Intensity Cycle Begins!

This morning’s workout was the beginning of an intensity cycle for my training partner and I. We have a powerlifting competition scheduled for October and need to step it up a bit in our training. Since February, we’ve been following the RTS method of training and have been receiving great results. While we will continue to use this method of training, our intensity training cycles will be a bit longer than the normal 3 week cycle and our volume cycles will be less than normal 3 week cycle. How much longer or shorter? We don’t even know. We are instinctively training, so things change with the wind. This will continue up to about four weeks from the meet; then we may do some type of percentage based peaking cycle.

Today was a heavy squat, dead lift accessory, and random movement day. Below is the flow of events.

Exercise: Weights x Reps x Sets

Started with a fully body Warm-up and hopped on the elliptical machine for 10 minutes.  Then hit:

LB (low bar) Squats: Bar x 7 x 1, 135 x 5 x 1, 185 x 3 x 1, 225 x 3 x 1, 275 x 3 x 1, 295 x 2 x 1,315 x 2 x 1, 345 x 1 x 1 (85 % of 1 RM) @ 9 RPE

Note: RPE means Rate of Perceived Exertion. Basically, it’s a numerical value to gauge how many more reps you have left in the tank on a given set of reps. At my last rep, I felt I was at a 9 RPE. This means I feel I had 1 more rep in me before failure. This equated to 85% of my 1 rep max of 402 lbs. on the squat.

Deficit Deadlifts (off a 45 lb. plate): 135 x 6 x 1, 225 x 5 x 5

Note: Performed these with the “touch and go” method. Normally, I completely rest the weight on the floor before lifting. With the “touch and go” method, I pull the weight back up as soon as the plates hit the ground.

Lying machine leg curls: 40 x 12 x 1, 45 x 10 x 1, BURN 45-30-15

Note: We always do a bodybuilding movement for lagging leg muscles at the end of this workout. I really want more of a defined look in my quads, so I tend to hit these pretty hard.  The BURN on the last set consists of a drop set in which I drop the weight after performing as many reps as I can with the recorded amount of weight, starting with 45 lbs. Why lift heavy if your legs don’t look the part?

I was very pleased with our performance, today, and can’t wait to see how many PRs we hit before we even step on the platform. I plan to write more about the RTS method of training since I have seen such great results in strength and overall body composition from following
it’s guidelines.

Tomorrow, we destroy the upper body!



One thought on “Intensity Cycle Begins!

  1. Interested to see how your RPE cycle goes. I recently moved to a 5/3/1-inspired program with a lot of my own additions, basically letting myself squat daily and work up to a daily max a la John Broz. This has me basically working off of my RPE daily and increasing my training max percentage accordingly every couple weeks. I’ve never been satisfied with strict percentage-based programs that don’t let me kill it when I’m feeling good.

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