PPL for Type 3?

Hi CT,

This is my first time posting in your forum. I want to start by saying how much I enjoyed your series on neuro types. It wasn’t so much revelatory for me as it was confirming. I fit pretty squarely into the type 3 category. There were really no surprises. I also appreciate your pragmatism and that you’re not dogmatically tied to a single approach!

My question is around how to structure a 3 day a week routine where the goals are to build strength and muscle. I was thinking PPL performed 3 days a week because the frequency is low and the volume can be as high as I need it. I would pick a main lift for each day - say incline bench press, deadlift or hang clean, squat. I’d keep the main lift for 2-3 month cycles. I’d work that main movement for multiple submax sets followed by 1 or 2 sets to failure with a lower weight. I’d follow that up with a few other movements to round things out.

Push could look something like this:

  • incline bench press - 5x4@80%, lower the weight, then 2 additional sets reaching failure in the 8-12 range
  • dips - a couple preparatory sets, plus 2 additional sets reaching failure in the 8-12 range
  • db shoulder press - a couple preparatory sets, plus 2 additional sets reaching failure in the 8-12 range

A few related questions:

  • You’ve said before it’s best to work a muscle 2 times a week for optimal progress. Does this still apply for type 3 individuals? Is once a week enough?
  • You’ve also cited research that suggests working a muscle to failure over 1 - 3 sets is the key driver of hypertrophy, regardless of intensity. If hypertrophy is the goal, would it be better work achieve failure at 5-6 reps with 85% of 1RM or 10-12 reps with 70% of 1RM? Is there really any difference here? My only thought would be that pushing a 70% load to failure would have less impact on the CNS.
  • You mentioned somewhere that supersets were a no-no for type 3s. Does that apply to antagonist supersets? Say, a press/pull-up superset within the context of an upper/lower split?
  • Last, seems like Chad Waterbury’s stuff would be well suited to a type 3 (10x3 @ 80-85%, 3 days a week), but I haven’t seen you recommend that to type 3s. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

I just want to add I would pay good money for a “Best Damn Workout Plan Natural Type 3 Lifters”! I hope it’s in the cards.

Thanks for taking the time to read this (if you made it this far). I’m looking forward to your response!