– In March, I competed in my third powerlifting meet and did rather horrible. Ended up hitting 425/295/515 with was 25lbs worse than the meet before that. In addition to that crap, I had a horrid training cycle with my deadlift. Like, fail 405 with sumo bad so I switched to conventional at the last second so I wouldn’t completely embarrass myself.
Since that time, I have changed how I trained big time. I looked into Mike Tuscherer’s Reactive Training Systems, got the manual and read it like 15 times (it is rather confusing in parts).
My template has changed throughout the time since my meet due to many things (mostly time and shitty gym situations lately) but I have kept with what I think are the core philosophies of the program:
— Higher frequency. Through the last 3 months, I have squatted 2-4 times a week. I was a once a week squatter due to my fear of getting hurt, but I quickly adapted and now I don’t think I could go back to 1x a week. I also bench 2-4 times a week and that has gone AWESOME. My form for both lifts have never felt better and more consistent. Deadlifting has still been hit or miss training wise due to my shit gym and pulling my hamstring.
— Training to Fatigue and Stopping. I hit my targeted reps for the day, and do more sets until I fatigue. AND THAT IS IT. I do not keep dropping weight, I do not keep doings sets as my form deteriates around me. Hit my goal for the day, drop to my desired fatigue range, and do sets until I reach that fatigue.
— RPE. Everything is based on my Rate of Perceived Effort. No percentages. No guessing. My default mode is go for the PR, but if I am working up and things feel shitty? I drop my top set weight accordingly to fit the RPE and rep range of the day.
Another thing that has helped recently is adding in 3ct pauses to both squats and bench press.
– I have recently somewhat complete an intensity block where I worked up to one rep maxes for some of the lifts. Unfortunately, I started throwing up right in the middle of it was was sick for four days, so who knows if that effected me or not. I also took some 1RM during the cycle here and there for some lifts. But anyway, here were the results…
After the Jump because this post is getting long…
Bench Press: 340×1, 315×3
Competition Bench Press: 330×1, 315×2
Squat, belt, sleeves: 445×1, 430×2
Sumo Deadlift: 545×1
Strict Standing Overhead Press: 200×1 (at BW of 200)
Push Press: 225×1
3ct Pause Squat: 405×1
3ct Pause Bench Press: 290×2
– So overall, some pretty damn good progress in 3 months. My best meet lifts are 425/315/525 and recently in the gym I have done 445/330/545. So right now, I am pretty happy.
– I am also pretty injury free. My left knee started bothering me a bit due to all the recent driving but it is minor thing in the grand scheme of things.
– My form on squats has never felt better. Even though that 445 was a TRUE one rep max that I almost missed, my form didn’t break. I didn’t good morning the weight at all. My upper back and lower back have gotten a lot strong… and I haven’t done any rowing or deadlifts. All I do is squat, pause squat, chest supported rows, hammer strength machines, and pull up variations. I really think it is the 3ct pause squats though.
– I have one meet in mind although I am not sure I can do it yet due to financial reasons. I am about 18 weeks out from it, so I have 9 weeks to work on some weaknesses and 9 weeks for the actually meet cycle.