Using Block Reviews

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Using Block Reviews
By Mike Tuchscherer, 12 September 2017

In my estimation, there is only one good reason to keep a training log – to help you make better training decisions.  That’s it.  Lots of people keep a log just to write down what they did, but never make use of the information.  What’s the point?

Our training log is a free application that ANYONE can use.  And we’re building new tools all the time to help you make better training choices.  One feature that I really love is called the Block Review.

Purpose of the Block Review

We all know that people respond differently to training.  It’s training law – the law of individual differences.  It’s trivially obvious to observe.  So once you’re past the beginning stages the question becomes how can you optimize your training so that it’s producing the best progress it can – FOR YOU.  Unfortunately no one can tell you what it is.  There is no test you can take.  There’s no system that will find it for you.  You need to find it for yourself.  And figuring this out is where the block review proves highly valuable. Read more…

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Personality Types and Training: Help us Figure it Out

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Personality types and Training:  Help us Figure it Out
By Mike Tuchscherer, 12 September 2017

Attention Powerlifters: Help me start to answer how personality affects training. There is a survey linked below. It will take about 20min to complete. In it you’ll find out about your personality as well as help us gain some knowledge about the training you find most effective. Read more…

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What’s the Recovery Value of a Massage?

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What’s the Recovery Value of a Massage?
By Mike Tuchscherer, 5 September 2017

We’ve always said massage is good for recovery, but how do we know?  I get massages periodically.  I would like to do it weekly, but often I’ll go a month between them.  We always *thought* it was good for recovery, but as time has gone on I’ve noticed less and less of a difference.  With the time constraints that one accumulates with life, I began wondering if it was time well spent or not.  So I pulled my TRAC data and compared my scores after a massage to my scores after a normal rest day.  I was very surprised by the results.  Quick aside:  TRAC is our athlete monitoring system.  It’s how we monitor the recovery for all of our athletes.  It’s available for everyone for free via the RTS website – just click on apps in the main menu.
Read more…

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Flexible Templates

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Flexible Templates
By Mike Tuchscherer, August 22, 2017

We all go through busy times in our lives.  For a lot of us, some of those busy times are coming up later this month and next.  For others, those times are year-around.  Stuff like that can affect training and sometimes that’s unavoidable.  When one of my lifters finds himself in this situation, I often use a Flex Template.

A template is simply a designation of what work you do on what days. Read more…

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Exercise Detail: 2ct Pause Bench

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Exercise Detail:  2ct Pause Bench
by Mike Tuchscherer, August 15, 2017

I’d like to do a little series on various exercises where we really expand on the usefulness of certain movements. I don’t think this will be an every-week thing, but rather a “from time to time” thing.

This week, I’d like to discuss the 2ct Pause Bench. Any sort of long-pause bench is going to train the bottom of the bench. That much is surely obvious. But what specifically is the 2ct Pause Bench good for? In my experience, it’s best suited for those lifters who either can’t get the weight moving off the chest at all, or those who squish when they start to drive the weight up. Read more…

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Singles for Assistance Work — Why?

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Singles for Assistance Work — Why?
By Mike Tuchscherer, August 8, 2017

Summary points

  • All exercises should be placed in a program for a reason.
  • If the reason is enhanced by high intensity work (i.e. singles), then it’s worth considering.
  • High intensity work will cause your volume to dip, but don’t let it get out of balance. Find the sweet spot.
  • There are many reasons not to do singles. Some are contingent on the exercise.  Some are contingent on the lifter.  Be smart.
  • Not all tools are appropriate for all times.

Read more…

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Wrong but Useful: Central/Peripheral Models

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Wrong but Useful: Central/Peripheral Models
By Mike Tuchscherer, August 1, 2017

Go back and read articles from the early to mid 2000’s about powerlifting training.  Especially if the author is attempting to explain his thinking at a physiological level, you’re likely to come across the term “CNS” – or “Central Nervous System”.  And often it was in the context of “CNS Fatigue” or “CNS burnout”.

Fast forward to the 2010-2013 timeframe and “CNS” more or less left the lexicon of popular programming articles.  And that’s not without it’s reasons.  As the idea of “CNS fatigue” proliferated, too many people took it to be an absolute or factual description of what was going on.  That left many of us, me included, speaking against the abuse of the concept.  Every bad training day is not because “your CNS is fried, bro”. Read more…

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Performance Downturns

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Performance Downturns
By Mike Tuchscherer

Have you ever had this situation? You’re training, improving, and everything is going great. Then, you come into the gym one day and your strength is down by a lot – something like 5-10%. If it were just a bad day, then you’d expect the next session to be back to normal. But the next session isn’t back to normal. At best, it’s just a marginal improvement. You don’t think it’s fatigue because you feel fine – you even feel normal. Subjective indicators of fatigue, even objective ones like HRV, aren’t showing an accumulation of training stress. Read more…

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Travelling to Compete: How to Shift Your Circadian Clocks And Lift at Your Best When Travelling Across Time Zones

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Travelling to Compete: How to Shift Your Circadian Clocks And Lift at Your Best When Travelling Across Time Zones
By: Thomas Kaminski

Introduction:

With the IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships approaching, I thought it would be useful to write an article explaining how the human circadian systems work and how athletes can adjust their body clocks to the new time zone so that they can lift at their best. Ensuring that your body clock is adjusted for the time of the competition is essential for performing optimally. This is because athletic performance can vary greatly depending on your internal circadian time (Teo et al., 2011; Dijk, 1992). Contrary to the opinions of some, your muscles will not work optimally by simply setting an early alarm and just giving them some time to ‘wake up’ before the competition. The fact is, if they are at a point in their circadian cycle where they are not meant to be working, then they simply cannot work at their maximum capacity. To illustrate this point, when you have jet lag induced insomnia the reason you can’t sleep is because your circadian system is telling your brain that it is not time to sleep, and just as trying harder to sleep cannot fix this problem, trying to get your muscles working when they aren’t supposed to be isn’t going to work either! For this reason, it is extremely important to adjust your circadian clock so that your body is ready for the competition.

In this article, I give a brief overview of some of the relevant human circadian systems Read more…

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Project Momentum 17-1 Results

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Project Momentum 17-1 Results
By Mike Tuchscherer

Project Momentum 17-1 Post Project Analysis

I’ve often heard people suggest that the number of reps you can do with 80% loads is indicative both of fiber type distribution and how you should train to see the most progress.  The fiber type distribution claim wasn’t so interesting to me as a coach, but the training claim was.  More specifically, the claim as I came across it was something like this:

Lifters who can do low reps with 80% of 1RM are fast-twitch dominant and therefore should train with low reps per set.  That will allow them to progress the fastest.

I am aware of some studies looking at whether reps-at-a-given-percentage correlate to a fiber type distribution, but again, I’m much more interested in performance.  And I wasn’t able to find anything that tested the claim underlined above.  So we sought to test it in a practical setting.

What did we find?
First, a bit about the basic setup….  Read more…

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