I’ll stop there. Basically I’m auto-regulating based on how I feel that day. My program tells me to work up to a set of 10 @ RPE9, the actual weight doesn’t matter. This means as long as I’m honest with myself I’m taking my body to the level (RPE9) that I feel is most productive in terms of gains.
Lifts from the week
Here is an example of my routine. I am on a 4 day split. Below are the 8 major exercises for the day (2 each day).
Pause Bench x 5 until RPE9 +Load Drop RPE9
CG Bench x 8 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
Squat x 5 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
Good morning x 8 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
2 second Pause Bench x 5 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
Tate Press x 8 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
Deadlift x 5 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
RDL’s x 8 until RPE9 + Load Drop RPE9
*If you have any questions regarding program or nutrition feel free to contact me!