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If you’re here, you probably care at least a little bit about picking up and putting down heavy things. 

I’m talking about training, of course. The truth is training isn’t hopelessly complex. Find a decent routine, follow it, and you’ll make gains.

Unfortunately, you’ve probably found that life isn’t perfectly predictable and sometimes gets in the way of your training. You can’t always hit the gym exactly when you want and with perfect energy levels. 

Sometimes you have to work overtime or pick up your friend from the airport. Sometimes you get injured or are more sore than usual. And sometimes your sleep is a bit off and you’re dragging more than normal.

Whatever the case, life occasionally gives you lemons, and you have to stay flexible and nimble or you’re going to get demotivated by not being able to follow your perfect little plans. 

Well, what if there was a training system that could ensure you’re working hard enough to progress, but not so hard that you overtrain? 

And what if it could do this no matter how you were feeling–whether you were fresh and spritely or unmotivated and rundown.

In other words, a system that could optimize your progress while managing recovery, all while staying flexible and fluid and adapting to you.

That’s the promise of something called autoregulation.

That may sound like a fancy term, but we’re going to get to the bottom of it in this episode. And luckily, I know someone who has a knack for breaking down nuanced, science-y subjects and making them accessible for everyone. That person is repeat-podcast-guest extraordinaire, Dr. Eric Helms.

In case you’re not familiar with Eric, he’s not only an accomplished bodybuilder, powerlifter, coach, author, scientist, and member of Legion’s Scientific Advisory Board, but he’s also one of the guys behind the Monthly Applications in Strength Sport (MASS), which is one of the best research reviews out there.

All that is why he’s also one of my favorite guests for offering practical advice you can apply in the gym.

In this episode, Eric covers . . .

  • What autoregulation is and who it’s for
  • Implementing RPE and using it to manage both fatigue and load to make faster progress
  • Individualizing training based on feedback instead of following a cookie-cutter program
  • The advantages (and disadvantages) of velocity-based training
  • Autoregulating exercise selection
  • Practical recommendations for adding autoregulation into your current program
  • And more . . .

So if you want to learn the ins and outs of autoregulation, and how you can use it to manage fatigue and optimize your progress, this episode is for you.

Time Stamps:

6:59 – What is autoregulation?

13:52 – Do you think autoregulation is a good technique for elite athletes and more sophisticated workouts?

29:19 – If you are in the middle of a training block and you notice that you aren’t close enough to your one rep max, do you make decisions on the fly or just stay to the program until that training block is over?

33:58 – What is velocity and RPE stops?

44:41 – What are your thoughts on auto regulating exercise selection?

47:19 – What are some other good reasons to change what you are currently doing?

57:35 – How can I implement auto regulation into my existing program?

Mentioned on The Show:

Eric Helm’s Website

MASS Research Review

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!