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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Training: More is not always better

Training isn’t everything…

But…let’s rewind for a moment

Most of us know we need to train really hard in order to get stronger. That’s not news to anyone. But for some reason, it seems like a constant theme I keep seeing in my coaching practice (and in myself) is this mentality of ‘more is better’. 

Let me know if this sounds familiar to you.

You look on social media, you see your competitors posting their lifts and you think…I must do more. You then ignore all other guardrails you’ve set for yourself and train harder. But, then suddenly, you realize that this level of training isn’t sustainable. You might be feeling beat up, washed out, or just thinking of quitting. That only then fuels your frustrations when you see the highlight reel of your competition.

I get it. I can relate. 

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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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Home Gym on a Budget

By John Garafano, 16 March 2020

While it may be great to have an expensive power rack with lots of add-ons, various specialty bars, and numerous name-brand machines in your home gym, the fact is that many people have built their elite-level strength on very minimal equipment setup. Try to resist the urge when first putting together a home gym to want to buy ‘everything’ and ‘the best’. Just know that over time, you can build your home gym up while you collect equipment (and pay less since you can buy used or take advantage of yearly sales). If you are a powerlifter, you can get by on this minimal setup:

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Optimize Your Training Paradigm to Optimize Gains

By Mark Robb 02 February 2019

In the quest for strength, it seems that I (we) sometimes lose sight of the big picture, and the importance of various factors unconsciously shifts, without notice. This may not be an issue for some, but I think that I can safely theorize that anyone that is goal driven, that has numbers in mind, is susceptible to what I’m about to explain. If you’re a competitive athlete, this probably includes you.

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Log Your Training!

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.

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Fresh training log updates

Custom RPE Charts, expanded PR widget, lots of new notes, navigation fixes (arrow/tab key), and Calendar functional updates round out the new features in this release.

Custom RPE Charts

When you’re viewing the Training Log pages, you’ll notice a new tab in the sub-menu for Custom RPE charts.  This page will allow you to create new custom RPE charts — as many as you want.  Name them and save them.

After you’re done creating them, head over to the revamped “Manage Exercises” tab to select a custom RPE chart for any movement you desire.  Once you do this, the chart will be used to generate estimated 1RMs, PR’s, and more.


There are some things you should be aware of with this feature:
1) changing your RPE chart only changes FUTURE exercise entries.  This is intentional.  If you’d like to have the RPE chart also affect past entries, then you’ll need to edit those entries and re-save them.
2) You’ll designate a special RPE chart for an exercise.  That will affect all the modifiers too.  So designating a new chart for “Squat” will also be used for “Squat+bands” and any other modifier.  This is also intentional as you probably don’t want to be making 30,000 RPE charts.  You don’t need to anyway.
3) Just a side note about the Manage Exercise screens… you’ll notice Default Exercises don’t have edit/delete buttons.  This is because you can’t edit/delete default exercises.

Expanded PR widget

On the dashboard, I’m sure you’ve noticed the PR widget.  We’ve added scroll to this widget and also expanded it to encompass the last 90 days.  You’re welcome.  🙂

Notes Everywhere
We’ve actually added three layers of notes.  The first are workout notes.  These will be super obvious to everyone as you enter your data.  Write whatever notes you want to keep in there, but we ask you to PLEASE DO NOT WRITE MESSAGES TO YOUR COACH IN THE WORKOUT NOTES.  They likely won’t see it.  Besides, that’s what email and other messaging platforms are for.


The second kind of note are Exercise Performance Notes.  To get to this note, while you’re on the edit screen, click the name of each exercise.  These notes are to help you keep track of performance cues or setup instructions for each exercise/modifier combination.  So for “Low Pin Squat”, you might write in what pin setting you use for your rack, or note that you’re adding the DB weights together for your Bulgarian Split Squats.


The third kind of note is a Calendar Note.  You can add a note directly to the calendar on a specific day using the plus icon on each day.  This allows you to make a note of significant events like when a specific training cycle started, or if you get injured, etc.  Again, we ask that you not use this to send messages to your coach because they could be missed.


Navigation Fixes
We’ve updated how the keyboard will navigate you around the Edit Workout screen.  Now you can use the left-right arrow or the tab key.  We hope this makes data entry a bit easier.

Calendar Updates
The calendar has been made much more useful.  Now you can add workouts, TRAC entries, and other events directly from the calendar using the plus icon (hover over a specific day).

Now clicking on a workout brings up the “view workout” screen in a pop-up, which means searching for a particular session should be much easier.  You can still easily edit or delete the workout using the on-screen buttons.


We’ve also added a blue dot that will appear on the right side of any workout that has an attached video.  This will make it easier for you to find the sessions where you have video to watch.


That’s it for this round.  We’ll be back to work building more useful stuff for you soon.  If you have any feedback, please let me know.  Thanks for using our web tools!

Locking Out a Deadlift


Locking Out a Deadlift
By Mike Tuchscherer

Lots of people talk about deadlifting, but you’ve got to examine the source that you’re listening to. I see people speaking about all sorts of things they have no authority on and the deadlift in particular is something that irritates me. It’s mostly because the deadlift is something I do have authority to speak on!
I’ve deadlifted 850 pounds myself while in the 275 pound weight class. But it’s not just what I’ve done – I’ve coached literally hundreds of lifters to personal bests, which includes a variety of national and world records in a variety of different countries. These are legitimate records, too; not the “flavor-of-the-month-federations” that tend to come and go each year.
Lots of people struggle to pull a deadlift through to the lockout and many lifters are perfectly capable of self-identifying this “lockout weakness”. The trouble I have seen is that the “lockout” is a pretty massive range of motion. Anything from the knees up is generally considered “lockout” in the deadlift. But consider that the bar starts 8 inches off the floor. That’s nearly mid-shin for lots of guys. So if you put it in this context, from the floor to the knees comprises about 1/3 of the range of motion for most guys. That leaves about 2/3 being from the knees up. Yes, that’s a large range of motion to consider “lockout” and not all of these lockout weaknesses will be the same.

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