How to know if you should pull out of a meet

WHEN NOT TO COMPETE, (OR THOUGHTS ON WHY WE DO) by MARK ROBB

There have been times when I struggled with the choice of whether to withdraw from a meet that I had already registered for or not, and as I have thought about this subject more, the broader the subject became. In interactions with some of my lifters, RTS teammates, USA National Teammates, as well as my own experiences, I have learned several things that I believe are worthy of consideration when you find yourself with that decision to make.

My hope is that this article might help you organize your thoughts, and maybe bring up something that you hadn’t thought about, so that you have more clarity about whatever you decide to do.

Why are you competing?

The answer to this question will help determine your choice as to whether to compete or not. And the answer to this question may actually Read more…

Note to Self: Remember the Long Term

e1RM chart for my Front Squat over the last 3 months. Green line indicates the current session that this post is about.

I’m writing this because as an athlete, it’s something I need to keep in mind.  And as a coach, I know many of you need to keep it in mind as well.  Here’s to getting better.

Today’s Front Squat session was objectively awesome. I managed 565×1 @8.5 RPE. This ties what I did last week — which is one of my best Front Squat reps of all time. Only twice have I gone heavier — and even then only 5lbs and 10lbs respectively. And those lifts ware a LOT slower.

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5 Questions For Coaches

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.

Read more…

Training with Gym Closures

by Mike Tuchscherer, 16 March 2020

With many gyms around the world now closing for the next several weeks due to COVID-19, we’ve had several of our lifters suddenly without a place to train. Over the last few years, I’ve often found myself on the road for various reasons also without a training facility — just making due with what I could carry in a suitcase and do in a hotel room. In the case of my move a few years ago, I kept this up for basically a couple of months. While this isn’t the same thing as what lifters are facing now, I do feel it’s given me perspective on what a powerlifter could do in a situation like this to make sure this bump-in-the-road has minimal impact.

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Correcting Max-Effort Technical Deviations

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Correcting Max-Effort Technical Deviations
By Mike Tuchscherer, 10 September 2017

I’ve written before about why I think including assistance work is a good idea.  And I do mean *assistance* work, not just supplemental work.  And the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that this is the best way to develop strength over the long term.

Quick aside on exercise classification before we get started…

Competition Exercise:  The exercise as it’s performed in competition. If you squat low-bar in competition, then high bar squats are not a competition exercise.  If you wear a belt in competition, beltless work is not a competition exercise.

Assistance Exercise:  Exercises that are very closely related to the competition exercise, but contain 1-2 small changes to give the lift a certain emphasis.  Things like pause squats, deadlifts with chains, or board presses all fall into this category.

Supplemental Exercise:  Exercises that train the same muscles, but not the same movements.  Usually trained for higher reps as well.  Exercises like lunges, military press, and good mornings fit into this category.

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High Stress Training Weeks

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High Stress Training Weeks
By Mike Tuchscherer, 3 October 2017

From the inbox:

“Why vary weekly fatigue percents at all? Why not move from high reps to low reps at [medium stress] each week? The high reps provide the stimulus and the low reps allowing fatigue to dissipate? A week of 3’s at [high stress] vs week of 8’s at [medium stress]. The latter has a lower fatigue percent but higher volume- so what’s the difference in effect between the two?”

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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…

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.
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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…

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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