Nine for Nine: Ingredients for the Perfect Meet

Written By: Nathaniel Hancock

Photo By: Photo by Maren Ingrid of MRNtography

Last week at the USA Powerlifting SLP Classic in Salt Lake City, something extraordinary
occurred: I relaxed.

In my first meet under Reactive Training Systems (RTS) coach Mike Tuchsherer, I hit all my lifts,
including weights I had never even tried in training. I achieved four lifetime Personal Bests (PBs)
at age 44, breaking into the top ten all-time tested performances worldwide for my weight and
age. What’s more, all third attempts felt fast and effortless.

Looking back over my competitive lifting career, it took seven years of powerlifting training and
five years of competing for me to secure my first nine-for-nine day (in 2018). It did not have to
be thus.

The mistakes I made in earlier meets range from the comical (chalk on thighs) to the careless
(jumping the rack command) to the technical (squat depth). It is my belief that mistakes –
provided we learn from them – can be blessings in disguise.

At the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, I wrote about the Ingredients of the Perfect
Training Session
for Kabuki Strength. What follows is a related reflection detailing what goes
into generating our best meet performances.

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Technique must be challenged

There are levels to good technique. And what you have to do to make it better changes as you develop.

When you say the phrase “technique work” to most powerlifters, it conjures images of light training with a focus on body positioning. Perhaps even with an exaggerated slow tempo. And that’s fine for a basic competency in technical execution, but that’s about all.

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A Lifters Journey to Becoming Multi-Dimensional

By Coach Ross Leppala

This is a story about how a bench press specialist became a well-rounded powerlifter with a growing total.

Edward Narayan has been working with RTS for many years now.  In the beginning, he was one of our Guided Programming lifters.  After some time of following along with that program, he upgraded to All Access Coaching in October 2019 to work with me, coach Ross Leppala.  Ed is 38 years old and competes in the 140 kg weight class with over 10 years of powerlifting experience.  His day job has him working in IT services before hitting the gym for training.  

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Bending Emerging Strategies Rules for Competition Prep – Case Study

By RTS Coach Adam Jones

Case Study – Athlete Clinton Lee
Clinton is an international powerlifter who competes in the u74kg open category for Singapore. Clinton has been competing in Powerlifting for 8 years, competing in three weight classes from u93kg to u83kg and now as an u74kg. Clinton’s accolades include a silver medal overall at the 2018 IPF Open Classic Worlds in the u74kg weight class and he is currently the highest-ranked men’s lifter in the Asian Powerlifting Federation (IPF).

Clinton has been working with me for over a year now. Previously his training was mostly block periodization with very high specificity. His blocks were typically 3-4 weeks long, increasing intensity leading into competition and tapering in a typical block periodize fashion.

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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. Prior to it, 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 and I found one in Hemet, California. Read more…

How I added 129lbs to my total in 2 blocks

It sounds unbelievable. I can scarcely believe it myself. But here’s how it went down.

If you would like to see the full program in it’s entirety, check out the Program Library inside RTS Training Lab. Full details, additional information, support for modifications, and deployment for yourself/your athletes is all available.
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5 Questions For Coaches

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This article is for the coaches…

It’s not that athletes have nothing to gain from it. It’s just that if you’re an athlete interested in evaluating your coach it should be primarily on two factors — results and enjoyment. If you are getting results and enjoying the process then I would recommend that you stay where you are. If you are not getting results or not enjoying the process then it may be time to reevaluate.

Yes for the coaches…  I have some questions to ask you.

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Winners Win

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So there I was… It was 2009. I was at the Raw Unity Meet. At the time, this was the BIGGEST raw competition on the planet. It was put on by my friend Eric Talmant and was a way for all powerlifters — equipped or raw… tested or untested… to compete at the same event under the same rules. I was in the 125kg class competing against Scott Smith, an impressively strong untested lifter from the USPF.

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5 Common RPE Roadblocks and how to Overcome Them

Author: RTS Coach Ross Leppala

It’s not uncommon for people to experience roadblocks when using RPEs in their training. In fact, all of us have faced some struggles along the way in applying them effectively.

You’re not alone in that area.

Even us coaches have tripped up along the way from time to time. It’s not about being mistake-free, it’s about learning and adapting along the way to make smart choices and build momentum.

Here are some common RPE roadblocks and some ideas on how you can overcome them!

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Training is Meant to be Hard!

Author: RTS Coach John Garafano

Training is meant to be HARD! But that doesn’t mean it has to crush you either!

This is intuitive, right? I mean, we are here to do something hard. We are here to push our physical bodies to limits that we often don’t think are possible –exploring the uppermost limit of our strength potential, winning championships, podium finishes, breaking records, beating our personal bests, and being the strongest human we can be.

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