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    Stupid question

    Everybody can be forgiven for a stupid question now and again, eh?

    So there's more and more evidence that 70% or RPE 6 / RIR 4 is enough of a stimulus to promote muscle growth. Candito recently did a vid with DDS, Nuckols has been saying this for a while, RTS has been programming this for years, etc. So, my best comp. squat (high bar belted squat) is 185 kg. I can get enough of a stimulus with 70% of that, or 130 kg. Great.

    How does assistance work factor into this? Assistance lifts are usually harder, so the lifter uses less weight on the bar. 1rm comp. squat is different from 1rm 5.3.0 tempo beltless squat, for example. Say my 1rm for 5.3.0 tempo beltless squat is 160. 70% of that is 112, which is about 60% of my 1rm comp. squat. Isn't that unnecessarily low? If the ideal training weight is around 70%, but I'm doing 60% in an assistance, isn't this going lighter and slower than necessary?

    For you young cats, it might not matter a whole lot because you've got more time to learn from your mistakes. But for us older lifters with fewer anabolic years left in us, it helps to know how to train in the most efficient way.
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    This isn't an evidence backed opinion by any means but I think you can do exactly what you say with "big" lifts like squat and deadlift. At least you can build a progression starting quite low in the RPE bracket and gradually increasing, if you naturally improve then maybe you'll never get close to high exertion levels if you don't try to progress too fast.

    I think these lifts have a large overall impact on your system even when you aren't maxing out - but smaller single joint isolation exercises don't. Just anecdotally if you try curling with 4 reps left in the tank - if it feels like you are wasting your time it probably is. I don't think you need to go to failure with these by any means but even so I wouldn't dismiss the anecdotes of experienced bodybuilders who really push it on these lifts - fighting through the lactic acid burn so do more than last time.

    I can definitely say that I've made the best improvements for lifts like the squat when I haven't been trying to approach my max all the time. But of course you can't be lazy either, you need to accumulate a lot more sets to stay on that wave of progress.
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    Tempo movements are not typically done for hypertrophy/muscle growth, although it's possible that you may get some novelty effects by virtue of never training it before, although the weight on the bar may seem very light. But a tempo squat is almost a very different movement and I think should be treated as such and there would be a specific reason why you would do it.

    I.e: it is used to address any stability or positional weaknesses in your squat/improve technique

    I've seen these programmed even less than 60% of a 1RM back squat typically, but it provides a different kind of stimulus and is "harder" so "lighter" weights would still provide a benefit.
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    OP, your Q isn't stupid - in terms of this forum or in general. Don't have a solid answer for you but I like the standard mentioned above for any set regardless of RPE.

    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    if it feels like you are wasting your time it probably is.
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    Main Strength stuff.. I do skill work (single/dub/trip @7-9) and lower rpe lower rep sets (75%+) for force production gains.

    For supplemental work.. I'd work around an @8 ceiling with higher reps, do timed density work or 15/5myos

    I'd take isos close to failure. They are minimally fatiguing at the best of times and what's the point if you don't?
    xD Especially if u use bands, then you can do that stuff all day due to strength curve.

    I'm very much in the concurrent camp. Not a fan of phasic blocks or dedicated hyp blocks as they are soo dull (may be effective for your goals, if you can handle the boredom)

    Obviously, this is just in general. And pencilled, not written in stone.
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    I wouldnt compare % for lifts that different personally. If the prescription is 70% it's 70% of that variation. Whether that's comp, 2ct, tempo, pin etc. And the RPE should reflect near identically for the reps @ that %
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    If you’re doing an assistance variation the same day as the main lift, don’t forget you’re working in a fatigued state, so even if the % isn’t the same as when you’re fresh the relative intensity puts you pretty much in the ballpark you need to be in to illicit the response you’re after.
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    Agreed with what sooby said about tempo squats being a bit of a tricky/odd choice for hypertrophy, especially if we're trying to quantify these metrics which can vary so much based on how you perform the temp control.

    I'd say two things:

    -To me it doesn't make sense to take an assistance movement, and calculate it as a percentage of your primary movement. So I wouldn't really be looking at your tempo squat being 60% of your normal squat, rather I'd be thinking whether or not it's 70% of your tempo squat itself.

    -Secondly, that doesn't mean you have to do a 1RM tempo squat to figure things out. Rather, if you're coming within your RPE/RIR requirements, then that's enough to tick the box for me. I.e, do your assistance squats with whatever you regard to be 70% of a theoretical 1RM. Test whether that feels like its reaching the desired RPE/RIR. From there, adjust the weight accordingly.
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    Lately I've been seeing that 70% counts as an effective rep. However, I've also heard there's about 5 effective reps in a set so if you wanted to do an effective rep right away, you'd have to work with a 5RM or 87% so I'm confused
    Last edited by Animal2692; 03-02-2021 at 05:36 PM.
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    Originally Posted by sooby View Post
    Tempo movements are not typically done for hypertrophy/muscle growth, although it's possible that you may get some novelty effects by virtue of never training it before, although the weight on the bar may seem very light. But a tempo squat is almost a very different movement and I think should be treated as such and there would be a specific reason why you would do it.

    I.e: it is used to address any stability or positional weaknesses in your squat/improve technique

    I've seen these programmed even less than 60% of a 1RM back squat typically, but it provides a different kind of stimulus and is "harder" so "lighter" weights would still provide a benefit.
    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    I wouldnt compare % for lifts that different personally. If the prescription is 70% it's 70% of that variation. Whether that's comp, 2ct, tempo, pin etc. And the RPE should reflect near identically for the reps @ that %
    Originally Posted by rsid97 View Post
    Agreed with what sooby said about tempo squats being a bit of a tricky/odd choice for hypertrophy, especially if we're trying to quantify these metrics which can vary so much based on how you perform the temp control.

    I'd say two things:

    -To me it doesn't make sense to take an assistance movement, and calculate it as a percentage of your primary movement. So I wouldn't really be looking at your tempo squat being 60% of your normal squat, rather I'd be thinking whether or not it's 70% of your tempo squat itself.

    -Secondly, that doesn't mean you have to do a 1RM tempo squat to figure things out. Rather, if you're coming within your RPE/RIR requirements, then that's enough to tick the box for me. I.e, do your assistance squats with whatever you regard to be 70% of a theoretical 1RM. Test whether that feels like its reaching the desired RPE/RIR. From there, adjust the weight accordingly.
    Right, assistance movements are slightly different stimuli from the main movement, and the stimulus to the muscle can't be compared exactly. But the muscle doesn't know the difference between knee extension in a comp. squat and knee extension in a 5.3.0 tempo squat. So the basic stimulus is still 60% of the 1rm the muscle can handle, increased by the difficulty of the assistance. If 5.3.0 tempo squats are 10% more difficult than a comp. squat (probably they're closer to 20% more difficult), then would you add that 10% difficulty to the 60% stimulus from the weight on the bar, for the same net effect of 70%?

    And, RPE can vary a lot in some cases. 160kg squat can feel like RPE 9.5 on a bad day if I haven't slept well, been stressed, am cutting, still fatigued from previous workouts, been training inconsistently, etc. So, gauging RPE as the main indicator of stimulus to the muscle is less reliable than percentage, because the muscle is always capable of moving a certain weight, it's only blocked by other factors like fatigue, mental focus, energy level, etc. If I'm looking for the best training roadmap, then it seems RPE is mostly useful for fatigue management and trends over time, but percentages are best for consistent muscle stimulus. Is that reasonable, or misguided?

    As I said, it's kind of a stupid question because training isn't an *exact* science, I'm just tinkering with ideas here. Cheers all who add to the discussion.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    Lately I've been seeing that 70% counts as an effective rep. However, I've also heard there's about 5 effective reps in a set so if you wanted to do an effective rep right away, you'd have to work with a 5RM or 87% so I'm confused

    The whole 5 effective reps thing came about as theory from the fact around 85% of 1RM recruits all motor units from the first rep onward.

    But it’s way more complicated than that and the whole effective rep thing is a little wonky.

    Greg Nuckols has a deep dive on his website about it.

    Working sufficiently close to failure is all that really matters.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Right, assistance movements are slightly different stimuli from the main movement, and the stimulus to the muscle can't be compared exactly. But the muscle doesn't know the difference between knee extension in a comp. squat and knee extension in a 5.3.0 tempo squat. So the basic stimulus is still 60% of the 1rm the muscle can handle, increased by the difficulty of the assistance. If 5.3.0 tempo squats are 10% more difficult than a comp. squat (probably they're closer to 20% more difficult), then would you add that 10% difficulty to the 60% stimulus from the weight on the bar, for the same net effect of 70%?

    And, RPE can vary a lot in some cases. 160kg squat can feel like RPE 9.5 on a bad day if I haven't slept well, been stressed, am cutting, still fatigued from previous workouts, been training inconsistently, etc. So, gauging RPE as the main indicator of stimulus to the muscle is less reliable than percentage, because the muscle is always capable of moving a certain weight, it's only blocked by other factors like fatigue, mental focus, energy level, etc. If I'm looking for the best training roadmap, then it seems RPE is mostly useful for fatigue management and trends over time, but percentages are best for consistent muscle stimulus. Is that reasonable, or misguided?

    As I said, it's kind of a stupid question because training isn't an *exact* science, I'm just tinkering with ideas here. Cheers all who add to the discussion.
    I think it’s somewhat misguided personally.

    Even the old sheiko programs people saw kicking about he had the intention for the lifters who Tbey were designed for to be able to add or drop load 5-10% on the day.

    Plus an old helms study from like 2018 showed that those on RPE based programs tended to do a little more volume and a little higher intensity compared to those on the % based program.

    So I think the more individual it can be the better.

    Using % to choose an initial load and then using RPE to dial it in is effective I think.

    Edit: I shouldn’t even say misguided.

    I think a better term would be misplaced worry.

    Because in the long run I do think it’ll be too different.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    I'm very much in the concurrent camp. Not a fan of phasic blocks or dedicated hyp blocks as they are soo dull (may be effective for your goals, if you can handle the boredom)
    Right on. Love concurrent. Couldn’t see myself training any other way
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Main Strength stuff.. I do skill work (single/dub/trip @7-9) and lower rpe lower rep sets (75%+) for force production gains.
    How would low rpe low rep sets build more force production than top sets (singles, doubles etc)? Srs question
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    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    How would low rpe low rep sets build more force production than top sets (singles, doubles etc)? Srs question
    https://myojournal.com/rethinking-pr...trength-gains/

    https://youtu.be/tMoQiYW5dFc

    A good staring point.. Nothing that hasn't been observed or used for a long time.

    Back to the days of cat. Bare in mind I caveated my thoughts with over 75/80% so it's not just bish weight done fast for speed work or purely for high velocity.
    You probably can go lower but I like to work that range so i know all my mu and fibres are fully on from first rep

    Edit. I didn't say they produced MORE force than the single. It's more nuanced than that. The video covers this way easier than me typing it out
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 03-03-2021 at 12:44 AM.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    https://myojournal.com/rethinking-pr...trength-gains/

    https://youtu.be/tMoQiYW5dFc

    A good staring point.. Nothing that hasn't been observed or used for a long time.

    Back to the days of cat. Bare in mind I caveated my thoughts with over 75/80% so it's not just bish weight done fast for speed work or purely for high velocity.
    You probably can go lower but I like to work that range so i know all my mu and fibres are fully on from first rep

    Edit. I didn't say they produced MORE force than the single. It's more nuanced than that. The video covers this way easier than me typing it out
    Great video, thanks a lot. So it’s not so much that low rpe low rep builds more force production than heavy top sets at higher rpe set for set, but merely because you’re able to do more sets with the lower rpe low rep sets with reps that provide the most strength stimulus, which is what nets overall greater strength adaptations? Hope I’ve understood correctly.

    If that’s the case, how critical are low rpe low rep sets if strength is part of the goal? How would someone do with only top sets + hypertrophy work for strength?
    Last edited by DogletDusk; 03-03-2021 at 01:08 AM.
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    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    Great video, thanks a lot. So it’s not so much that low rpe low rep builds more force production than heavy top sets at higher rpe set for set, but merely because you’re able to do more sets with the lower rpe low rep sets with reps that provide the most strength stimulus, which is what nets overall greater strength adaptations? Hope I’ve understood correctly.

    If that’s the case, how critical are low rpe low rep sets if strength is part of the goal? How would someone do with only top sets + hypertrophy work for strength?
    Just fine!
    Either concurrent or In blocks.

    Would be more hypertrophy focused in effect with more dedicated hyp style blocks but will do fine.

    The guys in the video like to alternate hyp & strength focused blocks. (often 1to3 hyp and 1 strength).

    Others like to match stress/volume throughout all blocks.

    So many ways to skin a cat. Just my preference here.
    Assuming nothing is optimal in practice and execution even if it is theoretically or evidencially. What you do, enjoy and Stick to will almost always yield the best results
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 03-03-2021 at 01:39 AM.
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    I don't think the assumption that a comp squat 1 rep Max decides the % intensity of muscle usage for all variations is going to be accurate.

    I don't think there's any issue with rpe being affected by fatigue either, as long as you aren't overrsting rpe purely based on mindset and not the physical difficulty of the set.

    Firmly in the camp you are over mathing this
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    Registered User DogletDusk's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Just fine!
    Either concurrent or In blocks.

    Would be more hypertrophy focused in effect with more dedicated hyp style blocks but will do fine.

    The guys in the video like to alternate hyp & strength focused blocks. (often 1to3 hyp and 1 strength).

    Others like to match stress/volume throughout all blocks.

    So many ways to skin a cat. Just my preference here.
    Assuming nothing is optimal in practice and execution even if it is theoretically or evidencially. What you do, enjoy and Stick to will almost always yield the best results
    Thanks a lot man. Yeah I like the sound of concurrent. I basically have a squat/bench/dead/ohp day where I just ramp up to a top set of anywhere between 1-5 reps for those lifts and then fill the rest of the session with hypertrophy work (5-15 reps) with back off sets and lighter assistance lifts. So something like this would be more hypertrophy focused than strength?
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    I'm not a fan of % ratio for Comparing variations. I don't think that a pause squat should be 70% of comp or anything. It's going to vary too much between people.

    But I have programmed a comp single and a % load drop for paused rep sets. But they where sub max enough and not really a comparison. Just an easy way to get backoff work chosen at the right intensity


    Sometimes a super weak lift can be telling tho and be a red flag for 'you need to bring this up badly'

    Like coach bagging me out for my shoulders been way under the average % for his client list for a certain lift . and he was 1000% right. Once I hit what he expected, shoulder pain went and I stopped dump touching lul

    Originally Posted by DogletDusk View Post
    Thanks a lot man. Yeah I like the sound of concurrent. I basically have a squat/bench/dead/ohp day where I just ramp up to a top set of anywhere between 1-5 reps for those lifts and then fill the rest of the session with hypertrophy work (5-15 reps) with back off sets and lighter assistance lifts. So something like this would be more hypertrophy focused than strength?
    That's sounds a solid powerbuilding setup.
    Keeping the skill and adaptations for the big lift
    Then get to hench.

    I'd wager its more about getting big that maximising your peak strength. But would easily let you transition to a more strength focused setup easily.
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 03-03-2021 at 05:14 AM.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    That's sounds a solid powerbuilding setup.
    Keeping the skill and adaptations for the big lift
    Then get to hench.

    I'd wager its more about getting big that maximising your peak strength. But would easily let you transition to a more strength focused setup easily.
    Cheers dude!
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