T Nation

Assistance/Extra Work in Look Like A Bodybuilder, Perform Like An Athlete

hi CT i wish this find you good
i have some question about the program
1 - about the Assistance Work for Upper and lower Body you said that you work them between sets of pressing is that mean that you finish the sets first exercise of press then do 4 sets of of assistance muscle then go to the second pressing exercise then do a sets and reps for another assistance muscle . for example
a Standing Strict Press
then do 4 sets of rear delt fly
Push Press
then do 4 sets of trap variation
Bench Press
then do 4 sets of chest supported row
Back Squat
then do 4 sets of seated row

2 - can i add one or tow exercises of isolation exercises like DB fly or raises lie we did in layer system program - it is a magnificent program man - to have the benefit of targeting the muscle by it self ?
OR can i use the indigo project hypertrophy routine bench overhead squat and dead lift pattern ( par 2 and 3 foundation work and structural work )
3 - can i add finisher of loaded carry for about 10 to 15 mm in 30 sec of whatever carry and 10 sec of rest for 10 mnts ?

thanx about every thing and i wish you more success .

@Christian_Thibaudeau i think it will be good to get the fat off too . waiting for you coach

That is one option, or doing one set after each work set of pressing

Only for a weakness. Your body has a limited capacity to recover from physical stress. Invest that only on muscles that are not going to grow from doing the main lifts, namely your natural weaknesses. For example, my quads are dominant over my glutes and hams… they will grow from simply doing squats. So adding isolation for the quads would not be a good investment.


The “Look like …” program is all about managing neural and physiological stress. You will completely ruin it if you add too much work to it.

I would be REALLY careful with that… REEEEAAAAALLY careful. You can easily ruin the program by doing just a little too much work. Some carries twice a week would be fine. But not as a way to burn more fuel; to build strength with carries of 20-40m that’s fine. But stay on the low end for the volume.

It’s not a fat loss program. You should not add exercises to burn more fat. It’s a program to gain strength and muscle. You will ruin it if you see it as a way to lose fat and adjust the plan accordingly

@Christian_Thibaudeau i don’t know how to thank you for your help coach . I will strictly follow instructions And committed all your guidance .
so probably i will postpone the implementation of the program look like … for 6 weeks and on those 6 weeks i will implement the 6 weeks to superhero i gained lot of fat last 6 months so i will do the 6 weeks to super hero to drop some fat before starting look like … especially from tomorrow and for a month i will start fasting . the fasting will be for 16 hours / day . my all meals will be eating in about 8 hours i will cycle my carb intake plus the fasting benefits i think it will be a great chance to lose too much fat
SO Allow me to be greedy in front of your generosity and patience to respond and present you the next six weeks plan

  • nutrition plan
    the guide line is 3 gm of protein / kg of body wight - 1gm of fat / kg of bw - 2:1 gm of carb / kg bw ( training and non training days
    as i told you that i will start fasting for a month starting from tomorrow fasting start from the down until the sunset that is from 3:30 am to 6:30 pm and feeding period from 6:30 pm to 3:30 am so the plan will be like that
    meal 1 : 6:30 pm will be fruits + protein shake or yogurt
    meal 2 : 7 pm protein source ( chicken breast , lean meat or fish) + white rice
    meal 3 : pre-workout about 9:30 pm : 1 banana + protein shake
    meal 4 : immediately after training sweet or white potato + protein shake
    meal 5 : about 11:00 to 11:30 pm protein source ( chicken breast , lean meat or fish) + mixed vegetables
    meal 6 : 3:00 am protein source ( chicken breast , lean meat or fish) + white rice

  • training
    i will follow your 6 weeks to super hero but i have some queries
    1 - i don’t have a power cage or rack in the gym what is the alternative for overload for squat over head and bench press
    2 - i don’t have a mid ball too so can replace the throw with barbell punching vertical and horizontal - and we don’t have a sled or Prowler what is the best replacement for that
    3 - can i add a day for lats and arms / and a day for strongman style
    the week split will look like that
    day 1 : overhead - squat complex ( with extra 1:2 exercises for shoulder weakness area for me its rear and side delt )
    day 2 : deadlift - bench press complex ( with extra 1:2 exercises for back weakness area for me it will be mid back and lower trap )
    day 3 : lats and arms work day
    day 4 : squat - overhead complex ( with extra 1:2 exercises for legs weakness area for me it will be hamstring )
    day 5 : bench press - deadlift complex ( with extra 1:2 exercises for chest weakness area for me will be upper chest )
    day 6: loaded carry / swings OR power snatch / swings OR sprints
    day 7 : off
    finally i’d like to thank you so much and i know that i ask too much but what make me do is your generosity .

Hi CT does nutrition and periworkout supplementation change the rules of recovery/training adaptation?

I’m sure many here would like to hear, say a paleo + lots of rice/potatoes & plazma diet can allow for daily heavy training and unending gains…but like many things to good to be true this is just fantasy ?

It’s just a fantasy.

Let me be clear: the three things that have the most profound impact on your capacity to train more/less and more/less often (and have a positive adaptation) are:

  1. Glycogen depletion: glycogen depletion increases AMPK which inhibitis protein synthesis by having a negative impact on mTor. The closer you are from being glycogen depleted (so the more volume of lifting work you do) the more you risk negatively impacting protein synthesis

  2. Cortisol increase: this obviously has a negative impact on protein synthesis since it is a catabolic hormone., It also slows down replenishment of glycogen stores (see point no.1). So the more you increase cortisol during a session the harder/longer it is to come back to an optimal state, and even loger to grow. Furthermore a constantly elevated cortisol level with put you in a constant state of incomplete recovery which will of course nullify your capacity to grow. The best sign of this happening is having a “flat muscles and retaining water” look. Cortisol increases water retention and tends to reduce glycogen storage (it is a mobilization hormone), which further pulls water out of the muscles. So you will look flat/small and less defined.

  3. Neural fatigue: not only does having a drained nervous system not ideal for performance at each session it also increases cortisol more during a session because the body has to work harder to accomplish the same task.

Now PLAZMA can have a positive impact on glycogen depletion (by making carbs available during the session, protecting your glycogen stores to some extent) and on cortisol release (cortisol is released during training to mobilize stored energy, including glycogen. So if you have carbs easily available you release less cortisol during training).

So there is no doubt that PLAZMA allows you to do a bit more volume with less ill-effects.

But I do not think that it allows you to train every day hard. First because it has very little effect on the nervous system. Also because it might not cover all the glycogen use in a workout and with a paleo diet your carbs intake is low, meaning that you might still end up depleted if you train every day.

But also because if you train everyday your body can become desensitized to training and will have a much much lower growth response.

I personally eat like you mentioned … basically paleo all day except for PLAZMA peri workout. And I still only trains 4 days a week. I look, feel and perform better when I do this.

Beautiful thanks for the candidness. You know, I remmber ibodybuilder (anaconda) & indigo & built for bad there was a lot of language on being able to train more and more and get incredible gains, so long as intraworkout taken care of.

I get it, there’s marketing/busines but it is good to see your honest perspective. Those programs might be viewed as “shock” or blitz cycles and certainly had value in pushing people to lift more, and with more intensity focus (myself included) so cant fault there.

What do you think of coffee? I’ve had caffeine (200mg-400mg generally, coffee or brain candy) daily for the last 3 years literally, maybe a few off days. I’m still functioning, mentally sharp, and get decent enough workouts.

Should this be cause for concern (cortisol)? Do i have to force myself to not use stimulants? Waking up in the morning, downing some water, and then coffee and brain candy makes me highly productive and I don’t want to wean off that if possible…unless its messing up my physiology…


True, and you can train more. But back then I confess to being a stimulus addict so my training recommendations were based on that. YET all the clients I trained in person trained 4x a week.

It wasn’t a marketing thing. It was what I believed. But again I was a stimulus addict back then. The problem is that I have enough knowledge to justify my need to train more often. The reality is more complex. PLAZMA will increases your capacity to do more work (for the reason I mentioned) and will allow you to recover faster between sessions. But there are other reasons why you should not train too often.

Recovering faster also means that you will grow more during your rest days… if you hit a recovered state sooner during the recovery period, you have more time to grow prior to the next stimulation. Basically use the increased recovery to grow more instead of to train more often.

I have nothing against coffee. It’s the harder stimulants that I dont like.

No it’s fine as long as you stay reasonable.

Thanks so much for fast reply. So would you say a 200mg - 600mg (upper bound) daily is fine? sometimes i use monster zero. I used to use epherdine, but very very sprodically now. EC gets me going no doubt but i always seem to pay the price (feel off, flat even, bad sleep) next day.

No roids or any hard drugs lol

600 might be a tad high… 200mg is fine. 400mg once in a while is acceptable.