T Nation

Max Muscle Layering?

Hey CT, whats your current recommendation for maximizing muscle gains with the layer system?

Is it still;

Ramp 1RM
90% - 3 x Cluster Sets
80% - 3 x Max Reps, Rest, Max Reps

Are we amending this for further gains, thought I saw you mention about additional sets of Clusters but I could have misread.

[quote]Sawinwright wrote:
Hey CT, whats your current recommendation for maximizing muscle gains with the layer system?

Is it still;

Ramp 1RM
90% - 3 x Cluster Sets
80% - 3 x Max Reps, Rest, Max Reps

Are we amending this for further gains, thought I saw you mention about additional sets of Clusters but I could have misread.[/quote]

Periodize:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Repeat

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Sawinwright wrote:
Hey CT, whats your current recommendation for maximizing muscle gains with the layer system?

Is it still;

Ramp 1RM
90% - 3 x Cluster Sets
80% - 3 x Max Reps, Rest, Max Reps

Are we amending this for further gains, thought I saw you mention about additional sets of Clusters but I could have misread.[/quote]

Periodize:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Repeat[/quote]

Woah quite a change, I see you’ve been busy! :slight_smile:

Do I have the percentages correct, ie each cluster set is 90% of that days ramp, albeit 1, 2 or 3rm? Same applying to the HDL?

Sorry, how do we also do the max pumps?

so the original HDL of 5/rest/4/rest/3/rest/2/rest/1 have been replaced with max rep/rest/max rep? so do you find the latter is more effective for muscle gain than the former?

[quote]iron addict wrote:
so the original HDL of 5/rest/4/rest/3/rest/2/rest/1 have been replaced with max rep/rest/max rep? so do you find the latter is more effective for muscle gain than the former?[/quote]

The 5-4-3-2-1 has not been replaced. I hate that word… I have a ton of tools in my toolbox and have several different method for each layer.

[quote]Sawinwright wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Sawinwright wrote:
Hey CT, whats your current recommendation for maximizing muscle gains with the layer system?

Is it still;

Ramp 1RM
90% - 3 x Cluster Sets
80% - 3 x Max Reps, Rest, Max Reps

Are we amending this for further gains, thought I saw you mention about additional sets of Clusters but I could have misread.[/quote]

Periodize:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Repeat[/quote]

Woah quite a change, I see you’ve been busy! :slight_smile:

Do I have the percentages correct, ie each cluster set is 90% of that days ramp, albeit 1, 2 or 3rm? Same applying to the HDL?

Sorry, how do we also do the max pumps?[/quote]

Yes, 90% of the day’s ramp…, if you can do more than 6 reps on a cluster set, add 10lbs for the next set. If you cannot get 3, decrease the weighr by 10-20lbs.

The max pump is like the 5-4-3-2-1 but with iso hold instead of rest… for example 5 reps, 5 seconds pause 3" from chest, 4 reps, 4 seconds hold, 3 reps, 3 seconds hold, 2 reps, 2 seconds hold, 1 rep, 1 sec hold

Ok, so 2 questions about this:

  1. Are Extended Sets (Max/15/Max) now referred to as HDL sets or are the HDL sets being recommended here the standard 54321 structure?

  2. Is it still 70% for HDL Sets and 80% for Extended Sets?

[quote]Khaine wrote:
Ok, so 2 questions about this:

  1. Are Extended Sets (Max/15/Max) now referred to as HDL sets or are the HDL sets being recommended here the standard 54321 structure?

  2. Is it still 70% for HDL Sets and 80% for Extended Sets?[/quote]

HDL is not a method, it’s a type of work focusing on high reps with heavy weights and short rest. 5-4-3-2-1 is one HDL method, I call it the HDL Descending set, max/15 sec/max is another HDL method called HDL Extended set, I have many others, for example HDL Hard Five which is three sets of 5 reps with 15-30 sec of rest between sets and HDL Speed which is 4-8 sets of 3 reps with 60% and 15-30 sec of rest…

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Khaine wrote:
Ok, so 2 questions about this:

  1. Are Extended Sets (Max/15/Max) now referred to as HDL sets or are the HDL sets being recommended here the standard 54321 structure?

  2. Is it still 70% for HDL Sets and 80% for Extended Sets?[/quote]

HDL is not a method, it’s a type of work focusing on high reps with heavy weights and short rest. 5-4-3-2-1 is one HDL method, I call it the HDL Descending set, max/15 sec/max is another HDL method called HDL Extended set, I have many others, for example HDL Hard Five which is three sets of 5 reps with 15-30 sec of rest between sets and HDL Speed which is 4-8 sets of 3 reps with 60% and 15-30 sec of rest…[/quote]

Alright, my mistake.

So with regards to the original question, which HDL method would you recommend/how would you periodize them through the cycle for maximum muscle gains?

[quote]Khaine wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Khaine wrote:
Ok, so 2 questions about this:

  1. Are Extended Sets (Max/15/Max) now referred to as HDL sets or are the HDL sets being recommended here the standard 54321 structure?

  2. Is it still 70% for HDL Sets and 80% for Extended Sets?[/quote]

HDL is not a method, it’s a type of work focusing on high reps with heavy weights and short rest. 5-4-3-2-1 is one HDL method, I call it the HDL Descending set, max/15 sec/max is another HDL method called HDL Extended set, I have many others, for example HDL Hard Five which is three sets of 5 reps with 15-30 sec of rest between sets and HDL Speed which is 4-8 sets of 3 reps with 60% and 15-30 sec of rest…[/quote]

Alright, my mistake.

So with regards to the original question, which HDL method would you recommend/how would you periodize them through the cycle for maximum muscle gains?[/quote]

I like to use 3 periods:

  1. Accumulation
  2. Intensification
  3. Transformation

ACCUMULATION: Use a more voluminous method (5-4-3-2-1 with 70%)
INTENSIFICATION: Use a higher intensity method (max reps/15 sec/max reps with 80%)
TRANSFORMATION: Use a more qualitative method (Hard 5 with 80-85%)

Each phase is 3-6 weeks long depending on how fast you adapt.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:Periodize:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Repeat

(…)

I like to use 3 periods:

  1. Accumulation
  2. Intensification
  3. Transformation

ACCUMULATION: Use a more voluminous method (5-4-3-2-1 with 70%)
INTENSIFICATION: Use a higher intensity method (max reps/15 sec/max reps with 80%)
TRANSFORMATION: Use a more qualitative method (Hard 5 with 80-85%)

Each phase is 3-6 weeks long depending on how fast you adapt.[/quote]

Wow! Add a variation of each exercise and that’s up to 9 months of workouts without repeating a single one.

Thank you. Really appreciate that.

[quote]Khaine wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:Periodize:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Repeat

(…)

I like to use 3 periods:

  1. Accumulation
  2. Intensification
  3. Transformation

ACCUMULATION: Use a more voluminous method (5-4-3-2-1 with 70%)
INTENSIFICATION: Use a higher intensity method (max reps/15 sec/max reps with 80%)
TRANSFORMATION: Use a more qualitative method (Hard 5 with 80-85%)

Each phase is 3-6 weeks long depending on how fast you adapt.[/quote]

Wow! Add a variation of each exercise and that’s up to 9 months of workouts without repeating a single one.

Thank you. Really appreciate that.[/quote]

And to be honest that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I have other HDL and “cluster/90%” methods to use.

CT have you tried using the High reps HTH (3-3-2-2-1-1-) from the old I, bodybuilder days to any kind of success for the HDL? Or the 3-2-1 method for clusters ? I have been thinking about both and it seemed to go along with the more volume with heavier weight idea…

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Khaine wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:Periodize:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Repeat

(…)

I like to use 3 periods:

  1. Accumulation
  2. Intensification
  3. Transformation

ACCUMULATION: Use a more voluminous method (5-4-3-2-1 with 70%)
INTENSIFICATION: Use a higher intensity method (max reps/15 sec/max reps with 80%)
TRANSFORMATION: Use a more qualitative method (Hard 5 with 80-85%)

Each phase is 3-6 weeks long depending on how fast you adapt.[/quote]

Wow! Add a variation of each exercise and that’s up to 9 months of workouts without repeating a single one.

Thank you. Really appreciate that.[/quote]

And to be honest that’s just the tip of the iceberg! I have other HDL and “cluster/90%” methods to use.

[/quote]

Well, I’m really looking forward to seeing the full program when it’s released.

[quote]kjmont wrote:
CT have you tried using the High reps HTH (3-3-2-2-1-1-) from the old I, bodybuilder days to any kind of success for the HDL? Or the 3-2-1 method for clusters ? I have been thinking about both and it seemed to go along with the more volume with heavier weight idea…[/quote]

Out of all the methods/applications of CTs high performance stuff this leaves me feeling incredible whenever I do it as part of a workout

What’s the Hard 5? Not heard of that one yet?

[quote]Sawinwright wrote:
What’s the Hard 5? Not heard of that one yet?[/quote]

using 80%… 5 reps, 20-30 sec rest… 5reps… 20-30 sec rest… 5 reps… done

CT would doing 2 weeks accumulation from pins and 2 weeks w/o pins for a total of 4 weeks accumulation be a good approach and then also applying that same setup to the intensification and transformation phases?

CT, going on a trip and when I come back I’m going to start your layer system outlined here.

As a “brainless” way of doing it could it simply be done as you outlined here rotating through the three hdl methods every 4 weeks?

Also, what split would you use for max muscle layering? High pull, incline tilt, TBDL, high pull, Decline tilt, off,off?

I’ll take pics and let you all see the results after a 12 week block.

[quote]Jimjamin wrote:
CT would doing 2 weeks accumulation from pins and 2 weeks w/o pins for a total of 4 weeks accumulation be a good approach and then also applying that same setup to the intensification and transformation phases?[/quote]

No, I prefer to keep the same main movement for the whole 4 weeks block. It takes about 2 weeks to get the complete neural adaptation, you need at least 3-4 weeks to start reaping maximum benefits from a main exercise.