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Mini Cycle Ramp Question


the current cycle consists of 1rep max mini cycle, then, 3rep max, then 6 rep max.
Have you tried, or considered going the other way? 6-3-1, max out
or any other variation?


Domcib, how have you liked the 10 day cycle? I’ll be trying that eventually (right now I’m doing the Ramp, 5X3 @65%, 5X2 @20lbs. more, 5X1 @20lbs. more, one set every 30 sec. and 3 rounds of a complex). Still cutting body fat. Strength is climbing in the dead/squat and SGHP, and at least staying consistent in the pressing.

I have a question about the 10 day cycle. On the max out day, should that be a true 1RM, or a training max? I understand if you’re using the 10 day cycle for powerlifting you want to do a true max from time to time, but is there an advantage to a true max–especially every 10 days–for those of us not using the 10 day cycle as a powerlifting specific template?

What are your thoughts?



i really like thr 10 day cycle. for me i feel it has been for the most part, just the right amount of work. at the end of the sessions, i typically am not looking for more work, nor am i overdone. the 6 rm max days have been the most difficult due to my lack of strength capacity or whatever it is called.

i believe the max day is an all out max. thats what ive been doing. for the powerlifterd, i think ct says meet simulation, which is more difficult because you only have 3 lifts. i actually have been rampng to the 1 rm.
i was going to post a question to ct about this, because the ramp in and of itself is a workout. at least the way i do it. i take lots of sets to ramp. after my warmups. it takes me 10-20 minutes just to loosen up. eg. after warmups on the bench ill go 135,155,185, 205, 15,25,35,45,55,65,75. the lower sets will have more reps,8,5,3,2, 1.
i’m doing my max on bencg and squat tomorrow for cycle 3, i think im gonna see if i do less ramping and see what happens.

as far out the frequency of testin the max, WELL, thats a good question. since the goal is strength, and in this case, it would seem like peak strength for 1 rep, then practicing max lifts often seems like a good idea.
bear with me here. i have lots to say, but am having a liitle difficulty putting into writtem words. so, hopefully i can explain myself clearly.
my background-many years ago- as a thrower and throwing coach. all of our training revolves around “peaking” for the championship meets. weight training consisted of “cycles”. for example 5x10 lite for a couple weeks, 3x10 for 4 weeks, max out. we took the whole week (mon,wed,fri). and maxed out on our lifts. we did it competion style.
then we did 4x5 heavy as possible 4 weeks. max out.
then 6-3-3-1, again as heavy as possible every set. 4 weeks, max out.
then do explosives into the championships.
we 2 seasons, indoors and outdoors, so it wa basically done twice with some variations to account for the time we had.

now, ct’s minicycles are fascinating. it’s like he has taken the whole thing we did, and put it into these “mini cycles”. hence, i asked the question about doing 6rm, then 3rm, then1rm, as a possibility. just me thinking. hedidnt answer me yet, so, maybe he didnt see or maybe he feels i should know the answer, or im bustin chops. my best guess is that i should know the answer.
one of the reasons ct is such a great coach, is beacuse whatver program he suggests is something that he has done himself and has provided results. and so he feels it has value to us. with that said, i gues he has tried what i asked, and found it not tobe as productive as the current 1,3,6 rm scheme.

after my lengthy writing here, i’ll try to actually answer your question.
remember the10 day cycle is actually 12 days. i have found the rest day timing to be be perfectly structured.
max out every cycle… serves a few purposes.

  1. the obvious… you get to see how you have progressed in 1rm strength(that is the goal here i believe)
  2. the max day serves as a training day and a rest day depending on how you treat it. ramping, or meet simulation.
  3. the psychological aspect of “max day” is exciting. after all, we lift to compete. compete with ourselves or with others.

i could go on, but i think maybe, it’s already excesive.
i hope this helps, and i hope i ansewerd your questions. if not, sorry. tell me and ill try again.
all the best


domcib, thanks much for the reply. You answered my question just fine: I was really interested in your opinion of how you’ve liked the 10 day cycle so far, as we’re both of similar age (though I probably have more pure weight training experience).

I’m going to be switching to the 10 day cycle soon as a break from my focus on fat loss. Fall and winter are coming up, and that’s a good time to add a little muscle mass/size.

I think I’ll structure my training 3 days on, 1 off, giving me a total of 9 days on, 3 off every cycle. I’ll add a max out day every few weeks, but not every week. At 52 I’ve found that I need a little more time off to recover and supercompensate.

By the way, if you haven’t tried the Ramp, 5X3 @65%, 5X2 @ 10-20lbs. more, 5X1 @ 10-20 lbs. more, 3 rounds of a barbell complex, you should at some point. I’ve absolutely loved this template–it strips body fat, increases work capacity, and under the right dietary intake could induce some serious size gains (with a slightly modified frequency/training split). Hell, now that I think about it I might just experiment with this template and see how far I can take it for hypertrophy.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. This was my last dead/squat workout:

Dead/squat, ramp 3RM:
225X3, 275, 315, 335, 355, 375, 395, 415, 435, 445 (~60 sec. between sets, ~90 sec. between last couple of sets)
290 X 3 (5 sets, 30 sec. rest between sets)
310 X 2 (5 sets, 30 sec. rest between sets)
330 X 1 (5 sets, 30 sec. rest between sets)

There was 30 sec. rest between the transition from 5X3, 5X2, and 5X1

That’s 60 total reps in 35 min. For the dead/squat workout I do not do any barbell complex–the workout is a conditioning as well as strength session!



thats really cool. i can see why i would need more rest with that kind of stuff.
how long did you run that for?
i’m thinking it may be a good idea to run before my season comes up…:slight_smile:
maybe give me some more stamina to push the work envelope the way i do.


I’ve been using this template for about a month so far (I switched up from the fat loss template: triple ramp, with 2 cluster sets after the first two ramps, and an extended set after the third, interspersed with: ramp to a 3RM, 8X3 @90%, assistance work). I’ll continue with the present template for awhile, then decide between my modified 10 day cycle–3 on, 1 off–or continue with or modify the present template.

I’m leaning toward modifying the present template for more hypertrophy specific adaptations.



what does the rest of your program look like?
same set up?
which exercises?
dunno if i like the 3 on 1 off so much personally.
i used to do 4 on, 1 off. that was when my sessions were like 90+ minutes.
with the mini cycle 6 on, 1 off, 4 on, 1 off. i have found to be pretty good. although sometimes because of my schedule, i may do 8 in a row. or i may end up with 2 off. i have found this not to work so well. ct has it laid out basically just right for my level at least.

I am trimming down some(dunno about actual weight since i don’t weigh myself) and my strength has increased basically across the board. meaning, my 1rm, 3rm, 6rm, or clusters or any other part of the program. in other words, OVERALL STRENGTH. i am not as big, muscular wise as last year, but definitely a lot stronger. and, my wife, last year she said i was looking like mr olympia(lol, lol… a FAT one), this year she’s saying, i’m looking athletic.

ct said: "It is geared mostly for strength and power but form will follow function."
Unless i’m mistaken, this is what he was talking about.

i completed 3 cycles of the leg focus layer. it was great. now im on version 2, using the quadruple on leg days, and some clean and overhead focus in there. tomorrow is day 5- squats- im excited about this. the quadruple for squats is awesome, and is Helping me a LOT.(i never thought i would ever be excited about leg day. ha ha, i’m even getting some shape to my quads)
i am honestly bored to tears on bench days. dont get me wrong, the sessions are great, just reaall boring.
the pull days, well, the first one of thiscycle was boring, i’ll see how the next couple sessions come along.

thanks for the feedback


domcib, yeah the rest of my cycle follows the same set up as dead/squat except with the addition of 3 rounds of a barbell complex. I’ve been using incline press, decline press, dead/squat, and SGHP. Honestly, it’s time for a change up.

I really believe in keeping things simple. I don’t like using too many techniques/structures in a given workout, or a given training block; it tends to dissipate my overall focus.

As far as recover and days off go, I’ve quit fooling myself about this. It used to be that I just couldn’t accept the fact that as I aged I needed more time to recover. So, I used to push it and routinely train 5,6, 7 days straight without a day off. What I discovered is that yes, I can train many days in a row without any off time, I can survive it, BUT I do not optimally recover and progress/grow without more recovery time.

I’ll let you know how I decide to modify the above template for more hypertrophy.



been thinking a lot about what you said regarding the 3 on, 1off. even though “i feel fine”, my performance sometimes is not that great. i’ wondering that maybe my “recovery” is being more affected than i realize.
i dont think i “overpush” myself, but, sometimes we need to be on the outside, looking in.

you may have a valid point. i did my quadruple layer back squats today. they felt great. i had an involuntary day off yesterday. and i mixed it in with some rack deads.
i forgot to mention that with the current layer that ive been doing, i do not have any of my old pains. elbows, shoulders, knees. i just get my soreness in my legs, which seems to take forever to go away.-- maybe cause i need longer rest. dunno,
ive always found that the best way to help soreness is to do more the next day, but light.
in other words work the same muscles again but just for movements. like just doing squats without any weight.
soon i think i’m gonna give a shot to what you been doing.
you doing, dead squat, sghp, decline, incline.
in what order?
and which complex are u doing?
thanks again