ReTrain is a 4 week powerlifting program designed to ramp up lifters that have taken a lengthy break from training. With COVID-19 shutting down gyms across the world for several months, many lifters will find themselves in the scenario of going back to the gym to start working out again. The goal of this program is to help those lifters safely and effectively ease themselves back into a regular training routine.
Who is This Program for?
While this program is geared towards powerlifters, it can be run by anyone looking to “ramp up” after a long break from lifting, even general strength enthusiasts.
- This program is for lifters who have taken one or two months off and want a creative approach to getting back to previous strength levels.
- RPE (Rate of Percieved Extertion) is used, which is effective in modifying your workouts based on your daily strength fluctuations. It is OK to lift less or more than the prescribed weight to meet the RPE.
- Must know your previous frequency for SBD, new frequency is 50% – 70% of total previous volume (measured in weekly sets).
- There is a calculator in the spreadsheet to help provide guidelines on this, but actually adjusting the number of sets is up to you.
- Be able to take conservative singles (at first assume new max -20% of previous max and work towards x1 @8-8.5).
Spreadsheet via @a.omisakin – thank you!
How to Use the Spreadsheet
- Please watch the video linked below from Sean Noriega. It will help the spreadsheet make much more sense.
- Enter values into green cells for formulas.
- You can do the introductory week to better understand your estimated 1RM if you like, but it’s not necessary to run the program.
- On “Weeks 1-4” tab, enter the number of sets per week you did before the break for each lift. This will then provide a lower and upper range of weekly sets for you to use as a starting point.
- The current number of sets per movement in the spreadsheet is provided as a default value. If you need to perform more or fewer sets, adjust the number of backdown sets.
- For each of the primary movements, fill in the load and the RPE, which will help calculate the estimated 1RM. This estimated 1RM value
- After week 1, a suggested load will be provided for the following week. If the suggested load for the heavy single is below the target RPE, it is ok to increase load.
- For example, if the suggested load is a 200 lb single @ 7, but it feels like @ 6, then it is okay to increase the weight for another single until RPE @ 7 is achieved.
- The program can be run until the pre-break 1RM is achieved, at which point you can switch back to a more typical periodized training program.
Video Overview of Program Methodology
The video below, published by Sean Noriega on his YouTube channel, is required viewing if you are going to run this program. The video was the primary influence over the creation of the spreadsheet on this page.
To be clear: Sean had nothing to do with this spreadsheet. It was created based on an interpretation of the video below.
If you’re new to RPE, this video will help you incorporate it into your training. It is a great tool to have in your lifter toolkit and I would not let unfamiliarity with RPE stop you from attempting this program!
For a bit more detail, check out the video below by Brendan Tietz.