T Nation

PT Beast Sept 19 and 22


It depends, strength can be maintained with the parameters I gave earlier (which you quoted in your second question). Hypertrophy doesn't need much specific work to be maintained IF you are performing strength work because strength work, especially in the limit strength zone of 3-5 reps will also stimulate hypertrophy gains.

When training for power, it might become necessary to do strength work and even hypertrophy work if you want to maintain those qualities.

As I mentionned earlier, when you are performing strength work, you don't need much in the way of direct hypertrophy work to keep gains. And power is a neural thing more than a muscular thing. Once you develop it, you can maintain if with little work since you don't have to stimulate physiological changes. Plus, if you are performing strength work, the CNS receives ample stimulation which will help maintain power.

It depends on your size. On higher carb days you can start at around 1.25-1.5x bodyweight (so if you are 200bs that's about 250 - 300g/day); on moderate days drop around 50g, and on low carb days drop another 50g.

So you could start at:

Higher carbs = 300g/day
Moderate carbs = 250g/day
Low carbs = 200g/day

Adjust from there depending on your results.

Both can be used. But always start with the method requiring the highest CNS involvement.

Normally I'd say that under normal circumstances 9-12 sets per muscle group is ideal ... 12-16 would be considered high and 16-20 would be limit and shouldn't be used very often or for very long.


This probably isn't the thread for this (so feel free to uh, not answer it lol!), but what are your thoughts on Rest Pause Training how Mike Mentzer used to do it, IE- max or near max weights with gradually shorter rest periods, and with sets of up to 10 or so doing singles or doubles? And if you've had experience with it, please tell. Thanks CT. Just a curioisity of mine.


This would depend on the objective of the phase (bulking, cutting, maintenance) and on the way the individual handles carbs.

I set the caloric need of the invidual on his weight, sex and age using the adjusted Harris-Benedict formula which is:

Men BMR= 66 + (13,7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age)

Then I factor in activity level...

Sedentary = x 1
Very light activity = x 1.2
Light activity = x 1.4
Moderate activity = x 1.6
High activity = x 1.8
Very high activity = x 2.0

Then if the individual is bulking I add 20% above the calculated caloric need, and if he's cutting I drop 10% below his caloric need.

For example, if someone is 28 years of age, 5'8" (173cm) and 200lbs (91kg) with a moderate activity level his daily caloric expenditure is around 3180 calories/day.

If the individual is bulking his average caloric intake should start at 3816 calories/day and be adjusted depending on his reaction to the diet.

The first thing to set is the "moderate" day, in which you ingest your average intake (3816 in our example). During this day a ratio of 35% protein, 45% carbs and 20% fat is used. So ...

1335 calories from protein (333g)
1717 calories from carbs (430g)
764 caories from fat (85g)

The protein and fat calories stay the same on all three days. Carbs are reduced by around 50-100g on low carb days and increased by 50-100g on high carb days. So ...

High carbs = 500g
Moderate = 430g
Low carbs = 350g

When cutting this is reduced by around 20% (protein and fat stay the same), and there is a gradual reduction of around 25g every 3 weeks.


In fact, I describe this type of cluster in my DVD "Cluster training" ... it's very effective, but should only be used by very advanced trainees who have a lot of experience lifting heavy weights.


Thanks for your reply last week but I have some questions regarding the split you gave (I asked about training during hockey season). I am not sure what set/rep ranges you are refering to with strength, size, and power. I am guessing that strength would be 3-5 reps, size 8-12 reps, and power would be speed-strength and strength-speed movements. I have been training with a modified westside template- is it advisable to keep ME work during the season (3RM or 5RM for strength days) or should it be dropped? Also could I do multiple singles at 90-95% in order to keep improving maximal strength? Thanks for your help,


I've heard of cluster training, and on paper it looks infinitely brutal. I'll hold off on RPT until I get back into the swing of things, which won't be for another month or even more. Thanks for your time. I appreciate it.


Great response. How do you change this for someone who is carb sensitive, and currently bulking. Also, how are the days set up in a typical week, regarding number of high, low, and med carb days?


Hey CT,
How would you set up the exericses for the whole-body sessions for 4 days a week on your Renaissance Body Development program? Thanks for your valuable time.


Hey CT! I have a question! How many types of block training systems are you familiar with? Is there a chance we might catch an article specifically on block training (accumulation/intensifcation), and that sorta thing? Maybe also the conjugate block training template? Thanks for your time CT. Much is appreciated.


When someone is carb sensitive or suffers from mild insulin resistance (I'm an example of this), I suggest limiting carb intake to 2 meals (morning and post-workout). The total daily amount is decreased by around 100g/day during the bulking phase and fat intake is increased by 30g in the form of good fats.

The days are devided according to the training schedule...

Hard training day (double split OR weights + cardio OR weights + track, OR lagging bodypart(s) if only doing weights) = higher carbs.

Regular training day (only weights) = moderate carbs.

Non-training day or cardio-only day = low carbs.


Select 3 weight exercises per session:

1 whole body lift (power clean/snatch from blocks or hang; or push jerk; or overhead squat)

1 upper body movement (day 1 = push, day 2 = pull, day 3 = push, day 4 = pull)

1 lower body movement (day 1 = quads, day 2 = hips, day 3 = quads, day 4 = hips).

So something like this:

Power clean from blocks
Bench press
Back squat

Power snatch from hang
Barbell rowing
Romanian deadlift

Push jerk
Incline bench press
Front squat

Power clean from hang
Weighted chins


The basic blocks are:

Accumulation (more total work, lower average intensity)

Intensification (less total work, higher average intensity)

Explosion (emphasis on explosive exercises)

Peaking/Taper (set up to maximize CNS and metabolic recovery while maintaining fitness level)

Transition (active recovery, very light volume and intensity, using more non weight training exercises)


The training zones are:

Relative strength: 1-3RM
Limit strength: 3-5RM
Functional hypertrophy: 6-8RM
Total hypertrophy: 8-12RM
Strength-endurance: 12-15RM
Endurance-strength: 15+ reps

Power is a bit special...

On olympic lift variations: 75-85%
On traditional strength lifts: 45-55%
On ballistic lifts (e.g. jump squat): 10-30%
On plyometric drills: bodyweight only

In-season, strength should be maintained by working in the limit strength zone and even relative strength zone BUT without going all out. For example, if you can perform 5 reps with 85%, only perform sets of 3. If you can lift 90% 3 times, only perform sets of 1.

This type of work is actually better than hypertrophy training in-season because it doesn't constitute much metabolic work and is not CNS-draining.


I'm working on an article on this subject. Should be completed within a week or so.


Looks very solid. Very close to what I recommend in my "Renaissance" article. Nice set up. Perform work mostly in the 3-5RM zone.


Hi CT,

When calculating this do you use total body mass or lean body mass for the 'weight in Kg' part of the formula?



The formula is based on body weight, not lean body mass. The subjects on which they based the equation were "normal" individuals, so they probably had around 15% body fat on average. So leaner individuals might have to increase the caloric intake slightly. But this is an adjustment that should be made during the diet, depending on how the body reacts.


Chris when can we expect the new ebook?


Why don't you write an article explaining why "sport-specific" exercices in the weightroom are counterproductive? In other words explain what might be wrong about this way of training.
Brandon Green



Would it be ok to every once in a while do 20 rep squats/deadlifts in your renaissance man program? Or should I stick to the prescribed rep schemes? Also, how would I go about testing my maxes? I was thinking of doing something like this (I've never tested my 1RM for anything):

test 1RM for squat
regular horizontal chest & back workout

test 1RM for bench
regular hip & vertical back workout

test 1RM for bent-over rows
regular vertical chest and leg workout

Then I'd do a couple weeks of regular training and do the same scheme for deads, push press, and pullups. Would this be ok?