RPE and RIR Training!
RPE and RIR training is not just designed to make you RIP! RPE and RIR are terms that are being used a lot more frequently in the strength training world. So what do these terms actually mean and why or how do we use them?
But first, a little background:
RPE stands for Rating of Perceived Exertion and RIR stands for Reps in Reserve. RPE/RIR is a system used to subjectively describe how intense or hard you are exerting yourself in a given set of reps and can be great way to prescribe and progress your training instead of using a percentage of your 1RM which we know can change day to day.
The RPE scale used mostly for strength training is a 1-10 scale from easy to hard, Whereas RIR is based on how many reps you perceive that you had in reserve at the end of a set( “reps left in the tank”).
The RPE/RIR charts can also go hand in hand together. For example, an RPE 8 is equivalent to a 2RIR and 6RPE is equivalent to a 4RIR. Here is a chart below of both the scales.
Why is RPE/RIR effective and why do we use it?
The reason we use RPE/RIR is because it takes into account the day to day and week to week stressors of life and allows us to auto-regulate the intensity(weight) depending on how we are feeling at the present time. This is why it’s a great alternative to %1RM training, as one of the cons of 1RM Max testing is that it does not take into account day to day performance fluctuations. Your body only recognises tension/stimulus not 74.5KG or whatever is on the bar, hence why RPE/RIR is so effective.
How can RPE/RIR be structured?
RPE/RIR training can be structured very similarly to %1RM training with the idea to increase the intensity over time. this can be done by increasing the RPE/RIR session by session for a couple of weeks and then backing off for a 1 week deload to allow your body to recover and adapt to the previous training completed. Here is some examples below.
- 5×5 @ RPE 7/RIR 3
- 5×5 @ RPE 8/RIR 2
- 5×5 @ RPE 9/RIR 1
WK 4: Deload
- 3×5 @ RPE 5/RIR 5
As always if you want to know more or need a bit more of a structured approach to your training, make sure you reach out to one of the trainers here at RevoPT!