T Nation

3 Days Only Layer System

Hello CT,

If someone would really like to try the layer system but only has 3 days a week, how would you organize those 3 days? (goal 100% hypertrophy oriented)

Thank you !

Educated Guess:

  1. Squat or TBDL Variation
  2. Bench Press Variation
  3. High Pull
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More Specific Educated Guess:

DAY 1:
Squat Ramp to 3RM; 10x1
Squat 5 x Extended Sets @ 70%
Ab Work

DAY 2:
Slight Decline Bench Press Ramp to 3RM; 10x1
Bench Press 5 x Extended Sets @ 70%
Lat Work

DAY 3:
High Pull Ramp to 3RM; 10x1
High Pull 5 x Extended Sets @70%
Ab Work

Thanks for your input LFOD !
I think I’m looking for a back exercise instead of the high pull.
And I think more and more about getting a trap bar for my garage gym

I’ve run Layers like this before. And if you really can only do 3 days per week you can to DAY 1-3 the first week and then start the next week with DAY 4 and repeat that cycle.

DAY 1:
Squat Layers
Ab Work

DAY 2:
Bench Press Layers
Horizonal Pull (Row)

DAY 3:
Deadlift or TBDL Layers
Ab Work

DAY 4:
Push-Press Layers
Vertical Pull (Pulldown)

I did something like this for a few months:

Day 1 -> BP Layer
SGHP strength practice
TBDL strength density

Day 2 -> SGHP Layer
Incline BP strength practice
Front Squat strength density

Day 3 -> TBDL Layer
Box Squat strength practice
OHP strength density (+ dips)

Top layer done for 1-3RM -> back down 2-3 sets cluster -> 2-3 sets restpause/density work -> one back off pump. Strength practice 8x3 (moderate weight / explosion). Density was emom 5’s (moderate weight), done for volume or until 5th rep too grindy. Assistance thrown in between

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Wow, I’m exhausted physically and nervously just reading this haha
Wasn’t it too hard to recover after sessions like this?

Not too bad at all!

If you look at the original 6 day layer template, you could do 2 strength assistance exercises (straight sets 3x8 or 6x4 / 5x5 etc.).

This would be only 3 full body days a week and the strength assistance could be alternated with the main layer movement as you ramp up (until the top sets, then focus more on the layer exercise performance)

Weight is relatively modest on the non layered lifts (60%-80% max)…so even compared against a traditional 3 day (5x5 program) the non layered big lifts are basically training for light/medium day

You can fit in a lot of assistance (arms / rear delt band etc.) in between the big lifts as well

Treating the non layered lifts as “practice” and moderate intensiveness quality work would make a big difference in how your system perceives it as well i bet.

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