by Mike Tuchscherer, 27 December 2017
Doing a lot of training volume doesn’t matter much if you can’t recover from it. It’s not about workload, but rather the workload that you can recover from. Now from there, we can spout generalities usually in one of two varieties. We can say, “Most people aren’t working hard enough, so most likely you shouldn’t worry about it and just work harder.” Or we can say, “Recovery is the critical factor. Better to under-train than over-train. So keep training on the conservative side.”
by Mike Tuchscherer, 14 December 2017
Back in 2008, we had a training log app on the RTS website. For many reasons we had to shut it down and rebuild it. We relaunched it in 2016 and have been packing it with features ever since. What’s more, it’s free for anyone to use with any style of training you want.
By Mike Tuchscherer, 5 December 2017
You may see people using the term “RPE” regarding their training, but not be sure what it’s all about. Or, more likely, you are one of the people who *thinks* you know what it’s about, but still make fundamental errors with it. No matter which one you are, or even if you do for sure get RPE training correct, hopefully you can learn something from this post.
By Bob Wanamaker
Not only do we have to consider intensity in developing a program, but we have to consider volume as well. While the two are interrelated in getting from Point A to Point B, a good way to look at it is that intensity determines the training effect, and volume determines the magnitude of that training effect. So, as a coach, I prescribe less reps per set with more intensity to develop strength in an athlete, and more reps per set with less intensity to develop (say) hypertrophy.
This important to note: for intermediate and advanced athletes, the rep range is always prescribed by programming, when the coach develops the training cycle. Different rep ranges target different systems; doing an all out set of 3 reps is not the same as doing an all out set of 10 reps.
This approach differs greatly from a well-known 5×5 program, used by many beginners. In this program, which will remain unnamed, the lifter is supposed to do five sets of five reps with a target weight that increases each week. Typically, there will come a time when the lifter can do the first set or two quite easily, but has trouble after that. S/he might hit the third set, and gets four reps, the fourth set two or three reps, the fifth set two or three reps. Read more…
By Bob Wanamaker
Quick review: autoregulation is a strategy to control the intensity and volume of training so as to maximize training effect while accounting for changes in the individual. Changes which impact training can include stress, illness, and injury. Of note is that “stress is stress.” Whether stress originates from training volume, from relationship problems, from money problems – there’s only one mechanism in the body for coping. So if that mechanism is busy coping with external stressors, the last thing we want to do increase stress from training.
A tactic that can be employed is RPE. RPE quite intuitively provides a means to regulate intensity on-the-fly: the basic concept employed is that of “difficulty in moving the weight.” As the athlete adds weight to the bar for the back squat, the move becomes progressively more difficult, and the athlete works with more intensity, up to maximum possible intensity: the one-rep max (1RM). Intensity determines training effect.
So why not just use the 1RM, and Prilepin’s table, and develop training blocks based on that?
When an athlete approaches me for coaching, I have a big task on my hands. There is a lot of information I have to gather about them so I can write the most effective training programs possible. For each athlete, there are many small details that affect the way they will respond to training and my job as a coach is to find out what those details are and address them in training.
Since I conduct the majority of my coaching via email, I have developed some specialized questionnaires to help me extract these details about each new athlete. I then pair that with the general knowledge base I have built and the results speak for themselves.
But how can you as a powerlifter do this for yourself? How do you get a training program tuned in to your body’s unique responses? Fortunately for you, you have much of the information you need already. Many lifters who are in the intermediate and above stages of powerlifting will already know many nuances of how they respond to training as well as the fundamentals of how a powerlifting training program should work; things like having adequate recovery, training with low reps, etc. Read more…