T Nation

Best Damn 2 Prep Sets and "Warm Up"

Hello coach love the new presentation. Myo reps (& Scott fergusons muscle rounds) are awesome.

For the life of me I can’t seem to get to my top sets in just 2-3 (or even 4) preparatory sets. Especially for the big compound lifts and using the rest pause or cluster set intensification.

Many accessories (dumbbell shoulder press for instance) I also feel the need to “ramp”.

What drawbacks, if any, do you think come from doing best damn/bdw 2 but using a ramping method to peak performance for the top set (rather than 2-3 prep sets).
I would be “ramping” only in sets of 3-5 reps, jumping 10-20 Lbs per ramp depending on exercise.

Would the positive (for me) potentiating effects overcome the slightly higher volume (reps are still low, so ramping up in 5’s shouldn’t trigger that much cortisol/burn glycogen right?)

It makes a night and day for me, especially on big lifts. I can’t do 135, 225, then 315 for front squats (just as example).

Of course for the negative mtor sets and even myo reps I’m generally more primed to hit 2-3 sets before the top blast. But even these, ramping up in 5’s just really feels good and makes me feel in charge of the top set weight (and perform better) rather than feel this holy shit weight feeels so heavy sensation.

Thank you. Love this style. The only thing missing (in terms of enjoyment) for me was the lack of ramping/CNS potentiation

Edit: put differently, i feel the RPE of the top set is less (and feels better, like I’m killing the weight rather than vice versa) when I ramp a movement. Biofeedback (pump, joints, motivation) everything seems to improve during ramp. Jumping to top set after only 2-3 warmup/prep sets makes me “feel” the exercise harder by at least 3-4 points on RPE! Lol

It’s Stevenson, not Ferguson

On the strength/big lifts it’s fine to use more sets. But I do not recommend a typical ramp where you would take 8 sets to get there. 4-5 would be okay if you keep the reps low if it helps you perform better.

If you absolutely insist on doing even more ramp up sets then I recommend cutting down the reps. Instead of ramping using sets of 4-6, ramp up using sets of 2 and when you get to your work set, switch to the normal/prescribed loading scheme

That I wouldn’t do. It’s just your stimulus addiction talking. It will provide no benefit to performance. These methods do not require a heavy weight or a high level of performance/neural implication. 1-2 preparation set is all you do.

Gotcha thank you!!!

So i think i found a nice balance between “feeling good” (CNS activated) without stimulus addiction/junk volume.

It is indeed the 2-3 reps “ramp” that you mention, though i cut it down to maybe 4-6 sets. Not extended ramps by any means.

And it’s important for me that start of each workout has one of these big moves (depending on muscle group)…bascially adhering to the bigger more compoudn movements first -> more isolation stuff. Just like you laid out in the article…

But I am curious though coach…may be way off here but I would guess your training max for lifts are:
bench: 425?
deadlift: 600
frankenstein squat: 315
regular squat: 500

I mean, if you were to do best damn and let’s say used a heavy (cluster day) for any of those lifts, or even a rest pause style…
you would only do 2-3 prep sets? how does that even look like?

bar x several reps


it just seems an incredible jump and hard to pull off for heavy compounds with only 2-4 prep sets…

To quote the article: “You can do 1 to 3 preparation sets for every exercise. Normally you’d do 3 gradually heavier sets for the heavy exercises and 1-2 for the others. If you’re in the very-strong category of lifter, you might need more than 3 warm-up sets for the big lifts (if you squat 600 you might need 4-6 warm-ups).”

  • CT told you you could use 4-6 sets with less reps if you really want to and aren’t that strong. Honestly if 6 sets of 2 aren’t enough for you to feel good… I don’t know change the way you warm-up prior to that.

About Coach’s maxes… Well he can’t bench anymore and his squat is higher than his deadlift

Yes i saw this.

It seems tough, maybe I’m the only one who needs to ramp for performance.

Let’s say if your bench is even a modest 225 lbs. So you go bar -> 135 lbs -> 185 lbs -> 225 work set (let’s say cluster)

I can almost guarantee if you went 135 lbs -> 155 -> 165 -> 185 -> 195 -> 205 -> 225 work set [or even do a 1 rep over-warmup, like 245x1, then go back to 225 blast out]

ramping up in 2-3 reps you would get more reps & better performance (it will feel easier) than #1

No no I’m also a ramp guy. But the ramp you’re describing is honestly too much for bench. Well maybe that puts things in perspective and I’m not as much as rampy as I thought I am?

On deadlifts these days I’m not pushing hard and doing : 135 => 175 => 225 => 265 => 315 => 330 => 350

That’s still 4 warm-up sets before the 2 preparatory sets and maybe CT wouldn’t be too happy about that but yeah I think that’s the sweet spot for me. Anyway 225 and under don’t count I don’t know I could do easily 20+ reps @ 225 so a set of 5 can’t really be seen as much volume?

In my wxperience, If I increase my ramp jumps I gradually get used to the bigger jumps.but I may take a single at my training weight before work sets. That prevents the heavy as shit feeling.

Though at a higher frequency of training, I could start my ramp higher too.

Actually my all time best are:

Bench: 445
Frankenstein squat : 385
Zercher squat: 385
Trap bar Deadlift: 625
Deadlift: 585
Back squat (high bar): 600
Front squat: 485
Snatch: 315
Military press: 275
Push press: 315 x 5
Power clean: 340 x 5 (hang), 365 x 1 (floor)
Bench press from pins (1" from chest): 425

1 Like

No, I would ramp up in 5-8 sets but only doing 2 reps per set.

In the article I wrote: “If you’re in the very-strong category of lifter, you might need more than 3 warm-up sets for the big lifts (if you squat 600 you might need 4-6 warm-ups).”

275lb Mil press BEAST MODE!!!

very nice coach, epic strength. are you training with BDW these days?

i always get the feeling you go back to a upper push/upper upll/lower body sort of setup, varying the different contractions (isometric, explosive, layerish sort of approach), interspersed with growth factor sort of pump/high rep isolation work (More recent).

that seems to be your bread and butter over the decades…

I did a BDW approach during the last 6 weeks of my photoshoot prep.

BTW I hate it when you always ask how I train, I feel like it’s an introduction into my private life. Training is my “ME” time, I like to keep it that way. It’s my secret garden if you want to call it that. It’s not that I don’t want to share, it’s really that I like to have my own private thing.

I hate it even more when you try to deduce what I’m doing. This is extremely annoying.

Sry :frowning:

No worries. That’s why every time I decide to post a journal of my own training online, I stop after a few weeks because it takes the fun out of training for me

Out of interest Christian, why do you give Sigil so much air time? I’m assuming he keeps Biotest shareholders happy. Fair play to you for being so helpful. It also entertains the rest of us!

,Well I’m against censorship . Even on social medias I normally don’t delete the posts that are obvious haters. If he likes to talk training and share ideas, fine. Honestly he is not really offensive and he does bring up interesting points and ask good questions from time to time. Yes he can be annoying, but who isn’t to some degree?

1 Like