T Nation

Layering System During a Cut


The more I read about your program the more I want to try it. It sounds very intense and I am very interested. But I am currently trying to lose some weight, would you recommend this type of training during this time or should I wait until I have lost the weight I want and start training for size and strength again.


From experience, the best program to use when trying to lose fat is the program that will allow you to maintain (or increase) your strength the most. The best way to avoid losing muscle while losng fat, is to gain strength!


Thanks for the repy. I was thinking the same thing just wanted to check with somebody who know a hell of a lot more than I!! LOL


@Krum: I had good success with the strength layer for fat loss:

  1. Ramp to 1RM
  2. 2 Cluster or straight sets with 90% of 1RM (3-5 reps)
  3. Back down to 70% and ramp to 2RM
  4. 2 Cluster or straight sets with 90% of your 2RM (3-5 reps)
  5. Back down to 70% and ramp to 3RM
  6. 1 extended HDL set (max/15 sec/max) with 80% of 3RM

Do not do extended sets with an explosive pull do 1 full rep + 2-3 from hang

Although with PLAZMA and MAG-10, it is very easy to plan a fat loss diet: 2-3 scoops of PLAZMA peri-workout, 2-3 pulses in the 2 hours post-workout and low carbs for the rest of the day.

Listen to your body though its never wrong we just chose not to listen to it or think we can outsmart it

Hope that helps


I have seen you post previously what sput put here for strength/fat-loss and powerlifting. For a "soft" WL'er trying to maintain his form in the Snatch/C&L on a fat loss cycle, how would you recommend setting up exercise selection?

1) Snatch to 1RM + SGHP for 2nd/3rd layers (as described above)
2) Clean "light layer" (ramp to 3RM, then 90%x3x8 - or 2's?)
3) non-lifting stuff
4) Clean to 1RM + FS for 2nd/3rd layers
5) Snatch "light layer"
6) Jerk to 1RM + Push Press for 2nd/3rd layers
7) Off

I know I am borrowing from the other thread, but my question is more like the one at the start of this thread. Thanks!!!


Yea man that helps a lot... I haven't been very consistent in my training basically since I graduated high school for one reason or another but I have been hitting 4-5 days a week for about 2 months at 430am... My strength is coming back in a major way I just am looking for something to really push the limits... I have been hitting some good workouts but my upper body can handle more than I am giving it... So I want to try this layering system even though my gym is limited in what lifts I can do... What kind of split as far as body parts should I do if I want to focus on my posterior chain for explosiveness(I can't high pull or power clean) and I can probably only get away with a rack pull or RDL for now... Yea I know, I go to a bitch ass gym! LOL



a basic set up would be the following;

two 'press' days (incline bench from pins, and decline press from pins)
a lower body day which could be any big compound like deadlift variations or squats from pins
two days of high-pulls.

i know you said you cant do pulls -i presume this is because you dont have blocks? just use two benches to rest each side of the bar (under the weight plates). CT does this in a lot of his videos.

as for your lower movement, how come you can't do normal deadlifts if you can do rack pulls? just stick to normal deadlits (good for your posterior chain goals) with maybe some front squat assistance work (3-4 sets of 6-8 reps).

try and space your high pulls away from your lower body day.

hope this helps! have a look through CT's forum to find lots of splits and what CT recommends etc. i think there is also a split designed for football players written by CT somewhere.

EDIT: if you can't do deadlifts because of the floor, then do them from the lowest rack setting you can -maybe even stand on plates so its effectively the same distance as pulling from the floor... you could also perform your high pulls in the rack too.


Dead lifts, high pulls and power cleans are against my gyms rules... if fact I need to stop calling it a gym, its a fitness center!


oh haha. so you gym is pretty much against making quick strength gains?! :stuck_out_tongue:

okay well i think it will have to go over to CT for this question!!!

-i would say do bottoms-up squats or front squats (both from pins) in place of deadlifts, and do RDL/SLDL's to build up posterior explosiveness..

as for replacing the high pulls.... I dont really know lol. Power shrugs would probably be a viable option (if you're gym allows). maybe throw in an over head press day to complete your shoulder development...

its hard because you wont realise how amazing the high pulls are for physique development until you get to use them properly on a system like this... before i started the layer system i would have answered your questions very differently, reeling off different exercises instead of high pulls... but now i couldn't imagine the routine without them... i know that doesn't help you very much, hopefully CT has a replacement exercise for you!


I have said my gym is against people who work hard many times before!! LOL it was cheap and I was broke at the time so I went with it...

Yea I am with you on that, I think what I am going to do is have a plan in place for when I switch to a real gym... I want to do high pulls for sure for the explosive development as well as for the physique changes...

I have been doing a lot of RDL's for the P-chain and I can tell the difference but really I am just trying to work my way to being able to dead lift a decent weight once I get to do the full plan...

I have also read several post on here and have an idea of what I want to do for not to try to be ready for when I start the layering full force...


Yeah exactly!

the layer system could be the best system you ever try, as well as being very fun and rewarding! but there are tons of great programs out there, and to be honest, you can burn fat just by doing loads of cardio everyday!! haha just try to maintain (or increase) strength on a few big lifts while you slim down, then hit the ground running when you start the layer system.

you might even experience some newbie gains when transitioning from low calorie + fat burning workouts to high calorie + layer system AWESOMENESS... I sure did!

worry less, lift more!

good luck with your training


Oh yea that is true, I have been making solid progress... While I wouldn't call myself a beginner I am making that kind of gains because I haven't been very consistent over the years... I will say I am new to this diet thing!! in the past my only change was to drink a few protein shakes when I worked out LOL


The good thing is that if you have a lot of weight to lose and were eating a very bad diet before, then it is totally possible to gain muscle while you are losing fat at the same time.

For example if you go from 4000 calories of mostly junk with something like 150g of protein and go to 3200 calories of clean food with 200-250g of protein you will lose fat AND gain muscle. At least for a while.


I can't tell if I am adding muscle but I am getting stronger for sure... I am at about 2400 with close to 300 grams of protein... I have dropped about 12 lbs in three weeks... that is when I started tracking my cals...