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Assign %Difficulty to Individualize Training

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Dec 12, 2017 7:57:47 PM

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Creating individualized programs is never easy. Physiology, level of experience, and the rate of progression varies wildly from athlete to athlete and creating programs to challenge and progress athletes can require both constant program updates and repetitive testing. Using percentages of max results is not always the best option for all athletes and practitioners. We understand. That’s why we have created and optimized our algorithm for %Difficulty.

What is %Difficulty?

%Difficulty is our update to the standardized use of %1RM for prescribing weight. It is used to define a prescription that accounts for the relationship between the percentage of the rep max and the number of reps prescribed. Prescribing workouts based on an athlete’s percentages of 1 rep max requires regular testing and varying calculations to determine the correct prescription when assigning 2 or more repetitions. %Difficulty has removed the need for either.

Why should I use %Diff instead of %1RME

Our algorithm determines a correct prescription based off the athlete’s past history and the number of reps as a factor when determining weight. %100 Difficulty is defined as the amount of weight required for the athlete to complete all of the prescribed reps, but no more. For example, an athlete assigned a set of 5 reps at 100% difficulty should be able to complete 5 reps but would not be able to complete a 6th. This means that 100% difficulty will provide different weight prescriptions when applied to a set of 2, 5, and 10 reps; however, the result will be the same: the weight assigned will allow the athlete to only complete the assigned amount of reps.

Our algorithm also accounts for the progression of athletes over the course of their program by consistently updating their prescriptions based on their exercise history in the Bridge system. If an athlete accomplishes more or less than the prescribed reps or weight, the algorithm will adjust the %difficulty to challenge them accordingly the next time they encounter the same exercise.  If you create one program and assign it to multiple athletes, when using % Difficulty, each of your athletes will receive individualized weight parameters based on their previously recorded data. The use of %difficulty allows for coaches to build and for athletes to experience programs that are updating, changing, and evolving as the program progresses.


Leverage %Difficulty to provide thorough individualization for each and every training day. Unlike using percentages from max results of a past lift, you can use %Difficulty right from your first building session with new athletes. Your athletes will update their results, allowing our algorithms to consistnetly adjust to reflect an effective progression across each week, phase and program. 

Topics: Performance Trends, Sports Technology, Coaching Tips