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Expanding on APRE – Implementation

No workout posts this week because of last Wednesday’s blatant WOD shopping. You brought this on yourself.
However I do have an informative post on the effective implementation of the APRE program!
I wrote last about how we are going to start using the Auto-regulating Progressive Resistance Exercise program and its benefits for training large groups. After a few days of implementation we have received a few great questions as to how to properly implement the program. I’ll do my best to illustrate a few common situations and how to use the program effectively to maximize your success.
Firstly we have the basic premise of the program. Progressive resistance is based on the fact that to make gains you need to add either volume or intensity. APRE helps you to do both simultaneously.
Volume can be defined as the total poundage you put on your body in one session. E.g. if you lifted 100 pounds 5 times that would be 500 pounds of volume.
Intensity is the amount of weight relative to your one repetition max. If your one rep max is 100 pounds and you are lifting 75 pounds or 85 pounds then the 85 pound lift is at a greater intensity.
Obviously we cannot have both volume AND intensity as it’s impossible to lift weights at a high percentage of our maximum for multiple reps. To train a high volume and high intensity we would have to train multiple sets of fewer reps. Training this way leads to over-reaching and injury, neither of which are conducive to progress.
With a better understanding of the relationship between volume and intensity lets go over a few common scenarios.
Example 1. This athlete has a 1 rep max squat of 500lbs. The rep/sets call for: 10 reps with the empty bar (45lbs), 10 reps with 30-50% (this set is meant to bridge the gap between the empty bar and the third set), 6 reps with 55% (275lbs). Seeing where the athlete’s 3rd set puts them you can see the need for the set with 30-50% and why there is such a large variance in percentage. This particular athlete could even insert an extra set between his 30-50% and 55% sets. The resulting workout would look like this:
Empty bar x10 reps
135lbs (27%) x10 reps
225lbs (45%) x10 reps – This is the extra set I was talking about
275lbs (55%) x6 reps
OR
Empty bar x10 reps
185lbs (37%) x10 reps
275lbs (55%) x6 reps
Example 2. Our second athlete is squatting on the APRE6 routine. She does her first AMRAP at 85lbs and performs 8 reps. After increasing the load to 90lbs for her next AMRAP she only achieves 3 reps. Because our next set is always dictated by our previous, in this case her next workout would start with the adjusted weight of 85lbs. The goal would be to achieve 8 or more reps again and then increase the weight to 90lbs and perform 3 or more reps.
Example 3. Our next athlete is bench pressing on the APRE6 routine and has completed his first AMRAP with 7 reps. He believes he could have done 8 reps and wants to try adding 5lbs to his seconds set. In this instance we want to stay at the same weight and try to achieve 8 or more reps. Just like in Example 2. our next set is always dictated by our previous so if our goal is to accumulate volume then we wouldn’t want to risk going up in weight with the potential to fail.
Hopefully this helps you to better understand the implementation of this program.

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