T Nation

Anecdotal Tip for CT's Layer System

While researching the Layer System (https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/layer-system) in the forum archives, I noticed several people asking if they can insert or replace an exercise with the Chinese Row to add more back attention to the program. I noticed a great way to stimulate mid and upper back without messing around with the efficacy of CT’s program.

As a long legged lifter I gravitate toward the Front Squat as it’s the only way I can hit my quads properly. So on the Squat day I used the Front squat as opposed to starting with the traditional back squat. The amount of back stimulation I got as a bonus to the leg stimulation was incredible. I mean, I got so much upper and mid back work that I had to switch to back squats for Layers 4 and 5 because my back was so fatigued by the time I finished Layer 3. So in a way In a way I made it a hybrid like the Snatch Grip High Pull/Kowarski Shrug day.

So front squats are a great option for back gains. I just figured I’d share my experience with anyone it may help.

No they are not.

They absolutely, 100% are when using the “Clean Grip” shelf. You are placing the bar in front of your center of gravity which takes a lot of upper back activation to keep the bar from bailing forward. Same concept as the Zercher squat.

Thanks for sharing. I’ve recently thought about running front squats on the layer system.

For upper back strength and posture indeed, not so sure for mass.