T Nation

New Issue Up!

In this weeks issue:

The Great Santini by TC

Big Boy Basics by Chad Waterbury

Superman Sets by Christian Thibaudeau

Steroids for Dummies by Cy Wilson

Stuff We Like by Chris Shugart and John Koenig

Ghost Dawg

News and Reader Mail

Click here for issue #284!

Once again Christian Thibaudeau is “DA MAN”!!! Every 2 weeks I look forward to an article written by him.

I always enjoy Christian Thibaudeau’s articles, too.

I’m interested in implementing the timed sets described in the article. so i’m wondering a few things.

  1. rest in between sets
  2. training frequency.
  3. ratio of timed set day to heavy lifting day

if anyone has any ideas or experience using the timed sets, let me know.

Chris, thanks for an amazing review. All I have to say is - you, TC and T-Mag rule!

Yours in strength,
Scott Sonnon

I had a question about Chad Waterbury’s article Big Boy Basics, in the Set/Rep Volume principle you suggest a set/rep volume in the 24-30 range but in the sample program it adds up to 48(and a long ass workout). Did you mean to choose 1 excercise for each bodypart? or could you split it up as long as you get a total of 24-30? So you could do 8 sets of benches and 8 sets of rows, or 4 sets of benches, 4 sets of rows, 4 sets of pullups, 4 sets of overhead presses as long is its about 24 total reps. I just want to make sure I do it right.

Thank you,

Chad is a big fan of compound exercises, so i feel one exercise per body part would work better as you can apply max force to each rep. Also many muscles will be worked but different planes of movement.

Example: A1) bench press 3 x 8 rest 60s
A2) rows 3 x 8 rest 60s

     B1) pull up 3 x 8 rest 60s
     B2) shoulder press 3x8  rest 60s

as you can see, triceps, biceps, lats and deltoids all recieve more than 24 reps. but this is another reason not to train to failure.

total body part volume = 24 reps
total workout volume = 96 reps

Always a good isuue when both Waterbury and Thibadeau have articles.

  1. rest in between sets

It depends on set duration, around 45-60 seconds for very short and short sets and around 120 seconds for other types.

  1. training frequency.

I personally use two whole body workouts using timed sets right now.

  1. Bench press
  2. Clean high pull from the hang
  3. Dumbbell upright rowing
  4. Dumbbell rear delt raises
  5. Back squat
  6. Barbell curl

I’m sticking to 3-4 sets per exercises right now. I don’t do anything else during that workout and my set duration is around 30 seconds. So my workout lasts around 40-45 minutes and is quite stimulating!

I also include two limit strength/power sessions which are somewhat like EDT; I only pick two exercises per workout and do as many sets of 3 reps with 85-90% as I can in 30 minutes. On day one I’ll do bench press and goodmorning and on day two I’ll do push presses and back squat.

I also include auxilary drills during the week: glute ham raises, jump lunges, isometric 1-leg squat, dumbbell rowing and 2/1 leg curls. These are done by feel, generally 1-3 times per week each.

  1. ratio of timed set day to heavy lifting day

50/50 right now. If you want to emphasize strength a 25/75 ratio is adequate. But I find that 2 timed workouts are great as they not only improve power and strength-endurance, but help with recovery as well.

Yes, it’s a 24-30 set/rep volume for newbies. One or two exercises could be used, but I prefer you stick with one as outlined in the program.

Yep, it’s a great issue when both CT and CW both have an article.

And a question for Chad:

Just to clarify, the Big Boy plan doesn’t superset exercises, is that correct? For instance, on the 8x3 day I would do 3 reps of squats, rest 60s, do 3 more reps of squats, etc.

Okay, so we all agree that CT and CW are both great strength coaches with great ideas.

But let’s get down to the really important issue: If CT and CW got into a fight, who would kick who’s ass? J/K

Good question.
Yes, the exercises can be supersetted. In fact, some may yield better gains by supersetting since it would allow for a greater load. But either way, it works great.

Hey CT,
If you’re doing two days a week of whole body timed sets and also two days a week of limit/strength power sessions, how do you split the routine? Such as every other day sessions, or do you put some workouts back to back?

The timed set sessions are put on the days right after limit strength/power sesions as they improve recovery capacities.

Chad, I have a quick question about the hanging leg raises. Seems that the 8x3 is hard to do without adding quite a bit of weight? Do u recommend just sticking to the 3x8? I’m just getting back into lifting after a long, long time and this routine is perfect. Thanks.

If you are just getting back into lifting, no need for extra load. Here’s what you should do: perform decline lying leg raises (or flat on the floor) for 3 x 8 with no added weight.
Perform the hanging leg raise for 8 x 3 with no added weight. To increase the intensity, depending on your strength levels, hold the legs in the most vertical position (parallel to the floor) for a count of 1-2 before lowering. This will make the hanging leg raise demanding enough for a newbie while avoiding extra load.