T Nation

CT Prime Time


Okay guys I'll be online from 7 to 9 pm ... you can pile up the questions right now so that we can get a head start for tonight.


Hey CT What type of precontest diet are you putting Dafreak on. Are you carb cycling with him? what is the lowest amount of carb you would suggest to anyone before a contest? I really get nice results from the carb rotation.

Do you suggest when rotating carbs to put high carb days on your training days or do you prefer them on your off days to "fill up the tank"? I followed your mutation series a while back and in that you had both methods used at different times. What is the reason and when do you use each method? Thanks.BTW Have you gotten the 250# sandbag over the head yet?



  1. What are your thoughts on Westside. Anything you think they do that could be done differently? Please dont answer with 'its a good system and I think Louies doing a great job' because I KNOW you probably have thought about how to make any system you come across better, so spill it out! Thanks!

  2. What are your top three book recommendations on strength training? Doesnt matter how technical.

  3. Do you have any plans on writing something on your periodization concepts? CW is working on an article right now (albeit very slowly..right CW?) and I think YOU (the fricking genius that you are) definitely need to publish something. That would help a lot.

  4. Can band training with non-olympic style lifts be just as good for developing speed and power?

Thanks in adavnce!



Dafreak will use a small carb rotation in that there will be some variation during each week depending on what type of training he has. However the difference will not be that great as I found he stays lean even at a high carbs intake.

For example, during his first official diet period (August 1st to 21st) his lowest carbs intake will be 240g per day while his highest will be 326g.

We will keep the same strategy, but every 3 weeks we will reduce the average amount of carbs consumed by around 20g ... so ...

August 1st to August 21st
"Low" carbs: 240g
"Moderate": 286g
"High": 326g

August 22nd to September
"Low" carbs: 220g
"Moderate": 266g
"High": 306g

September 12th to October 2nd
"Low" carbs: 200g
"Moderate": 246g
"High": 286g

October 3rd to October 23rd
"Low" carbs: 180g
"Moderate": 226g
"High": 266g

October 24th to November 13th
"Low" carbs: 160g
"Moderate": 206g
"High": 246g

November 14th to November 19th PEAKING

Obviously this is the initial plan. The quantities might vary depending on how his body is reacting.

Freak works out on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday ... these are the moderate carb days.

Wednesday and Saturday are low carb days and only include ab work (and will eventually include cardio).

Sunday is a high carb day and he doesn't train at all.


First off, I must say you did a great job on your newest acticle, Renaissance Body Development. The workout template is ingenious and I look forward to using it in the future.

Anyway, football season is fast approaching. I have been following the WSFSB 2 since it came out and have had great results. Not only have I put on lean mass, but my strength has improved greatly. Would you recommend a different program to continue in-season? Or would it be fine to continue the 2 Max Effort days and 1 Repetition Day. I practice Monday-Saturdays, usually with a game on Friday or Saturday.

Practices are around 3 hours long, and usually consist of conditioning drills, followed by specific position drills, then live scrimmages. I also play tight end/ defensive end.

Any help or advice would be Greatly Appreciated.
Thanks again!


I would really appreciate it if you took a look at this protocol and tell me what you think. current stats are 6'0", 185, 9% bf, 24 yo and training for 8 yrs. diet and kcals are in order, just want to make sure the cycling i have set up is priming me for success. my goal is fat loss while maintaining/gaining muscle:

training days (modified CW's TTT):
monday - 6 compound exercises (6 set for 3 reps)
wed - 6 exercises (4 sets of 5 reps)
fri - strength work, 4 exercises (deads, box squats, power cleans, BB rows) at 3x3, keg throws for explosion.

i have my days set up nutritionally as such:
mon: high (6x3)
tues: no
Wed: high (4x5)
Thurdsay: no
Fri: low (3x3)
Sat: no
Sun: low

high = 150-300g carbs
low = 50 - 100g carbs
no = 0 - 50g carbs

protein is a constant of around 200-250g day and fats are between 40-80g a day.
Please let me know what you think and where i might need to make adjustments.


I've just spent the past 8 or so hours reading, re-reading, taking notes on and pondering your Continuum articles and the Super-Beast programme. They are quality. Unfortunately my brain isn't, (not after a night shift anyway)...

My question is about how someone looking to increase his numbers in the powerlifts utilise the methods you talk about. I understand each one in isolation, (I think!) I am just struggling to arrive at a way of grouping them all together in a coherent way.

I was thinking along the lines of:

day one:
supra-max eccentrics
clusters (would this be overkill in one day??)

Day Two:
isomiometrics, (I am typically quite weak at the bottom position in the squat and BP so I think this method would be good value).

Plus assistance on both days....

I would do 2 upper, 2 lower days, and then probably switch between a couple of weeks deadlift emphasis and a couple of weeks squat emphasis for the lower....

Many thanks if you can help with this...


I think it's a great system and Louie is doing a great job :slightly_smiling:

Seriously, it is a very effective system. Any system that can utilize the max effort method, dynamic effort method, and repetition effort method at the same time without causing overtraining will be very effective.

The only drawback of a "pure" Westside template is that its built for the "equiped" powerlifter. "Raw" lifters will need to modify the system: for example the bench press with a bench shirt is almost all triceps, hence the ton of triceps, top range accentuation and lockout work done by the Westside crew. However, the "raw" bencher will need to put more emphasis on all portions of the movement.

It is also a system that can be tough to use if you are not a knowledgeable lifter as exercise selection is key in this program... the chosen exercises must really focus on bringing up your lagging parts.

Comming from an olympic lifting background I personally believe in "drilling" the lifts: enhancing neural efficiency by practicing the competition lift themselves quite often. This is what Russian powerlifters do (bench pressing and squating up to 6 times per week).

Supertraining by Mel Siff
Science and Practice of Strength Training by Zatsiorsky
Science of Sports Training by Kurz

I don't think I will... I covered the subject somewhat in my old articles. But this subject is very complex and not entirely applicable to real life situations. At least, not in its old form.

Yes it can. Actually I did my best snatch ever in training (142.5kg) while not even training on the olympic lifts more than once per 2 weeks. At the time I was doing a ton of explosive band work and heavy band work.


CT, what do you think about BCAA supplementation? What kind, how much, and when?


I do like BCAA supplementation. Surge already has a supply "built-in" so that take care of the BCAA to ingest post-workout. I also suggest 3-5 servings of 5g of BCAA per day.


Im back.

In any given mesocycle or lets say per week what are the most number of strength qualities an athlete should work on. Upper limit.

You mentioned there were 10 but you mentioned you dont try developing them all at once so how many do you choose per mesocycle or per week is my question.

Thanks again!

Ill think some more and come back CT.



Hey CT. How's it going?

  1. After all of that olifting, did you ever have any knee issues? clicking noises, pains, etc? How did you alleviate them if you did?

  2. What's your opinion of doing high rep (25 reps) of bodyweight only deep squats to help prehab the knees?

  3. Have you ever done any power cleans/presses and/or snatches with dumbbells just to mix it up? Do you recommend them for imbalances (unilateral work) for variety, etc?

  4. Do standing overhead presses hit your upper chest somewhat?


What are your thoughts for training in season for a rugby player? Currently I train twice with weights a week.


Hi CT,

love your work.

Just started my first week of this program, "Pillars of Strength
A Cure for Light Bulb Syndrome"

You wrote:

Workout A: Heavy Compound Lifting
A. Full back squat
Sets: 5
Reps: 7/5/3/5/7

I had a question on the weight to be used for this program.

For Example my last workout I did 10 sets of 3 and was able to complete 185lbs for 10 sets of 3, butt to calves squats.

what would you recomend I try for the 7/5/3/5/7....I did 135/165/185/165/135...last time and it seem to light???


ps: just wrapped up WORK OUT B...and on my second Surge shake...boy do I need it!


What is polka running? Please tell me it doesn't involve accordions and lederhosen.


I had for a brief period when I trained at the national training center in Montreal (Centre Claude-Robillard). The program they had us on was just too much. Heavy squatting twice per day, 5 days a week on top of the competition lifts, deadlifts and pulls. Plus, I had to drive 90 minutes back and forth every day for 3 months.

At some point I had to go to the physical therapist before every session just to get ready to lift!!! That summer my squat went from 500lbs x 5 down to 405 x 1!!! The program was just too much.

Other than that, my knees have always been fine.

Could help, although I personally think that backward sled dragging would be better.

No on all accounts. Technically in the olympic lifts the lower body and lower back should do most of the work. As such, unilateral lifting to correct imbalances make little sense. Sure you are holding with only one arm, but the prime movers are still used on both sides and you just drastically reduced the load thus lowered the training effect.

I've done 1-arm barbell snatches for fun, but not with any purpose at all.




My goal is to train for hypertrophy using Olympic lifts, but am a little confused about reps/sets parameters.

I was wondering if Olympic lifters use supplemental lifts in their training (like powerlifters, or whether they simply modify the sets/reps & intensity over time?

I read your post above, where you mention that practicing the lifts regularly- I have no problems with performing the lifts on a regular basis, just with the loading parameters.

Any help would be appreciated.


I suggest anywhere from 2 to 4 weekly sessions ... but in the later case we're talking no more than 20-30 minutes sessions.

My athletes perform 2-3 exercises per session in-season. Normally:

1 whole body lift (olympic lift variation)
1 lower body lift
1 upper body lift

After a game or when the legs are tired I might substitute the lower body lift with an upper body pull.

I normally recommend 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps.




In olympic lifting there are several schools of thought...

Soviet-based training and the countries who base their training on the old soviet system (Russia and the former republics, Cuba, China, Germany) use a lot more assistance exercises.

Bulgarian-based systems (Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, etc.) use a very small number of exercises, sometimes only the competition lifts and squats.

Then, even the countries using systems which include a lot of assistance exercises will vary their use depending on several factors...

  1. More assistance exercises early in the preparatory period, fewer in the competitive period.

  2. More assistance exercises for younger lifters, less for experienced lifters.

  3. More assistance exercises for heavy lifters, less for those in the smaller categories( to avoid going up a weight class).

  4. More assistance exercises for the lifters who are not mechanically adantaged to perform the competition lifts. Less for those with perfect proportions.

  5. It is quite possible to build muscle while training on the olympic lifts. Old-time lifters had very good physiques, especially prior to 1972 (when the military press was removed from competition) because these lifters used more upper body strength lifts (bench press, incline press, push press) compared to today's lifters.

To build hypertrophy using the olympic lifts I suggest using sets ranging from 4 to 6 reps. This is the strategy used by the famous Canadian Coach Pierre Roy during what he called "specific hypertrophy" training... i.e. hypertrophy in the weightlifting specific muscles.