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Make Every Rep Count: Preparing for the TSC

The following Tactical Power Problem is on October 27, 2018.
Check in ahead of August 31, to get your unfastened T-Blouse.

In October of 2017, I competed for the primary time within the Girls’s Elite Department of StrongFirst’s Tactical Power Problem (TSC). I used to be pleased with my effects—Deadlift 136kg, Pull-up 7, and Clutch 120—however felt I may give a boost to with some targeted, back-to-basics Coaching. With the Spring 2018 TSC at the horizon, I set new targets: Deadlift 160kg, Pull-u.s.eight, Clutch 125.

Determine the Leaks

My first preparation step was once a video evaluate of my lifts, hoping to spot performance-hindering methodology leaks. I additionally sought candid comments from Pavel and a small staff of fellow instructors and buddies.* The extra enter from relied on resources, the simpler.

TSC Deadlift Personal BestThe methodology leaks weren’t onerous to spot. On my Deadlift, my grip wanted strengthening and I needed to grasp the sumo stance (I had at all times used a traditional deadlifting stance previous to coaching for the Fall TSC). On my Pull-ups, I had to paintings on maintaining the hole place for longer units (I had up to now educated within the 1–three rep vary to arrange for Iron Maiden). And on my Snatches, I had to cinch up tighter within the best place.

Plug the Leaks

To handle those leaks, I spotted I’d wish to conquer some coaching behavior: the tendency to enter auto-pilot on lifts I’ve been practising for years. It’s difficult to handle aim and a focus all through any advanced motion, however specializing in what your physique is doing—from the ft as much as the top, from setup to park, from begin to end—is very important to secure and environment friendly execution. After I do in finding myself on auto-pilot, it’s most often an indication of fatigue, an invaluable indicator that it’s time to take a smash and even perhaps make a transformation in programming. To keep away from auto-pilot, I remind myself to stay a scholar mindset—to at all times stay my eyes open for tactics to give a boost to, and to make each and every rep rely.

“To evolve to coaching is to by no means adapt to coaching”—Ben Tabachnik

Six weeks previous to the Spring 2018 TSC, I started my new coaching protocol: heavy swings, heavy snatches, SFG test-weight snatches, a Westside deadlift cycle, Grease-the-Groove (GTG), and extra body-weight trunk paintings. Whilst very similar to how I educated for the Fall TSC, this protocol incorporated necessary changes designed to plug the leaks in my lifts.

Heavy Swings

As an example, throughout my Fall TSC coaching, I structured heavy swing days consistent with a plan written via Pavel (five heavy swings OTM x 12 mins = 60 swings), changed with a respiring ladder in response to Plan Sturdy rules to alter depth whilst keeping up quantity. I alternated between two-handed 40kg swings and single-arm 32kg swings. The outcome seemed like this:

Heavy Swing Respiring Ladder

  • 2 swings – 2 breaths
  • four swings – four breaths
  • 6 swings – 6 breaths
  • eight swings – eight breaths
  • 10 swings – 10 breaths
  • Choice of swings = 30. Relaxation three mins, then repeat for a complete of 60 swings.

In preparation for the Spring TSC—on the advice Hyun Jin—I persevered with the single-arm 32kg swings, however as a substitute of the two-handed 40kg swings, I switched to double 20kg KBs swings.

The use of double KBs was once key to addressing the leaks in all 3 of my TSC lifts. The separate a lot compelled me to stabilize and handle pressure in my abs, lats, and glutes—making improvements to my trunk power and connection. And because of the higher call for for keep an eye on and coordination, I needed to be extra intentional on each and every rep. In the end, it added a layer of power staying power conditioning which might maintain me via the entire event-day calls for of the TSC.


Within the Fall 2017 TSC, my grip slipped at the descent of my 3rd DL strive (145kg), leading to a ignored elevate and decrease general. For the Spring I adopted the similar protocol as I had ahead of (a linear Westside Barbell cycle with a five% build up in depth each and every week), however made one key adjustment: I switched to a combined grip and alternated my grip each and every rep. Alternating my grip saved me found in each and every rep, fighting auto-pilot and polishing my focal point on set-up, wedge, and breath.

At Pavel’s advice, I additionally added Pause DLs (elevate 2–four inches off floor, pause for three seconds, then end the elevate, at 50% 1RM). This custom allowed me to handle my wedge and place within the preliminary DL segment.

Trunk Paintings and GTG

To fortify the hole place on my pull-u.s.and to cinch up the overhead place of my take hold of, I added extra trunk paintings to my coaching for the Spring TSC. This incorporated crawling on a daily basis (numerous instructions, base positions, and speeds), One-Arm Push-Up apply, One-Arm Planks, One-Arm One-Leg Planks, Val Slide Frame Saws, and Double KB Rack Planks. I applied those after protocol-based classes if time allowed or incorporated them in my GTG classes, at all times ensuring—in line with StrongFirst rules—to depart a little bit gasoline within the tank. Following GTG rules (as defined right here via Craig Marker) helped to stay my physique and thoughts recent and engaged in each and every rep.

Relaxation, Gas, and Restoration

All through my coaching, I strictly adhered to the remainder classes specified within the protocol. This allowed me to provide upper high quality reps, refine methodology, elevate heavier, and safely execute classes. (Pavel discusses the science of Relaxation durations right here.)

To spherical out my efforts, I used to be diligent about gas and restoration—imposing restorative practices inside my day by day classes, getting high quality sleep regularly, and soaking my ft in scorching Epsom Salt water or floating when my time table allowed.

What you are going to do issues. All you want is to do it.”—Judy Grahn

In April 2018, my preparation and plan got here to existence.

Having ready for minimum warm-up in the middle of training, judging, and competing, I had my DL covered up with a 160kg (352lb) purpose, having lifted that load as soon as ahead of (eight weeks previous to TSC). My lifts have been as follows:

DL Warmup:

  • 70.4kg (155lb) x three (relaxation 1 min)
  • 120.four kg (265lb) x 1 (relaxation 1.five min)
  • 136.four kg (300lb) x 1 (relaxation 1.five min)

DL Pageant:

  • 148kg (325lb) x 1 (relaxation three min)
  • 157kg (345lb) x 1 (relaxation three min)
  • 166kg (365lb) x 1 (FINAL elevate)

Pull-Ups w/5kg: eight reps
Clutch Check w/20kg: 115 reps

TSC Loaded Pull-ups

Converting my coaching protocol paid off. I safely completed a 1RM DL with minimum warm-up, finished a suite of loaded pull-u.s.with out an aching shoulder or neck right away in a while, and stepped into the take hold of check with 20kg feeling in keep an eye on of my place and respiring throughout the check.

Fidatevi del Processo—Consider the Procedure

So what did I be informed getting ready for the TSC? That making small however well-targeted adjustments could have a formidable have an effect on. To agree with the method of exchange—to embody the desire for self-critique and to imagine in my skill to make vital changes. I used to be additionally reminded of the facility of our StrongFirst rules, particularly the concept that we will have to at all times go away one thing within the tank. And above all, I used to be reminded of the enjoyment of being a scholar—of taking enter from relied on colleagues and lecturers and striving to give a boost to on a daily basis, each and every rep.

*Because of Pavel Tsatsouline, Craig Marker, Hyun Jin, and Debbie Hayes.

At all times stay my eyes open for tactics to give a boost to, and to make each and every rep rely. – Analisa Naldi Click on To Tweet

Tactical Power Problem: The following TSC can be on October 27th, 2018. Check in ahead of August 31st to your T-Blouse.

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