Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

Past Q&As (read-only)
cole
Registered User
Posts: 2983
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:03 pm
Location: Ft Collins, Colorado
Age: 40

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#21

Post by cole » Sat May 12, 2018 7:16 am

thank you mike T for agreeing to answer questions on our forum. i can say with certainty that you are one of the most influential lifters/minds for us here on this site. this site was actually formed from many of us who used to be Starting Strength followers until differences in strength model theories drove the wedge, particularly regarding RPE. my question relates to that....

i am relatively new (been training 1 1/2 yrs) and still feel like sometimes planned increases based on percentages are the most effective for me bc everything always feels "heavy" and if i dont have that pre determined number to hit i prob wont hit it simply using rpe. how do you advise your trainees who may be newer to the sport, or simply less driven/less confident to hit heavy weights to use RPE effectively as a tool to INCREASE working weights overt time?

thanks for your brilliance mike

PatrickDB
Have you read this study?
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:12 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#22

Post by PatrickDB » Sat May 12, 2018 10:14 pm

More questions:

1) There have been rumors that you're working on an updated RTS manual. Could we expect something like this anytime soon?

2) In "Benching from the Bottom Up," you write that to bench more, a lifter should bench more frequency, do a lot of paused work, and perhaps toss in some pin benching. Have your thoughts on bench training changed at all since writing this? Any new ideas?

3) Is there any current trend in powerlifting programming you disagree with? Anything you see lots of people doing that you suspect is significantly sub-optimal or counterproductive?

4) What advice do you give to skinny lifters who desire to bulk up? Do you change their programming in any way to emphasize hypertrophy? Do you give them nutritional advice beyond "eat more"? Have you learned any useful general principles from working with such lifters?

TheDuke
Registered User
Posts: 744
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:11 pm
Age: 34

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#23

Post by TheDuke » Sun May 13, 2018 3:07 am

What's your opinion on overhead press as an assistance for bench press and overall shoulder health?

Have you ever trained martial arts athletes and how do you set up their program considering their sport?

How much does explosive power (great standing vertical jump) mean in powerlifting, and what natural/genetic gifts are the most important for powerlifting?

Thanks a lot.

ChrisMcCarthy1979
Registered User
Posts: 1973
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:30 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#24

Post by ChrisMcCarthy1979 » Mon May 14, 2018 12:52 am

Hopefully within the scope of the Q & A...

1) It possible to get a god picture from Instagram etc but, as someone who has followed his career from the early days, what's the current skinny on Mike the Lifter? Current goals, future comp plans etc...

2) Perhaps linked to the above, what does Mike the Coach think of Mike the Lifter? Might make for some interesting observations...?

3) A more general Q - Mike has said he doesn't necessarily have a lot of experience with beginners, so what are the set of skills / abilities he would like to see a lifter possess when they sign up for their first day of RTS? Not in terms of poundage lifted perhaps, though that would be a factor of course.

As others have said I'd like to thank Tuchsherererer for taking the time to do this.

User avatar
Manveer
M3N4C3
Posts: 2411
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:46 pm
Location: CA
Age: 39

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#25

Post by Manveer » Mon May 14, 2018 10:35 am

Mike said he'll have to reschedule. I'll post a new date when it's rescheduled.

User avatar
Manveer
M3N4C3
Posts: 2411
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:46 pm
Location: CA
Age: 39

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#26

Post by Manveer » Mon May 21, 2018 5:38 pm

Reminder: Q&A is tomorrow. Post any questions you might have.

PatrickDB
Have you read this study?
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:12 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#27

Post by PatrickDB » Mon May 21, 2018 11:43 pm

I noticed you've been training the front squat heavily (from your Instagram). Has your experience taught you anything about training the front squat for someone who treats it was a primary movement?

RyanHartigan
Registered User
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:34 pm
Age: 32

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#28

Post by RyanHartigan » Tue May 22, 2018 12:04 pm

Hi Mike, thanks for all of the content you put out and work you do for the powerlifting community. I’ve had great success doing RTS programming this year.

If you find any of the following questions interesting I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on them.

1. I’ve seen some of the proposals for developing TRAC and I think the potential for TRAC is huge. What are the current plans for developing these proposals? What do you see the future of TRAC looking like?

2. How is emerging strategies different from highly customised block periodisation?

3. I train in my garage and want to pick up some new training toys but there’s so much to choose from (ssbs/bands/chains etc). Is there any stable equipment that you would advise getting or that you find yourself frequently using with you/your clients?

4. I find the RTS store is poorly organised and it’s difficult to navigate all of the overlapping bundles, 404 links and clearly outdated material. What is the best thing to buy if one is interested in learning more about how RTS currently plans the long term development of athletes?

5. What does the yellow in the RPE Chart mean?

6. You say in the Reactive Training Manual at page 16 that 80% is where peak force is produced. Could you elaborate on this?

7. What do you think about the recent events with Powerlifting Australia, Robert Wilks & the IPF.

User avatar
mgil
Shitpostmaster General
Posts: 8608
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:46 pm
Location: FlabLab©®
Age: 49

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#29

Post by mgil » Tue May 22, 2018 12:16 pm

A couple more:

Do you have plans for releasing trainee data, even if anonymously, to help the S&C field with regards to data collection for analysis?

Have you considered acquiring a PhD so that you could do your work in an academic setting (while also running your current ops)?

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#30

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:17 pm

PatrickDB wrote: Mon May 07, 2018 11:40 pm In your recent interview with Jordan for the Barbell Medicine podcast, you mentioned you're developing a "stress index" based on RPE. Could you describe what exactly this is and how to calculate it?

Also, is it supposed to assess the "stress" (productivity of training stimulus) or "fatigue" for the session (how hard it is to recover from), or both? For example, if I do 5 sets of 20 at 10 RPE in one workout, that is highly fatiguing, but probably not very useful for getting stronger.
I haven't really differentiated historically between stress and fatigue. I use them as synonyms. And I mean them both as recovery demand. So the stress index is the recovery cost of a training protocol. Our online training log stuff calculates stress index for you in some places. As for how to calculate it...
6RPE and below = .5
6.5 to 7 RPE = .667
7.5 to 8 RPE = .8
8.5 to 9 RPE = 1
9.5 to 10RPE = 1.33
You just sum the number of points for what you want to measure.
2) You've written two articles critical of speed work ("Why Speed Work Doesn't Work," "Speed Work: Not This Again"). Let me concentrate on the 75% example. According to the RPE/percentage chart, if I were to perform 8 reps, that's about RPE 9. Your reasoning seems to suggest that doing those 8 reps in one set is preferable to doing 2 sets of 4, because the high RPE set has higher peak force production. (Please correct me if I'm wrong). But the last four reps of the set of 8 will be done in fatigue, so it seems I would be able to produce more force if I took a short break after the first four and then did another set of four, since I'd be lifting "fresh" and able to generate more force. Could you explain your thinking here?
That's not really my position. What I was advising was the use of heavier weights to develop strength. So instead of using low intensity loads, make sure to include some high intensity stuff too. It's also worth noting that I wrote those articles circa 2013. In the time since, I've come across many lifters who get really strong from sub max effort work in the 70-75% range. I still think there is a point of diminishing return (probably closer to 50-60%).
More generally, how do you reconcile your argument in these articles with the fact that Sheiko (and perhaps also Dietmar Wolf) seems to have had a lot of success with rep schemes that accumulate volume in low RPE sets, such as 5 sets of 3 at 80%?
I wouldn't call that speed work by the normative definition.
3) Have the results of your high frequency Project Momentum experiment (and related experiments like the one with the Norwegian powerlifters) influenced your programming at all? Is there any reason we shouldn't be programming some sort of squat, bench, and deadlift session variation every session (perhaps a less stressful variation to accommodate recovery)? I notice that while you seem to program high frequency benching for your lifters, the frequency of squatting and deadlifting variations seems more varied. Shouldn't the same reasoning that leads to high frequency benching also lead to high frequency for the other lifts (spiking muscle protein synthesis and practicing the motor patterns)?
Squats and deadlifts often draw on the same "reserves" so to speak. For instance, Stress from squat + stress from deadlift is usually roughly equal to stress from bench (bench is still often a bit higher). So that, along with temporal constraints often drives the decision to use lower frequencies for squat and deadlift. That said, it's a strategy that we have used effectively for many, many of our lifters. Apart from that, the reason why I haven't made it my default (aside from time constraints) is that, for whatever reason, not everybody responds to it.
4) In your interview with Jordan, you mentioned that you use variations on the main lifts as a sort of individualized way of correcting technique problems. For example, pin squats might be used to fix a chest fall pattern. For a lifter without significant technique deviations, are variations still useful? I notice you seem to really like them, and often program the competition lift only once per week. I'm curious what your reasoning for this is.
I don't often work with lifters who don't have basic proficiency with the lifts. If you have significant technical issues, but not so much that you'd say they lack basic proficiency, I think there are other movements that can help. Things like slower tempo and pauses give the lifter a chance to develop a kinasthetic awareness around the proper positions. So in those cases, I think the variation just changes some.
5) What was responsible for the success of Louie Simmons and Westside? On one hand, I don't see any top USAPL lifters using a Westside setup (specifically, ME and DE days with a huge number of variations and bands/chains). (It's possible they're out there -- but I haven't found them.) On the other, Westside lifters hold (or held) dozens of world records. (Their website boasts of "over 140.")
Not sure tbh. I think it was an era of powerlifting. I don't think it's the program, although the program may be great for equipped PL. Also, it's worth saying that there are lifters out there (like Matt Wenning) who have done some amazing stuff raw with it too. They say the program can be adapted to raw. That's fine -- maybe I'm just not imaginative enough to figure it out.
Did they get anything right about programming, or is their success just attributable to some combination of drugs, unique training environment, and the particularities of equipped lifting?
Oh for sure! And the further I go into this, the more bits and pieces I come back to saying, "hey, Louie said that in the 90's." I don't see myself going back to the way I used to train when I was copying Westside programs in high school. But that would be silly.
6) Returning to the speed work articles, you write
Measurements of peak force production using 75% of 1RM were approximately 85% of the peak force that was measured when using 90% of 1RM for the same number of reps. In other words, lighter weights produced about 85% of the peak force value that the heavy weights did.

How did you take these peak force measurements? Do you remember what the numbers were for 80% and 85%?
I took them using a tendo unit with a computer interface. I don't recall what the specific numbers were.
7) If someone were training only for hypertrophy, how would your programming for them be different from your usual programming?
Good question! I am not totally sure. It seems that every program I write comes back to it's powerlifting roots pretty hard, so it would probably include some benchmarks like Bench, Squat, and Pull Up. Maybe more than just 3 lifts? And instead of optimizing it for 1RM strength, we'd optimize for 8RM or 10RM strength. Then let the program evolve from there based on what moved those markers best for the athlete. Not sure though.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#31

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:18 pm

Okay... so I spent almost 20min on just one reply and there are some pages here. I'm going to answer one question from each post, then if there is still time, I'll circle back and hit some more.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#32

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:20 pm

tdood wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 3:35 am Have you successfully trained people who can only train 2x/week? How would you program diffeeebtky for those folks? What are you're thoughts on that kind of training?
Yes I have, but it's been a while. These days, I'd have those two sessions be quite hard with lots of high RPE sets (trying to pack in enough stress into only 2 sessions). Then I'd use the Emerging Strategies block review process to figure out if we could do something that would move their lifts forward. You never know... maybe it's hyper-specific work. Maybe certain assistance movements, certain intensities, or tempos.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#33

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:22 pm

Murelli wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 3:43 am 1) How do you approach programming for athletes in sports non-related to lifting?
2) What progress have you seen in subjects using flexible templates? Do people keep moving up in the mesocycle only when they did all their planned work?
1) I haven't worked with anyone like that in a long time, so I'm not really sure.
2) Not always. They sometimes make progress despite missing stuff. But ideally we don't want to program in a way that has us going off-script too much.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#34

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:25 pm

stevan wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 3:48 am What dumbell/machine/unilateral exercises do you usually use for driving up the competition lifts and how do you set up their progression?
DB Bench and Bulgarian split squat often see time in our development cycles. Those should help improve comp lifts (individual differences exemption clause here). We progress them in the same way we would any other lift. There is a rep-RPE target most of the time and we increase weight as the athlete gets stronger.

We do use some other unconventional movements during pivot blocks, but the aim there is more about balancing, injury prevention, and gaining proficiency in more movements -- not directly driving up the comp lifts.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#35

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:34 pm

quark wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 3:54 am Do you disagree with anything in this model of training: viewtopic.php?p=73291#p73291
Not really on it's face. I think it's reasonable for the most part. But a theme you see me hit on all the time is individual differences. This model will work for most people most of the time. But when you're trying to really tune things in (and IMO it's never too early to start), then you have to pay attention to individual response.

...This really goes far beyond Austin's claims, so it's not really refuting his position at all. For all I know he may agree with me (shrug emoji)...

So if you put a person on a program like that and they thrive, then great. But what if you have them do that and they just don't get any better? Not like, "oh I'm not recovered because the volume is too high." But just, "I feel fine, but I am just not any stronger." It surely happens otherwise we'd all just do that program and it would be self evident that it's the best. In that case you'd be silly not to try to figure something else out.

There's a whole lot more to say about individual differences. In short, I don't disagree with the position as it's stated. But if you tried to make it a universal, then you're going to run into problems.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#36

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:37 pm

Nikipedia wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 4:42 am AWESOME. Thank you!

How would you program and coach an autoimmune disordered trainee who has crass daily fluctuations between strength and endurance, which somewhat hinder the performance and ultimately the stress adaptation?

Any exercise recommendations or tips to better deal with chronic bursitis?
Autoregulate the shit out of it. I'd emphasize RPE and probably use a flex template. Then I'd try to work with them so that the most important work was placed (to the greatest extent possible) on the days where performance was best. And even then you'd want to use RPE or something similar to allow them to take what's there.

With the limited information, that's what leaped to mind.

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#37

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:38 pm

Allentown wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 5:12 am inb4 @Cody
What recommendations do you have for trainees with very limited time (say, <1hr a day) for training?
Probably 1-2 movements per day, lots of high RPE work to get in an appropriate magnitude of stressor.

User avatar
Kregna
Registered User
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:42 am
Location: Surrey, England

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#38

Post by Kregna » Tue May 22, 2018 12:42 pm

Hey Mike, hopefully not too late

Do sets of 8-12 rep squats have their place in a strength-focused program? If looking to add more hypertrophy

MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#39

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:43 pm

Wilhelm wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 5:25 am In the introduction to your recent discussion with Julien Pineau, you mentioned having implemented or tried ideas of his in training.
Things that you didn't fully understand, or that possibly didn't make immediate sense to you, but that when you tried them, they worked.
What are some examples of those ideas, and are there any that you have adopted on an ongoing basis for yourself or any of your clients?

What are some of the further questions you have for him for your next discussion?

I really enjoyed listening to you and him.
The biggest thing I tried was internal torque during my squat. It seems to have helped a lot.

I'm still not clear on the torque chain ideas though. I'm not sure how you can have proper movement while engaging the wrong muscles. I *think* this is in reference to the "intention" think I made a IG post about. And I want to peel back the layers on reciprocal inhibition a bit more. He kinda waved it off like it's not really a player or a thing, but I'm not so sure. The examples we discussed often used antagonist contractions, but that could also be explained as the antagonist providing stability.

User avatar
Manveer
M3N4C3
Posts: 2411
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:46 pm
Location: CA
Age: 39

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#40

Post by Manveer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:46 pm

Thanks for doing this Q&A, Mike!

I will ask my own question...

Using a real life example from training, I have squatted up to 550x1@8 (~92%), then used the RPE chart to try to hit 515x3@8 (~86%), but it ends up being more like a x3@10. Most of the time the standard RPE percentages are pretty accurate for me. I am using bar speed as a reality check on RPE to make sure things aren't too out of whack.

What do you think is happening here?
a) I'm so out of shape that I'm fatigued by x1@8 and it affects readiness for the rest of the session
b) I'm getting hyped for the single and then not as hyped for back off work
c) something else

Generally I do not intentionally get hyped up during training, but heavy singles get some adrenaline flowing, especially when they are near PR levels.

Locked