T Nation

Rep Bible: a CAT Question


Hi CT, long time no post!

I enjoyed your Rep Bible article, particularly CAT reps as thats how I've always trained (ever since the force ramping in i-Bodybuilder I've always enjoyed that style right through to the Layer System), My question is actually about a comment you made concerning CAT reps and Pull/Chin Ups:

I'm focusing solely on the Clean + Push Press, and the Back Squat right now, Russian Bear style but with 3 reps per set, 2 workouts per week for each movement.

My secondary goal however is muscle growth, focusing on arm growth. To achieve this, I'm doing daily Dips and Chin Ups 5-6 times per week. My question is simply; to get the most bicep/forearm growth from the daily chin ups, would I be better of using CAT reps? -I'm doing 3-4sets of 8-10reps.

Many thanks in advance as always



For chin-ups CAT reps can work IF your goal is biceps/forearm growth and not back growth. The one difference is that you should start each rep from a deadstart, still trying to accelerate as much as possible.

For dips I don't like CAT reps as I feel that they can be hazardous for the shoulders.


Thanks CT!

My Lat's are my most developed part, just looking at a pull up bar makes them grow. So this is perfect for me :slightly_smiling:
As for dips, yeah I've just been doing normal reps; i suffered from ACL problems so I'm now well versed in keeping them healthy.

thanks for the help as always,



Hi guys,

Now we are talking about cat with pulls: you advocate a more gradual
deadlift, but Louis Simmons (and Jordan Syatt as his protege)
advocate explosive pulls, even starting out explosive. Both with max effort and dynamic effort days.
Are you against those kinda pulls, or is there a nuance im missing?
Thinking of it, syatt only showed sumo pulls...

Hope to hear from you:)


Sumos are different. The line of pull is much straighter because the knees are not in the way. In a conventional deadlift the bar path is up and toward you during the first pull (floor to knees) with the knees going back to clear the way and then straight up from the knees. By going too fast from the floor you will leave the bar too far forward... that is not an issue with sumo.


Thanks coach!

Always thrown off by sumo's, feel snappier and glute dominant, so really athletic.
But conventional pulls seem to carry over more to most things: closer (more athletic) stance, greater hip angle.

Which do you think fits athletes more?
Maybe semi-sumo's are a great middle, yet it's kinda uncharted terrain.
Do you think those would be great for athletic carryover, maximal acceleration and PC development?

Maybe a bit off topic:$ but you're dropping some gems here!


It depends on the rest of your training.

Not everything has to be specific.

The first goal of strength training is to make all your muscles stronger. So you don't always need to be specific, in fact always being as specific as possible will likely create muscle imbalances.

For example if someone is doing front squats and power cleans (or snatches) in his training I would see sumo deadlifts as being potentially more useful than traditional deadlifts for buildin overall strength.


Damn Coach, you blew my mind a little!

I was getting so caught up in the whole super-specific mindset, like Bulgarian style,
I stopped thinking about other kinda training for non-strength athletes.

Lately I'm trying to combine Max Shanks total athleticism kind of workouts with some of you're strength building ideas. Of course with some Dan John sprinkled in :wink:

Fell in love with the high frequency, high/moderate intensity, low/moderate volume, almost minimalist workouts like both you and Max advocate for maximal skill development. Also seem to have the least impact at martial arts practice and mentally less taxing than nearly killing you're self once a week.

Very interested in you're opinion (sorry for being a pain in the glutes, coach!):
As lifting component of the total athleticism kinda workouts (not sure if you read it) going for front squats, deadlifts and sumo's (quads, hammies, glutes) will not kill the CNS, and give a nice all-round lower body-strength.

Maybe like this:
Lifting component

        Super set 1                                   Super set 2

day 1 front squat (normal, double progression 5x5), Sumo (CAT, 70%, 10x2)
day 2 front squat (CAT, 70%, 10x3), Deadlift (normal, 5x5 double progression)
day 3 front squat (same day 1), Sumo (same day 1)
rest -
day 4 front squat (same day 2), Deadlift (same day 2)
day 5 front squat (same day 1), Sumo (same day 1)
rest -

Of course for this frequency, I have to err at the side of safety and real struggling at the double progression won't be allowed.
The upper body will be taken care of by gymnastic exercises like Max shows.

This will all be done in the super sets taken form his article, the sets and reps for the other, non-lifting exercises will be matched with the lifting.
Proper rest periods will be taken.

Sorry, CT I murder you with such a question, yet if total athleticism and you're ridiculously genius methods can be combined, mankind can push awesomeness beyond it's borders!