By: Nathaniel Hancock
“Each new chapter of our lives requests an old part of us to fall and a new part of us to rise.”
After meticulous preparation and arduous lifting over many months, I was two weeks away from setting personal bests across the board at my upcoming powerlifting meet in Boise, Idaho. For the first time after nearly a decade of training, I was poised to take over the number one slot in my weight and age category nationwide. The moment came for my heaviest deadlift single (one rep) in the gym, and I was feeling strong and determined. With 575 lbs. on the bar, my previous best in this lift, I was excited to witness my progress and boost my confidence going into the meet by annihilating this weight. I approached the bar with purpose and drive: it moved quickly off the floor until just before lockout, and then — “POP!” — my left biceps detached from the elbow bone as my tendon ruptured. In the space of a nanosecond, I was transported from a place of intense confidence and elation to one of utter heartbreak and disappointment. I sat down in a sea of sadness in the middle of Ironground gym in Murray, Utah, and pondered on what had just transpired. For several minutes I did not know where I was; I was lost.Read more…
Learned lessons in toughness and self care from a literal hole in my heart
Author: Kris Hunt
Insta-therapy is a weird place. I say “insta-therapy”, but really I mean “popular culture” therapy. There’s always a new push for a new catchphrase and then a counter movement for the opposite one. For example, co-dependency was once considered a bad thing to have in relationships. Now, some therapists say good relationships are meant to be co-dependent because the co-dependency movement just caused people to isolate themselves. “Inner child” work is a thing now, but it is probably causing people to push their parents away and lose out on meaningful relationships with them. Well, what the hell is the answer then?
I bring this up because there is a big “resiliency” movement right now in popular culture. If you just expand your capacity for resilience, you can handle life. This seems to be getting closer to reality in terms of how to cope and continue to grow. We see this concept in powerlifting all the time – build up your tank, work on your capacity, grind through some harder reps, and your strength will increase. Of course there are exceptions to this in powerlifting – injuries are the obvious – but also life circumstances: birth of a child, death of a parent/spouse/etc, divorce, mental illness, and the list goes on. These chip away at your work capacity and your ability to handle intensity, but if you have a baseline tank to draw from, you probably can work your way back into some quality training when the obstacle is over.Read more…
Written By: Nathaniel Hancock
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
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.
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.Read more…
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.
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!Read more…
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.Read more…
Author: Shane Martin
When you first get into equipped powerlifting it can be daunting and confusing. There are limited resources and lots of misconceptions. Here I want to share 5 mistakes and how to avoid them:
Don’t. Please. It will save you hours of frustration. How your gear fits plays a huge role in your enjoyment and success in equipped. You can’t learn something you can’t manipulate. And if you have gear too tight, you are making the learning process cumbersome.Read more…
Weekly Progressions and Training Expectations – By Hayden Pritchard
I had to train early this morning.
This was not normal, or ideal.
While training is important to me, it is far from the most important thing. Hence, although I prefer to lift in the afternoon, I wanted to go to my son’s vaccinations, which are booked at my usual training time.
So I made the call to get out of bed earlier, so I could still get my training in but prioritize my family.
There are people who love to train early, I think those people are crazy.
I am not a fan of lifting in the morning.Read more…
Velocity training with Landyn Hickmott
I would like to start off this article by saying that the Velocity-Based Training Courses (both the VBT Theory Course and the VBT Application Course) are incredibly comprehensive to the powerlifting athlete, the powerlifting coach, and the strength enthusiast from an applied perspective. The format of the VBT Courses enables you to easily grasp the content and apply it directly into your training that same day! However, I’ve had numerous people reach out to me with some slightly more nuanced questions in relation to some of the free slides that I have shared; therefore, I thought I’d share some of the nuanced answers to those questions here. This article is long, but please feel welcome to read each individual question/answer in a separate sitting or navigate to the question(s)/answer(s) that are most applicable to you. Please also feel welcome to reach out to me on my website: landynhickmott.com. I hope you enjoy!Read more…