T Nation


ct, hypothetically speaking of course. lets say one was to go on an 8 week cycle of androgens with the goal of increasing lbm. would you recommend the pendulum approach or a more traditional hyperytrophy program such as ovt? if hypertrophy is the only goal in mind, do you believe the pendulum approach is superior method?


Just my opinion…no i think thats more for someone who isnt focused on one thing as it covers hypertrophy, power, and limit strength. He listed something like using HTT for a block, then HST, then OVT and then starting it over as a great approach to hypertrophy and it sounds right as all three programs encompass all the aspects, high time under tension being the key one. I dont know though…

I do believe that it still is a superior method, in which case you should drop the power portion and simply alternate between hypetrophy and strength weeks. You can even use a 2-1 approach:

Week 1: H
Week 2: H
Week 3: S
Week 4: H
Week 5: H
Week 6: S
Week 7: H
Week 8: H

The short strength phases will really boost up (potentiate) your capacity to stimulate muscle growth in the subsequent hypertrophy weeks.

haha silly me, i was wrong, i see when you look at it that way it is much better.

thanks again for the info.

would it be possible for me to get my hands on that article in advance? i plan to start this hypertrophy cycle mid december. it would be awesome if i had the info so i could use the program.

with this approach is there an unloading week? or is one not neccesary because of the often variation in intensity and volume?

Numba, an unloading week is not really necessary with this approach. During the hypertrophy week, the loads are light and the volume is high, which puts a lot of stress on the muscle structures but very little on the CNS. During the strength and power weeks the intensity is high but the volume is low, so the stress on the CNS is important but the muscle structure are not under too much stress.

So basically the hypertrophy week acts as an unloading week for the CNS while the strength and power weeks act as an unloading for the muscle structures, Hence the beauty of this method.

wow, where do you come up with this stuff?

A triple serving of power drive and not sleeping all night I guess! It seems that the less I sleep the better I think … I believe that if I go 48 hours in a row without sleeping I might crack the secret of the origins of the universe :slight_smile:

Honestly though it’s simply from understanding how the body works and then trying to find way of making it work on the field… I may sound brilliant now, but for each of my effective finds be assured that more than a few techniques have left a few scars (physical or emotional)!

CT, so the pendulum approach could be used year round and applied to any training program? Do you see it as an improvement over the Maximal effort/dynamic effort approach? For instance I am doing CW’s Anti-Bodybuilding right now which has you training for strenght and hypertophy in the same week. Could I apply the pendulum to this program or to a westside program?

I am guessing that since the pendulum has one cycling weekling that your muscles/cns wont have time to forget what it learned the week before (speed,strength,hypertrophy)?


I may be wrong, but Chad’s ABBH seems to be a pendulum-type system that alternates every workout rather than every week like CT’s. ABBH has fairly high volume so after the recommended 3 weeks you could switch to CT’s pendulum or Chad’s Big Boy Basics plan, which also alternates strength-hypertrophy every workout like ABBH but reduces the volume to 24 total reps.

I still say that T-mag should lock CT and CW in a room for a 24-hour period, slide food, Power Drive, and high-caffeine beverages under the door, and let those two brainstorm. I bet you would see some killer ideas in strength training as well some theories regarding the space-time continuum.

Mike, that’s a great idea! I would love to see what kind of frankentstein CT and CW could come up with.

I understand what your saying but what I am trying to get at is Pendulum vs. the method of training multiple aspects in the same week. I find the pendulum idea very intriguing. I am wondering if CT is proposing that having a maximal effort week, dynamic effort week (or hypertropy week, power week etc.) is a better and more effecient option than say a westside or AHBB type cycle.


I see what you mean. I think the difference between CT and ABBH/Westside is the number of times a bodypart is trained per week and the training split. Based on the numerous amount of routines that CT has posted, I’ve noticed that when CT designs a bodybuilding-oriented routine, he will have separate days for legs, chest, arms, etc. Thus, a bodypart is trained only once per week, which means that an entire week can be devoted to strength work for all the body parts.

ABBH focuses only on the compound lifts and calls for training upper and lower body 2x per week. Chad doesn’t believe in training arms separately (although he begrudgingly gave recommendations on how to add arm training to ABBH). Westside, obviously, also focuses on the compound lifts, and adds arm work and other assistance work based on a lifter’s weakness. Then again, with the Westside philosophy of switching exercises frequently, there are times when the assistance lift becomes the “main” lift. For instance, in Westside’s beginner workout, during the first 2 weeks, max effort squat day consists solely of finding a max in the good morning. Later into the program, GMs are dropped in favor of max effort box squats.

Now, CT’s powerlifting program, Canadian Autoregulating Training, is in line with ABBH/Westside, and actually works all 3 strength characteristics in one week. The “brute” strength day calls for working up to a 3-rep max, speed day is like Westside (I forgot the actual parameters), and there is a hypertrophy day that calls for working up to a 6-rep max. Each workout works all 3 powerlifts and mixes up the characteristics, e.g., a heavy squat day is paired with a light DL day. CT definitely used his head when he designed this one.

Okay, I have no idea what I just wrote, but I guess the bottom line is that if you want more of a bodybuilding-oriened routine that includes a day devoted to arm training, you’ll need to cut back on the other body parts to avoid overtraining. In that instance, it’s probably best to concentrate on one characteristic per week. However, if your goal is strength, stick to the Big 3 compound lifts of bench, squat, and DL, and you can work strength, speed, and hypertrophy, all in one week.