I want to tell you a quick story about my very good friend and colleague Erika Mundinger DPT, who is one of the best physical therapists I know and also happens to work part-time for me at my gym.
Erika is also one of the earliest adopters of the biofeedback protocol we use and teach today, having gone through the course very shortly after I did about a decade ago.
Last week I got a great question from a reader, who basically asked how do I figure out or know what weight to use via biofeedback?
It reminded me of Erika.
See, everyone has their own way of applying and “following” biofeedback. Some people tend to use it as a red-light/green-light for following the plan they already have laid out. Others really go all the way with it, hardly having any plan at all and just going where their body leads them.
Erika is one of the best at applying the protocol I have ever seen.
I specifically remember times when she would do set after set after set maybe fifteen or twenty sets of the same offset stagger stance kettlebell swing. She would just keep doing sets of whatever tested best until it didn’t test well anymore! Most people would do three or four and move on. But Erika might do an hour of one exercise. She is really diligent about following her body to where it wanted to go.
My point is, there are multiple ways you can apply a tool that lets you know how your body is responding to a stressor. Here’s basically what I wrote Craig in response to his question about weights:
Take a bench press as an example. You test the movement with no weight, it’s good -> you test the bar at 45, it’s good -> now you move up to 105 lbs because that is what you were working with last session, test is good.
The question is, how can I do better than I did last time? Can I do more reps & sets at this same weight? I know it tests well, so I have to mentally predict if it will be possible to do better.
The answer is a combination of knowing your weights from previous sessions, and testing to confirm that it’s good for the day.
Another option – does it test well to do 110? If so, this would be a way that I could PR if I haven’t done 110 for X sets of X reps before.
There are no wrong answers, AS LONG AS IT TESTS WELL.