AMRAPS in Training
By Bryce Lewis
The AMRAP or AMAP set is a training concept meaning simply to perform as many reps as possible with a given training load, taken from the acronym for “as many as possible”, or “as many reps as possible”. Bryan Mann, a researcher from Missouri State links the origins of this idea to 1945 and military surgeon Captain Thomas DeLorme, who used a basic increase in load from session to session and a set to failure after three sets of ten repetitions for post-surgery soldiers healing from bone and joint repairs. From there, Mel Siff proposed the idea again in Supertraining, called it the APRE (autoregulated progressive resistance exercise) method. It was Bryan Mann who did the research on APRE in comparison to linear and block models of periodization.
Since then, it has experienced a resurgence of popularity in the last year or two, and many athletes are interested in how to make use of this training tool. This brief article will serve to illustrate some concepts of the AMRAP set and cover some psychological, programming, and strength benefits, and some potential pitfalls. Read more…
Custom RPE Charts, expanded PR widget, lots of new notes, navigation fixes (arrow/tab key), and Calendar functional updates round out the new features in this release.
Custom RPE Charts
When you’re viewing the Training Log pages, you’ll notice a new tab in the sub-menu for Custom RPE charts. This page will allow you to create new custom RPE charts — as many as you want. Name them and save them.
After you’re done creating them, head over to the revamped “Manage Exercises” tab to select a custom RPE chart for any movement you desire. Once you do this, the chart will be used to generate estimated 1RMs, PR’s, and more.
There are some things you should be aware of with this feature:
1) changing your RPE chart only changes FUTURE exercise entries. This is intentional. If you’d like to have the RPE chart also affect past entries, then you’ll need to edit those entries and re-save them.
2) You’ll designate a special RPE chart for an exercise. That will affect all the modifiers too. So designating a new chart for “Squat” will also be used for “Squat+bands” and any other modifier. This is also intentional as you probably don’t want to be making 30,000 RPE charts. You don’t need to anyway.
3) Just a side note about the Manage Exercise screens… you’ll notice Default Exercises don’t have edit/delete buttons. This is because you can’t edit/delete default exercises.
Expanded PR widget
On the dashboard, I’m sure you’ve noticed the PR widget. We’ve added scroll to this widget and also expanded it to encompass the last 90 days. You’re welcome.
We’ve actually added three layers of notes. The first are workout notes. These will be super obvious to everyone as you enter your data. Write whatever notes you want to keep in there, but we ask you to PLEASE DO NOT WRITE MESSAGES TO YOUR COACH IN THE WORKOUT NOTES. They likely won’t see it. Besides, that’s what email and other messaging platforms are for.
The second kind of note are Exercise Performance Notes. To get to this note, while you’re on the edit screen, click the name of each exercise. These notes are to help you keep track of performance cues or setup instructions for each exercise/modifier combination. So for “Low Pin Squat”, you might write in what pin setting you use for your rack, or note that you’re adding the DB weights together for your Bulgarian Split Squats.
The third kind of note is a Calendar Note. You can add a note directly to the calendar on a specific day using the plus icon on each day. This allows you to make a note of significant events like when a specific training cycle started, or if you get injured, etc. Again, we ask that you not use this to send messages to your coach because they could be missed.
We’ve updated how the keyboard will navigate you around the Edit Workout screen. Now you can use the left-right arrow or the tab key. We hope this makes data entry a bit easier.
The calendar has been made much more useful. Now you can add workouts, TRAC entries, and other events directly from the calendar using the plus icon (hover over a specific day).
Now clicking on a workout brings up the “view workout” screen in a pop-up, which means searching for a particular session should be much easier. You can still easily edit or delete the workout using the on-screen buttons.
We’ve also added a blue dot that will appear on the right side of any workout that has an attached video. This will make it easier for you to find the sessions where you have video to watch.
That’s it for this round. We’ll be back to work building more useful stuff for you soon. If you have any feedback, please let me know. Thanks for using our web tools!
Treat the Issues, Not the Tissues
By Dr. Rori Alter, PT, DPT
In a world that’s becoming more digitalized by the minute, it makes sense that information is more accessible than ever before. Just a few years ago there was (and continues to be) an upward trend of people “self-diagnosing,” incorrectly treating, and worrying themselves because they saw “Dr. Webernet.”
Web-MD, Wikepidia, and MayoClinic.com, among many other sites, became go-to places where the general population first looked for answers because it was quick and convenient, saved them a trip to the doctors’ office and a dent in their wallet from ever-increasing co-pays.
The endless wealth of information on the internet definitely has its benefits. Accessibility to information has allowed businesses to expand, entrepreneurs to set out on successful journeys, and people to expand their knowledge at quick and affordable rates. BUT! Like the hazards of Web-MD and self-diagnostics, people often times misinterpret and incorrectly apply information to their individual circumstances.
With the increasing popularity of barbell sports such as CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and powerlifting, the online market for coaches, gurus, bloggers, and mobility devices has skyrocketed in the last few years. We see Mobility WOD, ROMWOD, body tempering, hip circles and 100s of mobility and programming templates available at minimal cost or even free to the public. But out of the bottomless pit of information out there, how do we know what’s just right for us or what’s really going to harm us? And do we really know if what we are looking at or considering applying to our own body is exactly what we need given our individual circumstances? Read more…
Gym Toys for Powerlifters
By Mark Robb
In the previous article, we discussed equipment used in raw (classic) competition, namely a belt and shoes. Next, we will discuss the how and why of using some of the other most common pieces of equipment that a raw lifter will likely find to be useful tools in his or her toolbox. I will again limit discussion to those tools used in the RTS method, as this would otherwise turn into a novel that only addresses bar variations. Other than the obvious straight barbell, power rack, and regulation sized bench, equipment we use will fall into one of three general categories: 1. Address range of motion weaknesses 2. Superload a movement 3. Special bars and racks The purpose of additional equipment is to illicit a specific training effect with the ultimate goal of increasing absolute strength in the competition lifts. These assistance movements should be implemented at the appropriate time in a lifters training plan, as well as in the right proportion. In this article we’ll focus on the tools used to address range of motion weaknesses. Read more…
To Belt, Or Not To Belt: An Equipment Primer for Raw Lifters
By Mark Robb
When should you use a belt? This, and many other equipment questions, keep periodically coming up among lifters new to RTS. This article is meant to help those unfamiliar with RTS training techniques and / or with raw lifting with their understanding of some of the equipment used in both training and competition. This first article will deal primarily with the use of a belt, and to a lesser extent shoes.
By definition, raw lifting uses minimal equipment, making it even more important that you understand how to get the most out of what little you are using. At the very least, your equipment should not hinder you! I will be addressing equipment allowed in USAPL/IPF “Classic” competition as that is what I am familiar with. I do not consider the use of knee wraps to be “raw” lifting, but rather, an overload technique. Use of knee wraps as such will be addressed later on in this article series.
The most important pieces of equipment used in raw competition are a lifting belt and your shoes. All else is pretty much inconsequential to the generation of strength. Read more…
The Driving Analogy
By Mike Tuchscherer
I’m going to use a little different analogy to describe what RTS does for you.
Think of your strength like a place. It doesn’t matter which place – you are where you are right now. That might be 700 Totalville. It might be 2000 Totalville. Then your goals are another place somewhere else. Perhaps that’s Word’sStrongestMan City. Or even WorldRecordstown. So how do you get to your goals? You use a car (training).
The Russian Classification Chart
By Mike Tuchscherer
What is your experience level as a Powerlifter? Kind of a hard question to answer, huh? Some will answer with how many years they’ve been competing. Others will tell you their total. Still others might give a vague “not much” or “been around a while”.
What if I told you we have a tool that allows us to approximate a lifter’s experience level? Well, there are many charts out there for classifying lifters, but the one I have had the most success with is the Russian Classification Chart.
The Russian Classification Chart matches a lifter’s raw total against his weight class to give an experience classification. Read more…
Benching from the Bottom
By Mike Tuchscherer
If you’re a raw lifter, odds are that you have much more trouble with the bottom of your bench than any other part. When I say “the bottom”, I mean anywhere from chest level to 2 inches off the chest. I myself am not known for my benching power. I’d rather deadlift any day. I could give you the line about how that makes my advice more useful because I had to fight tooth-and-nail for what I know. And to some extent that’s true, but everyone works hard for knowledge. To me, it’s a lot more valuable if it translates to the real world in other people. While I’m not a great bencher myself (yet), I’ve coached several very good benchers – even an IPF world record holder. And these recommendations have helped lifters at all levels improve. That doesn’t mean it’s a magic bullet — just that this is worth paying attention to. So if you’re giving your spotter a trap workout anytime you take a heavy single, then here is some advice on how to get things back on track: Read more…
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…
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…