T Nation

Layer System - Legs, Visual Improvement


Hi CT (and everybody else).
Long time lurker here, but I finally decided to post something.
The thing is, the layer system really fascinates me, and I've read a lot (A LOT) about it.
But, my main concern is the leg work. I want my legs to increase in size,
but it feels like 1 day/ week of either TBDL or front squats is too little work for 'em to grow.

So, the standard split was something like this:
DAY 1: Low Incline Bench from pins
DAY 2: SGHP from blocks
DAY 3: TBDL or Font Squat
DAY 4: Low Decline Bench from pins
DAY 5: SGHP from blocks

My question is, can I add in a sixth day of either front squats or TBDL?



when i first started the layer system, i stopped all leg work (knee issue). but hand to god, SGHP's have made my glutes, hamstrings and to a lesser extent calves, bigger than ever. i think you should just suck it and see. i think you'll be surprised with the results.


If you havent done the TBDL layer yet I suggest trying it out before you cast it aside as inadequate. Its essentially a squat from the bottom up, and you are typically handling loads 20-35% heavier than you would if you were squatting so just the weight alone is a powerful stimulus.

Most body building programs only have 1 leg day a week, so I'm not sure why you think this is any different here. You could do the TBDL as the main exercise and then do 3-5 sets of front squats and hamstring curls after. This is basically as complete as any "leg day" you'll find out there.

On top of that, the legs, particularly the hamstrings, get stimulated during the Snatch Grip High Pulls. So you are stimulating those 3 times a week.

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_indigo_2/lonnie123s_indigo3g_log?id=5115124&pageNo=16 - About half way down this page you can see my 12 weeks results. My legs didn't shrink and in fact may have grown some. The workload is adequate, I assure you.


To add to what the guys have said - if you're NOT feeling your hamstrings, glutes and calves after a SGHP day (I'm not talking about them necessarily being sore, just that feeling in the muscle that you get when you've worked it hard), reevaluate your form. It's very easily to only give a slight push with those muscles and then mostly pull with the upper body, but that's not what you want to do. You want to explode with the lower body, using your back to keep the bar as close to your torso as possible.


Well, yes they do. But the programs I have done and seen results from are P.H.A.T, and the Olympic lifts to get Big by Wil Fleming, and those have multiple squat days a week.
And if we compare HP Mass to the layer system, there's a big difference. HP Mass has you squatting around four times a week.


Then why not do those :wink: ?

Seriously though, the layer system as you laid out above is quite taxing and is not designed to maximize leg size. It's designed to build "The Power Look" which is really more of an upper body look, and the TBDL takes care of the rest.

Adding a sixth leg day and having only one day off a week could probably be done, but I dont know if doing so would be beneficial, or you might have to make it a 8-10 day cycle with a few rest days thrown in.

Obviously you can do whatever you want, I'm just giving you my advice from my experience on the system. Adding a full on Squat layer day would be adding a hugely taxing event onto an already fully loaded schedule.

If you had done HPMass, do you then have access to the Prowler? Maybe adding in 1-2 heavy prowler push/pull days after the SGHP's would help. Thats brings the leg stimulus up to 3x a week and wont tap into recovery quite as much since its eccentricless. This is actually what I do for my conditioning currently, so perhaps that is the reason for my leg size increase/maintenance.


In addition to what Lonnie said, it has been previously recommended in the livespills to do 3-4 sets of 6 reps or so squats after high pull days if you really really just want to squat. It would be something you could handle, not a really hard weight or anything that gets you to psych up.

I can't find where the split was that it was recommended though.

Honestly if legs are your priority maybe a different system but you won't lose them on this program.


Thanks for the answers guys, very helpful :slight_smile:
And in that case, I'll do the squatting after my SGHP days then.
Thanks again!


Also, CT just recommended that you could do 2x5 @ 70% and 1x10 @ 50 % every day as a "warm up" in another thread. So thats another option.


at the end of the day, the Layer System is designed to build THE POWER LOOK. -big broad shoulders, muscular back and chest.
of course its possible (and likely) to build arms and leg muscles, and that hypertrophy is of course welcome, but it's not the primary focus of the Layer System Hypertrophy layers.

if you don't want the power look, and just wan't bear-ish legs, then try something different.

Also, CT doesnt include a second direct leg day because it become too hard to recover from neurally. -layer workouts are very demanding, especially with HDL layers.


I know, and of course I want the "power look". But, what is more powerful than a huge set of legs? :slight_smile:
Thanks for the feedback, I think I'll start my first 12 weeks rotating max. hypert. and max. strength.
Might even start a log!

Big thanks for the feedback guys, it's been really helpful.


Which is why for "full development" I actually like my 10-days rotation better. If someone want bigger legs he should use the 10-days cycle based on squats or front squats that was posted earlier.


Could you describe it shortly or give me a link?
Thanks for the reply!


You are lazy. The search box is your friend. Have a nice day.


You are also lazy. In the time you took to reply, you could have provided the link.


Nope, you are wrong there good man. I am mean, not lazy... there is a big difference. But please do continue to spoon feed our youth as it will do the world wonders!


And you as well... why didn't YOU provide him a link? You seem much nicer than me. Ahhhh... now you see my point!

"We revel in the laxness of the path we take." - Charles Baudelaire


Guys, what's with all the aggression? It's not that I am lazy, but for the moment I'm traveling with my family, so I have very, very limited Internet access. So please, there's no need for this. If nobody wants to give me a link, I'll just look it up in a week or so.




very kind of you to post that for him. you are a good man. God bless you.
and, honestly, i didnt even see the search box for months since joining in.
someone had to wake me up in the livespill.. lol
have a great day