Workload Efficiency

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Workload Efficiency
By Mike Tuchscherer

Each time I sit down to write something, I try to think of what people need to hear. Not always what they want to hear, but what knowledge is needed to move us forward in our training? Lately, I keep coming back to efficiency. Maybe I haven’t done a good job of describing its importance in the past. Maybe a few of you guys still don’t get it. I’m not totally sure, but I do know that there must be a reason why I keep coming back to this topic.
Efficiency in training can mean a lot of things. We could be talking about efficiency of movement where no energy is wasted. We could be talking about energy efficiency, where your energy systems produce ATP in an efficient and reliable manner. We could be talking about training economy, or one of several other specific topics. But the efficiency I’m referring to is workload efficiency. Read more…

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Using RTS on a Sheiko Base Program

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Using RTS on a Sheiko Base Program
By Mike Tuchscherer

I talk quite a bit about long term planning because in my mind there are so many ways to do it right. As far as training goes, most of us understand that it is both art and science. We’re after producing effects for the athlete and that’s what matters. If you get good effects, then you did it right. If you don’t, then you did it wrong. Read more…

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You DON’T Have “Plenty of Time”

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You DON’T Have “Plenty of Time”
By Mike Tuchscherer

I’ll never forget my first 800-lbs deadlift in competition. I was still relatively unknown in the powerlifting world. I’d won a Jr. World championship, but I’d bombed out of four (4!) other national level meets. It was well before Facebook (at least for me) and unless you were paying attention, I was easy not to notice. It was 2007. I had recently left the collegiate ranks and I was looking for a meet. I found one in Hemet, California. Read more…

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A Resurgent Emphasis on Exercise Selection

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A Resurgent Emphasis on Exercise Selection
By Mike Tuchscherer

When a lifter is first introduced to weight training, or physical activity in general, it is usually best to have wide and varied exercises to teach useful and efficient movement patterns. As they settle into a late-beginner or early-intermediate status, the exercise selection usually is reduced to the contest lifts with a few others. But then as the lifter progresses and specific problems arise, exercise selection again becomes key to continued development.
There is a problem, though. Many lifters don’t understand exercise selection enough to pick the appropriate exercise for their current training status. That is to say, if a lifter is in the beginning stages of a training cycle, oftentimes they do not understand the goal of the training block and therefore don’t understand which exercises are best suited to meet their needs. So proper exercise selection depends on understanding the style of training you are using, what the goals and objectives are, etc.
Including a large section on how to know the goals and objectives of your training cycle is beyond the scope of this article, but there are a few general points to be made, as you will see shortly. Read more…

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Choosing Sets-n-Reps; A Guide to Protocol Selection

DSC01145Choosing Sets-n-Reps; A Guide to Protocol Selection

By Mike Tuchscherer

For those familiar with the Reactive Training Manual, you have surely noticed the multiple times in the book that selecting protocols is mentioned, but in terms of guidance, you are given two lists. Choose from list one during your volume block and list two during your intensity block. Beyond that, you’re told to choose randomly. Read more…

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Pendulum Shift

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Pendulum Shift
By Mike Tuchscherer

We’re all aware of pendulum shifts in the iron game. For a while, everyone believes Method 1 is the only way to improve while Method 2 will leave you just spinning your wheels. Then after a while, it shifts and people believe Method 2 is the only way and Method 1 is garbage.
Read more…

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Thoughts for Round Back Deadlifters

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Thoughts for Round Back Deadlifters
By Mike Tuchscherer

It seems like every week, I get into a discussion with someone about round-back deadlifting. So I decided to write down some random thoughts on the matter in order to save some time in the future. Besides, I think more people could use some extra understanding about a lift that usually comprises about 40% of their total.

I want to start out saying that if a beginner came to me, I would not teach them the round back deadlift. But if they developed into it, understood the risks, and consciously chose it, I would still coach them and develop them as a lifter. I don’t see the round back style as incorrect — just different with a different list of pros and cons.
Read more…

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Competing Well

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Competing Well
By Mike Tuchscherer

As I’m writing this, I’m preparing for the Raw Unity meet for 2010. I was thinking about the coming contest and its possibilities. As with so many other meets I’ve done, I realized that it will come down to who makes more lifts.
You see, the winner of a powerlifting meet is not necessarily the strongest lifter; it’s the person who competes best. This seems to be the same thing, but let me explain for a moment. Read more…

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Resetting Expectations

 

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Resetting Expectations
By Mike Tuchscherer

A while back, I went to go see the movie “Safehouse” with Denzel Washington. Something you should know about me is that I can be a bit picky about movies sometimes. I like movies that have a strong theme. Don’t just blow stuff up and use cool special effects – I’m a sucker for a really great story. Or at least a character that HAS character.

So when I first saw “Safehouse”, I thought it was okay. It seemed like a fun movie to watch, but it lacked the compelling theme that I really enjoy at movies. Regardless, something about it kept turning over in my head for a while. And probably a week after seeing the movie, I was finally able to put my finger on it.

Denzel’s character was obviously a great spy. One would imagine that he was one of the best. But if you watch what he does at key points in the movie, it’s not his ability to manipulate people or his tradecraft that makes him so tough to catch. It’s his ability to immediately accept the circumstances around him and make the best decision of his available options.

Read more…

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The Seven Principles and You

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The Seven Principles and You
By Mike Tuchscherer

Training discussions often turn to which method or program is the best. And there are a lot of programs out there, too. So deciding which one can generate progress can sometimes be a daunting task. And even if it’s not that bad for you, figuring out how to apply it, or if there is a better way can be a challenge even to seasoned coaches.
The thing is whenever we evaluate programs to decide how good they are, we can always come back to the Seven Fundamental Principles to help point us in the right direction. These aren’t the only principles and they also aren’t always applied equally, but we can use it as a yardstick of sorts to measure programs. I didn’t invent these principles – they are based in scientific observation collected over the last 60+ years.
What I would like to do is go through each principle, discuss it, and also show you some practical application for it. If you think this is too elementary for you, then you aren’t looking deep enough.

Read more…

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