T Nation

Exercise Selection and Progression


#1

Hey CT,

Regarding the overall scope of the layer system, I have now read and learned about so many different varieties. And I'm sure it's just the "tip of the iceberg" as you have pointed out. There's the max strength version, the ramp/cluster/hdl method, the method involving complexes, and now the "density" method that was brought up recently.

My question is in regards to the exercises performed. I have followed a 6 day split for some time now, with days being SGHP/Incline Tilt/TBDL/SGHP/Decline Tilt/Lats & Bi's/off/repeat. I see so much variation amongst the different types of layers that, to me, it looks like you could keep the main exercises the same for an entire year or so and continue to overload and stimulate new growth.

In your opinion, is the change of main lifts or the actual change of load %/intensity/volume more critical to progress? I am very happy with the main lifts as of now and do not get "bored" on certain days as some others have expressed.

I see no reason why the main lifts couldn't stay the same for an extended period of time and still see progress. To me, the longer and more you perform a certain lift, the better, stronger, and more resilient you will become with it. IMO.

Thank you for all you do!


#2

I prefer to change loading schemes, training methods and condition of performance (e.g. adding chains) rather than changing exercise.

I'm with you, the more you train on a movement, the more efficient you become at them and the stronger you'll get.

A lot of trainers recommend frequent exercise changes mostly because it gives the illusion of progress... the first week you perform a movement your perform sucks because you are not used to the exercise... the second time you perform it your performance increases rapidly because of neural adaptation/getting better at doing the lift...the third week you still have rapid progress in performance because you are becoming more neurally efficient. By week four progress slows down because the rapid neural changes are done.

Then the coach changes exercises and you resume "rapid progress", which is only getting used/better at an exercise.

By doing that you don't actually build much new muscle mass, you simple get better at some exercises.


#3

Makes a hell of a lot of sense. So at week 4, when progress "slows" down, (only neural progress has actually slowed), people switch up the exercise because they believe the body has now gotten used to the exercise, when, in reality, the nervous system has actually just became somewhat proficient at it. Good stuff there man!

People get way to into the "muscle confusion" theory IMO. Confusion, as far as loading parameters, volume, and intensity, are always good to be changing. Unfortunately, most people are the opposite. They stick to the 3 sets of 8-10 reps NO MATTER WHAT and the only "confusion" going on is with exercise selection. Poor, unfortunate souls!


#4

@jb
im one of those who mentioned boredom. it wasnt necesarily the actaul movement. it was just a state of being, theroutine, orhowthe routine was done.
i havent changed the exercises i do, but i have modified the way i train the "ones i was bored with". ct's variations of the layers are vast enough to keep interest.
and he has said that sometimes he changes grip position, or bar thickness, or chains etc.
ct continuously comes up with variations of the layers. and he didnt pull them out of hat. i believe he has used them himself. in my humble opinion, i believe he is analytical, and in constant search for training methodogies that keep the body stimulated to enhance strength, aesthetics, and athletic performance. he has, and still does apply his education, kkknowledge, experience and wisdom to his coaching.
and i'll bet he has gotten bored at certain times. after all, "it's not a list of chores"

just my thoughts here


#5

True, I've been doing a write up on the layers and so far I have 35 different layer types. Considering that a workout has 2-4 different layers the possibilities are pretty much limitless... but each layer has a specific purpose that you use to solve a specific issue.


#6

you are a genius!
sorry, i forgot you dont like compliments.
i must say, the qiadruple layer for the squats have kicked up the improvemnet a few notches. and it wasnt because i just started doing squats. i hit a new easy pr in the back squat today.


#7


#8

@dom

I apologize if you took offense to my "bored" comments. I guess if the shoe fits, wear it.

I was really just trying to see the difference, in terms of importance, between exercise selection variation and load/volume/intensity methods as they related to the layer system. CT seems to agree that the choice of exercises can stay the same with the amount of variation there can be with the different types of layers. That's all I was asking and the answer that I was looking for.


#9

@dom

I apologize if you took offense to my "bored" comments. I guess if the shoe fits, wear it.

I was really just trying to see the difference, in terms of importance, between exercise selection variation and load/volume/intensity methods as they related to the layer system. CT seems to agree that the choice of exercises can stay the same with the amount of variation there can be with the different types of layers. That's all I was asking and the answer that I was looking for.


#10

no offense taken at all. i tried to choose my words, so you would not think that. i guess i didnt do such a good job.:slightly_smiling:
sorry. i failed english comp 101:)
i really enjoyed your post. i guess i felt the need to explain myself about the boredom. my apologies to you.
by the way. im doin these 30 dips and pullups, band assisted, every day. 2 days now. im sore as heck.
you do lots of these too , i believe. do you get the soreness every day? or are you past that? if so, how long does it take getting used to?
just curious? thanks


#11

sorry. it got late.


#12

I bought a set of rings and started at 25 reps each at the end of each workout. Triceps were sore because I rarely do any direct tricep work anymore. I also alternate between the rows and pull-ups each workout. I have worked up to 50 reps each. And it's weird, some days I'm sore, others I'm not. I'm sure there are many factors involved. (Pwo nutrition, sleep, stress, caloric intake, type of mood my wife is in).

I think it mainly has to do with how many reps I try and "grind" out because I'm nowhere near being able to do 50 consecutive reps. Ha! Hope that helps. It will get better. Lose the bands until you get more proficient.


#13

thanks for the info.
have a great day