How do I know what weight to choose if it’s not prescribed or based off the percentage of my 1 Rep Max?

Do we prescribe weights or percentages for lifts?

Functional Bodybuilding does not typically prescribe weights or percentages for strength and structural balance work, because your ability to execute will depend on many factors and can even vary day-to-day. This system of training will allow you to tune into your capacity in real-time, and learn how to make an educated approach to loading based on past work as well as how you’re feeling each day. This may take some time to fine-tune, but here is some guidance on how to approach loading:

First, if there is a rep range such as 8-10 per set, try to hit the top end of the rep range with great form holding strict to the tempo if given. If you accomplish this, try moving up a bit in weight on the next set or the next time the movement appears (make notes of what weight you used in your training journal).

Generally, for the purposes of this program and many others, as reps decrease throughout your working sets you will want to increase the load.

Similarly, from week to week, as similar movement patterns show up and repetitions decrease, these are opportunities to increase the load in a somewhat linear fashion. How much load you can increase will vary from person to person, but the goal with weekly progressions of similar patterns is to allow you a chance to progress in load and movement quality.

Finally, remember that even with bodyweight or a small load, holding to strict tempo and activating the correct muscles will provide a fantastic stimulus with a good amount of time under tension – it’s better to be conservative and prioritize the quality of movement rather than overload and have your form suffer.

Within conditioning sets, you will develop a feel over time based on the intent of the piece, the duration, and other factors. When in doubt, use lighter weight until you are confident your movement quality can be sustained throughout every set.

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