T Nation

10 Day Layer Cycle


Hi CT,

After the layer has been performed 3 times as recommended what should I do next? Should I change the 3 main moves? Should I go back to the old layers? Should I just keep doing this cycle over and over?

I do prefer these layers where one zone is trained per session so I'm wondering how you're planning to periodize this...any input is greatly appreciated.


You have 3 options:

1) Perform the same moves with a change in condition (for example using chains or bands on the strength lifts, doing the OL from a different position ... e.g. blocks or hang)

2) Change the exercises

3) Keep the same exact cycle until you stop progressing


Would you add the chains just to squat and bench or would you also add it to the secondary moves like deadlift, romanian deadlift, etc.

Also do you like to use a certain percentage of chain vs bar weight?


I would only use the chains on the main movements. I don't use a percentage of chains (they normally come in 20-25lbs increments per side, so kinda hard to use a precise percentage when the weight gpes up in 40-50lbs increments). I normally go with:

No chain if your max on a lift is less than 225
1 chain if it is between 225 and 315
2 chains if it is between 315 and 405
3 chains if it is above 405

It's not set in stone as I might sometimes as as much as 5 chains per side. But that is a good starting point.


I read on another post that on day 10 of your cycle you like to test either the max on the lifts or strength endurance...Can you possibly give me an example of testing the strength endurance? Mine is so poor because I love low reps :slight_smile:


I test strength-endurance by doing 20 sets of 2 reps with 60-70% of maximum as fast as possible. Under 9 minutes is decent.


Wow that sounds like a real challenge! I'm going to start at 60% and try to move up slowly.

I added chains to my squats and bands to my bench. The soreness is unrelenting. Do you think this is too much? I'm planning on doing this for 4 weeks before going back to straight weight.

Also would you use the chains and bands for every session in the squat and bench in the 10 day cycle or just 1 or two... etc? Is 4 weeks to long? too short?

(p.s. I've eliminated the accessory work to compensate for the added demand of accom resistance)


Chains actually do not increase neural demand much compared to regular lifting (bands do). So I wouldn't worry about a negative impact on the nervous system. HOWEVER I do not like using them all the time since after a while they can lead to bad inter/intramuscular coordination when you do the movements without them. So I would still include work without chains.


Would it be a good idea to alternate for one month on each of the days between a regular lift and a lift with changed force curve?(ie bench day 1 w chains bench day 2 no chains bench day 3 chains, etc.)

If not how would you go about it?

Thanks for all of your time answering these questions so far...you've made me the lifter I am today