What causes an e1RM to go up or down?

Increases and decreases in e1RM

Unsure what an e1RM is, see what is an estimated one-rep max to learn more.

During a Volt workout, the Smart Sets feature (which is powered by Cortex, Volt’s training AI) works to adjust the recommended loading for a movement from set to set, based on the athlete’s feedback on a scale of 1 to 10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion). Behind the scenes, Cortex knows what RPE rating we are expecting for any given set -- for example, Cortex might recommend 75% of the athlete’s e1RM for 8 reps, with an expected RPE of 6. These recommendations are based on the underlying exercise science behind each phase, training block, week, movement, and set in your athletes’ Volt workouts.

Using the example above, if the athlete’s actual RPE rating for that movement is higher than Cortex expected -- say a 10 instead of 6 -- Cortex will adjust their e1RM down, in order to keep the athlete working at the appropriate exertion level for their workout. Similarly, if the athlete’s actual RPE is lower than the expected RPE -- a 1 instead of a 6, for example -- Cortex will adjust their e1RM up, to ensure the athlete is being challenged enough to see progress. 

Even though this relationship between expected and actual RPE might sound complex, our data science team has found that this process of auto-regulation -- the athlete’s ability to go outside of Cortex’s originally recommended loading and reps for a movement, based on how they are feeling -- results in greater overall strength gains over time, as compared to our legacy Strength Numbers system. To learn more, please see “How does the e1RM work with Strength Numbers?

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