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Programming Dumbbell and Barbell RFESS Variations

Excluding the eternal debate about the efficacy of bilateral vs unilateral lower body movements, I was wondering if anyone could direct me to good information on programming DB and BB variations of RFESS either in the form of article(s) by reputable authors that are openly available for free on trusted websites or Amazon ebook(s) by reputable authors.

The information I’m primarily concerned with is:
-weight loading to start with
-set/rep schemes to use
-rest intervals
-applying progressive overload based on goal
-programming DB/BB RFESS variations as a primary lower body movement for strength/mass and also programming the DB/BB RFESS as a secondary/accessory movement to supplement bilateral squat and deadlift variations

Check out some stuff from Ben Bruno. He loves that move.

I’ve always gotten great results from split squats. I tend to alternate my main lower body strength work between periods of trap-bar deadlifting for lower reps and split squats for higher reps. Sometimes in the same training week, sometimes in different training cycles. I just really like those two moves as I can push them without tweaking any joints or anything like that.

I’ll tell you a rough progression that worked great for me. I created it by accident, and I don’t know if it’s been thought of by someone smarter. I’d do three sets of 10 reps per leg with a dumbbell. My first set would be lighter, my second set would be heavy, and my third set would be lighter. My goal was always to do 3 sets of 10 with the weight used for my second set, then repeat the process. It worked for me way better than doing 3x10 at the same weight, then slightly increasing the weight. I think it was nice for me mentally because it gave me time to really feel the heavier weight before committing fully to it. Here’s an example of progression from workout to workout, again I used 3x10 but I’m sure you could tweak that.

  1. 45 pounds, 65 pounds, 50 pounds
  2. 45, 65, 65
  3. 65, 65, 65
  4. 65, 80, 65
  5. 65, 80, 80
  6. 80, 80, 80
  7. 80, 90, 80
  8. 80, 90, 90
  9. 90, 90, 90

Again, progressions like this aren’t uncommon but worked quite well for me on split squats. Hope that helps!

Probably not what you were looking for at all, but these are horrifically awesome