T Nation

Increase TM Prior to Deload Week, or After? And Accessory Question

I’m following the 7th week protocol where including warmup sets my percentages go from 50% to 100% for the prescribed rep ranges. Today I did my BP session for the deload weak which at 100% TM is 80kg. I did that for 1 rep but I got to thinking whether the aim was to increase my TM prior to this week kicking off. It would make sense because based on past training I should be able to add the weight to the bar and lift it. So, should it have been 82.5kg today instead of 80?

I thought I’d post it here to see what the best approach is to this.
I also think I did waaaaay too much accessory work. Although not near my usual accessory work I still did quite a bit including dead press for 60kg for 8 singles. Although not as heavy as I can go I wasn’t quite sure whether I was supposed to be doing them in the first place so to compensate I did less weight. Then I went to dumbbell shoulder press 3x10 at light weight, 20kg, dumbbell flyes 3x10 at light weight, 12.5kg. That was it for accessories.

What really got me scratching my head was doing high volume arm training thereafter with at least 10-15 sets of 10-15 reps of straight bar curls, tricep pulldowns and rope pulldowns. I have seriously small skinny arms and when I say that, some big guys think their arms are small. Genetically I got given sticks for arms and I struggle putting on size. REALLY STRUGGLE. Recently got serious with strength training and realized I needed bigger arms for more stability and power/strength in certain exercises like the bench press and overhead press. So far had amazing results, my BP is floating around 110kg. Heaviest it’s ever been and I do sprint triathlons and can sprint 100m in 12s and did my last timed sprint triathlon, got first, way faster than those competing in my city. Wasn’t that far off elite level timing. So I’m not sat on a lot of bodyweight, but I DO need my arms if I’m to succeed in my strength training. That being said it’s deload week… what the f*ck am I doing hammering it? You know what I’m saying…

Did I overdo the deload for BP? It’s my first day of the week for deload so seeking advice to steer me in a better direction come the rest of the week.

Increase TM? No? Chill out with the volume? I’m doing no supplemental work. I’m doing BBS in all other weeks. And I’m content doing just the core movements and getting out of the gym. I travel 20 miles by bus to get there including 2 connecting buses but I’m cool, dedication does no mileage barriers. I’d rather I was just supposed to be in there for the main lifts and get out. That’s cool with me.

Appreciate the support!


Wicked long post, so I’ll keep the answers short.

Q1; I do the following for increasing TM (which I think is what the book states). Leader 1, increase, leader 2, deload, increase, anchor, TM test, increase if you made the needed reps recalculate tm if you didn’t.

Q2; hammering your arms with small movements will generally don’t get your arms a lot bigger of you’re having trouble putting the size on. My arms grow more from dips, presses, close pushups, and chinups than all the isolation work I used to throw at it. Keep it simple and eat, you’ll be fine.

Long posts are my forte. Helps to be thorough.
Alright so I’m on the same page with the increasing of weight then? Simply put you’re increasing the TM after the deload, which is what I have planned for myself.

My arms don’t really like to grow, period. I’ve been lifting for almost 10 years now and it is a genetic thing as I my bicep length is really small, my joints are small as well, and when I say that growing up my friends could clasp my arm fully and easily from end to end with one hand, and none of my friends had super freaky sized hands. My upper body strength has always been my weakness. Almost to the point of premature development in my arms. At one point I could reach from the front to the back of my arm just with my thumb and finger and touch them together. I’m built for endurance, not for raw strength and power. The only reason I’ve started doing them as much as I have is because I noticed my arms were a major weakness in my pressing. With two cycles under my belt I’ve gone from 75kg for 8 to 75kg for 12 in 6 weeks and that is surely down to increased muscle mass in my arms.

I should be reducing the accessories way down though, right? To get back onto the original question at hand… I’m fine doing no accessories at all.

@squaresocks do whatever the book(s) say is good for your chosen template. Which in this case would be 25-50 reps for push, pull and single leg/core.

And, I know what it’s like to be small. Hence, I used to be. You’ve gotta gain soms seripus weight to get an inch on your arms. So I don’t know your weight and height, but really try it.