Training for the IPA Buckeye Brawl on December 1st. Programming by Dave Tate in italics.


Below is a note from Dave about our training which took a sharp turn at holy shit we are shaking things up.

Please look close as you will see a big pivot. There are a few reasons for this. 

  1. Meets are starting to hit making some saturday's hit and miss and you all work better together than apart. You have been trained to cue each other and this trumps almost every aspect of a program. Thanksgiving will also need to be accounted for. 
  2. Recovery is starting to become an issue and rather than push and hope I would like to pivot to allow better recovery. As Pro level lifters when the weights get 80-90% it takes a huge toll on you because of the workload accumulated  working up to the weight as well as all the accessories being pushed. This is why after working up to a heavy training type max you feel like you were run over by a truck instead of muscle soreness. 
  3. The entire program has worked in waves as this is how to do things. These waves allow for pivots when needed. While the program looks conjugate and many parts are, it is block based for this very reason.  You should not have to bend your life to fit the training schedule - the training schedule should be able to bend based on your life. 
  4. There is one other part of this I will need to discus with you to see how to move through the rest of the meet training. There are two roads to take and both are just as optional. Its what will be the best for you guys 


We have pretty much moved from a 4 day ME/DE upper and lower to a 3 day training split.  Speed squats have been pulled and replaced with deadlifts (either a max single or speed pulls) since we needed some more tuggin and and more recovery time from squats. We can also get by with just one squat day a week. Heavy squats and bench are on the same day now and there is an optional 4th day of recovery accessory work but I didn’t really count that as a training day. Also the 4th point above refers to rotating the 4 training days over 8 or 9 days but we are not going to do that.

The main reason for this monumental change was that we were not recovering well (by ‘we’ I mean the geared people getting ready for meets). We were fucked up from  our heavy geared work and my elbows were getting trashed. Dave thinks my elbow fuckage is partially due to squatting the day before benching so hopefully by doing both on the same day, it will be less of an issue.

In the past, we have stayed on the same type of program throughout the meet cycle but just pulled back some and adjusted the work load but the overall program would look similar throughout. This will be a new adventure in terms of this drastic change in training.

Which brings me to an important point: how da fuk you gonna account for individual variables when you are on someone else’s or a random program? As a beginner lifter, you can get by with a random program since 1) you will get stronger 2) your recovery is not as big of an issue 3) you do not have the experience to understand the feedback from your body. Fuck, I still don’t that’s why someone else has to figure it out for me.

But as a certain point, the most important variable you have to account for is recovery- making sure you recover and making sure your programming decisions are based on your recovery or lack thereof. It’s kind of hilarious that I’m typing this out because if I made my own decisions, I would not account for a lack of recovery. I would probably just rub cocaine on my eyeballs and fill a garbage bag with lidocaine and wear it to train in.

By the way I do not do cocaine. What we call that up there is a JOKE.

The end goal of a training cycle is to go into a meet as STRONG and as UNFUCKED as possible.

That doesn’t mean you go into the meet feeling GREAT. That means you make changes as needed to keep your training as optimal as possible. That means you are able to do shirt work during the whole training cycle and not miss a bench at the bottom because your elbows are fucked up. That means taking the training days down to 3 days a week so you can hit the heavy squats you need to hit 3-4 weeks out.

So at a certain point in your lifting “career”, you either need to learn how programming works to the point where you can adjust any and all variables based on your current state and end goals. Or you need to find someone that you can WORK WITH who will make the best decisions for you. I say work with because having someone routinely tailor your training to you is different than having a program that is for you but does not or barely changes. I am lucky enough to give Dave feedback at the gym and in between training sessions and he can make the necessary changes.

I don’t feel like I have been training long enough to form very solid and informed opinions on lifting but from what I see, there is a vast array of programming that can get you strong. It just comes down to making things work for you. No matter what methodology you utilize, the key is just making it optimal for you. Obviously we have our own training style at EliteFTS but I have spoken to people who have been at their strongest just taking a heavy single every week with minimal accessory work to people who incorporate very high volume. The common thread in all of these is making changes when necessary based on how your body is responding and putting the work in. And probably lots of cocaine.


Why do I feel like I typed out a lot of words when I really only said one thing? Oh well I’m not deleting it all now.



  • Warm Ups  
  • 2 sets each of hanging leg raise, glute ham raises and bent knee reverse hypers. Reps will be 4-5 under failure.
  • This is just warming up.
  • *Add in band pull aparts and band face pulls. 

I still usually do my bird dogs, planks, and dead bugs during my warm up. Usually.

  •  Band Deadlifts 
  • Warm up - work up to one rep max.


The band tension we were aiming for was “heavy but not fucking heavy” at the top. We ended up going with two lights bands and one mini band as you can see in the video.

Went 135, 185, 225, 275, 295.

My callouses tore again on 275 and even though we have a qualified athletic trainer training with us I chose to put a strip of shitty tape on my hand instead of having her tape me up in an adequate fashion and ended up losing the bar at the top on the last set. Whatever. Better than forgetting to take my keys out of the trunk before closing it.



I am aware this was not fully locked out but I don’t give a fuck because Dave kept saying I would miss it and he is under the impression I got the rep so proving my point is what matters.


  • Leg Press or Hack Squats 
  • Warm ups - work to 3 sets of 8 reps using a weight that would be a record for you on this.


Reverse band, 3 plates on each side and a dime. WHOA REVERSE BAND HACK SQUAT PR.


  • Reverse Hypers (LIGHT)
  • 3 sets 10 reps


Two plates on each side. I need to take a week off swinging jokes so I can come back locked and loaded with new material.


  • Inverse Curl 
  • 3 sets of 8-15 reps ( try to go 1-2 reps shy of failure)


Quarter. If someone had sex with that weight on there would it be a quarter pounder HEYOO. And she’s back!


  •  Light Bench Press with tsunami bar
  • 3 sets of 10 using either 95 or 135 pounds


  • Pull Down Abs 
  • 3 sets of 8-10 reps


100-110 lbs


  • Free Time: 
  • 15 minutes - do whatever you want. Nothing under 10 reps and nothing over a level 4


I did T bar rows for the ol upper back, yoke bar good mornings, leg extensions, glute ham raises, and the adductor abductor machine. I’m just going to start calling in the innie/outtie machine. OK good.

I also tried to do grip work but I was pretty shot from two heavy deadlift days in close proximity to eachother.

Here is also a dream I happened to write down right below where I noted my accessories in my phone so you can have it:

I accidentally became Bette Midler's assistant and was TOO helpful by telling her I would take her jewelry and clothes to some theater to be fixed. Instead of just ducking out before she realized I was in impostor.  Anyway she figured it out when I was in the wardrobe department of some theater. The end. That was one of my more tame dreams. I have other ones entitled "Imperial space nutella transport massacre" "waterskiing nazis" and "waterslide exorcism 1" and "waterslide exorcism 2". If I ever lack training related ruminations to write about, I will just start laying down the weird shit.