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?”

Read more…

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…

Personality Types and Training: Help us Figure it Out

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Personality types and Training:  Help us Figure it Out
By Mike Tuchscherer, 12 September 2017

Attention Powerlifters: Help me start to answer how personality affects training. There is a survey linked below. It will take about 20min to complete. In it you’ll find out about your personality as well as help us gain some knowledge about the training you find most effective. 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.
Read more…

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…

Wrong but Useful: Central/Peripheral Models

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Wrong but Useful: Central/Peripheral Models
By Mike Tuchscherer, August 1, 2017

Go back and read articles from the early to mid 2000’s about powerlifting training.  Especially if the author is attempting to explain his thinking at a physiological level, you’re likely to come across the term “CNS” – or “Central Nervous System”.  And often it was in the context of “CNS Fatigue” or “CNS burnout”.

Fast forward to the 2010-2013 timeframe and “CNS” more or less left the lexicon of popular programming articles.  And that’s not without it’s reasons.  As the idea of “CNS fatigue” proliferated, too many people took it to be an absolute or factual description of what was going on.  That left many of us, me included, speaking against the abuse of the concept.  Every bad training day is not because “your CNS is fried, bro”. Read more…

Performance Downturns

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Performance Downturns
By Mike Tuchscherer

Have you ever had this situation? You’re training, improving, and everything is going great. Then, you come into the gym one day and your strength is down by a lot – something like 5-10%. If it were just a bad day, then you’d expect the next session to be back to normal. But the next session isn’t back to normal. At best, it’s just a marginal improvement. You don’t think it’s fatigue because you feel fine – you even feel normal. Subjective indicators of fatigue, even objective ones like HRV, aren’t showing an accumulation of training stress. Read more…

Project Momentum 17-1 Results

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Project Momentum 17-1 Results
By Mike Tuchscherer

Project Momentum 17-1 Post Project Analysis

I’ve often heard people suggest that the number of reps you can do with 80% loads is indicative both of fiber type distribution and how you should train to see the most progress.  The fiber type distribution claim wasn’t so interesting to me as a coach, but the training claim was.  More specifically, the claim as I came across it was something like this:

Lifters who can do low reps with 80% of 1RM are fast-twitch dominant and therefore should train with low reps per set.  That will allow them to progress the fastest.

I am aware of some studies looking at whether reps-at-a-given-percentage correlate to a fiber type distribution, but again, I’m much more interested in performance.  And I wasn’t able to find anything that tested the claim underlined above.  So we sought to test it in a practical setting.

What did we find?
First, a bit about the basic setup….  Read more…

Why Percentage Programs Should Still Track RPE

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Why Percentage Programs Should Still Track RPE
By Mike Tuchscherer

Theme:  RPE should be considered a core metric in your training, even if you’re not basing your training off RPE.

I’ve been fortunate to travel the world giving seminars about Powerlifting and I’ve been doing so for kind of a long time – since 2008 or so.  When I first began, most powerlifters were not familiar with the concept of RPE, so I would teach it from scratch.  Since then, it’s become increasingly popular in the Powerlifting community and, to some extent, the wider strength-training world.  How I go about teaching RPE has changed since the beginning.  I think anytime you teach a subjective technique in the face of a changing surrounding context, that has to happen.

I used to teach RPE something like this…  Read more…

GPP Considerations for Strength Sports

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GPP Considerations for Strength Sports
By Mike Tuchscherer

General Physical Preparedness (or “GPP”) has become somewhat of a catch phrase for Powerlifters in the last decade or so. It is a term tossed around to describe a wide range of activity from mowing the lawn to dragging a sled. The truth is that we often misuse this term or apply it loosely. I’m not here to be the word-police, but today we’re going to learn some more about GPP – what it is and how it can benefit you.
GPP describes the body’s general ability to do work that it is not specifically trained to do. Simply break the word down – How prepared is your physical body in general terms? Do you tire easily or can you work all day and still have energy left at the end? For powerlifters, bodybuilders, and other gym-rats – can you go outside and play a pickup game of basketball or football and at least look coordinated? GPP is more than just work capacity – it is a general measure of the other physical fitness traits that are not assessed evenly by your given sport of choice. For example, Powerlifting focuses on the development of absolute strength. So things like flexibility, aerobic fitness, etc would fall under the category of GPP.
But why should you care about GPP at all? As a strength athlete under normal conditions, improving aerobic fitness won’t improve your squat and flexibility won’t make you snatch more. Or will it? Read more…

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