Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

Past Q&As (read-only)
MikeTuchscherer
Ned Stark of Powerlifting
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:50 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#41

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:47 pm

unruhschuh wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 6:41 am What devices, including bar speed meters, have you used to measure proxies for RPE and/or inter/intra set fatigue and what worked, what didn't and why?

Fun bonus question: What do you think of my invention, the BiteClock™, which is basically a handsfree stop watch, operated with your mouth to measure the time of the concentric phase of a given lift as a proxy for bar speed / RPE?
Bar speed has been useful. HR has not. As for bar speed, device matters. The only ones worth using are the ones with tethers. So I think commercially, that's Open Barbell, Gym Aware, and Tendo. Those will do well. Anything with an accelerometer... I haven't seen it be worth the frustration.

Bite Clock? lol! Sounds like a lot to coordinate for some meatheads! :)

...aaaannndddd now I'm hoping it really was a joke and I didn't just laugh at your life's work. Hashtag agreeableness...

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#42

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:48 pm

Toxguy wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 6:56 am You and Jordan spent a good bit of time discussing the psychology of the lifter and how some individuals may 'stress out' about performing certain exercises/rep ranges (example Squat singles or a 3RM), or for people who rate their sets as "@9, or @8)" when really it was @7. For a lifter who is interested in getting as strong as possible, how do you address this? Do you program more singles to build confidence? Or just stick to submaximal work? What sort of psychological cues do you use to help with individuals like this?
Either of those strategies can work. Devil is in the details at that point and it comes down to the makeup of the lifter and the relationship between the lifter and the coach.

User avatar
Savs
Dream Weaver
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:50 pm
Age: 60

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#43

Post by Savs » Tue May 22, 2018 12:49 pm

Mike, no questions from me. I just want to say thank you for all you do, for being so thoughtful, and for coming here to answer questions. Thank you!

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#44

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:54 pm

mgil wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 9:30 am First and foremost, thank you Mike for doing this Q&A and helping move the sport of powerlifting forward.

Questions:

1. I know people don't often ping on you for nutrition, but you've stayed pretty lean while being a big dude. Do you have any tips or tricks that you've figured out along the way?

2. How is life affecting your lifting? Getting older, becoming a dad, all of that stuff. Balancing life seems to be something all of us try to do and I'm curious regarding your perspective.

3. What tools are you using to analyze your lifters' data? It seems like someone on staff at RTS is doing some number crunching and that TRAC is a nice first movement towards some AI-type of programming. Additional insight into this process or what you think the "next steps" are regarding the data collection and analysis informing near real-time Rx decisions would be awesome.

Thanks in advance!
1) For me, I monitor my intake with My Fitness Pal and I weigh myself daily. I've been following an algorithm I learned from Helms for almost a year and it's been great, but for the most part it's monitoring + calorie manipulation. I'm not even that great about protein tbh.

2) I'm super lucky. I get to make training part of my work day. So outside of a couple month period after my kids were born, I got away with a little bit on that one. But I do often get up really early in the morning to go to work, so I can get work done enough to have time for training. I've been on a string of 4:30am wake-ups lately. So it's safe to say I've consumed more caffiene since my daughter was born about 2 months ago than I've consumed in my entire life. lol

3) We seek to process-ize everything that we do normally as coaches. That allows us to spend more time coaching (leadership, relationship, and creativity) and less time on math. Next steps (as in the next couple of months) will be to add in a meta block review. We would eventually like to build an automated kind of program builder, but I don't want it to be shit. I've built shit ones in excel before. I have zero interest in fielding a terrible program generator. I feel as though if I wouldn't trust it to program for me, then it's not ready to program for other people. Good question though!

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#45

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 12:59 pm

Cody wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 9:51 am Second, how would you go about implementing a velocity based setup for training instead of RPE? There are a good many folks who really like the concrete nature of velocity using something like an open barbell who aren't super competent and/or comfortable using a more "subjective" rating. In fact, the perception that RPE is "subjective" is the chief complaint of a section of the lifting world (despite the clear and consistent results at national and international meets using it, and even though it is simple, and proven reliable in those who use it consistently...). Those individuals might be more receptive to velocity as a proxy for readiness, fatigue, performance, etc.

You're the man.
Thanks!
I would set up velocity ranges. The ranges would correlate to RPE anyway, but they don't have to know that. From there, it's basically business as usual.

The thing about velocity being objective is interesting. Yeah, the number on the display is objective. But all devices have measurement error. Mike Zourdos told me about a project he worked on to validate these devices (not sure if it's published or not). He told me that they ALL have sometimes significant measurement error. He said that if you were skilled at RPE and were paying attention, you could probably be just as reliable as these devices. I think it's just high-conscientiousness people craving order. That's fine. I have that tendency myself at times.

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#46

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 1:00 pm

Everyone, I'm going to have to take a break as I have another appointment. I didn't realize I'd get through so little. I'll be back though to answer more. Thanks everybody who posted questions! I appreciate you taking the time and it's so good to see people interested in having real training discussions online.

quark
Registered User
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:16 am

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#47

Post by quark » Tue May 22, 2018 1:25 pm

MikeTuchscherer wrote: Tue May 22, 2018 12:54 pm
mgil wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 9:30 am1. I know people don't often ping on you for nutrition, but you've stayed pretty lean while being a big dude. Do you have any tips or tricks that you've figured out along the way?
1) For me, I monitor my intake with My Fitness Pal and I weigh myself daily. I've been following an algorithm I learned from Helms for almost a year and it's been great, but for the most part it's monitoring + calorie manipulation. I'm not even that great about protein tbh.
What is the algorithm (or how can we find it)?

Thank you so much for your answers so far. Truly wonderful!

User avatar
Stenson
Registered User
Posts: 952
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:24 am
Age: 37
Contact:

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#48

Post by Stenson » Tue May 22, 2018 1:30 pm

Thanks so much for doing this! It's been very informative so far!

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#49

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 3:57 pm

perman wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 10:03 am 1) Unlike proper conscientious lifters who utilize RPE-based programming successfully through meticulous logging in TRAC like @Manveer here, I'm lazy when it comes to logging. I've still tried your emerging strategy by just repeating a training week. The way I've gotten around this lazyness has been evaluating progress purely from logging weekly e1RM of the big three based on weekly singles @8 in a spreadsheet on my computer. Do you think evaluating progress based on those weekly singles can be sufficient to make your emerging strategy viable or do you recommend more traditional top-down programs for lazy loggers?
Yes, that can absolutely work on a basic level. You'll get things like timing and whatnot correct because that's essentially what we look at anyway. The down side is that it's going to be more difficult to do the block reviews after the fact to figure out all the neat lessons learned.
2) Also, my shoulder has been wonky for several months and I can't bench more than 40-50% of my old e1RM bench nowadays. Therefore I've been rehabbing based on pain pretty intuitively, with substitutions based on what feels good that day if the planned lifts don't work out. Doing a lot of suspension push-ups, and also rotator cuff work based on the advice of a physical therapist I saw. All bar work (bench press, incline, shoulder press, and so on) hurts my shoulder too much nowadays. Do you have an overall strategy you believe in for rehab? I think following your intuition seems somewhat necessary for rehab, but I have a feeling my approach nowadays is still too unstructured.
Not really. Most "methods" I've found are quite reliant on a practitioner and they are poorly suited to a great number of situations. It seems that therapy needs a "theory of everything". Maybe there is one that I'm just unaware of?

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#50

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 3:59 pm

augeleven wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 11:35 am What do you recommend for your new clients who have stalled on a lift? I assume that you have new clients that have signed up for RTS after being frustrated with their previous lack of progress.

Thanks in advance!
Lots of times the change is enough to get things to "unstick". But if it isn't, then things are never stagnant. We start with our best guess based on the lifter's training history, our experience, and assessment (things like 80% rep test, even personality). That provides a good starting point and gives us a little nudge. From there, we are just attentive to what the athlete responds / doesn't respond to.

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#51

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Tue May 22, 2018 4:09 pm

MattNeilsen wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 1:23 pm Hi Mike,

A couple of questions (if you've answered these elsewhere, feel free to redirect me):

1) What has you most excited about programming theory right now? Perhaps stated another way: when you go into full nerd-mode with friends, what's the topic of discussion?
LOVE this question! Frans Bosch has me pretty interested right now. I'm not sure what to make of it, but it seems like there is something there. I was very excited to talk with Julien Pineau and would love to chat with him again. HRV is something I'm curious about. I have some (in my mind) pretty hard questions to ask about it. I'm going to be talking to Joel Jamieson on the podcast in another week or two, so hopefully I'll generate some interesting thoughts there.
One thing I've been thinking about lately is the role of athlete monitoring (hrv, TRAC, etc) within the context of Emerging Strategies. There isn't a clear role for it IMO other than post-hoc volume adjustments (i.e. "that block was too hard, turn it down for the next one" kind of thing). It would be nice to bring it back toward autoregulating volume in some fashion, but that's a bit of a challenge with ES. There are some ways to think about it....
2) Are there any staple (or highly recommended) supplemental lifts/movements that you think most lifters should be incorporating into their training to facilitate long-term health? Obviously, your specialty is helping world-class lifters win in competition, but since injury-prevention is a big part of that I'm curious to hear your perspective.
I'm not sure about staples. We do like to get them out of the saggital plane, but I don't care if it's sled work, barbells, cables, etc. I haven't run any formal numbers, but it does seem like we've seen a lot less injury since incorporating 530 tempo work in the pivots (and the 3:1 development to pivot ratio in general).
3) Is there anyone in the world of programming/training/nutrition/etc who you wish more people knew about?
That's a tough one because I'm sure there are many. Our coaches (Ross Leppala, Jim Elli, Mark Robb, and Paulie Steinman) are really top notch and I wish more folks knew about them. We work together a lot and they have a lot of insight. Jacob Tsypkin (who's been on the podcast a handful of times) is a really clear thinker. He's not a PL coach exactly, but I love talking out ideas with him. There are others for sure. I'm just not thinking of them just yet.

Also... part of the reason I'm having trouble thinking of them is the reason why I'm here. There is so much less space for genuine, nuanced training conversation these days. It makes it harder to nail down specific people. It's so much easier to fall into echo chambers.

User avatar
SeanHerbison
Zercher Pro
Posts: 2055
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:51 am
Location: Tucson, AZ
Age: 34

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#52

Post by SeanHerbison » Tue May 22, 2018 5:15 pm

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Mike. You consistently put out useful info.
tdood wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 3:35 amHow would you program diffeeebtky for those folks?
Are you okay, Tom?
MikeTuchscherer wrote: Tue May 22, 2018 12:17 pmI took them using a tendo unit with a computer interface. I don't recall what the specific numbers were.
MikeTuchscherer wrote: Tue May 22, 2018 12:47 pmBar speed has been useful. ... As for bar speed, device matters. The only ones worth using are the ones with tethers. So I think commercially, that's Open Barbell, Gym Aware, and Tendo. Those will do well.
You've mentioned using a tendo in the past, and you recently mentioned in your video with Jordan that you use an Open Barbell. Have you tried a Gym Aware as well? If so, what do you prefer about the Open Barbell? Other than price, I suppose.

Edit to add:
MikeTuchscherer wrote: Tue May 22, 2018 4:09 pmThere is so much less space for genuine, nuanced training conversation these days. It makes it harder to nail down specific people. It's so much easier to fall into echo chambers.
Unfortunately true. What ever happened to your forums? They seem to just be filled with spam nowadays, and otherwise dead.

User avatar
tdood
Registered User
Posts: 683
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:49 am
Location: NJ
Age: 40

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#53

Post by tdood » Tue May 22, 2018 6:19 pm

@SeanHerbison just a minor stroke.

User avatar
damufunman
Registered User
Posts: 2974
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:14 pm
Age: 36

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#54

Post by damufunman » Tue May 22, 2018 7:06 pm

Mike, thank you for your time!

A couple of questions regarding RPE vs intensity.

1. What's the difference fatigue-wide if a high rep set @9 vs a single or double @9?
2. Is RPE similar to intensity in that with higher RPE work one must perform less volume?
3. When is high RPE (9-10) work called for, and is it common to have an entire block with frequent/large amount of high RPE sets?

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#55

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Wed May 23, 2018 6:54 am

VinceC wrote: Tue May 08, 2018 5:38 pm What other coaches and lifters have you learned from the most?
That's really hard to define. Early in my career, I learned a ton from Louie Simmons and although I've moved away from lots of it (maybe most of it?), I'm sure it still influences my thinking.
Dr. Fred Hatfield, Matt Gary, Dr Mike Zourdos, Greg Nuckols
Lately I've learned a ton from Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk through Derek Evely.
I'm sure there are more, but that's who comes to mind off the bat. I love reading about training, so I've spent so much time doing that over the years it's scary. I've no doubt been influenced by tons and tons of athletes and coaches.

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#56

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Wed May 23, 2018 6:58 am

mettkeks wrote: Fri May 11, 2018 6:23 am You post a lot of Front Squat video's on Instagram. Do you still Backsquat regularly? If yes, how often, if not why?
I don't at the moment. I have a back injury that gets aggravated by sheering forces. I can front squat as much as I want and it's fine though... so that's what I do.
If someone was to focus on his Deadlift and did a high volume of pulling and direct assistance/accessoire work for the posterior chain, would front or back squatting with emphasis on hypertrophy be sufficient, to drive long term progress for both the DL and Front Squat?
Devil is in the details here. But I think it's important to mention that you can't have long term progress without short term progress at some point. So you could run it for a couple blocks and see how you do.

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#57

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Wed May 23, 2018 7:01 am

damufunman wrote: Fri May 11, 2018 10:42 am Thanks for giving us your time, Mike!

You've mentioned before that you've used bar speed to adjust RPE by up to 0.5 point, but that the subjectivity of RPE is important. Could one turn this around and base training on bar speed, with RPE adjustment? It seems like having a more concrete, objective measure like bar speed would be beneficial, instead of using this squishy, bogus feel thing (joking). Having a new born, I've been inconsistent with training lately, and wonder if autoregulation that leans more toward objective or subjective would be more appropriate?
You could and I'd bet 90% of the time you'd get the same result. That said, I did make a post somewhere that bar speed devices give the illusion of a perfectly reliable measure, but that's not actually the case. But if it makes you feel better, then that's good enough reason to do it. And I mean that sincerely.

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#58

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Wed May 23, 2018 7:03 am

cole wrote: 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
I always advise everyone to use target weights. These are percentage based and designed to get you to the rep-RPE pairing for the day in most circumstances. Then you can go off plan as needed.

IMO, autoregulation functions best when it makes course corrections. Our autoregulatory tools are not so good as to allow the entire program to emerge in an "instinctive" kind of way. They function best when we start with a very solid plan, then allow autoregulation to make course corrections to it.

Hope that helps!

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#59

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Wed May 23, 2018 7:12 am

PatrickDB wrote: 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?
Ugh... Yes I'm working on it, but it's slow going. We are getting ready to move and with a new baby and the rest of the business to run... I'm a bit stalled at the moment. So I'm not sure when you should expect it, but you should expect it.
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?
Yes, I've certainly changed. I've placed much more emphasis on individual responses. Me for example... I don't respond well to long pause work. I seem to benefit from inclines though. So individual response is king.
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?
I'm not sure tbh. The powerlifting community is a lot harder to find than it used to be. Maybe I'm just getting old. I see people on IG, but you're just seeing a snapshot of their training in those cases. You'd need context to know for sure and it seems like people talk about programming less than they used to. That's why I'm here tbh.
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?
"Eat more" isn't coaching. It's advice, but not coaching. Coaching would be more of a conversation.
"Hey you need to increase calories"
"Okay, but how do I do that? I'm full all the time."
"Ahh ok! Let's discuss some strategies for getting more calories in without making yourself sick."

Beyond that, I don't really change much WRT programming. We are exploring -- looking for effective strategies in all cases anyway. So the general principles are probably no different from what you've heard. The difference is in how they are applied.

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

Re: Q&A with Mike Tuchscherer

#60

Post by MikeTuchscherer » Wed May 23, 2018 7:19 am

TheDuke wrote: Sun May 13, 2018 3:07 am What's your opinion on overhead press as an assistance for bench press and overall shoulder health?
I'm glad somebody asked this, because I've got some weird thoughts that I'm 100% not sure about. :)
Some people find it effective. Some don't. I see the same thing in the people I coach. After my podcast with Julien Pineau, I started thinking if there was maybe a theory on the matter using torque. The bottom of a bench and a strict OHP are both external torque. The top is internal torque. So it could be that if you match your OHP performance to your deficiency in the bench, then you see a benefit. If you don't, then you don't. So if you're a skinny guy who is weak at the bottom (ET), then full ROM OHP would also train ET. If you're a big dude, have a big arch, and can get the weight moving off the bottom, then you'd be IT deficient. So training OHP to your nose or chin could emphasize the IT component more.

Now this is 1000% just a theory and I've got nothing but thought to base it off of. But I do think it's an interesting idea.
Have you ever trained martial arts athletes and how do you set up their program considering their sport?
I haven't, sorry.
How much does explosive power (great standing vertical jump) mean in powerlifting, and what natural/genetic gifts are the most important for powerlifting?
I don't think explosive power means much at all. Powerlifting is about force production, so simply being more powerful is not helpful UNLESS it also increases force production in some way.
Genetics... I don't know. Honestly I don't spend too much time thinking about it as it's not in our sphere of control.

Locked