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Best CT Program for a Skinny Guy?

Christian, just a side note, thanks for taking the time for writing program such as the one posted above.

–Brian

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
What if you’re 135 and shredded (:…need to eat more and more carbz…[/quote]

Ya right on Sigil,Gotta take this into account for us ground huggers Haha.

[quote]jppage wrote:

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
What if you’re 135 and shredded (:…need to eat more and more carbz…[/quote]

Ya right on Sigil,Gotta take this into account for us ground huggers Haha.[/quote]

Haha comeon there’s reason I keep gravitating towards rings :slight_smile:
How’s training JP - still doing 2 a days?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:

[quote]mrjasonbbc wrote:
Personally I wouldn’t think about hypertrophy layers or Indigo workouts until you’ve lifted your way out of beginner status with at least a 315 squat, 405 deadlift, 225 bench, and 185 press.[/quote]

I don’t have any of those numbers and used the layers/indigo workouts to success in my last physique comp. Perhaps adjusted for height…

And if you get stronger on the main lifts while practicing them often (which layers does) and sensibly (ramp up CNS/back off work with heavy weight) which layers does, why not do them[/quote]

I think that body weight has to be factored in to some extent. if you are 150 those lifts are pretty darn strong and fairly advanced for a natural trainee, but if you are 220 they are what I would say average (except for the 185lbs press, which is pretty strong if done strictly)[/quote]

I’m certain it doesn’t actually work this way, but scaling based purely on bodyweight, at 150 that’s a 215 squat, 275 deadlift, 155 bench, and 125 press.

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:

[quote]jppage wrote:

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
What if you’re 135 and shredded (:…need to eat more and more carbz…[/quote]

Ya right on Sigil,Gotta take this into account for us ground huggers Haha.[/quote]

Haha comeon there’s reason I keep gravitating towards rings :slight_smile:
How’s training JP - still doing 2 a days? [/quote]

Ya I’m with you.I figure if I hang long enough from my rings I might break 5’3" Haha.Training is going well and I’ve been running CT’s built for bad,which I liked quite a bit.I have been doing my morning training with power snatch(as a cns warm up etc)and then doing a few rounds of Kettle Bell lifts.I have been doing power snatch as a warm up for my evenings as well.They have really helped my shoulder come back to feeling pretty damn solid since my surgery.I’m thinking of jumping back on the layers next week with the rings added in.Something similar to what your doing and what CT wrote about.I gotta say that I do like the talk of the 3x3-3x6 rep set up as well so well see.

Yes JP that setup seems fun. It took me a few workouts to get back into CT’s “strength is a skill”/perfect rep mentality. Meaning, while doing rings, I would do subtle body adjustments intra set, change ROM etc. making the workouts “athletic” in nature. SImilarly, SGHP is fluid/explosive.

Now I’m doing incline BP tilt and overhead presses and really have to focus on low rep strength. Not necessarily “grinding” but definitely feels different. I"m less “spastic” then when I was running around doing levers and handstand pushups.

Would hill sprints (no prowler access) be beneficial/acceptable to keep up conditioning with this program? Or would the extra work be detrimental to my goals or trying to add LBM? I like trying to remain lean and quick for sports and general aesthetics, but I don’t want to sabotage the program.

If they are allowable/beneficial, when would be the best time(s) to fit them in? I’d be lifting in the afternoons.

Hi CT,

Been doing this for 2 weeks+ now, and loving it. I feel like I’m getting enough volume on the big 3 movements, and the carries are great. I’m working in an extra day of shoulders and arms work to keep up with my overhead pressing.

One issue I’ve been having is some trouble with my low back. I have a related thread going about how to strengthen the muscles, and have been doing hypers and some ab work to try and augment yout program, but I’m wondering if deadlifting AND squatting (on the same day) 3x a week may be working that area more than I can recover from? I try to keep my form pretty tight, and I squat with a belt as well when needed, but the pain makes it pretty bad.

So my question is: Should I stick with this set-up, and work on bringing up my lower back? Or should I swap in another posterior chain exercise 1-2x a week in place of the deadlift? Was thinking maybe cleans (one of my favorite exercises) would be a possible sub?

I don’t want to tweak a program without asking, but I also don’t want to sideline myself by throwing my back out needlessly.

Thanks!

Would the above routine be suitable for someone a little more experienced? I feel I have a pretty good level of strength, this routine really appeals to me . My lifts are

Deadlift 180kg
squat 160kg
Bench 120kg

at 5.9 at 76kg

would it be too taxing to squat and dead on the same day with these kind of weights.

[quote]kd13 wrote:

would it be too taxing to squat and dead on the same day with these kind of weights.
[/quote]

Not CT, and certainly no expert, but to offer my feedback:

Doing MWF programming as CT outlined, I was fine for ~4 weeks. After 4 weeks, once the weights got up, I started to really have lower back issues, which caused form breakdowns and pain. I put ~50+ lbs on all lifts in 5 weeks, but I guess the amount of volume caught up to me? Or I was working too heavy. Nothing crazy, triples were 185 front squat, 205 bench, 315 dead at ~180-185 BW.

I was still recovering fine, but on days that I (front) squatted first, my DL form started to degrade and back would round. On DL first days, I actually missed some reps of squat due to back pain causing me to drop the bar.

I will start this week with a slightly altered pattern that will have me alternating DLs and power cleans, to keep the posterior chain/pull activity, but save my lower back some. Hopefully that will be the fix I need.

YMMV, based on your length of time training, but since you’re moving more weight than me, I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Thanks for your input buddy.

I can see how this would be amazing for a beginner needing to up there lifts but as you experienced, once the weights get up there it caused issues.

My recovery is good and I have squatted 3 days a week before with no issues but never with deads in the same session.

[quote]Apothecary wrote:

[quote]kd13 wrote:

would it be too taxing to squat and dead on the same day with these kind of weights.
[/quote]

Not CT, and certainly no expert, but to offer my feedback:

Doing MWF programming as CT outlined, I was fine for ~4 weeks. After 4 weeks, once the weights got up, I started to really have lower back issues, which caused form breakdowns and pain. I put ~50+ lbs on all lifts in 5 weeks, but I guess the amount of volume caught up to me? Or I was working too heavy. Nothing crazy, triples were 185 front squat, 205 bench, 315 dead at ~180-185 BW.

I was still recovering fine, but on days that I (front) squatted first, my DL form started to degrade and back would round. On DL first days, I actually missed some reps of squat due to back pain causing me to drop the bar.

I will start this week with a slightly altered pattern that will have me alternating DLs and power cleans, to keep the posterior chain/pull activity, but save my lower back some. Hopefully that will be the fix I need.

YMMV, based on your length of time training, but since you’re moving more weight than me, I just wanted to give you a heads up.[/quote]

Apocethary, I have a question. I realize this is an old thread, but I’m bored at work.

CT layed out this program for you personally, which you stated you would follow. Then in a 5 week summary, you mentioned your lifts went up ~50lbs, but also stated you were missing some reps.

If I read the program correctly, CT made it clear that your were to make 5lb jumps every week, if and when you hit all reps. By my math, 5 weeks at 5lb increases would make for 25lb progress on each lift, at best.

This brings me to my question: how did your lifts go up ~50lbs? Or more precisely, how did you KNOW they went up?

My main reason for asking is I am interested in doing this program myself, and it looks like you’re the only one that ran it. I am not trying to degrade your efforts, or your success. I am simply curious if I’m reading everything correctly before jumping on board.

[quote]AceRock wrote:

[quote]Apothecary wrote:

[quote]kd13 wrote:

would it be too taxing to squat and dead on the same day with these kind of weights.
[/quote]

Not CT, and certainly no expert, but to offer my feedback:

Doing MWF programming as CT outlined, I was fine for ~4 weeks. After 4 weeks, once the weights got up, I started to really have lower back issues, which caused form breakdowns and pain. I put ~50+ lbs on all lifts in 5 weeks, but I guess the amount of volume caught up to me? Or I was working too heavy. Nothing crazy, triples were 185 front squat, 205 bench, 315 dead at ~180-185 BW.

I was still recovering fine, but on days that I (front) squatted first, my DL form started to degrade and back would round. On DL first days, I actually missed some reps of squat due to back pain causing me to drop the bar.

I will start this week with a slightly altered pattern that will have me alternating DLs and power cleans, to keep the posterior chain/pull activity, but save my lower back some. Hopefully that will be the fix I need.

YMMV, based on your length of time training, but since you’re moving more weight than me, I just wanted to give you a heads up.[/quote]

Apocethary, I have a question. I realize this is an old thread, but I’m bored at work.

CT layed out this program for you personally, which you stated you would follow. Then in a 5 week summary, you mentioned your lifts went up ~50lbs, but also stated you were missing some reps.

If I read the program correctly, CT made it clear that your were to make 5lb jumps every week, if and when you hit all reps. By my math, 5 weeks at 5lb increases would make for 25lb progress on each lift, at best.

This brings me to my question: how did your lifts go up ~50lbs? Or more precisely, how did you KNOW they went up?

My main reason for asking is I am interested in doing this program myself, and it looks like you’re the only one that ran it. I am not trying to degrade your efforts, or your success. I am simply curious if I’m reading everything correctly before jumping on board.[/quote]

A valid question. So let me see if I can clarify.

  1. For the missed reps, they were always on the “back-off sets” at -20% of the 3RM sets. I think with my work being mostly strength based in the 3-5 rep range, even just going to sets of 6 taxed me. It was odd, I never missed any triples, but got pinned on squats a few times on rep 5 or 6 of the last set.
  2. The weights. I think this may be a factor of starting off too conservatively more than anything else. I was using my 3RM from 5/3/1 training the first weeks, and really felt like I could be moving a LOT more weight. So, I tried a few 10lb jumps, and found that I was still abe to rep out the triples without grinding. Also, could be as much “newbie adaptaation”, since this somewhat-HFSW approach allowed me to really nail form.
  3. I don’t really know what you mean by “how I KNOW they went up”. I was, and am still making progress, which is all I can really ask for. I don’t keep an online log, but my journal shows good, consistent (albeit fast) gains. Sadly, they are starting to slow down. I’ve been stuck on my bench weight for 2 weeks, and I am back to 5 lb increases on DL/Squat.
  4. If/when you try this program, keep an eye on your lower back. I REALLY felt like it was getting over-worked, for me anyway. Since alternating cleans with DL’s, it feels much better. Just my observation, anyway.

Hope that helps, but I’m happy to try and fill in any additional info.

Apothecary,

I just read this whole thread, every post. I have a strong suspicion that when you did the routine that CT very generously laid out for you, you sacrificed form for weight, and that’s why your lower back started giving you issues. It simply doesn’t make sense. If you can squat X weight with good form and not have issues and then squat X+5 with the same form, you’re not going to have issues simply because it’s 5lb more. You issues are from trying to make too much progress too fast and getting caught up in the numbers.

You are going to keep struggling, and struggling, and struggling…until you can swallow the ego and do EXACTLY what those much stronger than you are telling you to do. Even with 5/3/1, you were adding way too much crap to it because you don’t know what you’re doing. You stated the problem right in your original post- doing 5/3/1 BBB and lost weight- if you are eating enough food to GROW, you will never SHRINK- doesn’t make sense! Therefore, you weren’t eating enough to grow- and that’s not “probably”- it is DEFINITELY. If it were a problem with the program, but you were eating enough to grow, then your bodyweight would have still gone up, just probably not how you would have liked. Hence, PROOF- that you weren’t eating enough as your weight went down. More doesn’t equal better. Most skinny guys (all?) don’t do awesomely with super high volume like you think you need. Much better to hit a few compound moves with lower volume 3x/week, and spend all that extra time you’re not in the gym EATING! What do you know- both 5/3/1 and the plan CT outlined advocate a few compound moves 3-4x/week as the bulk of the program. Maybe they’re onto something?

If I were you I wouldn’t go around speaking about 5/3/1 or this routine CT outlined as you didn’t follow them properly, and therefore really haven’t done them.

Take these words as constructive criticism, or remain skinny and weak- that simple.

[quote]Apothecary wrote:
A valid question. So let me see if I can clarify.

  1. For the missed reps, they were always on the “back-off sets” at -20% of the 3RM sets. I think with my work being mostly strength based in the 3-5 rep range, even just going to sets of 6 taxed me. It was odd, I never missed any triples, but got pinned on squats a few times on rep 5 or 6 of the last set.
  2. The weights. I think this may be a factor of starting off too conservatively more than anything else. I was using my 3RM from 5/3/1 training the first weeks, and really felt like I could be moving a LOT more weight. So, I tried a few 10lb jumps, and found that I was still abe to rep out the triples without grinding. Also, could be as much “newbie adaptaation”, since this somewhat-HFSW approach allowed me to really nail form.
  3. I don’t really know what you mean by “how I KNOW they went up”. I was, and am still making progress, which is all I can really ask for. I don’t keep an online log, but my journal shows good, consistent (albeit fast) gains. Sadly, they are starting to slow down. I’ve been stuck on my bench weight for 2 weeks, and I am back to 5 lb increases on DL/Squat.
  4. If/when you try this program, keep an eye on your lower back. I REALLY felt like it was getting over-worked, for me anyway. Since alternating cleans with DL’s, it feels much better. Just my observation, anyway.

Hope that helps, but I’m happy to try and fill in any additional info.
[/quote]

  1. Understood, no missed triples.

  2. Here’s the issue. CT said increase 5 pounds a week. Plus, since this thread started with a 5/3/1 discussion, Jim Wendler’s first 2 (of 4) principles that he laid out in the original 5/3/1, and continues to stand by with Beyond+, are:

    1: START TOO LIGHT
    2: PROGRESS SLOWLY

  3. I had 2 guesses about how you KNEW you went up 50lbs: bigger jumps in weight than prescribed, or you were testing your maxes somewhere.

  4. Thank you for the words of caution. I’ll be careful.

I truly do appreciate your response, especially how quickly you got to it. I wish you continued success.

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
Apothecary…Take these words as constructive criticism, or remain skinny and weak- that simple.[/quote]

I guess thanks? I think I said from the start that I was continually trying to up my calorie intake, and have still be doing so. Weight has been adding on, and I’m leaning out even more, so it’s been win/win. I’m not trying to put on 20 lbs overnight, so I’m definitely not overeating, but certainly eating more than 2-3 months ago. That’s likely the largest reason that I was struggling with SIZE gains on BBB (but not STRENGTH), which I fully agreed with back when it was first brought up.

I also never said that 5/3/1 wasn’t a stellar program; in fact, just the opposite, 5/3/1 is a GREAT progressive program for almost anyone, myself included. The reason I reached out to CT was twofold:

  1. I like CT’s style of athletic/power training more than the PL style of Wendler’s program. Incidentally, what CT laid out movement-wise is very similar to Wendler (big compounds, duh), although the frequency/progression differed greatly.
    and 2) Having re-started lifting only 6 months ago, I felt I had a lot of “newbie gains” on the table still, and could make progress a bit faster by hitting big compounds more often, rather than the 5/3/1 split.

I tried to make both of those points clear in my posts, both for seeking advice and to avoid any “dude 5/3/1 is great, you’re just doing it wrong” comments. Again, 531 is great, I just enjoy CT’s training style and want to look more like CT than Wendler if I’m being honest.

I don’t mind answering questions about what I did, like the one that was asked. And whenever I do, I make sure to include the caveat that I am NOT CT/Wendler/Meadows/whoever, just a guy on the internet. CT graciously gave me some great tips and guidelines, and I have followed them as best I could. The change I made for my lower back may have been due to form, or maybe too much weight, or maybe simply squatting and DL’ing in the same session with appreciable (to me) weight was starting to become taxing. Whatever the case, since adjusting that, I’ve had no issues, so I was sharing that feedback.

I have made, and continue to make good progress with CT’s advice in this thread and this forum, and look forward to more of that. Hope this isn’t coming off as defensive, just stating that what I’ve been doing has been working for me. I appreciate you (and anyone else) taking the time to read through the thread, and hopefully some folks got something meaningful out of it. I know I did.

Out of curiosity, Apothecary, did you do the first three compound lifts as a circuit or in straight sets? I did this yesterday as a circuit and it felt great. In and out of the gym in about 40 minutes total.

Also, if you’re still checking CT, I’d like a little help with exercise selection. Would this be acceptable?

Power Clean - 3x3, ?x?
Push Press - 3x3, 3x6
Front Squat - 3x3, 3x6

I wanted to keep the sets for the power clean under 3 reps so I only did the first 3x3 for those. I considered keeping the weight the same for the next 3 sets or even just reducing it but I didn’t like either option. I ended up just doing 3 sets total for the power clean. Is this selection (and this order) alright or should I just stick to the deadlift?

[quote]DreadNot wrote:
Out of curiosity, Apothecary, did you do the first three compound lifts as a circuit or in straight sets? I did this yesterday as a circuit and it felt great. In and out of the gym in about 40 minutes total. [/quote]

I assumed that CT intended them to be done as straight sets, like the HFSW in the Indigo protocols. I’d imagine that doing them in circuit fashion as you did WOULD save a fair bit of time, though, since I like to take decent amounts of rest on the big lifts.

Cool idea for sure. Did you do the assistance as straight sets afterward, I would assume?

Actually, I did those as a superset. Today I did the workout with deadlifts and back squats as straight sets and I kept rest to about 1-2 minutes. That took me just over an hour. I’m still playing around with it to find what works best for me but I think I’ll go back to doing a circuit with power cleans.

[quote]DreadNot wrote:
Out of curiosity, Apothecary, did you do the first three compound lifts as a circuit or in straight sets? I did this yesterday as a circuit and it felt great. In and out of the gym in about 40 minutes total.

Also, if you’re still checking CT, I’d like a little help with exercise selection. Would this be acceptable?

Power Clean - 3x3, ?x?
Push Press - 3x3, 3x6
Front Squat - 3x3, 3x6

I wanted to keep the sets for the power clean under 3 reps so I only did the first 3x3 for those. I considered keeping the weight the same for the next 3 sets or even just reducing it but I didn’t like either option. I ended up just doing 3 sets total for the power clean. Is this selection (and this order) alright or should I just stick to the deadlift? [/quote]

I’ve done something similar many times, I always feel great afterwards.