Random things to pass along to non-clients!
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TSA INTERMEDIATE 9-WEEK PROGRAM
As if you weren’t inundated with free templated training approaches from every direction. We found that lots of people were coming to us having limited options for an intermediate approach, and we wanted athletes to have a training approach that could segway perfectly into training with TSA, but that stood alone very, very well. Inside the Excel file below, you will find an FAQ, directions on running the training approach, information on RPE and autoregulation, a TSA guide to warming up, and of course, the 9-week approach. It is perfect for peaking for a meet, running deep into the off season, or the intermediate powerlifter looking to familiarize herself with DUP, autoregulation, and slightly higher training lift frequency
As this is for the general lifter, there is massive room for personalization on a case-by-case basis, though we suggest running the approach without modifications once through before attempting changes. Please read through the full FAQ, RPE description and view the program before launching into it. We hope you enjoy it and find great success.
Attempt Selection Aid, Updated Warmup, and Kilo Loading Sheet
These are honestly things we weren’t sure we’d share with a larger audience outside TSA because they are tools we use to prepare our athletes for every meet. However, TSA’s mission statement involves aiding the powerlifting community at large and Hani’s recent article talks a fair deal about attempt selection and being smart. We’re past the days of going into meets without a plan, and spending some time researching attempt selection and preparing will go worlds toward helping you succeed. With all the talk around training plans and programming, equal time should be given where it matters most—attempt selection in competition.
Lots of the attempt selection information is drawn from statistical data Matt Gary has collected over a decade, pooling thousands of lifter’s performances. The results surprised me when I first read them, about just how prevalent poor attempt selection is, and some of psychological intricacies of key missed attempts. If we had to boil it down to its simplest form, powerlifting is about lifting the most weight possible. That means opening light and building the total instead of myopically focusing on a key number or key placing. The key is to be flexible and strive to get your best performance on that specific day, and these sheets should help plan that route to success from a first-time competitor to a seasoned veteran.
We think the best way to use this sheet is to plan your attempts 2-3 weeks in advance of the competition, and then print out your attempt selection sheet. Upload the excel file to any cloud storage device of your choice (we use Dropbox) and access it the day of competition from Excel for mobile devices. Enjoy!
A few important things: these are guidelines for attempt selection, and not a one-size-fits-all approach to attempt selection, nor warming up. We work with our athletes and other make changes to attempt selection in meet or a few times before the meet based on new data. Its best to work with a good coach to maximize performance and minimize the thinking and self-coaching you have to do on that day.
- 10-2-15: Split versions! Kilo-focused and pound-focused sheets now available. Added an instructions/features sheet. Minor other adjustments for a cleaner interface.
- 8-3-15: added a records section, so that athletes can look up relevant records in advance and have them on their attempt selection page for reference when needed. Included are selectors for age and weight division, level, and type of competition.
- 7-8-15: added many features. Difference between attempts helps make informed decisions. Projected increases on previous best performances down at the bottom. Warmups are determined for you, but are still customizable. Attempts are more balanced, and have low/high alternates depending on how you feel the day of competition.
CLICK THE ICON TO DOWNLOAD THE FILE
WARMUP TIMING BEFORE/DurING POWERLIFTING MEETS
I competed this past weekend and realized how hard it was to run mental calculations on when to warm up, and I noticed the same in other athletes. “We’ve probably got about 30 minutes”, “I’m gonna start warming up at the end of the last flight of squats”, and more are often expressions you hear tossed around the warmup area. For me personally, I want my warmups to mimic the same buildup that I use in training. The less I can change from training to competition, I think the more stressors I remove. That’s why its a great idea to train on a competition squat/bench rack facing away from a mirror as often as you can. But back to the warmups, I wanted more control over the guesswork that was cluttering my mind—let technology take care of it for me, just like I use BarCalc for loading plates until the US moves away from the antiquated imperial system. You can see a frantic change of pace when someone comes back to the warmup area and says, “5 minutes til the flight starts!!’ I really want to avoid that.
I watched 2012 IPF Worlds -120kg men to get an idea on the long end of how long lifters take to lift the bar, and how long spotters/loaders take to load the bar. Then I put in a bunch of nested conditional formulas for what flight is currently going, and how many lifters there are, etc. Its all hidden in a few columns.
Note: these are ROUGH times. Any one of a hundred things could be influencing the length of a flight, from blood on the bar to misloaded bars, re-lifts, technical malfunctions, changes from the average lifting time, etc.
- Enter data into orange cells only
- Choose the amount of time you want between warmups at the bottom (probably based on your training)
- Accommodates MOST meets (3 flights/session of up to 20 lifters)
Percentage-based 4-week excel file, with data
Based on some observations of features I’d like to see in a percentage-based program, and the type of data I think is important to have and use, I’ve created this planning and tracking page for you (and me!) to use. With it, we can see average weekly intensity, percentage of volume coming from weeks 1-4, and what percentage of the week’s volume is coming from squat, bench press, and deadlift related exercises, as dictated by users. Use the “category” feature to define which volume you want an exercise to be tallied towards. “SQUAT”, “BENCH”, “DEADLIFT”, and “ACC” for accessory are acceptable entries. I would have made these drop-down lists, but I think you wouldn’t be able to edit it on a mobile device (they don’t like data validation yet). Background ideas from Mike Zourdos and Boris Sheiko. Please refer to the YouTube channel for an explanation of the file, and it is necessary to know how to hide and unhide rows/columns.
Of course, this template is ready for your creativity in programming! I’m simply offering a place to put it all together…like a really nice canvas and set of paints/brushes. Since I’ve been using it, I feel I have greater control over some variables in training that were previously a little murky. Whether that control is illusory or not is yet to be determined :) As always, I ask that you do not modify this or use it under pretenses that you have created it. Give credit where credit is due, as I have given credit to Zourdos and Sheiko. Otherwise please use it thoroughly and share as often as you like.
INTERACTIVE YEARLY PLANNER FOR POWERLIFTING
Based on Tudor Bompa’s work in Periodization, 5th Ed., I’ve created a usable spreadsheet for planning out the year in advance. While something like this is probably more useful for athletes who are competing multiple times per year and who actually need more variation in volume and intensity, it can be a useful tool for athletes of all experience levels. I suggest reading Periodization (available at Amazon.com), and using that and a background knowledge of powerlifting and strength & conditioning to create full customized training for yourself. Some of the more popular programs, while good, can only take you so far because they are meant for a general athlete and not YOU. While its true we are not special snowflakes, we are all at different experience and training levels and have our own blend of leverages, movement efficiencies and deficiencies, and psychological makeup that can affect training effectiveness.
As always, I ask that you do not modify this or use it under pretenses that you have created it. Give credit where credit is due, as I have given credit to Bompa and Haff. Otherwise please use it thoroughly and share as often as you like.
Training Tracking Sheet (for autoregulated programs)
You don't know how excited I am about the possibilities here. You could really conduct your own research with this, relating volume in athletes on main movements and proportion of weekly movements devoted to a specific group of exercises, e.g. how much volume on the squat compared to deadlift. We stand on the shoulders of those before us!
- Notes on the file:
- utilize custom RPE charts to calculate more refined estimated 1RMs
- group volume by movement focus and compare daily and weekly volume totals based on load.
- Auto-calculates backoff sets based on top set performance.
- Two blocks available if using block periodization.
- Sexy as hell.
Nutrition Tracking Sheet
In an attempt to give out useful supplies, this is the current iteration of TSA nutrition and weight tracking sheets, along with a notes and planner page that encourages yearly planning and looking ahead in training, as well as modifying training around important and/or stressful events. Use it and share it, and just give credit to TSA.
5/3/1 Autoregulated Program
I took the essence of the 5/3/1 program--4 week cycles and moderate to low rep ranges and general progression and applied concepts I've been working with of RPE and fatigue percent to make it a bit more user-friendly down the line when linear gains cease coming as easily. I'm sure there are other efforts to such an effect, but I hope you find this useful! Please use your head and recognize that this program is not designed for anyone in specific.