Have you ever gone on a night out and had a few too many? Awaken the next morning and had severe regrets as to your lack of responsibility.
Well, this happens with training more often than most of us would like.
Whether it is pushing your RPE too much or doing more reps/sets than are prescribed. It all has a knock on effect on your ability to recover or continually progress. For example, in the past training cycle, I have been pushing the intensity of my training but keeping the volume relatively low, to ensure some progression and circumvent the potential for further injury. However, this can result in increased fatigue and ultimately have a knock on effect in future training.
Another negative aspect of not lifting within yourself is failing attempts at competitions. If you read some of the literature describing performance in powerlifting competitions, from the strength athlete and RTS. Going 9/9 is the single biggest determinant of victory in the competition, so planning correct attempts and training around them is the most important element of ensuring success in competition.
So with that in mind here are a few ways to ensure that you lift within yourself and prevent excessive fatigue or fail attempts at your meets.
- Be analytical
Have some structure in your training and be precise. Working up to an RPE seems simple enough, but sometimes it is hard to tell if that will be 500 or 550 pounds. So estimating a top set for the day at about 90-95% would allow you to have a reasonable target and depending on your feeling on that day you can go from there.
2. Be realistic/record everything
There is nothing wrong with overshooting your RPE, I mean there is you should hit the fatigue level that you are gunning for. But, if it is a 9 call it a 9 you don’t want to call an apple an orange!! The basis of RPE training or fatigue management of any degree is to recognize what you are doing and work around it. A further key component of doing this is filming. As you first get into using video, film everything, light, heavy, warmups having an extensive library of movements at different fatigue levels will help you to learn more about your lifting and how fatigue is affecting your training.
3. Get you a friend
This seems straightforward, but this makes a huge difference. Having another set of eyes on you can help you decide whether to push your top set higher or keep it conservative. Having that support and consideration can also help you to fix form issues that are causing unnecessary fatigue or injury in your training.
Ultimately, the key element of responsible lifting is to be realistic. Understand what you need to succeed and do that but, just ensure that you do not cause too much unnecessary fatigue in the build up to meets or long developmental blocks. So train smart and remember strength has no limit!