Auto-regulating Progressive Resistance Exercise

Auto-regulating Progressive Resistance Exercise (APRE) is a version of progressive overload training. Progressive overload is the foundation of any strength training program. The basic premiss is that for gains to be made one must continually add either volume or intensity. There are lots of ways to do this, like simple linear progression (adding weight to the bar every session) and today we are going to discuss Auto-regulating Progressive Resistance.
Why? APRE is a great choice for large group training because, as the name states, it auto-regulates. So the workout self-adjusts to fit your abilities for any given day, allowing you to get the most out of every training session.
Prescribing reps and sets based off of percentages is great if you have a controlled life with a steady training schedule. This, however doesn’t exist in the typical CrossFit environment so we need to find ways to work with the ups and downs of daily life, enter APRE. With three different routines, each with their own directives (Strength/power, Strength/hypertrophy, and Hypertrophy), you can tailor it to suit your needs. As it’s auto-regulating, you can come in on a good day or bad day and still have a great workout.
How does it work? If we are squatting on the APRE6 you would perform one AMRAP at 85% of your 1RM. Depending upon the number of reps you perform you would consult the adjustment chart and perform a second AMRAP with either a lesser weight, the same weight, or a greater weight. Your second set dictates where you start for your next workout.
Imagine this, you come in ready to conquer the world. The whiteboard reads 5 sets of 5 working up to 85% of 1RM. 85% is roughly your 6RM so this should be a fairly challenging workout. You, on the other hand had a massage yesterday and all you can eat Mongolian BBQ before going to bed at 7PM and waking up at 7AM – You’re ready to go, and 5 reps at 85% is going to be a walk in the park. With the APRE method, the prescribed weights are done as AMRAPs and subject to an adjustment chart. The AMRAPs allow you to adjust your weight depending on your performance. So if you bang out 12 reps at 85% of your 1RM then you add 10-20lbs and go again. On the flip side if you only perform 3 reps at 85% then you can reduce the weight and still achieve the desired training effect.
Lifting with this method also rewards hard work. If you want to lift heavier weights then you have to work harder to get those extra reps. The responsibility is on the athlete to make sure they are ready to go for their training days so that they perform to their potential.
APRE has three protocols with three different directives. APRE3 is focused on power and strength. The lower reps call for a higher motor recruitment and thus will train for more explosive strength and power. APRE6 is a strength and hypertrophy protocol. 5-7 reps is the perfect number for developing motor recruitment as well as signalling a growth response in your muscles. Lastly, APRE10 is a hypertrophy protocol with a focus on building muscle.
With three different protocols we can tailor the APRE method to suit anybody’s individual needs.
Click HERE for a table outlining the different routines, complete with the adjustment chart.

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