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View Full Version : New to RTS/RPE & looking for help



Anthony
11-28-2014, 07:30 PM
What's up fellas & any ladies reading this :D

I recently (just like 2 days ago) started reading up on RPE training based off Izzy over at powerliftingtowin.com

Reading more and more into RPE based training it's literally blown my mind off. The methodology is just something that makes absolute sense and it's something I want to transition over to.

I was looking into Izzy's intermerdiate RPE based program but don't like the GPP days and the lack of accessory work that i'm use to. Maybe it's a mind set thing I don't know but I always thought accessory work tied in to improving the main movement (rows for example are lacking in the program). Maybe it's just me having to trust a new method of training and Izzy's layout.

I'm on information overload right now learning about RPE training and all that it encompasses. Currently i'm running Jonnie Candito's 6 week strength program and have been for 6 cycles now (5 week training cycles).

I have no idea how to implement and craft up an RPE training program. I'm horrible when it comes to trying to program for myself. I've always just followed a program that was written and went with it. I'm going to slowly break into RPE by rating each of my sets using the RPE scale cause I know this is going to take time.

How would one put a program together that's new to RPE? Would you just follow Mike's intermediate program that's already laid out and make adjustments as needed?

I was planning on buying the RTS manual to read more about it. For those that have it does Mike lay out any set up templates to start with?

I appreciate any and all help/info. This is a great site and look forward to learning as much as I can.

Dan Lee
11-29-2014, 09:23 AM
Welcome! I suggest that you take a look at the articles for beginners that cover RPE's, volume schemes (repeats/load drop/rep drop etc.) and fatigue %'s.
(ProgrammingToWin is an acceptable alternative.)

There are many ways to incorporate 'RTS-style training'.
I don't believe 'RTS-style training' is defined by a style of periodization or particular templates, though using RPE's and fatigue are a hallmark of it.

You can use Izzy's programs and modify them.
If you just add more accessory work on top of things you probably won't deal a big hit to recovery and may make more gains than otherwise.
On another note, if you decide to trade more specific movements like deadlift volume or a whole deadlift slot for rows, you may have 'less optimal' gains, but I would say that making training enjoyable is important and can't be ignored.

For a start, you can for example, take ANY program and replace the %age, weight, set/rep schems with RPE's and fatigue %'s.
The RPE's will determine the load on the bar for any given number of reps per set and the fatigue %'s will alter the volume you accumulate in a session.

Start simply and familiarize yourself with rating RPE's.
After that, understand what to expect with different volume schemes like repeats and load drops and how much volume you can expect for a given fatigue %.
Match it so you get similar loads and volumes to your training now, but structure the long term plan to let it increase gradually.

If you're new, crafting a whole program from scratch may not be a great idea, which I think contemplating is what's giving you information overload in the first place.
You can load up a template like the Texas Method or Candito's LP according to your preference though.

My training is simple and follows a Texas Method-inspired template written by my coach.
I train 3 days weekly and have only 9 movement slots.
The work is kept to close variants (for example, the least specific accessory work I have is the overhead press for my bench).

Much of the style is determined by personal preference and training history.
I prefer to practice the main movements alot and never did much accessory work to begin with.

Here, I filled the 'TM template' with some movements as I'm transitioning from a meet back into training.
I've not yet filled in the RPE, scheme and fatigue %'s, but there are many ways to do it.
I tend to go lighter on Day 1 with more volume (8's, 5-7% fatigue) and Day 3 is heavier (e.g. x4 @ 7, 8, 9) while Day 2 has a moderate amount of volume for the movement variants.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Squat w/belt High Bar PL' Squat Squat w/belt
Bench (Paused) Pin Press Bench (Paused)
2ct Paused Deadlift Press Deadlift w/belt

I hope I've helped somewhat. Enjoy your time and ask lots of questions!

Anthony
11-29-2014, 12:48 PM
Welcome! I suggest that you take a look at the articles for beginners that cover RPE's, volume schemes (repeats/load drop/rep drop etc.) and fatigue %'s.
(ProgrammingToWin is an acceptable alternative.)

There are many ways to incorporate 'RTS-style training'.
I don't believe 'RTS-style training' is defined by a style of periodization or particular templates, though using RPE's and fatigue are a hallmark of it.

You can use Izzy's programs and modify them.
If you just add more accessory work on top of things you probably won't deal a big hit to recovery and may make more gains than otherwise.
On another note, if you decide to trade more specific movements like deadlift volume or a whole deadlift slot for rows, you may have 'less optimal' gains, but I would say that making training enjoyable is important and can't be ignored.

For a start, you can for example, take ANY program and replace the %age, weight, set/rep schems with RPE's and fatigue %'s.
The RPE's will determine the load on the bar for any given number of reps per set and the fatigue %'s will alter the volume you accumulate in a session.

Start simply and familiarize yourself with rating RPE's.
After that, understand what to expect with different volume schemes like repeats and load drops and how much volume you can expect for a given fatigue %.
Match it so you get similar loads and volumes to your training now, but structure the long term plan to let it increase gradually.

If you're new, crafting a whole program from scratch may not be a great idea, which I think contemplating is what's giving you information overload in the first place.
You can load up a template like the Texas Method or Candito's LP according to your preference though.

My training is simple and follows a Texas Method-inspired template written by my coach.
I train 3 days weekly and have only 9 movement slots.
The work is kept to close variants (for example, the least specific accessory work I have is the overhead press for my bench).

Much of the style is determined by personal preference and training history.
I prefer to practice the main movements alot and never did much accessory work to begin with.

Here, I filled the 'TM template' with some movements as I'm transitioning from a meet back into training.
I've not yet filled in the RPE, scheme and fatigue %'s, but there are many ways to do it.
I tend to go lighter on Day 1 with more volume (8's, 5-7% fatigue) and Day 3 is heavier (e.g. x4 @ 7, 8, 9) while Day 2 has a moderate amount of volume for the movement variants.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Squat w/belt High Bar PL' Squat Squat w/belt
Bench (Paused) Pin Press Bench (Paused)
2ct Paused Deadlift Press Deadlift w/belt

I hope I've helped somewhat. Enjoy your time and ask lots of questions!

Hey Dan! I appreciate the info bro. It's just a lot to take in with a new style of training which is why it feels like info overload lol. My problem is I never have been good at programming, let alone programming my own training.

I would just follow a program and go off the excel spreadsheet pretty much.

I've been reading the articles that are up for beginners with RPE. I'm talking to a buddy on another forum about taking Candito's 6 week strength program and turning it into an RPE based program. I guess I am lost as to how do you know what RPE to pick for the day you know? How do you know what the right amount of slots are and the right fatigue % is to use?

Here is a layout he sent me.


WEEK 1

Squat x6 @ 9, 7.5%
Deadlift x6 @ 9, 5%
Assistance

Bench Press x6 @ 9, 7.5%
2ct Pause Bench x6 @ 9, 5%
assistance

Bench Press x8 @ 8, 5%
Close Grip Bench x8 @ 8, 2.5%
assistance

Squat x8 @ 9, 7.5%
Deadlift x8 @ 8, 5%
assistance

Bench Press x8 @ 10, 5%
2ct Pause Bench x6 @8, 5%
assistance

WEEK 2

Squat x10 @ 10, 10% (this is going to break your nuts)
Stiff Leg DL x8 @ 8, 5%
assistance

Bench x8 @ 10, 5%
2ct Pause Bench x5 @ 8, 5%
assistance

Squat x8 @ 10, 10% (also going to kill you)
Stiff Leg DLs x8 @ 8, 5%
assistance

Bench x6 @ 8, 5%
Close grip bench x8 @ 8, 5%
assistance

Bench x10 @ 10, 10%
no secondary bench this day
assistance

I heard the RTS manual is outdated and one can get enough info from this site vs the book. Would that be true?

Dan Lee
11-29-2014, 02:22 PM
Hey Anthony, I'm very happy I was able to communicate coherently. It doesn't always happen. :P

Now, this will be a cliched answer, but how you organize training all depends on context, and this may get difficult, so please do bear with me. :)

In this context, we're talking about how you want to set your RPE and fatigue %'s.
It's good to consider what you want to get OUT OF THAT DAY (Let's say, Day 2). That may be what training effect (ties to RPE) and how much volume (F%).
Next, think about what you want to get out of days that come after it, let's say, Day 3 and how Day 3 depends on Day 2. You may even think abut Day 4, or maybe Day 1 of next week.
After all, if you're going heavy with lots of volume on Day 2 and it's the day before Day 3 when you do higher intensity stuff, you can see how you get a conflict.

For example, if I train 3 days weekly, Mon - Wed - Fri. I know each week I will have a day with lots of volume, a day with lower volume and higher intensity and a day with close variations, let's call them VD, ID, DD (Volume, Intensity, Development), it would be a better idea to put ID 3 days away from VD than the day after.

VD Fatigue %'s, since it's aimed at volume, would probably be higher than DD F%'s, and definitely higher than ID F%'s. You may have no drop sets on ID even.

So, a way to set up fatigue %'s for the squat, if I do VD, DD, ID:

VD: Squat w/belt x5, Repeat 8-9 + Load Drop 3%. [Total fatigue may be around 7-8%]
DD: Paused Squat x3, Load Drop 5%
ID: Squat w/Belt x3 @ 7, 8, 9 [No Drop Sets]

VD will have the highest total fatigue because I want more volume, but the weight is capped at the first 8 RPE, after which I repeat until I get a 9, not ramp up until a 9.
The DD has slightly lower fatigue so it's less stressful on the ID that will follow and the ID is obviously focused on hitting a heavy weight at a target RPE with no drop sets due to low focus on volume.

Now, I can say clearly how to set it up because it's what has been planned for. Since I have a set up in mind, I can start to fill in the scheme with RPE's and fatigue %'s because I know what kind of training effect I want on each day and I know how each day interacts with each other day.

For Jonnie Candito's program, there appears nothing obviously wrong, but the situation can be complicated because he runs a program that relies on periodization, so each week depends on the next. So, we must consider what we want each day and how each day depends on following days, but now we must also think of the weeks.

I don't know the full context, but based on the set up, I can infer what he might have in mind.
And clearly Week 2, with those set ups must be a ball-busting, nut-crushing, destroy yo' shit, over-reaching week. The next week I hope is a bit easier on your soul.
The F%'s should be back to normal unless you want to run 2 high stress weeks in a row for the lower body.

I hope I clarified some of your concerns.

Anthony
11-29-2014, 03:15 PM
Hey Anthony, I'm very happy I was able to communicate coherently. It doesn't always happen. :P

Now, this will be a cliched answer, but how you organize training all depends on context, and this may get difficult, so please do bear with me. :)

In this context, we're talking about how you want to set your RPE and fatigue %'s.
It's good to consider what you want to get OUT OF THAT DAY (Let's say, Day 2). That may be what training effect (ties to RPE) and how much volume (F%).
Next, think about what you want to get out of days that come after it, let's say, Day 3 and how Day 3 depends on Day 2. You may even think abut Day 4, or maybe Day 1 of next week.
After all, if you're going heavy with lots of volume on Day 2 and it's the day before Day 3 when you do higher intensity stuff, you can see how you get a conflict.

For example, if I train 3 days weekly, Mon - Wed - Fri. I know each week I will have a day with lots of volume, a day with lower volume and higher intensity and a day with close variations, let's call them VD, ID, DD (Volume, Intensity, Development), it would be a better idea to put ID 3 days away from VD than the day after.

VD Fatigue %'s, since it's aimed at volume, would probably be higher than DD F%'s, and definitely higher than ID F%'s. You may have no drop sets on ID even.

So, a way to set up fatigue %'s for the squat, if I do VD, DD, ID:

VD: Squat w/belt x5, Repeat 8-9 + Load Drop 3%. [Total fatigue may be around 7-8%]
DD: Paused Squat x3, Load Drop 5%
ID: Squat w/Belt x3 @ 7, 8, 9 [No Drop Sets]

VD will have the highest total fatigue because I want more volume, but the weight is capped at the first 8 RPE, after which I repeat until I get a 9, not ramp up until a 9.
The DD has slightly lower fatigue so it's less stressful on the ID that will follow and the ID is obviously focused on hitting a heavy weight at a target RPE with no drop sets due to low focus on volume.

Now, I can say clearly how to set it up because it's what has been planned for. Since I have a set up in mind, I can start to fill in the scheme with RPE's and fatigue %'s because I know what kind of training effect I want on each day and I know how each day interacts with each other day.

For Jonnie Candito's program, there appears nothing obviously wrong, but the situation can be complicated because he runs a program that relies on periodization, so each week depends on the next. So, we must consider what we want each day and how each day depends on following days, but now we must also think of the weeks.

I don't know the full context, but based on the set up, I can infer what he might have in mind.
And clearly Week 2, with those set ups must be a ball-busting, nut-crushing, destroy yo' shit, over-reaching week. The next week I hope is a bit easier on your soul.
The F%'s should be back to normal unless you want to run 2 high stress weeks in a row for the lower body.

I hope I clarified some of your concerns.

Not going to lie, that sh!t went over my head haha.

Dan Lee
11-29-2014, 05:07 PM
Well, let me try again. It's very much hit or miss when I try to help! :(

If you want it heavier, put a higher RPE.
If you want more volume, increase the fatigue % and/or reps per set.
You may have to reduce RPE to get more volume in though, or else the session will be quite stressful and take a long time.

How you determine what you want depends on what the day itself is for.

However, think beyond the training day itself. If you do, for example, a weekly attempt at a new 5RM each Friday, you may not want to put so much stress on Wednesday. It would be better to put the most stressful work like the highest volume training at the start of the week. The same idea applies to how much stress there is in a single week, and so on so forth.

How's that? :)

Anthony
11-29-2014, 07:36 PM
Well, let me try again. It's very much hit or miss when I try to help! :(

If you want it heavier, put a higher RPE.
If you want more volume, increase the fatigue % and/or reps per set.
You may have to reduce RPE to get more volume in though, or else the session will be quite stressful and take a long time.

How you determine what you want depends on what the day itself is for.

However, think beyond the training day itself. If you do, for example, a weekly attempt at a new 5RM each Friday, you may not want to put so much stress on Wednesday. It would be better to put the most stressful work like the highest volume training at the start of the week. The same idea applies to how much stress there is in a single week, and so on so forth.

How's that? :)

That makes a lot more sense! Thanks a ton bro and really appreciate you taking your time to break it down to me.

It makes sense to have a volume day, recovery day & an intensity day. Also is makes sense having the RPE higher on days where you're going heavier vs a recovery day or volume day.

How do you go about knowing what fatigue percentages to use? Is there some sort of general guideline in picking %s for fatigue?

Dan Lee
11-30-2014, 03:22 AM
No problem.

It makes sense if it makes sense I suppose, but the reason my training is organized that way is because it is influenced by the Texas Method in the first place.
It may not make sense in the context of an advanced level lifter's programming.

I think there are general guidelines. There's a chart somewhere which I can't find, but if I remember, it says something along the lines of 8-10% is fairly high stress, 4-7% medium and lower than that low. It's quite arbitrary, but you'd know that you want to pick higher fatigue%'s for a VD than most other days.

We can justify this to an extent since the fatigue % is sort of like a standardized measure of 'fatigue' from training, so it's less difficult to generalize how people would feel from hitting a certain fatigue % than if they did a fixed amount of volume. If we both did 3500kg of squat volume in a single session, I'd have no idea what'd happen to you, whereas I know I'll be a little beat but fine since I'm used to hitting numbers like that on VD. However, if we both did 10% fatigue on squats I think we'd both be pretty beat. Hitting 10% in one session is no joke. I've never had 10% fatigue in a single session programmed for me and I don't think I ever want to.

Another thing I remember hearing is that if you want another 'constraint' to help you figure out how much to do, having 30% total fatigue in a week for a movement pattern is not a bad place to start. If, and only if, I remember correctly, when 'standardizing', 30% is roughly the max we can recover from on a weekly basis without carrying fatigue debt into the next.

Anthony
12-01-2014, 01:35 PM
No problem.

It makes sense if it makes sense I suppose, but the reason my training is organized that way is because it is influenced by the Texas Method in the first place.
It may not make sense in the context of an advanced level lifter's programming.

I think there are general guidelines. There's a chart somewhere which I can't find, but if I remember, it says something along the lines of 8-10% is fairly high stress, 4-7% medium and lower than that low. It's quite arbitrary, but you'd know that you want to pick higher fatigue%'s for a VD than most other days.

We can justify this to an extent since the fatigue % is sort of like a standardized measure of 'fatigue' from training, so it's less difficult to generalize how people would feel from hitting a certain fatigue % than if they did a fixed amount of volume. If we both did 3500kg of squat volume in a single session, I'd have no idea what'd happen to you, whereas I know I'll be a little beat but fine since I'm used to hitting numbers like that on VD. However, if we both did 10% fatigue on squats I think we'd both be pretty beat. Hitting 10% in one session is no joke. I've never had 10% fatigue in a single session programmed for me and I don't think I ever want to.

Another thing I remember hearing is that if you want another 'constraint' to help you figure out how much to do, having 30% total fatigue in a week for a movement pattern is not a bad place to start. If, and only if, I remember correctly, when 'standardizing', 30% is roughly the max we can recover from on a weekly basis without carrying fatigue debt into the next.

I appreciate the help and info bro.