T Nation

2 Days a Week Following Krypteia

Hi Jim,

Before the holidays last year, I finished a run of Krypteia and can’t speak highly enough of it. Minimal time spent in the gym, much more volume than I ever thought I could handle in a session, I put on mass all over, and my Squat and Deadlift PR sets went through the roof. I’ve only managed to add size like that on routines that were killing me after a few weeks, so even the recovery was well thought out- and I am as far from an athlete as you’re likely to find anywhere. (not much fat loss, but I wasn’t eating for it, and wasn’t being diligent with the easy conditioning).

I got back from the holidays with some pretty drastic strength loss, and after messing around aimlessly in the gym for a few weeks I’m getting back on track with 5/3/1. Circumstances are such that I’m only going to be able to get to the weight room twice a week for a while, until October at least, so I’m wondering if you have any advice on how to proceed- given that I can handle the workload of Krypteia and believe in the results (although I sorely miss the overhead press). I’ve seen you say that you can just do 2 Krypteia workouts a week when needed and lengthen the cycle, and you’ve mentioned doing 2 Day Option 2 with both krypteia assistance lifts between sets (which sounds like a monstrous workout). And, there’s classic option 2. But I’m curious to know if you advise anything either way.

Just fyi, I was a member of the forum for 6 months last year, and learned a tremendous amount there. Even got some great advice from you when I was thinking of throwing a fork in my progress with the original program (which is still the most fun I’ve ever had training, by the way) with a lot of pointless volume. Really felt like an island of sanity with all the noise flying around about training.

Generally, I recommend doing regular Krypteia, 2 times/week. You don’t need to do “2 sets of assistance between every set”, no matter if doing 2 or 3 times/week. In fact, at least for now, we have completely abandoned that (2 sets of assistance between the big lift of the day).

Just make sure you are getting at LEAST 50+ reps of each assistance movement and once you dial in the TM, start pushing the assistance. “Pushing” does not just mean “increase the weight” - it could also mean increase total reps and doing the reps better (under total control, explosive, etc.).

It is, by far, the most effective training program I’ve used and used on others IF you actually do it with principles in mind. I do a modified version of it myself and the results have been, for me, pretty damn good. I keep getting older but I keep feeling better.

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Thanks a lot, Jim. I’ll move forward with that in mind. The program has been very effective for a lot of things that I’ve already mentioned, but the biggest one I forgot about is sheer work capacity- which, now that I’ve built some, isn’t nearly as complicated a concept as the guys talking about different energy systems would have us believe. You’ve written about training your effort with the original program, but for me Krypteia did that more effectively than anything else I’ve used. Even most of the challenge programs look a lot more doable now… with the right TM.