Thank you Angus for finding those explanations! Are you supposed to use same exercise (eg. squat) for all parts of the system? And per workout only few different exercises? For example: Squat: layer system parts 1-3, then overhead press: parts 1-3. And that’s all for the day.[/quote]
NO. The system is One and ONLY one lift a day. He is now experimenting with 3 sets of simply rowing as a finisher for the high pull/back days, but ABSOLUTELY NO second exercise after legs or pressing movements!!
YES. Use the same exercise for all parts of the system. For this reason CT DOES NOT recommend regular squats-- 1) unracking/re-racking weights between clusters and HDL sets drains performance something fierce and 2) even more importantly–ESPECIALLY with a beginner, form sucks ass and will lead to injury, even “solid form” beginners (which aren’t ever solid in the first place).
For these two reasons the only style of squatting CT allows is from the safety pins up–set the safety pins at the bottom of the squat, get under the weight, and squat it up, then set it back on the pins for rest between clusters or between each individual rep of the HDL sets. Yes, you max with the same style, from the pins up. You rest between 1.5-2 minutes on max ramp sets when it starts to get heavy. And no, partial squats are not allowed, pins must be set at the very very bottom (olympic lifting style depth) or at 90 degrees for the people who lack the flexibility to get into proper position for the olympic depth squats. No “top half” or “3/4” squats.
Christian Thibaudeau: MAX RAMP/CLUSTER/HDL FOR BEGINNERS: The max ramp and cluster are very high intensity, especially for someone who has little training experience. While a scaled down version will not be as effective for am intermediate or advanced lifter, it might be for a beginner. In that case I recommend ramping to a 5RM for the first 3 weeks and to a 3RM for weeks 4-6 (instead of ramping to a 1RM), then using 90% of that to do the clusters (you will obviously do more than 3-7 reps per cluster, maybe 7-12)
Christian Thibaudeau: MAX RAMP/CLUSTER/HDL FOR BEGINNERS (2): I also recommend 4 cluster sets and 4 HDL sets instead of 3
So you can use either a 3RM or a 5 RM, but not a 1 RM for your ramp. Cluster sets are still single reps but you can expect to get more than 5 singles per cluster because your top weight is lower. You must still use between 6-9 total sets to reach your max 5RM or 3RM when ramping. For example: If your max is going to be 200, then you need to reach your top weight on set 6-8 ish. Might look like— 80x5, 100x5, 120x5, 140x5, 160x5, 180x5, 200x5 . If it ended up being too light you can take one more set (to be #9) and set a PR. Small jumps of 10-20 ish pounds.