Do you have a hard time separating pain and performance? Both can be extremely tricky to navigate, particularly when you’re trying to crush your performance without also crushing your back, hips, knees, etc. This is why I wanted to bring Ian Titus, a rock star client of Rebel Performance, on to discuss how we got his performance skyrocketing while staying pain-free.
Not too long ago, Ian set a goal for himself to hit a 500 lb deadlift before he was 50 years old; however, he couldn’t quite master the most important part – adding weight to the bar. What kept stopping him was the excruciating back pain he would get each time he would lift the bar. That’s when Ian decided it was time for a change and joined the Rebel fam. Fast forward to 12 weeks later, and Ian just smashed a massive 100+ lb deadlift PR of 560 lbs, 100% pain-free.
This episode is all about Ian and I unpacking the exact steps we followed to make it happen. The two of us dive into the importance of having somebody else program for you, the implements and exercise selection you should choose and why utilizing different training phases is good for your training. Listen in to discover how you can PR your deadlift by 100 lbs in just 12 weeks, while still feeling your absolute best.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- [04:19] Ian’s past deadlift numbers versus his numbers now
- [10:40] Getting Ian hitting his PRs pain free
- [12:52] Key differences in Ian programming for himself versus when he hopped in with Rebel Performance
- [16:10] Separating performance output from feeling good and being pain free
- [20:03] The implements and exercise selection that helped Ian become pain free
- [23:00] How your ego can get you in trouble
- [25:23] The key to replicating Ian’s results
- [28:08] The cardio game changer
- [30:00] Three big changes Rebel brings to the table
- [36:18] The importance of going through different training phases
- [41:50] Where to find Ian Titus
- [42:30] Ian’s recommendation for why you should join us at Rebel Performance
James Cerbie: Alright, there we go. We are off and running with the great and powerful Ian Titus. You have an amazing name, by the way. Like, you have a name that makes me think of a Greek God, just like in it is that last one?
Ian Titus: I’ll take that in high school. I mean, just with the itus on the end, any disease you could think of, but it usually has something to do with somebody’s nuts.
James Cerbie: Yeah, that’s the order. You go home and you’re just like, Geez, mom and dad, how do you do this to me? Exactly my fault.
Ian Titus: I hate this name.
James Cerbie: His name. I’m going to change it.
Ian Titus: It worked out.
James Cerbie: That is good. That is good. I’m going to brag on you here for a second because you’ve been absolutely crushing for what feels like the last year with us here rebel performance first in that apex athlete situation. And now in our training team, you’ve just been on absolute fire on a brag on. You can just give you kind of a huge public high five, six, four, showing up, doing the work.
Do you have any numbers off the top of your head that we can reference? Just so people have an idea when I say you’ve been on fire, what does that actually mean in terms of where you were about a year ago versus where your numbers are now, we can think about, like, squat, bench dead conditioning tests, vertical broad jump stuff like that. Do you have any numbers top of mind that you can kind of, like, reflect that?
Ian’s Past Deadlift Numbers Versus His Numbers Now
Ian Titus: Well, the deadlift is my favorite. So, I mean, there’s two sides. It’s my favorite, but it’s also most likely to just crush you. And that’s how I spent the last few years when I turned 40. So I’m 43, turn 40, and I was like, I’m going to hit 500 by 50. So that was kind of, you know, I’m sitting there. I worked at Lifetime, and I’m in the break room, and I’m talking to one of the guys, and he’s kind of fresh out of school. And he’s like, that research says that that’s impossible.
I’m stuck with research. I’m going to do it. And then as I kept trying to do it, I realized, like, man, this is rough. So I hurt myself in 2018, right at the beginning of the year, ego, I was at a smaller gym, and had one guy in there other than the owner that held more than me. And I was at, like, 435, I think, was my Max at that point. He pulled 450 and just on a random, like, Friday after class, I was like, I’ll see what I got, pulled it up, burning around the hips.
So that was it. Kicking myself like, you idiot. So it took a while to get back up to even deadlifting. I mean, I think I kept trying, but it just didn’t feel right. So I tried six months, started deadlifting again. 225 was. I was doing them super slow. Basically did that for a while. I got up. I pulled like over 400 once in the last. Probably what up until about the middle of last year and then switched over to trap bar because I was just done with straight bars.
I didn’t want to feel like a train wreck jumped on with you guys last year. At least the Rebel mentorship with Kyle and Matt So ran a rap and that’s I just fell in love with rap. I’m glad to see all the M rep sets that were in there this year because I definitely shine with that. So it was 434. 30 was kind of like I didn’t ever go above that. I hit 430 for like five last year. December hurt myself again being an idiot. Let’s see.
I took like 370 for like 14 on the 7th one. I felt something and I was like, I’ll just keep going, trying to channel my inner Ronnie Coleman. I’d get up and I would just be like just running and couldn’t stand up straight. Felt like an old man again. And I was like, I’m done. I’m done programming for myself. So that’s when I jumped on the Apex team. Now when we started, I felt a lot better. So that was good.
And I hit that 430 for three for the first round. I was like, that was hard, but it felt good. So I didn’t hurt myself, went through that first round, pulled 500, surprised myself because I hit 450 and I was like, alright, I’ll try it. And then at the end of this round I hit 500 for six. And that’s when I was like, Holy shit, because I had the 600 by 60 goal. So I’m like, okay, I can do 500 by 50. I got ten years to do that.
I can probably add another 170 pounds to my dead list. I pulled that 560. I went to the owner of the gym that I’m at now. He’s a powerlifter. And I’m like, I did those one RM calculators. And it said I did 500 for six. And the calculator said I could pull 580. And I was like, I’m not trying that. And I know that wasn’t even in the program, but I went over to him and he’s like, 600. I’m like, no, and he’s like, 560.
Alright, so that was the video that you saw. I just grip and rip.
James Cerbie: Yeah, it is great. It was awesome. It was a good lift too. Like it was one of those things where you didn’t lift it. And I’m sitting here as a coach, just like, ringing in the background. You’re like, oh, sweet mother of God, I can’t wait for this lift to be right. It looks really good. Yeah, it’s huge. I remember logging into the team to see the video in the post that I had to do a double take, and I was like, hold on. You added 100 pounds to your deadlift, more or less ballpark in a 12 to 14 week training.
Ian Titus: Yeah, I was blown away. I mean, I hit the five, Funny thing. When I hit five, I came back a week later to see if I could rep it because we were in that testing. So I tested that first week, and then the second week was kind of just do whatever. I couldn’t even budge. 470.
James Cerbie: I was just okay.
Getting Ian Hitting His PRs Pain-Free
Ian Titus: Yeah. I’ll hold my five. Yeah, I came back after this, and I mean, I just felt great the entire time. I know that I mentioned a few hip things, but the way that everything is programmed now just kind of fixes itself if you just don’t get too crazy, especially. I don’t know, I don’t feel old, but I do respect that. I am 43, 44 in a month, still trying to just let other old men know that you can still get after it.
James Cerbie: Yeah. I mean, it’s awesome. Like hearing the story. I love that. I didn’t know when you first came on board at Rebel that you have that 500 pound deadlift goal. I didn’t know the problems that had arisen and was trying to get there. But I was like, so daunt and I realized what the goal was. And then, like, we got you to do it once and then one more training cycle later. You did it six times and then just for shits, fun and giggles, you’re like I’m, going to go ahead and pull five hundred and sixty.
It’s so much progress in such a relatively short period of time in terms of, like, how we usually think of these things. And I mean, I think the other thing that really got me pretty amped about it is that you did it while also feeling really good. It wasn’t one of those things where it’s like, okay, we got you to your list. But now you’re going to walk around and feel like a train wreck for the rest of the week. Right?
Ian Titus: Absolutely. Link on this list.
James Cerbie: Go ahead.
Ian Titus: When you’re over 40, something hurts all the time, especially when you’re lifting. I just laugh when you get like, a 35 year old guy walking in the gym is like, just getting old, you know? And like, no, you’re not. You’re just you’re doing something else wrong. But even speaking of just being in pain, like, after I hurt myself in 2018; it was just three years of trying to figure it out. Two years and just being really pissed off a lot because it’s like, you’re out here helping people get fit and that you can’t even figure out yourself.
And so I was like, this is not supposed to hurt. I should know what to do. But of course, I was actually going through then I listened to the one with Chris and the same thing. Like when we program for ourselves. It’s like I’m going to add in instead of four accessories. I think ten is probably going to be better. So. Yeah. So there was a little bit of a slap in the face education also, because it’s not like I’m doing that from the people that I train, but it’s like, well, I can handle it, though, because I’m a badass. Yes. No, they will crush you.
James Cerbie: Yeah. So I think it would be interesting if we could look at a little bit of dichotomy here in terms of let’s zoom yourself back to the beginning of the story where you’re sitting there, like, I’m going to set this goal of wanting to deadlift 500 by the time I’m 50, and then you went and like most people do right off the bat, wanting to try to manage and do it all yourself. But then I ran into the issue of when I do it all myself, I usually end up overthinking it.
Key Differences in Ian Programming for Himself Versus When He Hopped in with Rebel Performance
Second guessing it so much I over program it for myself. What do you think? Some of the key differences between that phase where you were trying to do it all yourself, but kept running into problems of, like, back pain, hip pain. And I’ve been there before, and it’s so frustrating and debilitating, because all you want to do is train hard, fast and heavy, because it’s the thing that you love. But you can’t because you just feel like a dumpster fire, right? Can you think of any big, obvious differences and changes between what you were doing when you’re doing it yourself versus how things change when you came on board a rebel and what we were having you do probably maybe just a little bit of backstory on that.
Ian Titus: So I was a strong first instructor. Basically, I listen to Tim Farris, talk to Pavel, but 2015. I was like, That’s awesome. You can get strong and you don’t have to do a lot of reps, and you just I can create tension. So let’s do that. So I jumped on the strong first bandwagon, and I mean, I loved it. I definitely felt a lot stronger, felt a lot stronger, leaned up. Well, I’ve always been lean, but I guess you could say muscled up actually a little bit, but everything is bilateral.
You know, I have been following Eric Cressy for a while, just being a baseball guy. So I knew all about the single leg stuff I got. The High Performance Handbook did that, but didn’t really buy into it. I actually heard Dana Santos on his podcast a couple years ago talking about PRI and getting some exhales, and I was like, okay, that makes sense. So I tried that. There’s actually a move from Paul Chek that I got from one of his books, and it’s like a dead bug position, but you’re lowering your legs without letting your pelvis come up off your fingers and no back pain for like, three minutes.
And then after hearing both of those things, it was like, okay, I’m sold on this. So I kind of went down that rabbit hole, started incorporating a lot more single leg, single arm rotating Castron verse is all power lifting and bilateral. And so the biggest thing to get back to the point is and I think this is just like, a theme that you hear all the time. Got to do things on one leg because I got clients that don’t have a squat rack at home. So put them on one leg like, you don’t get that axle Loading and they can feel it.
Most people can’t even get up off the ground on one leg the first time you haven’t tried, and they’re pretty shocked. And then you get even powerlifters doing it. And they’re like, shaking like crazy. So I knew there was something there and then just adding in rotation, really getting the adductors involved and adductors out there supposed to work. Not when your knees are, you know, basically to your sides, because that messed up my hips. Trying to do a sumo deadlift also made my back feel better, but fucked up my hips.
So all and all that. It’s the unilateral stuff and especially the alternating unilateral stuff. If you can get the hips kind of shifting, they just kind of find a sweet spot. You can kind of tell.
Separating Performance Output From Feeling Good and Being Pain-Free
James Cerbie: Yeah, I think that’s one of the biggest things that we hear from people, because we tend to get a lot of people in the training team like yourself. You’re coming from being former athletes. They love training and throwing down. It’s such an efficient part of their life. It’s not going anywhere. Our population of people aren’t the ones that are just going to ride off into the sunset and just watch their performance slowly decline over time. Everybody in our family is very much like you. It’s like I am going to continue to push myself to get better day after day, week after week, year after year.
I don’t care about them getting older. I’m going to keep living at my physical peak and pushing the boundary of what I’m capable of. But what that causes for some people is that they have a very hard time separating that performance output from actually feeling good and being in pain. Right?
They become too married together to where it’s like, yeah, maybe my performance has gone up a little bit, but I’m also really in pain, and they can’t figure out a way to separate those two worlds to where it’s like, oh, my performance is literally skyrocketing, and I feel better than I ever have before. Right. And I think the exercise selection, as you mentioned, is one of the biggest differences that we hear from people who come on board. And I’m glad you brought the bilateral bilateral stuff in particular, because, yeah, we have places in your training where we have the big bilateral movements and you know, that’s go time.
You know, that’s a show. But then we’re layering on tons of other unilateral alternating reciprocal type activity so we can grease the gears, get you moving really well, get you feeling really good. I mentioned this all the time, but it really does create this powerful flywheel effect where my big main lift is driving a performance outcome. My accessories are helping me move better, feel better, etcetera. Contributing to me being able to push harder on my main list, which then I was going to get even more performance outcomes.
And it’s like I’m just waiting for more people to adopt this as a method, because between you and all the other people we keep having on the podcast talking about these pretty ridiculous results in a short period of time. It works.
Ian Titus: Absolutely. I mean, even coming into it as a coach, we’ve got a market. And when you’re saying that people are seeing these results, it’s usually like, I mean, a 30 pound PR doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s going to matter your training age, but it’s still a pretty decent jump. I just did not expect it so that’s even better. And I’ve been harping on the deadlift. But I mean, I squatted 300 for the first time ever, but the safety squat bar, I don’t think I’ll ever back squat again.
I mean, even just putting the bar on my back with no weight is something I don’t like. I just don’t like the way it feels. I mean, it’s not even like exercise. It’s like the implements that you’re using are just they’re better for again, it’s not sports, so we don’t have to worry about training for a cross fit competition or powerlifting competition or Olympic weightlifting. That’s just a whole other thing that you’ve already addressed on the podcast, but it’s just to put yourself into a good position because you want to get stronger and you want to feel good.
And if you need to do something, if you need to help a buddy move furniture, if you need to help somebody lift something heavy, you know, just carrying it from one house to another or anything like that. It’s like you. I think I heard this from Dan John. It is like you want to be the person that they call, they can count on you for being strong to implement. And I did yesterday. So I’m working with Ryan, so I switched over to try to add some mass, which I’ve had a little hiccup going into that, but I spotted without ramps for the first time in two years and no pain from that.
So that kind of surprised me too. I was like my back didn’t pop, it usually pops, and then I feel it like 2 hours later doing the density sets going back and forth. It felt good.
James Cerbie: Still, please, that’s crazy, man. Yeah, I’m just so and for the progress that you’ve been making in terms of the implements and the exercise selection. Do you have any specific examples? Top of mind that you felt were really, really helpful in terms of allowing you to be in this position of improving performance without seeing escalations and pain and ending up where you were previously.
The Implements and Exercise Selection That Helped Ian Become Pain-Free
Ian Titus: Some of the variations in how you treat like a row, for example, I would notice or even pull downs. I was at a bodybuilding gym prior to going into this powerlifting gym, so it’s sort of the same. Of course, there are different goals, but the movements look the same. Everybody with their lap, pull down, Super Archy and everything’s an arch, and they wear a belt thinking that that’s going to, no offense to any bodybuilders or powerlifters, but you don’t have to wear it the entire time you’re in the gym.
And I think it just adds to the pain that they experience. So it’s back to the one on row variation. So you’ve got where you’re basically trying to keep your skeleton in a good neutral position, neutral relative, but a good position where you can still feel ABS and let your scapula come around. And that’s been a game changer because I would get headaches all the time for the back and down, and I never understood why I do now. But just having that compressive force in the middle of your neck constantly is a recipe for disaster.
So I couldn’t row for a few days. I’m like, I don’t want a headache. I can’t do pull ups because I get a headache every time. And so adding in the alternating pull downs, alternating rows, really focusing on just getting proper form and going slower, I think helps out quite a bit too.
James Cerbie: Yeah, for sure. I think that adjustment in the road technique in particular where we’re appreciating and feeling bringing your rib cage back to a shoulder blade, not arching like crazy, not pinning a shoulder blade, but actually teaching that shoulder blade to move on your rib cage.
Ian Titus: Right.
James Cerbie: And we can take that in a decline horizontal incline or vertical example by getting people to kind of flip that switch and get out of this mentality that has been over coached for way too long, which is like one arm dumbbell row is an example like that idea that you’re going to get on a bench and you’re going to arch and you’re going to pin your shoulder blade, and then we’re going to row. You’re doing elbow flexion and extension.
Ian Titus: Yeah. What do you work?
James Cerbie: It’s not a row, right. We need to reach. And a lot of times when I coach a dumbbell road the first time I’ll tell people, hey, I care more about the offhand right now. Then I do about the actual row because the weight on the road is going to come. But if we can actually get you to feel a reach with the offhand to bring ribs and stern and back to your shoulder blade and then hold that position and actually be able to row on top of it.
Like, I care about the shape first. Once we get the shape, the weight comes really easy and it comes really fast. Yeah, but it’s those small tweaks and adjustments for people that make such a huge difference. I think at least from our experience so far.
How Your Ego Can Get You in Trouble
Ian Titus: Yeah. And it’s almost like you go from using ego plays a massive role here. People just cannot. They just refuse to go down and wait and I get it because that’s how I was too.
James Cerbie: It’s really hard.
Ian Titus: It is, but it’s not even taking, like, a lot of steps back to make progress. You’ve just taken a couple steps back because I notice that just 50 pounds is what I would usually use for rows. But after we kind of got into the program and we were doing those really 3 seconds on the centric, the weight starts going up. When you’re in a good position, the weight will just be, it’s almost like you’re getting these newbie gains again, because your body is like, this is fresh.
This feels right. And I think that’s probably the better thing about programming in this way and really just paying attention to what you’re doing in the gym and then dropping your ego because you don’t have to have a barbell all the time. But inevitably somebody is always saying, you know, if it’s not a barbell deadlift, it’s not a real dead list. And £560 is tough, no matter what, especially doubtless.
James Cerbie: Which we forgot to mention in the beginning it was a 560 pound belt with a deadlift. Yeah, I don’t live strapless.
Ian Titus: Yeah, I don’t use belts. I don’t use straps. I’ve had people, some friends that are just getting into lifting, asking about straps. And it’s not even close to needing that. It’s something that is if you’re competing and if you’re further along the line, then maybe. But again, I think that goes with ego because you can always hook grip. But then again, if you’re deadlifting and you’re deadlifting with a straight bar, let’s go overhand grip and you can just kind of self-auto regulate a little bit and not get hurt.
James Cerbie: So if somebody listens to this is like, Man, this is such an inspiration. It’s so awesome to see this transformation of sorts of setting this really cool goal, which I’m totally on board with and love. I love the 500 pound deadlift goal. That’s such an awesome milestone to it, right. But I think that they’re probably going to be a number of people listening to this that have had that goal and similar to you have struggled to get there without the pain and injuries and other complications that come with it or without losing everything else that they care about. Right?
Ian Titus: Yeah.
James Cerbie: Being able to move well, feel good, be athletic, etc. If you’re going to try to boil this down in some key action steps for people. If somebody wants to try to replicate what you’ve done, what would you tell them?
The Key to Replicating Ian’s Results
Ian Titus: Let someone else help you. I mean, it’s just even, like, with coaching and even technique stuff like, you can’t see yourself, you can shoot. I’ve shot more videos this year than ever, and it’s still annoying. It’s like it just adds, like, time. So when you’re lifting, then you’re not going to go back and check every rep. So you need other eyes and you need somebody else’s input on what you’re doing. They can look at it without emotion, so they can just attach themselves and look here’s what I’m seeing here.
What’s going wrong? Here’s how I think you should fix it. And I’ve done this for other people, and they still will be, like, only three accessories. I had 20, and I literally had a guy that had about 20 accessories. And I’m like, how long do you plan on being here? So it’s kind of like, give up. Just take your ego out of it. You want to get better. So focus on getting better and let that be the thing that your egos after rather than any sort of number, always have your goals, of course.
But there’s if you hurt, what you’re doing is not working.
James Cerbie: Yeah. If you hurt or if you’re just not seeing the progress that you’re happy with, right. Because I know a lot of people that even if they’re not hurt, they work really hard. They bust their ass for 812 and 16 weeks for, like, really miniscule gains, if any, I’m just sitting here and I’m like, Man, we could help you so much. And that’s the hard part, right? Because I think what you said is so perfect because I think about other places and my wife. And if you’re really serious about something, if you want to get better at that thing, if you want to see huge gains, progress and improvement, then get a coach.
Right? Like that doesn’t shine poorly on you, that you can’t do it all yourself. Right.
I think in anything that you’re passionate about; you should have a coach, right? Like, in business, have a business coach and this or the other, right, because you’re just not going to do a good job trying to manage it yourself. No one’s good at that. You need an unbiased third party who’s just going to sit here and say, here’s our plan. Here’s how this is going to happen. Do this. Just execute this plan, and we’re going to move you from point A to point B, and then we’re going to Rinse, Wash and repeat.
And we’re going to be there for you every step of the way to call hot routes and make changes as those situations arise.
Ian Titus: Right. That’s been the greatest thing. I mean, it’s awesome. If I were to add another piece, cardio.
James Cerbie: Like program cardio I was going to ask if that was one of my other last questions. The cardio bit.
The Cardio Game Changer
Ian Titus: Absolutely been a game changer. I mean, I did cardio, like kettlebell swing cardio, which or snatches, which is definitely cardio, but it’s also lifting. It’s kind of like I’ve got back issues and you’re on a rower, like, probably not the best implement to do. If your upper back is tight, like, you’re going to be pulling a lot of reps just on a rower, just getting on the bike and just kind of mindless. I don’t want to say mindlessly because I stare at my heart rate the entire time, so I’m just weird like that and can do that.
But I’ve been paying attention to HRV and I use the Morpheus app. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that, but I ‘ll change my heart rate zones each day. So I just kind of get up to where it’s conditioning, and I know it’s a recovery session, so I’m not trying to push it. Then you come back and train the next day and all of a sudden it’s like I feel good. So just doing cardio as much as I hate to say it like not running, like going out for a 30, 45 minutes run.
If you’re trying to train a lot, you’re trying to list a lot is not the route to go. I mean, I definitely tried that and destroyed more than just my knees and everything else. And then having somebody just say, like today’s listing tomorrow’s cardio, then lifting and cardio. I mean, the three three split has been I don’t know why you would do anything else if you’re just I mean, it’s like gangbusters.
James Cerbie: Yeah, if you’re just all good.
Ian Titus: If you’re a 40 year old person that just wants to feel good and be strong, it’s recovery. You’re not trying to do a marathon. It’s straight up for recovery, so you can get back at it.
Three Big Changes Rebel Brings to the Table
James Cerbie: Yeah, those are a lot easier conditioning days, like the tempo, the cardiac output. That is one of those things. Like, if I was to pick two things where I think we make really big changes in people, I’ll say three. I think big change number one we’ve already talked about is just to exercise selection, both in terms like exercise itself and implements being used. How those exercises are being a coaching queue. I think big change number two is the fact that we get people doing what we call low conditioning.
It makes an enormous difference. Unanimously across the board, I’ve never had anybody come on board, start doing the low conditioning sessions. It’d be like me and I’m not. These aren’t helping. It’s like you, Nancy, across the board, my resting heart rate has dropped. I’m sleeping better. I’m digesting my food better. I’m recovering better between sessions. I feel better. And then the third thing that I think we do, that’s very different from a lot of other people out there is we use auto regulation very heavily, especially on that big main lift that you’ve seen, right?
Like, you always have a question mark somewhere. It’s a question mark set. It’s a question mark rep. Like, find a top set and back off. And so that’s another place where we’re not sitting here saying, well, we’re just going to hit a five by five today at this percentage. We pretty much never do that anymore. That main lift. We’re always going to come in and put an auto regulatory component on it in some way, people listen to the how to gamify your podcast if you want more on that.
But I was going to be curious if that was another thing that you felt was helpful was how those main lifts are programmed from that auto regulatory standpoint. Is that different from how you’ve done it before? Like, do you like it? Do you not like it? Because that’s one of those things where I go, like, if I think about what we do that’s different from other people, that’s a big variable for us that I think is pretty unique.
Ian Titus: Yeah. And that kind of came in with doing the Amrap program, and I kind of started in the end of 2019 into 2020. There’s maybe not as much with somebody who’s a little more experienced, but definitely in that beginner to intermediate range is you leave it so much on the table, especially doing the five by five, because I know that people get done with that five by five, and they’re like, that was nothing. But that’s what I called for today. And so that at least gives you an opportunity to kind of look at where you are.
And if any coaches that are listening to this, and I know you have people that are there just banging out a set. And it’s like, how was that? Oh, that was super hard. And you’re looking at him like, that didn’t look very hard. It’s like, okay, go to 20 this time, and then they just, like, bang out 20. And it’s like, oh, yeah, that wasn’t very hard. So I think especially when you start moving heavier weight, and you’re like, okay, this is 300. Normally, I’m doing this for, like, six reps.
Oh, but this is calling for an Am Rap set. Okay. So I’m just going to do as many as I can and you hit six, and then it’s like, yeah, I still got it 1012. Oh, you did 23. So that RPE of eight just went to a four, you know, and it’s like, and then you have the confidence to know that you have so much more, less in the tank, and you definitely try to find where that tank runs out, but that doesn’t even get you into trouble because it’s not like you’ve done, like, five sets of 25 already.
So you just get that one set to kind of know where you’re at and then you can kind of just take the next week to build on that.
James Cerbie: Yeah. I think the point about the beginning intermediate advanced lifter there is important and help put an assert on this, saying that these auto regulatory techniques that we use primarily in the big main lift, either question marketing, how many sets you do, question marketing, how many reps you do or doing an EDM estimated daily max style protocol that works really well for a long time. Most people listening to this will not get to a point where they’re moving enough load where we need to reconsider that strategy because we’ve had people run those protocols that have 650 pushing 700 pound deadlifts.
We have people run those protocols who are squatting well over 500 who binge over three. And for me, that 300 bench, 500 squad, 600 dead is really good. Those are the big strength pillars, or people are probably trying to cross. If you really want to squat six or deadlift, seven or bench four, that’s a very different thing to start changing to hit those numbers. But in my mind for our athletes, I’m always thinking 300 pound bench, 500 pound squat, 600 pound deadlift. The stuff we’re talking about, we can push the gas pedal and get you to those numbers and beyond.
When we start talking about more 700 pound, like, 600, 500 pound squat, 700 pound deadlift, the conversation does change there, because the weight on the bar and the intensity is going to have to force different tactics and strategies. But if that’s the realm that you’re in, then you probably won’t be working with us. We probably refer you to someplace else because that’s not really our powerhouse anymore. Once you start getting into those numbers.
Ian Titus: Let me ask you this on that note. So if you do have a 700 pound squatter or powerlifter, I would argue that off season doing this stuff would be great. I was talking to a guy at the gym yesterday, and it’s I mean, all you see is like needs that are in the widest stance as possible, and they’ll complain about adductor issues, and none of them are doing single leg work. It’s almost like there’s this, “I’m a powerlifter, so I’ve got to be in some mode of powerlifting all year long.”
And I just think that if you’re 30 years old, like, you’ve got such a long time to go that you’re going to benefit greatly from changing up the exercise selection, doing a little bit of body building, you know, learning what it means to actually use you’re a doctor on a split squat, feeling the side AB on a split squat. Yup, because it’s just going to come back and then you’re going to go peak for your competition again and your numbers. I can almost promise you that they will go up.
The Importance of Going Through Different Training Phases
James Cerbie: Yeah, 100. I agree. That’s a really good question. And it’s important that you go through different phases and training. I think regardless of who you are and what you’re doing, that’s part of the reason we have the training team set up the way we do, because we want it to be easy for people to hit those different phases and to have different stimuli to chase different adaptation, so we can easily move you around and give you what you need to keep bumping up these attribute bars. As I’ve talked before with our athletes, what my goal is is we have six attribute bars, strength, hypertrophy, power, endurance movement, and then fusion, which is more met, cons and medleys, essentially a blending of elements.
And our goal is to be bumping out. All of those are bars for you. If you think of yourself like a video game character, I want to keep moving out all those Ashby bars, but you do that by going through phases of training, where we’re going to selectively prioritize certain attribute bars over others. And the issue you run into is when you really limit your exposure, which is what a powerlifter may be doing.
And if you want to be the best powerlifter in the world, that’s definitely a necessary thing that you should do. But occasionally having a phase in training where you’re going to prioritize movements and other things so that you’re actually feeling really good may make a lot of sense for you, right? Yeah. Because I talk about having people in the training team that do go competing, piloting meets and do really well, right. Like I said, we have people that are pushing that 700 pound deadlift threshold.
That 500, 600 pound squad threshold. And it’s really, really interesting to see them when we take this total package holistic approach to training, where I’m trying to develop all these attribute bars for you. And then when we know we have a peak or a competition or a meat coming up, we kind of pull you off of this base idea. We help you specialize for this competition, and then we pull you back in and we’re back to growing all the attributes to ours again. And that flow works incredibly well.
You can be really good. You can be really successful. You can be an absolute Savage doing that. You’re not going to be the top in the world as a powerlifter, though, following that strategy, and that’s fine, because that’s not what we’re trying to build, right? Right. I think a lot of people will be pretty jazzed with a 300 pound big 500 pound squat, 600 pound deadlift or a 350 bench, 500 pound squat. I’m just like throwing now I got all the numbers, like rolling around in my head here, right?
Like a 300 pound bench, 500 pound squat, 600 pound deadlift or a 350 to four bench, 550 to six squat, a 650 to seven deadlift. Like those numbers are realistic with the strategy that we’re talking about here, absolutely. It just kind of depends on how we want to prioritize those elements. But I think that element you brought up by taking people through different phases of training with different emphasis, focusing on this very total package holistic approach and then peaking off of this enormous foundation that you built for yourself. It works. It works really well.
Ian Titus: Yeah. There’s. I got a couple of guys at the gym. One is like a 20. I may miss 2100 or almost 2200 total. It’s like he’s a monster. And like, I would be interested. It’s not like when he’s competing. I’m not going to talk to him about changing anything, but it’s like trying some single leg stuff, just one after the competition. I don’t know how much further you can get when you’re at that level, but with the guys that are, like, 17 to 1800 and have room to grow, I definitely focus on your sport, but just focus on your health, too. The longevity aspect is missing a little bit. I think it’s getting better.
James Cerbie: I think it’s definitely getting better unless you’re a total masochist then. Right. Well, that’s part of what we really want to bring to people here at Rebel. And that’s totally going to be happening in 2022. I really want to bring a new sport to the table. I want to bring a new competitive outlet for people that have these interests, like we do, right. Because I can tell you from experience leaving College, loving the weight room and training. I was never able to find my competitive outlet because cross.
It was super cool if you have a competitive one in your body. Cross is fun, right. But I didn’t like all the Olympic lifting and gymnastics, and it made me feel like poop. I just didn’t like those movements, right? Power lifting is so cool. You get so strong again. Didn’t really love just being a powerlifter. Didn’t love just trying bodybuilding didn’t love just. And so there’s not that competitive outlet for somebody who wants this total package approach who wants to be strong, Jack, powerful, well conditioned and move. Well, they don’t have an outlet. Right. And so hopefully here in 2022, we’re going to be able to actually introduce and bring something to the table that’s going to give people that outlet so they can train this way and have a purpose for why they’re training this way.
Ian Titus: It’s almost because of powerlifting. You’re trying to lift as much Olympic weight lifting. You’re trying to get as much over your head. So it’s always like trying to just the top top, top. But how can we take all these different attributes? I kind of look at it as if shit goes down, like, you don’t want to be the power lifter because you can’t run from anybody, you know, same with the Olympic weightlifter, like, probably not going to be the fastest runner. CrossFit is probably going to be closer to what you would want to do but put them in the wrong position just one time and there goes their shoulder.
So it’s being able to sort of morph in and out of these different attributes, which keeps it fun too, because where humans want to move in different ways and be strong in different ways.
James Cerbie: Do you think that’s a great way to wrap this up? I love that morphing concept. Being able to morph in phase changes yourself as a human to have these different attributes to be well rounded. I love that. I think that’d be a great way to wrap this. Just two questions here to wrap question number one, if you would like to be found, where can people go to find you?
Where to Find Ian Titus
Ian Titus: Instagram or Facebook? My name, I had to pull to follow Kyle’s inspiration with adding the underscore as somebody else. There are more than one Ian Titus in this world. So somebody got that before I did so @iantitus_ for Instagram and then Facebook is Train with Titus.
James Cerbie: Beautiful man. I love that. And the last question here. If somebody is listening to this, if they’ve been on the fence for a little while in terms of jumping in, giving the Training Team a go, what would be your recommendation based on your experience?
Ian’s Recommendation for Why You Should Join Us at Rebel Performance
Ian Titus: It’s just to keep it simple. Just take your goal into account of what you want to do and how you feel and I guarantee that you will not feel bad doing a program like this. It’s certainly changed the way that I look at programming and I’m old. I mean, I know I keep kind of saying that and 43 is not old, but I think the majority of the people in the group are a lot younger than I am, so it can be done.
You don’t want to feel like a train wreck and you want to be strong and if you’re single, you want the girls, just watch you walk by or if you’re married, you want your wife to slap you on the ass. So maybe something to hold on to.
James Cerbie: Fantastic, beautiful. And thank you again so much for taking the time today and having a chat with me. I really enjoyed this. Everybody else who has been listening. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you all have an absolutely beautiful week. Yeah, that’s all I got for you.
Ian Titus: Take care guys.
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