T Nation

Clarification Needed Best Damn Workout~Cortisol~Big Hard Legs


#1

CT,

I am interested ONLY in hypertrophy. I read this recent article dated 01/12/16 you wrote about the SINGLE BEST MUSCLE BUILDING METHOD that scientifically backed going to failure for hypertrophy and stated the % of your 1RM was insignificant. So 30% of your 1RM to failure was no different than 80% of your 1RM to failure. Obviously, failure was the key component regardless of load: https://www.t-nation.com/training/single-best-muscle-building-method

But then I read another article published on 10/12/16 after that suggested those high reps create cortisol and you indicated that lower reps till failure with higher frequency was the BEST way for a natty lifter to add muscle. https://www.t-nation.com/training/the-best-damn-workout-plan-for-natural-lifters

The 10/12/16 article was supported by this article posted yesterday on 11/16/16: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-natural-lift-heavier

And then I just saw this article about adding leg mass using 100 rep (high volume) leg presses that was reposted today but dated 0710/16: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-a-new-method-for-big-hard-legs

So my question is, do the latest articles trump the previous articles including the leg “tip” today? I know you and everyone in the business is always learning from the latest research, but the high rep leg press thing seems to make sense. But, after re-reading that cortisol is the biggest enemy to protein synthesis I am dubious to include it into the “training for natty” routine you posted a few weeks ago.

Can you please clarify, it would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


#2

I think the “Big Hard Legs” method is a blitz - the article mentions doing it for 4-6 weeks. After that you’d return to regular training. By comparison, “Best Damn Workout” is an ongoing plan.


#3

He clarified this in some other thread. Go with the newer material.

Although like the previous poster said the older one can work and may just not be meant to ran for a long period of time, if that’s the case they are not really contradicting themselves.

As for the science behind this, one method may be better in general but there are other factors too. The leg program may focus on legs and your other lifts won’t increase during this time, if your goal is legs then that’s great, if not then it may not be the best choice. If some new method is more fun or motivating for you you could make up for a less than ideal program by putting in more effort, in that case it IS the better program regardless of science. Schedule is a big one, if you can’t make it to the gym everyday then a 6 day a week program modified for less days might not work at all. Other factors could be lifting experience, strength levels, age etc.


#4

If I recall the leg workout is intended to stimulate bloodflow to the legs, not as high reps for max muscle fiber stimulation. If you look at it that way, and use the “Big hard legs” as a warm-up, then it shouldn’t be a conflict at all.


#5

Hello,
I think you think about that wrong. You are on the search for the perfect approach that is optimal in every way however this approach doesn’t exist ! There are many ways to do things that is why all the professional athletes train different, however most successful athlethes have the same key principles. What I want to say there is no perfect way, everything that CT has published surely works !


#6

I am not doubting CT whatsoever. He is the one guy whose articles I always read and seek out. And I also understand that over time, you learn new things, and opinions change. Anyone who doesn’t adapt of ignores new (if verified) information is a fool. But, YES I am searching for the most efficient way to add muscle (not strength) as fast as possible. So when I see someone like CT write an article called the Single BEST way to build muscle, or the BEST Damn workout, it catches my eye. So I was merely asking if doing something like those 100 rep warm up leg presses before starting the Best Damn Natty workout would be beneficial OR would it raise cortisol.


#7

The 100 rep leg press blitz isn’t to failure. He states in the article to use light weight…or just the sled. Going to failure day after day would destroy you over time. Start with the sled and enjoy the burn. If you have to stop shy of 100 reps then it’s too heavy and you’re overdoing it.


#8

I can understand you, I am the same.

CT, are you respondable for the headlines of your articles or not ?


#9

No. I write the articles and the editors sometimes change it a bit to make it a better read.


#10

Dudes, yes the 100 reps thing is a blitz, but even then it will not release a huge amount of cortisol. 100 light reps on the leg press is like doing a few sets of prowler pushing or airdyne bike. It will last at the most 3 minutes. Yes it uses glycogen but the cortisol spike from it will be VERY low.


#11

100 reps leg press are in the exact same boat as…

  • 4-5 sets of 30m on the prowler
  • 4-5 sets of farmer’s walk
  • 3-4 sets of 30-40 sec on the airdyne/assault bike
  • 3-4 reps of 250m on the rowing ergometer

Yes it uses glycogen for fuel, but I’m not saying that you need to AVOID everything that does that. Otherwise any form of GPP work would be off-limit… you can totally do the 100 reps method at the beginning of your workouts for 4-6 weeks without detrimental effect on your progression.

Don’t be too anal


#12

Exactly! Thank you for developing reading comprehension and common sense


#13

Thanks for the quick reply.