View Full Version : RTS Program Critique

Eduardo Chile
09-06-2010, 10:02 AM
Hey All,

I'm new to these forums and I think I'm going to start keeping a log on here once I start my new cycle next week. I just purchased the RTS Manual and I really liked the program he layed out. It's essentially the beginnings of block periodization. The RPE system allows one to autoregulate their training and it limits the length of the workout as well since in order to properly use RPE there needs to be a time limit on the work sets. I also do jiu-jitsu on average of three days a week.

Some training history is I've done Bill Starr's 5 X 5, Westside, 5/3/1 and my own templates.

Currents lifts
Low Bar Squat - 375
Deadlift - 400
Bench - 250
Press - 170
Power Clean - 200 (very estimated)
Clean - haven't done much work, Derek Simonds has helped with my form
Front Squat - 250, limiting factor is pressure on the neck

I attached it as a text file.

Thanks for any feedback and help.

Donald Lee
09-06-2010, 12:53 PM
Your RPEs and reps/volume look sort of random.

I suggest you follow the format in the book and do something like this:

Week 1-3 Volume Block (5 reps to 8.5-9 RPE)

Week 4-6 Intensity Block (3 reps to 8.5-9 RPE)

Then after one go through, you start making adjustments if you need to, such as:

Volume Block

Week 1 High Volume, Low Intensity (5 reps to 8 RPE)
Week 2 Medium Volume, Medium Intensity (4 reps to 8.5 RPE)
Week 3 High Volume, Low Intensity (5 reps to 8 RPE)

Intensity Block

Week 4 High Intensity, Low Volume (2 reps to 9-10 RPE)
Week 5 Medium Intensity, Medium Volume (3 reps to 9 RPE)
Week 6 High Intensity, Low Volume (2 reps to 9-10 RPE)

Then, you can start manipulating the total stress per week, etc.

You should just follow how the book has you progressing though. Start off with RPE's, then add Fatigue Percents, etc.

I suggest you also post your log to the RTS website. It's very well made, and it's set-up for people utilizing RPEs.

Eduardo Chile
09-06-2010, 01:28 PM

Thanks for clarifying the book. I say several different implementations of how to do the volume and intensity block.

But, doing the olympic lifts for 5 reps is likely not optimal. I feel my form will really start to break down. How would you do these lifts?

Again, thanks for the suggesting of using the rts website and your help.

Donald Lee
09-06-2010, 02:11 PM
First of all, you should probably do the Olympic lifts before your squatting or deadlifting, because the fatigue will negatively affect your power and technique.

Secondly, it's highly likely that the Olympic lifts won't help your Back Squat or Deadlift. But, I'd say you should do sets of 1-3 reps on the Olympic lifts and work until you get to whatever RPE you choose. I think the RPE's would have to be adjusted for the Olympic lifts though. They'd probably have to be more speed/technique related, than based on how many reps you have left.

I can give you some more tips on exercise selection if you tell me a bit about your goals.

Eduardo Chile
09-06-2010, 02:48 PM
I was planning on doing the olympic lifts first, I just filled in the exercises as best i could using the template from the book.

Also, I was planning on giving myself 20 minutes only to complete the work sets or until I reach my target rpe with a given weight.

That is a very valid comment on the RPE for the olympic lifts and I didn't think about that.

For my goals I guess I will start on my lifting goals. I'm not sure on the time frame I should put on myself to achieve these goals.
Low Bar Back Squat - 500 plus
Deadlift - 600 plus
Bench - 350 plus
Total - 1500 plus

Clean - 315 plus (I'm not set on this one yet)
Press - 250

COC # 3 - close once

I'd like to maybe casually compete in jiu-jitsu competitions but this is secondary to my lifting goals. I don't really care too much about doing cardio unless I plan on competing in a tournament of some sort. I do the olympic lifts for power production for jiu-jitsu and plus I'd like to be profecient at them. I find the olympic lifts pretty fun as well.

Height - 6'0"
Weight - 225
Age - 26
BF- guess 18%

Goal weight - 250 plus ( this is not set in stone either)

Thanks again for any input.

Derek Weaver
09-06-2010, 03:09 PM
I don't want to divert this thread from the positive direction it's going, but allow me a comment:

You may may to reevaluate how you're setting goals. A 200 lb increase on the deadlift is fine, but.... what kind of time frame are you looking at?

Take it from someone who got pretty strong relative to body size, got hurt and sick, started to get strong with lofty goals again... got hurt and sick etc. Now I'm still putting myself back together and trying to maintain some sort of a focus in my training, several months after actually getting healthy.

Maybe 1,2,3 as a goal would be a good way to go. 1x bodyweight press. 2x bodyweight squat, 3x bodyweight deadlift. Set a goal date for them and move forward from there.

Eduardo Chile
09-06-2010, 03:33 PM
I guess I need to implement some "SMART" goals.

Squat : 400
Deadlift: 435
Bench: 265
Press: 180
Clean: 200 (still getting my technique down)

I can set long term goals when I get a change to sit down and plan it out. But I believe these are good goals to reach by the end of the year.

Donald Lee
09-06-2010, 03:33 PM
Assistance exercises are done with the same rep range/RPE as your main exercises. Supplemental exercises are done with higher reps (8-12 or so).

Here are a few good generic assistance exercises:

Back Squat - Front Squat, Box Squat, Good Morning, Pause Squats

Deadlift - Snatch Grip Deadlift, Deficit Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift, Good Morning

Bench Press - Incline Bench Press, Close Grip Bench Press, Board/Pin Presses, Pause Bench, Weighted Dip,

Supplemental exercises can be isolation bodybuilding type (shoulder raises, tricep extensions, JM Press, curls) or something more-like weighted stepups.

If you switch out exercises, I'd say switch it out after sticking to the same exercises throughout a Volume Block/Intensity Block cycle.

When you get more advanced or stop progressing or notice specific problems, then you can start targeting things more with your assistance/supplemental exercises.

Eduardo Chile
09-06-2010, 10:03 PM
Found a few interesting posts about the program and beginners over on rts for anyone interested.

Starting RTS (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/new-forum/view-postlist/forum-1-discussion-forum/topic-337-getting-started)

Beginning RTS (http://www.reactivetrainingsystems.com/new-forum/view-postlist/forum-1-discussion-forum/topic-360-beginning-rts)