T Nation

PT Beast Sept 19 and 22


Here we go again!



I have become a huge fan of overhead squats the last few months. Doing them has greatly improved my shoulder stability on other exercises and improved my form on front squats and back squats.

My question are, "Do you recommend doing them with an overhead isometric hold throughout all reptitions or dropping the weight back down to the chest between reps? Should the shoulders be shrugged up tight or "relaxed" in a more neutral position? Thirdly, what type of grip do you recommend?

For the record, I have been using a snatch grip, shoulders shrugged up high and doing an isometric hold at the top position for all reps. I find that my traps give out first and then my elbows will bend when coming out of the hole.

I started at 95 pounds for 1 4 months ago but have now worked up t0 185 for 5x5 and 3x8.

Mike Sullivan


Hey CT,

Thanks for taking the time tonight. I'm wondering about what tempo you recommend for hypertrophy. I remember, I believe in your last prime time, or a thread in the forums, that you spoke extensively about research proving certain rep ranges for different goals, and mentioned a certain time under tension rating the equaled protein degredation, thus leading to hypertrophy and strength at varying levels.

Do you employ the roughly 3 second eccenctric and 1 second concentric with yourself and others when training for hypertrophy? 3 seconds, even when not deliberately counting, just seems unnaturally long to me, and leads to a lot of DOMS... is this what you recommend for maximum size gains?



I started the Pierre Roy System training but I am wondering if six days a week is too much for a natural training person. I am using 4-5 sets per exercises with rep ranges of 4-6 . Thanks.



Keep the weight overhead during the whole set. Also keep the traps contracted, however the bar should not move forward of the ear line.


Honestly I don't bother too much with tempo. I simply apply those two rules:

  1. Execute the concentric portion as fast a possible.

  2. Execute the eccentric portion "under control". I find that this means different things to different folks. Basically, lower the weight while controlling it, but don't focus on a certain time frame unless you are using a special training technique.

One small variant... I like to perform a regular set with the last rep being a slow (5 sec) eccentric.


Yes, that is probably too much. I know that when I trained under him I quickly overtrain until I cut the workouts to 4 a week.

Keep the same first 3 workouts and use the fourth as a "general" session where you'll train the clean, snatch and jerk.



Would you still reccommend carb cycling while using AAS or would you reccommend a high-carb everyday type approach?


I'd still recommend carb cycling. I would simply increase total caloric intake by around 10% per day.



Do you have a sample of what you would recommend. Thanks


On a side note, more and more top bodybuilders (either pro or amateurs) are now using carb cycling. So that's saying something.

While bulking, carb cycling is the best way to maximize muscle growth without gaining too much fat. While cutting it's the best way to loose fat without sacrificing muscle.


Coach, how would you work sandbag training into a functional hypertrophy program. I got the kit from Ironmind and it whips my butt. How would you organize gym workouts with sandbag work? I also want to thank you for the great work you do on these forums. I have a huge file saved of your material just from forums. Thank you for your time.


hi there christian. i posted a similiar question in eric's thread but i would like to have your opinion also. when prioritizing a certain rep range or execution how much would be necessary to maintain the other non-prioritized strength qualities. I am going to use the chart your posted in one of your other primetime session where 60% of training is used for whatever quality is being prioritized where two other qualities are maintained by the remaining 40.

in an earlier post you mentioned a rep range of 24-30 using 85% intensity was best for maintaining strength. what about for power and hypertrophy. in two of the charts you posted power and hypertrophy each could be maintained using only 10% of total training volume, were as strength never dropped below 30%. using the 24-30 number would than mean strength and hypertrophy only need 1/3 the amount of volume to be maintained.

for my coming training cycle i was going to prioritize hypertrophy, then strength, then power for 4-6 weeks each using density training to lose body fat. i wanted some kind of idea for a starting point as far as carb cycling is concerned. i would like to lose a fair amount of weight and i was just wondering what some ball park carb numbers might be. i dont handle very low carbs that well. anything under 150 on non training days seems to leave me feeling flat and gives me that out of it feeling. what about carbs for training days using my above training cycle. i was thinking something along 250g. a second part to this would be do you like training different motor skills or different rep ranges in the same session or should i devote whole sessions to power, hypertrophy, and strength individually.

one last question deals with total muscle volume in a given session. do you feel there is a daily limit to the amount of muscle stimiluation a muscle can recieve. i am assuming your specialization article would be the upper limits a muscle could handle in each session or is weekly volume more important. i ask because i was thinking of including one exercise of 8x3 in each session of my routine to cover my strength and hypertrophy needs all in one exercise, however i was wondering if hitting that muscle with another set of 3x8 would be to much in one session,even if i use another exercise.

thanks for any help your give, i got to tell you i love this site.


I'm in the military and expect to go overseas soon. I don't know if I'll be able to work out as often or as hard as I'm used to, and even if I can I don't think I'll get to eat as much or sleep as much as I would like to.

I'm looking at a 3 day a week program. Goal is to improve or at least maintain total body strength/athleticism; I don't care if I maintain or even lose weight. My legs are already ahead of my upper body, so here's what I was thinking:

overhead squats
incline press

deadlift variant

olympic variant

After every session throw in some low back/trunk work: Turkish get-ups, unilateral dead lift, Saxon side bends, etc. I was planning on 3x5 for each exercise for a few weeks, switch to 5x3 for a few weeks, and then switch to 3x3 for a few weeks, then change all of the exercises (same basic type, but do sumos instead of conventional or DB vs. BB), go back to 3x5 and start over. What do you think? Thanks.


CT, I saw on some earlier threads of yours some guys talking about your auto-regulating powerlifting program. I remember you talking about it in your earlier posts but I forget what it consists of. Could you possibly repost the template for this program for me to look at?




What are your thoughts on using MCT oil as a supplement while bulking up?

Also, when carb cycling, is it necessary to do it in the order of high, medium, low....or can you mix it around a bit?



Thibs, I know you've been talking about carb cycleing for a while. Where can I find more info?


It's an old powerlifting program I wrote a few years ago. I used it with several local lifters, including one who squatted 780 and benched 520 despite having trained as a powerlifter for only 5 months (he always was a bodybuilder).

It's rather simple... you perform all three competition lifts on each main workouts. You have 3 main workouts (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and perform assistance work on a fourth day.

Heavy squat ... work up to 3RM
Moderate bench ... work up to 6RM
Speed deadlift (or power clean) ... 4-6 x 3 @ 45-55%

Heavy bench ... work up to 3RM
Moderate deadlift ... work up to 6RM
Speed bench 4-6 x 3 @ 45-55%

Heavy deadlift ... work up to 3RM
Moderate squat ... work up to 6RM
Speed squat 4-6 x 3 @ 45-55%

Assistance work for weak links

When you work up to a max (either 3 or 6RM) you should do so gradually, adding 5-10lbs per set so that you can get in 3-5 work sets.

This is the preparatory period. The peaking period is different and will vary depending on the lifter.


Never used MCT oil ... From what I understand it can be useful when bulking IF the individual has trouble getting enough calories in.

When carb cycling you can mix things up. The best way to do so is to eat for what you are doing ... high carb days should be used on a hard training day (double split or weights + cardio, or weights + track), moderate carbs on a regular workout day and low carbs on off days.

Depending on the goal and body response of the individual you can reduce or augment the number of high carb days in a week.


What amounts (per pound of body weight) of carbs would you recommend for high, med, and low carb days. Also, through you experience, what is the best way to set up such a cycle. (ie. Med, Med, Low, High, low, repeat?)Also, how do you change fat intake with medium and lower days? Do you up them correspondingly to create the same caloric intake as on high carb intake days?