APRE or Auto-Regulatory Progressive Resistance Exercise

APRE or Auto-Regulatory Progressive Resistance Exercise

About two years ago I came across APRE and spent the better part of a few months trying to find the perfect way to use it in my situation. Now we have a variety of athletes that come through out doors from middle school to professional athletes, and we also support a few local high school teams at their school.  

Where I have found great use for APRE is for GPP (General Preparation Phase) work and Max Strength work with my High school population. I also will use APRE for GPP work with our college and professional clientele as well to help me gage where they are when they are coming back to us. 

Now you could just use APRE and get great results with your athletes but our program we us has a few different methodologies mixed in which is why I use APRE for just those phases with those populations. APRE has three different protocols in 10, 6, and 3. 

Why I have become a big fan of APRE is a huge part of our job is to manage stress, and not just that of volume and load. What APRE does a great job of is allowing the athlete and coach to take into account all the outside stress that the athlete is under. 

The second part that I like about APRE is how it allows me to weed out the athletes who try to lift more weight then they should and those that never seem to add enough weight. An when you have 20 plus athletes doing a team lift in a small high school weightroom this can be of great advantage. 

This is how we write up the GPP phase with APRE

6RM Protocol: 

  • First set 50% Intensity for 10 reps
  • Second set 75% intensity for 6 reps
  • Third set 100% of 10rm to Failure. (We define failure for our athletes as leave one rep in the tank, the athlete must get at least 6 reps)
  • Fourth set is an adjusted load to Failure

Now this is where APRE is great at helping us manage the stress on our athlete's. If they are having a great day then they may get more reps and thus move their weights up. If they are having a terrible day then the weights will reflect that as well. 

On the third set is where we will take the amount of reps the athlete perform and use that to make a weight adjustment for the fourth set. An we will also make a second weight adjustment for the upcoming weeks lift based on the fourth sets numbers. 

  • 0 to 2 reps = minus 5 pounds to 10 pounds
  • 3 to 4 reps = minus 0 pounds to 5 pounds
  • 5 to 7 reps = no change
  • 8 to 12 reps = add 5 pounds to 10 pounds
  • 13+ reps = add 10 pounds to 15 pounds
Example of how APRE looks on our workout sheets. 6rm protocol shown. 

Example of how APRE looks on our workout sheets. 6rm protocol shown. 

Now when we do a max strength phase with the high school teams I will go to a 3 rm protocol as I am not a fan of 1rm testing high school athletes, but thats another article for another day.

3rm protocol:

  • First set 50% Intensity for 6 reps
  • Second set 75% intensity for 3 reps
  • Third set 100% of 3rm to Failure. (We define failure for our athletes as leave one rep in the tank, the athlete must get at least 3 reps)
  • Fourth set is an adjusted load to Failure

 On the third set is where we will take the amount of reps the athlete perform and use that to make a weight adjustment for the fourth set. 

  • 0 rep = minus 5 pounds to 10 pounds
  • 1 rep = minus 0 pounds to 5 pounds
  • 2 to 4 reps = no change
  • 5 to 7 reps = add 5 pounds to 10 pounds
  • 8+ reps = add 10 pounds to 15 pounds

Give it a try and I promise you will find a fit for it in your program. If you have any question or comments on how we are using APRE then please let me know!