T Nation

CT Prime Time: 8/1


Normally I'm scheduled only for Wednesday and Thursday, but since I love you guys (hmmm... that and TC promised me a Huuuuuugggggge raise) I'll probably have some time to answer questions tonight too.

I'll probably be here around 8 or 9. But you can post your question and I'll get to it as soon as I have the chance.


If I were to notice that I seem to respond better to heavier weight/lower reps, would you think I should (generaly) use higher reps to improve muscular endurance, or keep using lower reps because that's where I find my best gains?

When I choose a weight to use for higher reps, I noticed that I have to greatly reduce the weight compared to the average recomended percentage (if the average person would get 12 reps with 65% of their 1RM, I would need to use around 50%...).


CT, I'm interested in a consultation. Can you send me your contact info?


Do you have any advice on strengthening excersies to improve knee lift while sprinting? Do you know any tips for increasing lung air capacity as well?


CT, we are just starting to add Power cleans to out program, do you have any tips or suggestions to help do them the correct way? I have not seen anyone at our gym do them to ask advice and it is kind of hard to get it from a few videos I have found. In one the guy pauses after the dead lift, in the other he jumps in the air.. I don't know how we should be doing it.

Any direction will be appreciated.




When training in your functional hypertrophy rep range zone what strength quality is being trained?



Hi Coach,
My question involves umbilical fat. Basically, what would be you recommend for losing fat deposits in this area just below the belly-button? In past posts you have mentioned the use of phosphatodylserine. Would you please expand on that a little bit? Thank you for your time.


I am by no means as knowledgable as CT but I had to teach myself the clean and have had it approved by coaches. If you teach yourself something correctly you usually know it pretty well.

There is no 'deadlift' part of a power clean. You lift the bar a few inches off the ground, but then after that go into extension of the knees and hips. One thing that helped me get it was to focus on driving through the ground with my hips. My advice might not be too clear because it feels natural to me, but I hope it helps.


Hey CT. My sister is moving into heavier weights after a break-in period with heavier loading. Given women's lower capacity to recruit motor units than men, would you recommend an extra rep or two per set and an extra set or two for any of your programs? It seems like you would approve of this. Thanks!


(I've asked a similar question before but don't think u got to it. If you did and I just missed it - sorry)

What do you consider the "functional hypertrophy" zone for females? Do you just add 2-3 reps for each "zone" for females?
i.e. strength, hypertrophy, strength-endurance etc.





Bought your e-books about a month ago and have made tremendous progress in some of my lifts using a combination of some of your tips. My bench went from 315 lbs x 4 reps to 8 reps for example and my military press is now 205 lbs x 5 reps super strict (up from 2 reps kinda bad form). Other lifts have gone up a lot as well and I am ready to now add strenght to my arms, where I am traditionally very weak.

To increase my Bicep strength I wanted to do the following:
Max effort day on Monday:

Barbell Curls 5 sets of 5/4/3/2/1 reps and perhaps 1-2 more reps emphasizing the negative.
Power Clean up and Reverse Curls down Hybrid exercises same reps and sets.

On Thursday I wanted to do a Dynamic effort day and take 55% of my max and do 5 sets of 5 reps as fast as possible on both these exercises.

For Triceps I want to do Close grip Bench Presses and Rack Lockouts on each day with same rep and set schemes.

Am I on the right track? If not could you let me know how to tweak it?

Thanks a bunch for all the great info,



Hey CT

I have a friend who does male cheerleading competitively (don't laugh -- it's actually hard). What exercise would you recommend to improve the ability of holding moves like the cupie ?

I've included a link to show you what move I mean in case you're not familiar.



As a self-taught person myself, I'll share some tips, but keep in mind that unlike KombatAthlete, my lifts have never been approved.

Dan John has a free e-book on his site explaining the lifts. Get it. If I were to do it over again, I would learn the lifts starting from the hang. I believe Dan describes it as dropping into a Romanian deadlift to just above the knee, then jump. That's a simple and effective way of visualizing it, and fairly accurate as well.

When you jump, pretend that you want to touch the top of your head to the ceiling. Otherwise you might just jump holding the bar. Been there, done that.

You always hear everyone say "don't pull with the arms." What they should say is don't START the pull with your arms. Once you get the bar going, by all means use your arms to pull the bar up the last bit. What you DON'T want to do is turn this into some type of cheated upright row or worse, a cheated reverse curl.

Triple extension is overrated. Or not. When I was learning the lifts, the diagrams all showed the lifters way up on their toes or even "getting air." Now the thinking is that maybe trying to get up on the toes is not the best way to teach technique. This realization came after seeing the Greeks and Bulgarians lifting flat-flooted. What I've noticed in my own lifts is that whenever I go heavy I remain relatively flat-footed. It's not something I do intentionally; it just happened that way.

Hip thrust. As you do your "jump," thrust your hips forward. To really get the feel of this, grab a relatively heavy dumbbell and using one arm, swing it between your legs for several reps. This will help ingrain the hip thrust.

How do you know if you're doing it right? I suppose unless you find a coach to watch you you'll never know for sure. However, if you've ever hit a golf ball or baseball perfectly, you know that it feels almost effortless. Same thing with the Oly lifts. Done right, the weight pops up and the next time you feel it is when you catch it either overhead in the snatch or in the rack in the clean. It's a cool feeling. If you feel like you're straining to lift the bar up, something's not right.


CT, if you could change anything about your Shoulder Overhaul program, what would it be?

Ever heard of the Nedier press, it's a standing incline barbell press, your thoughts on it?


If you respond best to higher weights and lower reps, that's how you should train (I'm like this myself). When you want to improve muscle endurance you can either:

1) gradually reduce your rest intervals (something like a 15 sec. reduction every two weeks) and do more sets while keeping the weight heavy.

2) Use rest/pausing techniques like extended 5s... use a load you can lift 5 times, and do 10-12 reps with it, taking 10 sec. pauses during the set when you need them. Do not reduce the weight.

3) Use GPP work (sandbag, sledgehammer, wheelbarrow, farmer's walk, sled dragging) with relatively heavy weights performed in "sets" of 1-2 minutes.


Email-me at christianthibaudeau_1@hotmail.com


A good drill is high knee running with ankle weights. Hip flexions on a low pulley station (cable attached to your ankle, bring your knee upward) can also be used.

Tuck jumps (jumping high while brining your knees toward your chest on each jump) with or without ankle weights can be very effective too.


When you start to teach/learn the clean you should start from the hang, not from the floor. Start in the finished deadlift position (standing up), lower the bar to 1" above the knees by brining the hips far back and bending the legs at the knees slightly. As soon as the bar reaches the 1" point, the athlete should jump upward while whipping the hips forward at the same time.

The 3 coaching points are:

  1. ALWAYS maintain a "beach" position (lower back tightly arched, chest puffed out, shoulders back)

  2. ALWAYS keep the bar as close to the body as possible. This is true for both the lowering phase and the explosive lifting phase (the action of the arms/shoulders are more similar to an upright row than to a reverse curl0.

  3. Pull explosively. It's better to focus on speed than on weight.


Limit strength with an emphasis on the strength of the muscle fibers instead of the nervous system.


There are literally dozens if not hundreds of studies showing that there is a strong correlation between cortisol levels an umbilical fat. Cortisol is a stress hormone and the best way to reduce cortisol is to fight stress!

Phosphatidylserine can lower cortisol production by around 30-40% (the studies use between 400-800mg daily) that's why it should help.