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Old 05-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
Roque Corona
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Unusual question: lifting percentages for bodyweight exercises

Forgive if this has been asked before. I tried my best searching for it, but it's an unusual topic and I wasn't exactly sure of what terms to look for or how to explain the question...

Here it goes: I'm following CFFB as best as possible. Often, some of the strength portion will call for a workout based on a percentage of our 1RM. For example: 5x1 Squat @ 90% 1RM or 3x5 Bench @ 85% 1RM. I've also recently been working on weighted dips, pull ups, and chin ups, and I was curious how these sorts of percentages would scale down for these types of bodyweight exercises.

What I mean is...certainly since the weights used for a 1RM weighted dip or pull up are so low...performing a 3x5 @ 85% would be too difficult. If my 1RM Squat is 315lb, a 3x5 @ 85% would be about 265lb. That's reasonable. But if my 1RM Pull Up is 50lb, my 3x5 @ 85% would be about 42lb. Not reasonable. I also assume the fact that I'm lifting my own weight in a bodyweight exercise would change these percentages, as opposed to a regular strength exercise in which I'm lifting external weight.

If I wanted to follow a percentage-styled strength program for bodyweight exercises, is there a tried-and-true scale to follow?

Phew, all done. I hope this makes sense to someone out there, and I hope that someone can help me. Thank you.

Last edited by Roque Corona : 05-23-2012 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Unusual question: lifting percentages for bodyweight exercises

It's not perfect but I'd add your bodyweight than take the percentage. So if you weigh 150lbs and can chin with 50lbs for a single your max weight for calculations is 200lbs (150+50). 85% of that is 170lbs. So take 170-150 (bodyweight) and now you know your chinning weight.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:03 AM   #3
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Unusual question: lifting percentages for bodyweight exercises

We use all three regularly. We simply say when you can do two sets of 10 or more it is time to add weight. Simple and works well. Not so exact as your asking but we use it as assistance work and everyone is progressing nicely.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
Charles Applin
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Re: Unusual question: lifting percentages for bodyweight exercises

With exception of squats, your BW should be part of the equation on those types of legs. This can cause problems when your scaled weight puts you below BW. At times like that, it's reasonable to use either Graviton, cable pulleys (don't hook your legs) or bands.

I wasn't being glib about mentioning squats. I just not sure if they program weighted 1 legged squats (pistols or on a box) which you'd want to use bodyweight in your calculation.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Unusual question: lifting percentages for bodyweight exercises

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
It's not perfect but I'd add your bodyweight than take the percentage. So if you weigh 150lbs and can chin with 50lbs for a single your max weight for calculations is 200lbs (150+50). 85% of that is 170lbs. So take 170-150 (bodyweight) and now you know your chinning weight.
This is the easiest way to do it for the most part.
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