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CT's Pendulum Powerlifting Article ???s

Questions for CT on his Pendulum Powerlifting article:

Monday: Quad Dominant Training
A) Powerlifting squat
Load: 90-95%
Reps: 3
Sets: 10
Rest between sets: 180 seconds

1- Where am I misinformed here? From what I’ve learned, powerlifting squats are wide stance and primarily hamstring, glute posterior chain oriented. Olympic narrow stance squats are more quad oriented. Why is this quad dominant?

2- how do you reconcile the squats with the Prilepin chart #s?
According to the Prilepin chart, work from 90% + up should be in sets of 1-2 reps with 4-10 reps total per workout, 7 is optimal.
30 reps @ 95% seems not only extreme, but unrealistic. How could a 500 lb 1RM squatter do 3x10 @ 475? I doubt 3x10 @450 would be realistic.
According to Prilepin, 3x10 is used in the 55% range, not the 90%+ range.
Consider that if you work up to 90-95% even with single sets of 3 reps, the total volume would be through the roof even compared to Westside protocols, probably approaching 20,000 lbs just for the squats.

3- considering the extraordinary volume of the squats, how does that fit into the context of the rest of that workout:
2x10 sets of speed squats @ 55%–
who would have anything left after the heavy squats for this? wouldn’t it make sense to reverse the order at least and use the speed squats as warmups?
Then 5x5 leg presses at 85-90%??
That will kill the quads especially as the third exercise, but why does everyone else put down leg presses, suggesting instead stepups, lunges, etc.
Worse, a 500 lb squatter would probably be leg pressing well over 1000 lbs, and again numbers are way over Prilepin chart #s.

To give you a “regular guy” perspective on this article, here are my thoughts as to your questions:

  1. I think you’re overly hung up on semantics. Yes, PL squats rely on glute and ham strength. However, conventional deadlifts also rely on quad strength. If you prefer, think of the days as “squat based” and “deadlift based.”

  2. First, CT is not recommending 3 sets of 10 reps - it’s 10 sets of 3 reps. The loading parameters are guidelines. I would say that if you need to drop down to 85% 1RM for 10x3, do so. However, it is not unheard of for an advanced squat routine to use such high intensity. Prilipen Shmilipen, check out the insanity in this squat routine:


Notice that the first 10x3 workout in the Russian routine calls for a load of 85%, but the second week calls for adding 20 pounds to that - this will put you around the 90% range and above.

The 10x2 speed squats are also doable - again it’s 10 sets of 2 reps.

  1. Can’t comment on the leg press since I don’t have access to one.

I appreciate your response. I did understand that CT meant 10 sets of 3 reps (not 3 sets of 10) but I reversed the sets and rep #s. My bad.
Still 10x3 @ 95% is way off IMO. Prilepin’s chart has some merit. Suicidal #s are not necessarily better.

In the Dolfzine article I think they use the reverse notation (reps/sets instead of sets/reps).
They do some serious volume. Adding 20 or 30 lbs to 85% is a very questionable suggestion.
The 300 lb squatter would respond differently than the 700 lb squatter would.
Either this is geared towards elite lifters (probably so) or they should be using %s, not lbs.

But does/can anybody here do 10 sets of 3 @ 95% of 1RM? I have worked up to 5x2 @ 90% and that is a tough workout.