T Nation

Heavy Singles for Strength and Size

CT,

My training for the last 3 weeks has been centered around your article, “Build Muscle with Heavy Singles”

I do 80% of my TM, for 30 reps as fast as possible, re-setting after every rep. While I LOVE racing against the clock with heavy weight, I also feel the need to incorporate some assistance work after my big lifts.
Do you have any suggestions?

My big lifts include:
Day 1: BB Deadlift
Day 2: Bench Press
Day 3: Zercher Squat
Day 4: Standing Military Press

I try to shoot for 4 assistance exercises in addition to each big lift, and finish off every session with 4-5 rounds of 1 min crunches + 1 min farmer’s walks.

Any advice would be huge
Thanks Coach

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
CT,

My training for the last 3 weeks has been centered around your article, “Build Muscle with Heavy Singles”

I do 80% of my TM, for 30 reps as fast as possible, re-setting after every rep. While I LOVE racing against the clock with heavy weight, I also feel the need to incorporate some assistance work after my big lifts.
Do you have any suggestions?

My big lifts include:
Day 1: BB Deadlift
Day 2: Bench Press
Day 3: Zercher Squat
Day 4: Standing Military Press

I try to shoot for 4 assistance exercises in addition to each big lift, and finish off every session with 4-5 rounds of 1 min crunches + 1 min farmer’s walks.

Any advice would be huge
Thanks Coach[/quote]

  1. These are good exercise choices. In fact these are the four main lifts I used with one of my clients during his last training phase. Are you doing a TRUE Zercher or just the “squatting” portion from pins? In a true Zercher squat the bar starts on the floor.

You first must deadlift the bar. From the finished deadlift position you slide the bar down to mid-thigh by bending at the knee joint. You rest the bar on the quads and bring your hips down (as in a full squat position) with the bar still resting on the quads. Then you put the bar in the crook of your elbows and you stand up.

That is a Zercher squat. A full rep includes the deadlift, getting under the bar and squatting back up. Then brining it back down to the floor using the reverse steps.

  1. Are you doing 4 assistance exercises per session or 4 assistance exercises total during your week (1 per main exercise)?

  2. I see two ways of planning assistance work: 1) pick assistance exercises that strengthen the weakest link(s) in your main movements. In other words select your assistance work so that they get your main lifts stronger. Work them for strength in the 3-6 reps range… OR 2) pick assistance exercises to create more hypertrophy in the muscles involved in the main movement of the day, in which case you should use slightly higher reps (6-10) and emphasize the eccentric portion of the lift a bit more.

I guess I was doing the easier Zercher version.
Never even tried the other way, but today will be my first

I’ve been doing 4 exercises each day, for each lift.
I’ve been doing just one set per exercise in a rest-pause format, shooting for hypertrophy, so that I get between 25-30 total reps on that exercise.

Is that too much assistance work for one day after 30 reps at 80%?

I feel pretty good about choosing my assistance work for every day except Military Press. Outside of Side Bends, I’m kind of drawing a blank.
My shoulders get a great hit from the front loaded farmers walks, and I hit my tri’s pretty hard on BP day.

Thanks Coach

Just on the side.
I’m a huge fan!!!

Can’t believe I’m getting advice right from you.

Thanks Coach!!

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
I guess I was doing the easier Zercher version.
Never even tried the other way, but today will be my first

I’ve been doing 4 exercises each day, for each lift.
I’ve been doing just one set per exercise in a rest-pause format, shooting for hypertrophy, so that I get between 25-30 total reps on that exercise.

Is that too much assistance work for one day after 30 reps at 80%?

I feel pretty good about choosing my assistance work for every day except Military Press. Outside of Side Bends, I’m kind of drawing a blank.
My shoulders get a great hit from the front loaded farmers walks, and I hit my tri’s pretty hard on BP day.

Thanks Coach[/quote]

Yeah, that’s probably too much assistance work. It’s not about doing more, it’s about using the right amount. Two would be plenty.

If you feel like you have to use 4 exercises to fix an issue, chances are that you either (1) aren’t that great at selecting proper assistance exercises, those who are really good can do more with less exercises (2) you feel like you have too many weaknesses, which basically means that you have no weaknesses and therefor should focus on doing more work on the big basics instead of using a ton of assistance work (3) are a stimulus addict and pride yourself more on doing more work than on getting more results.

Can I still fit in my 4 farmers walks at the end without over doing it?

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
Can I still fit in my 4 farmers walks at the end without over doing it?
[/quote]

yes

What would you say is a respectable time for 30 singles with 80% of your training max?

Right now, if I can get 30 good singles in under 10 min I’ve been upping the weight.

Today for instance, with the Military Press I got my 30 reps in 7:22.

Thanks Coach

I went for 4 weeks heavy, took a de-loading week, and then plan on getting back to the singles for another four weeks.

My last cycle I centered around performing 30 singles at 80% of my TM as fast as possible.
Should I stick to that for another cycle before switching, or could I change to “As many singles at 85% for 7min” without diminishing what I’ve already done?

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
CT,

My training for the last 3 weeks has been centered around your article, “Build Muscle with Heavy Singles”[/quote]
Sorry for the OT: where can i find the article?

[quote]fabiop wrote:

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
CT,

My training for the last 3 weeks has been centered around your article, “Build Muscle with Heavy Singles”[/quote]
Sorry for the OT: where can i find the article?[/quote]

But literally, you could type “build muscle with heavy singles” in the “Search Site” box top right and find it. In case you didn’t know that was there.

Thank you, LoRez. I don’t know why, I just thought the article was lost somewhere in the Livespill ! ! !

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
CT,

My training for the last 3 weeks has been centered around your article, “Build Muscle with Heavy Singles”

I do 80% of my TM, for 30 reps as fast as possible, re-setting after every rep. While I LOVE racing against the clock with heavy weight, I also feel the need to incorporate some assistance work after my big lifts.
Do you have any suggestions?

My big lifts include:
Day 1: BB Deadlift
Day 2: Bench Press
Day 3: Zercher Squat
Day 4: Standing Military Press

I try to shoot for 4 assistance exercises in addition to each big lift, and finish off every session with 4-5 rounds of 1 min crunches + 1 min farmer’s walks.

Any advice would be huge
Thanks Coach[/quote]

  1. These are good exercise choices. In fact these are the four main lifts I used with one of my clients during his last training phase. Are you doing a TRUE Zercher or just the “squatting” portion from pins? In a true Zercher squat the bar starts on the floor.

You first must deadlift the bar. From the finished deadlift position you slide the bar down to mid-thigh by bending at the knee joint. You rest the bar on the quads and bring your hips down (as in a full squat position) with the bar still resting on the quads. Then you put the bar in the crook of your elbows and you stand up.

That is a Zercher squat. A full rep includes the deadlift, getting under the bar and squatting back up. Then brining it back down to the floor using the reverse steps.

  1. Are you doing 4 assistance exercises per session or 4 assistance exercises total during your week (1 per main exercise)?

  2. I see two ways of planning assistance work: 1) pick assistance exercises that strengthen the weakest link(s) in your main movements. In other words select your assistance work so that they get your main lifts stronger. Work them for strength in the 3-6 reps range… OR 2) pick assistance exercises to create more hypertrophy in the muscles involved in the main movement of the day, in which case you should use slightly higher reps (6-10) and emphasize the eccentric portion of the lift a bit more.

[/quote]

CT, so if we had the following set-up…

Day 1. Slight Decline Bench — Assistance Floor Press

Day 2. Safety Squat — Assistance Dead-Squat

Day 3. Standing MP — Assistance Dumbbell Press or Slight Incline Press

Day 4. Dead-Squat — Assistance Safety Squat

First, does that look ok set-up wise and if so, what would be the best way to set up the Assistance work as far as sets/reps go? Something like…

Week 1 - 3x6
Week 2 - 4x6
Week 3 - 5x8
Week 4 - 3x10

Or is there a better way to go about that?

Coach:

I’ve been thinking about subbing my heavy singles Deadlift day for Power High Pulls, my only hesitation is that I’m not sure if an explosive lift like that is meant to be used in this type of training style. What do you think?

[quote]Carhart531 wrote:
Coach:

I’ve been thinking about subbing my heavy singles Deadlift day for Power High Pulls, my only hesitation is that I’m not sure if an explosive lift like that is meant to be used in this type of training style. What do you think?[/quote]

Its a compound lift, so yes it can definitely be used in that style. I would imagine it was probably in his own routine using this method.