Strength Training with RPE Scale for the Intermediate/Advanced Athlete

Mar 27, 2023

As an intermediate or advanced strength fitness athlete, you know that proper training is essential to your success. You have probably heard of the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale and its importance in your training. In this blog post, we will discuss what the RPE scale is and how it can help optimize your strength training program. We'll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using RPE to determine the load for lifters, as well as why it's important to include GPP workouts within your training week. Read on to learn more!

What is RPE? The RPE scale is a tool used by athletes and coaches to measure intensity levels during exercise. It uses numbers from 0 to 10 that correspond with how difficult an exercise feels—10 being maximum effort. It allows lifters to gauge their own effort level without having to rely on external factors like weight on a barbell or heart rate monitors. This helps them calculate their performance across different exercises and sessions.

Advantages: In using RPE to determine the load for lifters: One of the main advantages of using RPE to determine load for lifters is that it accounts for variability in performance. For example, a 200lb deadlift might feel extremely difficult one day but less so another day because of changes in recovery or other external factors. By using RPE, we can ensure that we are always lifting at optimal levels rather than just relying on weight alone. Because it considers individual perception of effort, it provides optimal training stress without overreaching or underreaching our goals. Finally, using RPE helps improve lifter's awareness of their body's signals, which can lead to better performance in exercises and improved results overall.

Disadvantages: While there are many benefits in using RPE as a gauge for our workouts, there are also some drawbacks worth considering as well. One potential drawback is poor gauging—if a lifter misjudges their own effort level then they may not be receiving full benefit from their workouts nor reaching their goals effectively because of overreaching or under-reaching them, respectively. Another potential disadvantage is that planned progress may be limited if there isn't enough variation between workout intensity levels; if all sessions are set at 8/10 difficulty, then progress will probably plateau quickly after initial gains have been made due to lack of stimulus change.

The use of Rate Of Perceived Exertion (RPE) can be a powerful tool when used correctly by intermediate/advanced strength athletes when determining load levels on lifts while considering individual variability in terms of performance from one session/exercise type compared against another session/exercise type etc Incorporating General Physical Preparedness (GPP) movements into our weekly programming allows us reap additional benefits such as increased muscular endurance, improved flexibility/mobility and improved core stability while also making sure our training stays interesting by switching up exercise types every now and again! If you aren't already using both strategies when designing your weekly programming, then now would be a great time to do so!

Side note
Including GPP workouts inside of the training week (aka microcycle) Why it is important to include GPP workouts inside of the training week: GPP (General Physical Preparedness) workouts are important because they provide additional benefits such as increased muscular endurance, improved flexibility/mobility, and improved core stability which are all essential components needed for athletic performance and injury prevention alike. Including GPP exercises alongside traditional strength exercises within our weekly programming allows us not only to reap these additional benefits but also keep our workouts interesting so we don't get bored with doing the same