T Nation

CT Prime Time Oct 10-11

CT,
In your Money Exercises article you said that a close stance full squat is the only way an athlete should squat. I wanted to know why you think it would not be wise to use a powerlifting style squat as well as a full squat in training.

Also what do you suggest for someone who cannot do a full squat with good form (such as myself) due to a lack of flexiblity (both to gain the ability to do a full squat without rounding my back and what to do as a substitute in the mean time)? Thanks for your time,
TR

CT-

I see that you lift soon after waking up in the AM. What general nutrition stategies do you like to use for people who lift early in the morning? Are you able to eat a big breakfast and then go and hit the weights?

Do you think maybe if youre in a rush it could be better to just go straight to the gym and down a pre-workout shake instead?

Also, sent you over an email…hopefully you got it.

Hey CT! Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if you know anywhere I can get more info on specific block training. Maybe a site or a book? I am planning on buying your black book also. Does your new book go into more depth on block training? Well thanks for your time CT!

Hey CT
I’m a long armed individual and find that I’m often getting pulled chest muscles well doing flat bench work.(I have avoided flat bench for some time now)My incline work is mostly dumbbells or barbell/smith press. With dumbbells I go up to 120lbs for 6 solid reps.

My question is do you think the pulled muscles are a result of the natural (leverage) of my body or perhaps a week link. I know my form is good and I’d really like to avoid future pulled muscles.(oh and I do warm up sets…perhaps not long enough?)

CT what do you think of the new article Big Bulking tips, especially the part about consuming lots of liquid calories and fats to gain mass. I actually found this out for myself here recently. I weigh 161 right now, just recently up from 155. I’ve been getting about 2200-2300 calores from liquids, mostly shakes mixed up. So out of my total 4500 cals that i need to gain weight i get more than half from liquid calories.

And i probably also get 150-200 grams of fat to be able to get large amounts of calories. I know this can make me gain weight, but how healty is it?

A question regarding grip. I think it was in one of your articles that the “Tuck” grip was mentioned (I think that’s what it’s called when the thumb is under the first two fingers). I’m guessing this allows you to hold more weight, kind of a natural strap.

Firstly my question is am I right on the purpose for this grip (stongest) and secondly do you use this on all lifts involving the barbell (rows, benches, etc…) or only lifts like cleans and snatches?

Thanks and enjoy your trip.

It’s called a “hook grip”. Its purpose is indeed to be able to hold more weight. The reason is what it prevents the bar from rolling “though” the grip and thus splitting it open.

It’s a double-edged sword though. It makes the grip more secure, but at the same time it reduces the amount of work that the hands and forearms have to do.

For that reason I only use the hook grip with:

  • Deadlift and variations
  • Clean and variations
  • Snatch and variations

And only with weights above 80% of maximum.

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:
A question regarding grip. I think it was in one of your articles that the “Tuck” grip was mentioned (I think that’s what it’s called when the thumb is under the first two fingers). I’m guessing this allows you to hold more weight, kind of a natural strap.

Firstly my question is am I right on the purpose for this grip (stongest) and secondly do you use this on all lifts involving the barbell (rows, benches, etc…) or only lifts like cleans and snatches?

Thanks and enjoy your trip.[/quote]

Hey CT,

Can you please describe us what your current diet looks? What do you eat during the day? How many cals/carbs/proteins? How much do you weigh now? What are your goals?

Hi CT,

First I wanted to say thanks for all the info you give us. Your articles are consistently great and have taught me very much.

Second, I posted this in a PT last week but I think I got to the thread too late. If you did answer it later, I apologize for reposting, but I didn’t see it. I’m doing a program based on Renaissance Body Development. I’m not a competitive athlete but athleticism is one of my primary goals in training. I like your idea of a lower body lift, a push and a pull but wanted to take it a step further and include an oly-style lift in each session in addition to those. I also changed the GPP section based on what I have available at my gym. So my program looks like this:

Begin each day with a 10 minute warmup jumping rope

M

Back Squat 2x5, 3x3
Squat Clean 2x5, 3x3
Bench Press 5x5
Bent Row 5x5

W

Deadlift 5x5
One-Arm Snatch 2x5, 2x4, 1x3, 1x2
Military Press 5x5, 3x3
Pull-up 5x5, 3x3

F

Front Squat 5x5, 3x3
HangPower Snatch 5x5, 3x3
Incline Bench 5x5
EZ Bar Curl 5x5

Do 15 minutes of GPP using the following exercises as a guideline

Rowing
Sprinting
HIIT
Burpees
High-rep DB Snatches
Gymnastics-style Conditioning
Farmer’s Walks
Tabata
Pull-up Burpees
Bear Complex with a light weight
Variations on Bear Complex
Various GPP circuits

Finish with 20-30 minutes of low-intensity cardio such as jogging, fast uphill walking, etc. (optional)

Just curious if you think these changes are fine. This is my second week on this program, and it’s very tough, but I’m loving it. Thanks in advance.

As Shugs mentionned in the article’s thread it works, but it’s not for everybody. I personally cannot use that strategy. As a former fat body and someone who is an easy fat gainer, I simply balloon up too much to make it work.

I still drink 2-3 shakes per day while bulking, but these are regular Low-Carb Grow! shakes (2 scoops each) or Surge (single or double serving depending on the training session).

However I found that those who have a hard time gaining weight progress really fast with the strategy given by DB in his article. I have used a similar one with some of my hardgaining clients this year. It’s a throwback to the 1960s and specifically to the work of former Strength & Health writer John McCallum. JM often mentionned the Get Big Drink in his work; a strategy used by both his son-in-law/ginea pig Marvin and his uncle/old hunk-of-a-man Henri to build heaps of muscle.

The Get Big Drink was basically a huge melange of protein powder, powdered milk, milk, eggs, ice cream, peanut butter, etc. All of this was mixed into a 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon drink and it was drank throughout the day.

The original formula was indeed very dense in calories, protein, carbs and fat. However it was still very crude, mostly because:

a) in the 60s they lacked the high quality protein powder we have available today

b) in the 60s, in bodybuilding circles, a softer big body was more popular than a smaller ultra-ripped one

The formula I used with my clients was as follow:

INGREDIENTS

  • Low-Carb Grow! 4 scoops (80g protein, 12g carbs, around 6-8g of fat)

  • Classic Grow! 3 scoops (40g protein, 25g carbs, 5g fat)

  • Low-fat chocolate milk 1%, 1 quart (32g protein, 104g carbs, 10g fat)

  • Peanut butter, 3 TBSP (12g protein, 9g carbs, 24g fat)

  • Add cold water if the mix is too thick.

Total:
Protein: 164g
Carbs: 150g
Fat: 45g
Calories: 1697kcals

You spread it over the whole day… one glass here, one more there, etc.

It’s on top of your regular meals, it doesn’t replace them.

[quote]binford wrote:
CT what do you think of the new article Big Bulking tips, especially the part about consuming lots of liquid calories and fats to gain mass. I actually found this out for myself here recently. I weigh 161 right now, just recently up from 155. I’ve been getting about 2200-2300 calores from liquids, mostly shakes mixed up. So out of my total 4500 cals that i need to gain weight i get more than half from liquid calories.

And i probably also get 150-200 grams of fat to be able to get large amounts of calories. I know this can make me gain weight, but how healty is it?[/quote]

[quote]Xfactor88 wrote:
Hey CT! Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if you know anywhere I can get more info on specific block training. Maybe a site or a book? I am planning on buying your black book also. Does your new book go into more depth on block training? Well thanks for your time CT![/quote]

To be honest I haven’t read much about block training appart from my own work. Jurgen Weineck talks about it a bit (well, he gives Jean-Pierre Egger’s model) in his book “Manuel d’entrainement”, but I have only seen it in French and German so far.

It is discussed, but not extensively in the Soviet litterature. Look specifically for:

The Training of the weightlifter by R.A. Roman

Programming and organization of training by YV Verkhoshansky

A system of multi-year training in weightlifting by AS. Medvedyev

Managing the training of weightlifters by Laputin and Oleshko

If I was to recommend only 1-2 of them it would be the ones by Medvedyev and Verkhoshansky as they cover more different training methods, i.e. they are not limited to only olympic lifting.

Finally you can buy “Supertraining” by Mel Siff and Verkhoshansky.

All of these books can be bought online at www.elitefts.com

However, none of these books cover block training as I use it in its whole. However, these are the books I used as the foundation for my own block system.

[quote]Chivas989 wrote:
Hey CT,

Can you please describe us what your current diet looks? What do you eat during the day? How many cals/carbs/proteins? How much do you weigh now? What are your goals? [/quote]

To be honest I don’t have a “diet” right now. I follow a basic cycling scheme in that I alternate between one low carb day and one high carb day.

The low carb days are strict in that I will stick to the same bodybuilding-freidnly food as I would normally eat during a contest prep phase and limit my carbs to aroud 100-150g.

But during the high carb days I eat pretty much anything I want. I’m not a “dirty” eater, so this day normally ends up being fairly clean too. But with around 500-600g of carbs. I often eat one meal from a restorant on these days, normally a whole chicken with a potatoe and rice.

My weight varies from 213 to 218 depending on when I weigh myself. My goal is 225-230lbs in the morning before breakfast. So that means gaining around 12lbs. My deadline is March 12th.

[quote]bigTR wrote:
CT,
In your Money Exercises article you said that a close stance full squat is the only way an athlete should squat. I wanted to know why you think it would not be wise to use a powerlifting style squat as well as a full squat in training.
[/quote]

Since that article I did start to include some powerlifting-style squat in the training of my athletes. But the olympic-style squat is still the dominant squat in my programs.

I’d say that I use…

Olympic-style squat: 50% of the time
Front squat: 25% of the time
Power squat: 25% of the time

[quote]bigTR wrote:
Also what do you suggest for someone who cannot do a full squat with good form (such as myself) due to a lack of flexiblity (both to gain the ability to do a full squat without rounding my back and what to do as a substitute in the mean time)? Thanks for your time,
TR
[/quote]

A full squat is not the same depth for everybody. A FULL SQUAT should be seen as performing the squatting motion using the full range of motion possible with proper body position and form. I call this “proper position range of motion (PPRM)”.

The PPRM for the squat must respect those biomechanical points:

  1. Heels on the floor
  2. Lower back arched
  3. Butt pushed out (not in the tail under position)
  4. Trunk not bent forward more than 45%

Your personal full squat will be the lowest position you can reach while respecting those 4 points.

Over time, with proper hip flexor, glutes and calf stretching, your PPRM will increase.

What is your opinion on some of the exercise variations DB Hammer recommends; oscillatory isometrics reactive exercises, etc.?

How do you determine what volume is appropriate when you are designing your programs?

Thanks

Thanks - I just put in a chin-up bar in my basement this weekend - my plan is to bang out a couple of sets each morning and night, probably 7 days per week. I’m assuming medium grip means at/near shoulder width, is this the case?
BTW, a bunch of my buddies from my gym are heading to Vegas as well - should be a blast.

thanks

I use something similar to that already.

6 oz milk
1 banana
4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 scoops protein

Its around 914 cals. This seems to work really really well for me. As i am a very hard gainer, i can still do this and not gain very much fat. I might also have to try your recipe, drink it with my meals, and drink the shake i show for breakfast and before bed, because this one is really thick.

How would you determine total # of reps when performing speed-strength and strength-speed as described in your Different Destinations article?

Dear CT,

    What is your view on good mornings? 

Westside barbell training people swear by it and do it 40-70% of the time for their max lower body lifts. But I remember reading an article hear by Mr Cressy where he said only 1% of the population are ready to do such an advanced back exercise.
My own experience with them is good but I find myself much sorer after these then after squats and deadlifts.
Do you use good mornings and if so when do you give them to your clients i.e after 1 year’s training?

Also do you use the rounded back or one legged version recommended by Ian King and Charles Poliquin?

                      Indra

CT,
What stretching would you recommend for hip flexors, glutes, and calves in order to increase my PPRM in a full squat. I currently do lots of lunge stretching for my hip flexors and a one foot back with leg forward to stretch my calves and have not been directly stretching my glutes because I have been trying to fix the length tension relationship between my glutes and hip flexors due to overly tight hip flexors. Also EC recommended holding in the bottom position of a full squat for a few seconds to increase flexibility. When I do this it feels like my hip flexors are actually tightening up in the bottom position and it seems like they are being contracted in the bottom position as opposed to being stretched like in a lunge stretch- is this normal/ what is actually happening? Thanks again for your time,
TR

Hey coach,

Love you articles and all the great feedback assistance you provide. I have a question regarding your specialization routine. I’m using your specialization training for back and shoulders with great results so far for strength. However, Due to issues that have come up recently, I’m only able to really train 3 days a week. I wanted to focus on chest and tris next. Can you give me an idea of how to arrange a 4 wk specialization block with a 3 day split? Should I continue with the original 4 day split, just extend it, i.e. day 1 mon, day 2 thurs, day 3 sat, day 4 mon, etc??? appreciate the assistance.