The #1 Home Workout Mistake Almost Everyone Is Making(Proximity to Failure)
Your home workout RPE is bullshit. We mistake high reps for high exertion. We think these high reps means we are pushing ourselves super hard when it isn't always the case. Most of you who are reading this right now are probably strength athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, someone who went to the gym regularly, used a barbell AND probably were training between 65% and 90% of your one rep max pretty consistently. When we switch over to home workouts, the RPE game changes, and we need to start using proximity to failure.
What is this proximity to failure you ask? This is where we break up the total volume, spread out over multiple sets and near the end we approach failure.
In our normal training we are used to hitting an RPE 7 or 8 on the bench for a 5x5, now we are supposed to be hitting that same RPE on push ups(example) and we see people only doing 20-30 at a time which might as well be an RPE 0 for them. Bodyweight workouts are different and your one rep max for body weight push ups might be closer to 50 but if you are doing your reps and you feel the burn is, which is different, you might stop there thinking thats the max. Along these lines, your set duration during a 3x1, RPE 8 deadlift is maybe 15 seconds compared to your new RPE 8 on push ups which can come out to be 1 to 2 MINUTES. This is just going to feel weird and that’s okay but you need to push the RPE higher.
How do we push these body weight RPEs higher? We need to almost approach failure on our sets. This won't be true failure, although it can feel that way due to the burn and inexperience with these types of movements. What we mean by taking it to failure is if you get fatigued at 30 reps, take a quick pause and then push on. By doing this we were able to get out more reps than we thought possible! This is super important when doing body weight movements as we have been trained to attach meaning to reps as opposed to how close we are to failure.
Check out the example here of a true set of body weight training taken to near technical failure. Do NOT sell yourself short. Do not forget to push the intensity and get the set RPE where it should be!
In addition to that we don't want you to just do any reps, focus on keeping your form strict. We know it's easy to let your form slip and get a bit sloppy which in turn makes it so we are using too much momentum or not even using the correct muscle groups. TLDR: Keep the form good, keep it technical and push the intensity.
Additional Resources on Home Workouts: