What if you can't get 12 reps at a high point??

  • Hi, I'm a sort-of beginner in weight training.  I've been doing weight-training off and on for a number of years, but I've heard about the B-f-L plan, and wanted to give it a try. What I'm confused about is this: what if I can't lift exactly the amount of reps for any number of the sets?  Like what if I can only lift 10 for the high point sets? Does that mean I should increase the weight until I can lift 12 reps and no more?

    Also, what is a good measure for a level "5" intensity. What about a level "9"?  Is there some way to calculate it from a 10 rep max?  Any help is appreciated!



  • you should read the book it explains this all

  • thanks for that.  i actually did read the book.  twice. it only describes what a 4 and below, and then a 10. Also, there's only one line about overshooting your weight.  should the weight be chosen so you can get exactly the number of reps in, no more no less, at that intensity?  or is there wiggle room

  • If you've worked with weights before I'm betting you have a good idea of what your max is..I would aim for 10-15 lbs less than that for your 9 and half of your 9 weight as your 5.  

    For instance...I used to be able to dumbbell press 75-80 lbs but it's been a while so I decided that my 9 would be 60 lbs..  I made 35lbs my level 5 or warmup  here is a break down of my chest workout

    12 reps-35lbs

    10 reps-40lbs

    8 reps-50lbs

    6 reps-55lbs


    flies 12 reps-20lbs

    As for failing..I have a few times on my 9.  Would get 10 or so reps in.  If i'm at the point that I feel even if there was a gun at my head and I still can't push the weight up, I'm feeling like I worked the muscles to the best of my ability.  I would rather come up a tad short than finish feeling under worked.  

  • Body builders encourage lifting weights until failure (without sacrificing form). So if you bench press 100 lbs 8 times, and you couldn't do a ninth one with proper form or without help, then you've reached your max. But it depends on your goals. In general, high reps with moderate weight equals muscle tone and weight loss. Low reps with heavy weight equals muscle growth and weight gain (from the extra muscle).

  • My opinion is that if you reach failure within 2 reps of the intended number you are right on. If you fail earlier than that the weight is too heavy, and if you can go past that it is too light. It will take a bit to realize exactly where you should be, but just be sure you are going to absolute failure with proper form and you will be fine.

  • wow, thanks for the tips guys, what a great community

  • I explain the intensity index to people like this... if you were going a mile a 5 would be a casual stroll, a 9 would be you make the finish line but you fall down a few feet after you cross it, and on a 10 you fall down about 10 feet before the finish line and try to crawl the rest of the way..  as mentioned before one of the most important things is keeping good form. most people are suprised at how much less the weight should be to keep proper form in any set of reps. In the current bfl champions weight it shows going up in weight on each set until your last two sets of twelve for those it says to go down in weight so I usually drop down to my set of 10 weight for the last to sets and find that I fail out around the 10th or 11th rep.

    Keeping a journal and filling in your weights and the intensity level you reach for each workout will help you tweek your weights a bunch. The great part about having the journal is that it really allows you to see whats going on and to adjust up or down and really tune your program for the best results.

    Keep up the good work.

  • According to the sample weight training record in the book, your set of 12 at the end should be the same weight as your set of 8. It took me a couple workouts to tweak my weights, but keeping a record allowed me to adjust it right. After a couple workouts at the right weight, I could do it without keeping track. I would say if you can get to 10 reps during your last set of 12, I would keep the weight the same. Within a few workouts, I bet you get the 12 reps!! If you are only reaching maybe 8 or so reps when you are striving for 12, I would drop down a little weight at each level so that when you get to that last set, you are able to get closer to 12 reps. Hope that makes sense. If not, let me know! Maybe I can try to use actual numbers.