RTS General Intermediate Program Spreadsheet (Mike Tuchscherer)

RTS stands for Reactive Training Systems. This training system is renowned for being a training protocol that has been used successfully by world-class powerlifters. The credit for creating the RTS Generalized Intermediate Program goes to Mike Tuchscherer. He published a general outline for a training program using the concept of his Reactive Training Systems which came to be known as the RTS Generalized Intermediate Program.

The RTS Generalized Intermediate Program takes into consideration the concept of RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion. The Mike Tuchscherer program takes into account a hypothetical person named David. David is considered to be a 30 years old boy who weighs 215 pounds. He has a lifting experience of 4 years and he has posted Class 3 numbers in the Russian Classification Chart. He has a lifting background of 5×5 programs and he has also performed a stint of 5/3/1. He is familiar with the concept of RTS, RPE, and fatigue percent.  He does not have any injuries or time restrictions. He has the basic equipment and he trains and competes in a raw form. He performs conventional deadlifts and his sticking points are at the bottom of the lift. He is able to continue his transition from a 3x weekly template to a 4x weekly template.

RTS Generalized Intermediate Program Overview

RTS General Intermediate Program

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The RTS Generalized Intermediate Program is characterized by nine weeks of training. The most surprising thing about this training program is that no week is the same as the previous one. Multiple variations are made in the training program as it progresses through nine weeks.

The underlying concept of the RTS Generalized Intermediate Program is based on progressive overload. As you progress through the weeks, you switch from training with medium weights at a higher volume to training with heavy weights at medium volumes. The RTS program requires you to proceed with heavier weights over the weeks performing lower number of reps subsequently.

When you get started with the RTS training program, you lift four times in a week following a full-body schedule for the first four weeks. Afterward, you switch to working out three times a week. This is done to let you transition to a higher frequency training.

While following the RTS Powerlifting Program, you train your competition lifts early in the week for the majority of the program. This is done owing to the fact that you are more energetic after going through the rest-oriented weekends. As you proceed through the week, your body tends to get fatigued and therefore you train your primary “assistance” exercises including the pause squats and deficit deadlifts in the week’s latter half. The competition lifts in the week’s latter half thereby get preceded.

When it comes to performing the competition lifts and main assistance movements, they are performed for no more than 5-6 reps. On the contrary, the supplemental movements are performed with a 5-6 rep range or even higher. This is done because the competition lifts and their main assistance movements are targeted towards building movement-specific strength. On the other hand, the supplemental movements basically aim at promoting general strength and hypertrophy.

The programming of this training system divides the period of 9 weeks into a volume phase (that runs for the first four weeks) and an intensity phase (that runs for the next five weeks).

The first week is regarded as the introductory week. It is basically concerned with making some basic adaptations to prepare the body for the stress that will be imposed on it in the coming weeks. The main beating of the workout commences from the starting of Week 2 and it goes till the end of week 4. In these three weeks, you don’t get fully recovered from the fatigue accumulated.

The beginning of Week 5 marks some relief for you as you switch to training three times a week from there onwards. But again, Week 6 again becomes stressful with a fatigue level of 37.5%.

Week 7 and Week 8 again bring some relief just like Week 5 with a reduced fatigue level of 25%. The purpose behind this kind of intelligent and effective programming is to take you to a max test in Week 9.

RTS Generalized Intermediate Program Spreadsheet

Now since you have got a basic idea about how the RTS Generalized Intermediate Program works, it’s time to know about its practical application. The Google Sheet presented here will do the same for you. You can also use this spreadsheet as a handy template that you can carry with yourself to your training sessions.

Thanks to u/MagnesiumCarbonate for creating this awesome spreadsheet

The in-built calculator of this excel sheet determines the ideal weight that you should train with. On one hand, it helps in eliminating confusion and on the other hand it lets you know about the weights that would be adequately challenging to your muscles.


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