Two days ago I was scheduled for 7 sets of 5 reps at 80% of my 1RM for squats. I went in after work (roughly 10:30pm) and was feeling surprisingly good considering I skipped last week due to volleyball. I stepped under the bar for my third warm up set, the bar felt light and my knees were tracking perfectly in line, not a common occurrence. So I decided to go a little off program, up the weight and lower the reps, knowing I still had a tough 10×3 day approaching later in the week. But I want to be able to squat 225 for reps before spring turns to summer and here in the Okanagan that line crosses over quite quickly so I knew it was time to take advantage of the situation. I hit 185 for 5 sets of 4 before belting up for a sixth but the fourth rep just wasn’t going to happen; I hit the breaking point. So I stripped 50 pounds off the bar and completed two sets of 135 for reps. Not at all what was planned but a good day nonetheless. I followed up with some lighter hypertrophy work as normally scheduled. This is the first time I’ve strayed off my programming for squats and I think it will honestly benefit me more than if I had just stuck with it. My percentages definitely are on point as there is still the odd day where I am unable to complete the necessary reps and will have to strip some weight. However, other than deadlifts, I rarely stack more weight on to take advantage of a higher RPE. The right programming is an incredibly important piece to making progress yet being held back by programming is not the point. Being able to adapt and take on a higher work load when my body feels good and capable is how I’m going to push through these plateaus I think I’ve hit. I just need to remember that goes for all my lifts and not just when I want to go beast mode on deadlifts.

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