T Nation

Lat/Bicep Accessory plan



as you know i'm using your layer system principles and getting fantastic results.
my deltoids, upper back and upper chest are bigger than ever, even though i'm on a fast/feast fat loss plan!!

one thing though, my biceps have not changed one bit.

i know you recommend a more 'bodybuilding' style workout for lats/biceps, i was just wondering how you would set up a workout for them? i was wondering if you could give an example workout for the 2 following situations...

1) a workout dedicated to lats/biceps on the layer system -sets/reps?

2) how you would set up bicep training after a layer workour (high pulls for example) sets/reps?

would it be normal sets/reps or something related to HDL work maybe? whats your approach?

i think a lot of people would kill for this information to complete their 'layer system experience'.

many thanks in advance!!



I'm certainly not CT, and I know he doesn't advocate the layer program for lats, however I've used many of the layer programs for lats and have gotten results just as good as I have on other layer "approved" exercises. I have done the best on 1 arm db rows, and 1 arm cable rows for layers followed by underhand grip pulldowns as an accessory exercise for straight sets.

My biceps get a lot of work doing this and most of the time I won't do any direct biceps work, however, when I do I like to do 1 arm cable curls for about 4 sets starting at 10 reps and dropping reps as I add weight.

Like I said, I know CT doesn't advocate layers for lats but I have gotten so much from them on the push exericses I decided what the hec and they worked well for me on lats.

My 2 cents worth.


hmm i don't know how you can ramp to your 1rm with db rows without sacrificing form/intergrity.. but more power to you for getting the results!

if i'm completely honest, its more my biceps that need attention. my lats have always been my most developed part, always had wide, sweeping lats. i also feel it in my lats during deadlifts and sometimes with high pulls... its just my biceps!!

I'm certainly not going to do a layer workout with BB curls haha and i know how set up a 'bicep day' bodybuilding style, just wondering if there was a more intelligent, relevant appilcation to training biceps alongside the layer system..

thank you George for your insight :slight_smile:

CT, whats your oppinion?


One thing that I found that works great, and it goes against my original belief, is starting and ending each workout with 3 sets of submaximal pull-ups. I've never been a fan of pull-ups but when I was challegned by Tim Patterson to make them ''work'' for me I tried this method and my lats have progressed.

As for biceps, honestly I'm the wrong guy to ask. I do not really train them with regularity. Sometimes I might go 2-4 weeks doing a ''biceps and abs'' day, sometimes I might go a few weeks doing a few sets here an there at the end of a regular workout. But most of the time I don't do biceps work.


thanks CT I appreciate your advice.

since you normally train lats and biceps the same way (unless i'm misunderstood), do you think the biceps would respond to 3 submaximal sets of curls after each workout? -rather than doing pull ups for the lats.

do you think this has some merit?


I am not currently using the layer system so no great input on how to put that in there except I would probably do them whenever you can squeeze them in once or twice a week. Mine have done well with twice a week if I do not do any vertical pulling, once a week if I do (I usually do). But one thing I have used, even though I don't do the layer system yet (have the plan drawn up for when my current system runs its course), is the max pump sets for biceps, usually bicep curls. I prefer the EZ bar over the straight with this because of the relief for the wrists. Do 3 max pump sets, followed by 2 sets of some hammer curls (I have experimented with extended sets here but was not a fan) in the 10-12 rep range.



thanks for your advice :slight_smile:

i think i'm going to try CT's approach for lats, but with my biceps, but i think i'll train them using HDL methods like you suggested.

i think i will stay very motivated for this -get a great bicep pump to go home with every workout haha.

thanks again for all your suggestions guys!



I`ve done that quite a few times. The intensity level has to be a bit higher than the pull ups, taking it about 1 rep before failure


CT"s hp mass program has a lats/arms day in there somewhere. when i did that, i got pumped in lats,bi's like ive never been before


I'm not saying it doesn't work. I've done it on and off in the past. But honestly it is just too mind-numbing for me to really stick with it.


yeah i know what you mean. you've got me hooked on chasing performance, and all i think about when i leave a session now is 'man my pulls were explosive' or 'my bench lock out is so much faster'.. even if the session isnt great, i just can't wait to load up the bar again and try to improve.... long gone are the days of leaving the gym after 'arm day' thinking how productive i thought it was lol.

having said that, i did 3 sets of 8-12 on biceps, then 2 sets of 10-12 focusing on brachialis with isometric holds at peak contraction after my high pull layers... its kind of a nice 'low impact' end to the session that doesnt drain me mentally... but i'll be damned if i ever go back to training my whole body like that haha.


i hear ya on that. it seems those days are lightyears in the past dor you now!