How to Progress in an Autoregulated Program


I think one of the potential unintuitive aspects of completely auto regulated programming is how to progress. At least, answering questions on the RTS forums has made me think so. If you’re already utilizing work-up sets to calibrate your initial workset it’s understandable that some days you’ll end up working up to a heavier initial. This is fully autoregulated progression. But what about those spans of weeks where you keep hitting your projected topset. Should you ever add weight?

This is my recommendation: Start out adding five pounds to your projected e1RM each week. This will mean adding five pounds to each of the workup sets as well. Do this for a cycle. Do not force the topset. Continue to auto regulate. Observe how often you’ll be able to hit the projected initial and how (and if) it deviates from the specified topset RPE. Pay attention to what happens around high-stress weeks, if you program them. Eventually you’ll get a feel for a practical progression scheme.

Personally I’ve found that if I program @9 five pounds is a fairly sustainable progression. Lower RPEs seems to allow for a higher rate of progression, perhaps via lower accumulated fatigue. More experimentation is needed.


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