T Nation

Strength Capacity Burnout


Hi CT,

Im currently following your older 3,3,3,6,6,6 program with 2 push, 2 pull and 1 leg day. I split my workouts into 2 sections: strength section and strength capacity section.


Pull Day:

  1. High Pulls: 3,3,3,6,6,6
  2. Dead start Rows: 5,5,5,8,8,8

Strength Capacity (Alternating Style)
3. High Pulls 6,6,6,6,6,6
4. Deadstart Rows 6,6,6,6,6,6

My problem is, as you warned, Performing the strength capacity section has burnt me out. Do you have any suggestions for how I could alter the strength capacity section of my workout? Maybe replacing it with a 3rd exercise e.g. row variation for 5,5,5,8,8,8 or a hypertrophy specific circuit similar to what you advocated with HP Mass?

Many Thanks CT


This sounds interesting. What is your whole workout like?


Only perform ONE lift per day. So one strength move then use the same one for the strength-capacity section.

For the strength-capacity section do:

Start with 70% of the heaviester weight you used for the strength portion. With that load you perform 5 sets of 3 reps, doing one set every 30 seconds. This doesnâ??t mean that you rest 30 seconds between sets: it means that every 30 seconds on the clock you start a set. This means that you do a set of 3 reps at 0 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 1:30 minute and 2 minutes on the clock.

Then, do not rest, and add 10-20lbs to the bar. With that new weight you perform 5 sets of 2 reps again every 30 seconds on the clock. So you have to add the weight quickly because you will want to do your sets when the clock hits 2:30 minutes, 3 minutes, 3:30 minutes, 4 minutes and 4:30 minutes.

Again, do not rest, and add another 10-20lbs to the bar. With that weight perform another 5 sets, but of 1 rep this time. Still doing a set every 30 seconds on the clock. So at: 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30 and 7 minutes.

Then your strength-capacity section is concluded


...and then you pass out!

Wow, this looks tough!!


Wow, really like the look of that. Sounds like this could have a good conditioning effect aswell given the movements performed. One question. How does this alter my program? I usually perform push press, bench press and dips in my push workout, would i now split the push press and bench press between my two press days aswell as having two high pull days and 1 squat day?

Many Thanks Again CT, never cease to amaze with your innovation


Pock 5 lifts covering the whole body and do one lift per day.


I see this shifting towards the philosophy of your layer system. IMHO, my reason for sticking with your 3,3,3,6,6,6 program is that allthough i love the idea of the layer system, to keep me fresh and motivated i do like to have some slight variation which is why i like 3,3,3,6,6,6 as although it uses minimal exercises it still allows me to pick 2/ max of 3 exercises per workout.

Would you consider adding an accessory lift on the end like you do with the layer system , for say 4x8?

Is what you laid out basically your 3,3,3,6,6,6 prgram but with more recent training knowledge applied?

Thanks Again


Honestly I would not add any accessory movement for at least 2 weeks, maybe 3. You are currently "burning out" so it is a much smarter to do the minimal effective volume while you regain full force. Once you feel 100% again you will be able to add an accessory lift after the main movement and prior to the strength-capacoty section (which will use only the main movement).


Brilliant, this should tie in well with Biotest UK stocking Plazma!! (Happy days)

One last question,

I know you usually recommend performing back exercises in the rep range above pressing movements i.e. push 3,3,3,,6,6,6 pull 5,5,5,8,8,8. Would you recommend keeping the strength capacity reps at 3,2,1 or would you alter them accordingly to say 5,4,3.