May as well get an early jump on my New Years Resolution!  Welcome to the cut.  I am also trying out some new protocol:  RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) as a way to measure my level of fatigue against bar speed when I am powerlifting.  If you want to know more about RPE, I suggest reading Mike Tuchscherer’s Reactive Training Manual!


For now, just know:

RPE7 its really fast, like an easy opener

RPE8 I DEFINITELY have 2 more reps left in me

RPE8.5 MAYBE 2 more reps

RPE9 DEFINITELY 1 more rep

RPE9.5 MAYBE 1 more rep

RPE10 no way I can do another rep


went down to the fancy office gym on Sunday, because I knew:

a. it would be empty
b. it has microplates

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

70 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest – change weight and go again)
120 x 5
165 x 3
190 x 2 (switched to medium stance and to just below parallel)
215 x 1
237 x 8 @RPE<8 (belt on, increased rest to 3 min)
225 x 6 @RPE8
225 x 6 @RPE8
225 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: This is a weight reset, so no PRs for me for a while. I consider it a chance to burn some calories and work on my form. Hopefully by the time my cut is winding down, I will be back up to the more challenging weights.

First day ever trying to apply this RPE stuff. I felt tired but the bar was moving quickly, so I marked the RPE as I did. I should have been doing an RPE of 9, but my mind wanted me to stop before my body did. Kinda wussed out. I am just so used to NOT going to failure on light weights that even going close to failure feels like a mental barrier. I might also have gotten way too used to doing sets of less than 5 on my 5/3/1 program.

I will get the hang of this RPE stuff sooner or later.

Bench Press

45 x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
80 x 5
110 x 3
125 x 2
140 x 1
157 x 9 @RPE<8 (changed to paused reps, increased rest to 2 min)
145 x 6 @RPE<8
145 x 6 @RPE<8
145 x 6 @RPE8
145 x 6 @RPE<8
145 x 6 @RPE8

notes: After 5 backoff sets, I gave up out of boredom. I could be there all day repping out 145 with 2 min rests. I didn’t get the math wrong, it is just that my bench sucks, and once you reset, it becomes too easy. Oh well… calories.

Deadlift (barefoot)

90 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
150 x 5
210 x 3
240 x 2
270 x 1
(changed to crossgrip, put on belt)
302 x 8 @RPE8 (rest went up to 3 min)
295 x 6 @RPE<8
295 x 6 @RPE8
295 x 6 @RPE8

notes: At this point I realized we had crossed the 2 hour mark and I had Xmas errands to run, so I packed it in and took off.

Eh… I am so used to the heavy stuff that this felt RATHER like a deload.  But once I am deep in the cut, I am sure this workout will flatten me, lol.