How To Make Percentage Based Programs Work for You (Video)

25 Apr How To Make Percentage Based Programs Work for You (Video)

How To Make Percentage Based Programs Work for You 


Let me tell you what this post isn’t. It’s not an instructional course on how to use percents in your strength training program. That would require a small e-book…Instead, it’s an explanation on why percentage based programming doesn’t work for some and why so many have been doing it wrong.


Absolute Intensities –

( The repetition number corresponds with the percent. This means that if your 1 rep max was completely accurate, you could hypothetically only do 3 reps (and not one more) with 91.7% of your 1RM.

1 – .100 (100%)

2 – .955  (95.5%)

3 – .917 (91.7%)

4 – .885 (88.5%)

5 – .857 (85.7%)

6 – .832 (83.2%)

7 – .809 (80.9%)

8 – .788 (78.8%)

9 – .769 (76.9%)

10 – .752 (75.2%)

11 – .736 (73.6%)

12 – .721 (72.1%)


So to find how hard the body actually recognizes the stimulus we divide the given percent for reps by the absolute intensity of the rep range.

Say we have a program that tells is to do 6 sets of 4 reps @ 80% of 1RM. We take .80 and divide it by .885 (see chart above) and we get .90 or 90%. This means that the body recognizes the multiple reps as a whole as 90% of our 1RM.

Suddenly that seems like a lot harder of a workout and we begin to see what percentage based programs don’t work for us. It’s because the coaches that write them don’t make them work for you.


Any questions about this? Arguments? Points of discussion? Let me know in the comments.




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