T Nation

CT Prime Time 8/15 and 8/18


You can start to pile up the questions. I'm in a good mood and will probably have the decency to answer you today. :wink:


Hello, for powerlifing using your accumulation/ intensification blocks I was just wondering if you would advise one to separate deadlift and squat workouts or do them on the same day, or does it just depend on the block emphasis. Thanks


What do you think is the optimal frequency (weekly) for muscle hypertrophy? I am of the opinion that 2 to 3 days per muscle group is optimal as protein synthesis lasts approx 48 hours.

Thanks Chris



Thanks for all of your contributions - truly motivating and inspiring.

Question: for the eccentric portion of a deadlift, do you let the weight fall and then pause on the ground before the next rep? Or do you employ a touch and go method, keeping constant tension?



Hi Coach Thibaudeau,

Awhile ago you had made a great outline for OL training.

Monday-light technical
Tuesday-Heavy Power work plus OH and/or Fr.Squat
Thursday - light technical, heavy squat/pulls
Saturday - test max.

Do you have any guidelines as to set/rep/intensity? At this point in time my weaknesses are speed and technique. Thank you.


Aha, perfect timing...

I'm currently performing a workout based on a combo of the Bulgarian daily max method you wrote about some time ago, and Dan John's OLAD... Now I know you can't give me the definitive answer on this, but as a guide how many days per week do you think I could safely utilise this method for before I fried my CNS?? I'm thinking of doing one day for squat, one day for bench, one day for dls and one for some kind of upper pull. I'll do a couple of variations of each exercise each day - eg rack lockouts, decline bench, close grip bench etc etc...

Some background info: I have a pretty good work capacity, having made a transition from a westside split which included multiple small workouts a week as well. I'll also be including some active recovery on the afternoon of my workouts. My sleep and all the rest of it is pretty dialled in. I'm the least stressed now that I've ever been since I left the womb.

I'm normally quite confident in my routines but this is quite a departure from anything I've done before so I thought I'd seek some professional approval...

Thanks v much for your time.


Which exercises, loading parameters and frequency would you use to train for maximally increasing overhead pressing strength in 6 weeks?


CT -

I'm currently carb cycling, trying to lean out. I'm using your strategy of rotating between low, moderate, and high carb days. I'm using the schedule you provided in an earlier Prime Time...

Day 1: low carbs (50-75g)
Day 2: moderate carbs (100-125g)
Day 3: low carbs (50-75g)
Day 4: high carbs (200-250g)
Day 5: low carbs (50-75g)
Day 6: moderate carbs (100-125g)
Day 7: low carbs (50-75g)

My question.

  1. How do you recommend I split up my training to take advantage of the high carb day? I assume a massive lower body workout would be a good idea right around the high carb day, but I don't know if I should do it before / after, or on the same day. How are you structuring da_freak's and/or your own training with respect to this cycling? I recall seeing you outline his training schedule and diet on an earlier thread but I can't find it right now.

  2. How do you recommend I structure cardio? I'm doing 400m sprints 3x a week, and low impact cardio (~ 3 - 4 miles of walking everyday with heavy books across my back).

  3. Is there an optimal weightlifting plan I should follow? Perhaps your routine from the Mutation series?

Thanks so much CT. You consistently amaze me and provide endless inspiration for us FFBs on T-Mag.



I am trying to make a workout using your Eccentric base training template. Can you give your opinion of the routine that I have written below? What changes would you suggest? Thanks for your time.

Day 1 Whole body accentuated eccentrics

1-Incline DB press 3 sets of 3 w/65% max 12 second eccentric 60s rest between sets

2-Close grip bench press/Nose breaker 3 sets of 3 w/110%rm 60s rest between sets

3-Eccentric deads 5 sets of 1 with 110% max 3min rest between sets
4-Eccentric bent row 5 sets of 1 with 110% max 3 min rest between sets
(I know this is a lot of eccentric back work, should I drop one of these moves or alternate the movements every four weeks?)

5-Eccentric bulgarian squats with 110% max 5 sets of 1 3 min rest between sets

6-Power clean/reverse curl 3 sets of 3 110%rm 60s reset

Day 2 Moderate Upper body
1-barbell incline press 3x12-20
2-nose breaker 3x12-20
3-bent row 3x12-20
4-reverse curl 3x12-20

Day 3 Moderate Lower body
1-deads 3x12-20
2-body weight bulgarian squat 3x12-20

Day 5 whole body limit
1-DB Incline Press 3 sets of 6-8
2-Nose breaker 3 sets of 8
3-Deads 3 sets of 3-5
4-Bent row 3 sets of 6-8
5-0bulgarian squats 3 sets of 8
6-reverse curl 3 sets of 6-8

My goals are to strengthen my deads, bent rows, reverse curl and increase chest size.


It depends on several factors:

a) Your recovery capacity.
b) The training volume you are using.
c) The weights you are using.

For example, if you perform 20 sets per muscle group at each session there is no way in hell that you can train that muscle group twice in a week (much less 3 times) and grow. However if you perform 6-9 sets per workout it is quite possible to do very well on a 2-3 times per week schedule.

In regard to the protein synthesis elevation ... well that that's all nice and well but it neglects the fact that training has a localized AND a systemic effect. If you blast EVERY muscle group 2-3 times per week with a relatively high volume of work, there is no way that your body can recuperate; the overall physical stress and the stress hormone elevation would be to high.

Never forget that physical exercise will have a localized effect on the muscles directly involved (tissue micro-trauma, energy depletion) but that the response of the body to physical work is also generalized to the whole body (the release of stress hormones and CNS fatigue affect the whole body). So if you train every single muscle group 3 times per week, chances are that you will put too much stress on your body.

Obviously you CAN train your whole body 3x per week. But this requires using a much lower volume of work per muscle group.

You can also train 1 or 2 muscle groups using both a relatively high volume and high frequency of training IF you do this only for those muscle groups AND reduce the amount of work for the rest of the body.

I just wrote an article about this form of specialized training and sent it to TC. It should be up shortly.


It depends on the type of deadlift used, the method and the objective.

For lifts such as the Romanian deadlift and stiff-legged deads I suggest a controlled eccentric and no pause between reps.

For regular deadlifts or sumo deadlifts I suggest not only pausing on the floor, but resseting your stance with each rep (so it becomes a type of rest/pause training). Each rep should be performed like the 1st rep of a set, especially if you are a competitive powerlifter.


I was rereading your mutation series articles and was analizing your diet posted. What did your diet consist of on non-workout days during phase one weeks 1-3?

Another question about the phase 1 diet for your regular food:
6:30 AM: Regular food: 60-65g of protein, 20g of fat, 0 carbs, 10g of BCAA

What kind of meat did you usually eat that early with that amount of fat in it?



Snatch, the goal is to perform 20 perfect reps.

Set 1: 5 reps (25-30kg less than your max)
Set 2: 5 reps (add 2.5kg)
Set 3: 5 reps (add 2.5kg)
Set 4: 1 rep (add 2.5kg)
Set 5: 1 rep (add 2.5kg)
Set 6: 1 rep (add 2.5kg
Set 7: 1 rep (add 2.5kg)
Set 8: 1 rep (add 2.5kg)

If you completed all 20 reps with perfect for you are allowed to start the next Monday workout with 2.5-5kg more. If the reps were not all successful and technically solid, you keep the same starting weight the following Monday.

Do the same thing with the clean & jerk.

Work up to your maximum on either:

a) Power snatch from floor
b) Power snatch from blocks
c) Power snatch from hang


a) Power clean from floor
b) Power clean from blocks
c) Power clean from hang

Note 1: Do not use the same starting position for both lifts. For example if you choose to perform the power snatch from blocks, select the power clean from the floor or from the hang.

Note 2:
Week 1: Work up to the max weight you can handle for a set of 3 reps.

Week 2: Work up to the max weight you can handle for a set of 2 reps.

Week 3: Work up to your 1 rep max.

The squatting is performed in wave form:

Week 1: 1 x 7, 1 x 6, 1 x 5, 1 x 7, 1 x 6 , 1 x 7

Week 2: 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 5, 1 x 4, 1 x 3

Week 3: 1 x 3, 1 x 2, 1 x 1, 1 x 3, 1 x 2, 1 x 1

Snatch and clean & jerk are the same as Monday (same weights too).

Perform either heavy pulls from blocks, hang or floor for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps.


Back squat in the same wave format as the squatting on Tuesday.

NOTE: If you perform front squat on Tuesday, go with pulls on Thursday. If you went with overhead squat on Tuesday, go with back squats on Thursday.

Gradually work up to your maximum on the competitive lifts. You are allowed to miss a weight 3 times. In other words if you fail with a weight, you can try it again 2 more times. If you miss 3 times it's over.


What do you think of Coach X and #62's method of pairing ME and DE work with pylo's (they seem to speak alot about your books when it comes to pylo's,altitude landings etc)


Thanks alot Coach Thibaudeau.


Old time lifters knew it best: to press big, you have to press often!!!

If you want to focus on overhead strength you should perform overhead work 3 times per week.


Triple menace press:

Start with the overhead barbell press; gradually work up to the max weight you can handle for 5 reps, this should be done over 3-4 progressively heavier sets.

When you cannot complete 5 good military presses, continue to add weight but switch to the push press. Continue to add weight on each set until you cannot complete 5 good push presses.

When you reach your top for 5 push presses, continue to add weight on each set but switch to push jerks. Add weight on each set until you cannot perform 5 good push jerks per set.

A workout could look like this:

Set 1: 115lbs x 5 (press)
Set 2: 125lbs x 5 (press)
Set 3: 135lbs x 5 (press)
Set 4: 140lbs x 4 (press)
Move on to push press
Set 5: 145lbs x 5 (push press)
Set 6: 150lbs x 5 (push press)
Set 7: 155lbs x 4 (push press)
Move on to push jerk
Set 8: 160lbs x 5 (push jerk)
Set 9: 165lbs x 5 (push jerk)
Set 10: 170lbs x 4 (push jerk)


A. Overhead press
5 x 5 with a weight that you can easily get 5 reps with (2nd set weight of your DAY 1 workout for example)

B. Bradford press
3 x 4-6 reps (1 rep = from the clavicle, 1/2 press to behind the neck, 1/2 press back to the clavicle)

C. Reverse grip military press
3 x 8-10 reps


A. Overhead press
10 x 1 with a weight you could get 3 reps with

B. Overhead support in power rack
Work up to the heaviest weight you can support 5-10 seconds.


The most important training session of the week is performed on the higher carb day. This is not necessarily the lower body session; it's the one for what you feel is your weakest point of the muscle group(s) you wish to emphasize the most.

Hard workouts are also planned on the moderate carb days.

The low carb days are either a) rest days c) easy session d) energy system work session of a lower intensity (30-45 minutes of low-intensity cardio).

DaFreak schedule changes every 3 weeks. But his carb intake is higher during the hardest sessions and lower on the off days or easy sessions.

High intensity cardio shouldn't be performed more than twice per week when you limit your carb intake. Otherwise you risk losing muscle. These sessions should be performed either on a high or moderate carb day after your strength training session (if you have one on that day).

Low intensity/steady state cardio is performed 2-3x per week on the low carb days.

Read my article called "Lifting for loosing".

The mutation series is good. But it was my own personal story and what I did to prepare for a bodybuilding show. It's not what I would recommend in your case.


Awesome, looking forward to that article - I like the idea. Sort of block training for hypertrophy. Are you using weekly blocks?

You mentioned recovery abilities earlier what methods have you found effective in determing one's ability to recover from 'hypertrophic training'?


I know coach 62 well, as he wrote the foreword for my second book.

I hold both coaches in the highest regard. Plyo work is special, as it's the only method that is both max effort and dynamic effort! When used (because it should be used too often or for too long) it should be paired with either DE or ME work as long as the volume of plyo work is kept low.


BTW guys, I'm not necessarily answering the questions in posting order. So don't panic if your question isn't answered right away! I'm here until 9pm tonight; we've got all day.