T Nation

Thanks for the Layer System


#1

Hello CT,

Just quick wanted to say thank you for introducing the T-Nation readers to the layer system. It works great for me and I learned much while using it. In the past you really always helped me and gave me great advice, thanks for it! The principles I learned and used with the layer system will always be a foundation in my training and be a cornerstone in my workouts!

In the last 8 weeks of a layer cycle my bench went 30lbs up, my squat 22lbs and my sghp25 lbs, but my overall strength and size also increased.
I hope this post gives you something back for all your work here on the forums and motivates you to develop new great training systems.


#2

CT I’m in a ditch here…for some reason the layer system/ramp to 3rm -> 5x5 format is not giving me gains.

I’m actually getting smaller even though diet is in check. Very concerned now that it’s been almost a year and I haven’t really progressed. It might be the rings, or stims but I"m not doing ec anymore (brain candy only, and coffee). I always look good/pumped up during beginning of workout and right afterwards, but the next day it’s almost like I “overtrained” or something and body feels flat, smaller, not impressive.

Whereas my first cycle with layers I’d wake up everyday feeling fuller, bigger more muscular.

I’m actually not sure what’s going on. Could you give me any insight here? Thanks…


#3

And in terms of performance/poundages admittedly I haven’t really increased the weight since last year. I’m grinding a bit and overall it’s not giving me that obscene pumped feel (and look) intraworkout. It might be a lifestyle issue (work/more stress) but I suspect I’m not optimizing my training…or the daily stim usage is causing some weird negative impact on my physique.

My diet more or less has been IF, with brain candy during day, then coffee and plazma (now just MAG-10 as I ran out). Then surge workout fuel after workout. Then my main meals (typically 2 + before bed time snack) where I load up on meat, veggies, some starch and fruit. And cottage cheese/casein and 1% lactaid milk before bed.


#4

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
And in terms of performance/poundages admittedly I haven’t really increased the weight since last year. I’m grinding a bit and overall it’s not giving me that obscene pumped feel (and look) intraworkout. It might be a lifestyle issue (work/more stress) but I suspect I’m not optimizing my training…or the daily stim usage is causing some weird negative impact on my physique.

My diet more or less has been IF, with brain candy during day, then coffee and plazma (now just mag 10 as I ran out). Then surge workout fuel after workout. Then my main meals (typically 2 + before bed time snack) where I load up on meat, veggies, some starch and fruit. And cottage cheese/casein and 1% lactaid milk before bed. [/quote]

It is likely the intermittent fasting. I did that for a long time and could never gain muscle or get insane pumps while on it. It got me lean and maintained my muscle mass, but that’s about it.

For a guy with your metabolism, intermittent fasting is likely the worst way to eat if you want to add muscle mass.


#5

And also for the past year you seem to be all over the place. You keep switching the way you train and eat. It’s like you are really trying to find something magical to give you gains and you are trying to do too many things at once. You want to build a lot of muscle and get crazy lean and athletic all at once. This is likely killing your gains. Only genetic phenoms, people using drugs or those who already have a lot of muscle mass can do that.

Not to mention that this seems to be affecting you mentally in that it id hurting your motivation and focus. You overthink things way too much and this is killing your training intensity.

My opinion is that it is at least as much as mental thing as it is a physical one.


#6

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
My diet more or less has been IF, with brain candy during day, then coffee and plazma (now just mag 10 as I ran out). Then surge workout fuel after workout. Then my main meals (typically 2 + before bed time snack) where I load up on meat, veggies, some starch and fruit. And cottage cheese/casein and 1% lactaid milk before bed. [/quote]

So basically you are now doing your workout with no carbs in you and likely dehydrated from burning carbs during the day (thus losing the intramuscular water stored with the carbs) and taking caffeine (which is a diuretic) during the day and wondering why you aren’t getting good pumps? Not to mention that you have a super fast metabolism that will NOT work well with IF AND you are speeding it up even more with stims… seriously… good job!

Oh yeah and when you finally eat it sounds like a lot of things that are hard to digest and because of that you might not even absorb it all properly.

Everything sounds exactly like someone who is not willing to add even an ounce of fat to build 10lbs of muscle. You are trying to kill 2 birds with one stones and screwing up badly!

The biggest clue is that you are taking Surge Workout Fuel AFTER your training. What the hell is that? It’s called workout fuel for a reason. You are messing up all your day, at least get the peri-workout period right.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU MAKE EMOTIONAL DECISIONS, WHEN YOU ARE SEDUCED BY COOL CONCEPTS.

Be objective with yourself. Make an honest assessment of how your body respond and what it needs to get you where you want to be. Because right now your emotional decisions are extraordinarily wrong.


#7

And Sigil… when you aren’t making gains it really isn’t complicated. It can either be that:

  1. Your nutrition sucks; you aren’t getting in enough nutrients absorbed throughout the day and not enough at the most important time.

  2. Your body is not responding to training (more on that later)

  3. You aren’t giving the proper stimulus for your body to grow

Now, I hope you understand how badly adapted your nutrition plan is to you. A guy with your metabolism should (1) NOT do IF (2) REALLY pound the nutrients pre and during workouts. I’m talking AT LEAST 3-4 servings of PLAZMA pre/during your workout. Or 2 servings of MAG-10 and 2 servings of WORKOUT FUEL pre/during.

I also feel that your body could not be responsive to training. As bad and misguided your nutrional might be, you should still see some progression from training hard. So it’s either that you aren’t training as hard as you should (lack of focus, lack of motivation, lack of energy/rest, etc.) or that your body is not responding.

Now I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt regarding how hard you train (although I’d have to see it because overthinkers tend to REALLY overestimate how hard they really train) so let’s say that your body isn’t responding to training.

It could be two things:

  1. You are close to your genetic limit. You aren’t big so let’s hope it’s not that… but it’s possible. The closer you get to your limit, the harder it is to continue adding muscle.

  2. You are desensitised to training. This often happen to people who are stimulus addicts and who train too much. The body adapts to anything. And once it’s adapted to something it doesn’t represent a perturbation anymore and it becomes REALLY hard to force the body to adapt. If you train twice a day, putting in a lot of hours every week and using methods that place a huge stimulus on the body (hint micro-oscillation from rings) then the body will quickly adapt… at one point that huge workload doesn’t represent a perturbation and you must maintain that workload simply to maintain your muscle. So adding more muscle is almost impossible because it will need more volume and if you do more volume you will not recover and grow. And even if you do it’s only a short term solution, until your body becomes adapted to that workload.

That the is drawback of being passionate about training… you are your own worst enemy by desensitizing your body to training.

Read up on strategic deconditioning.

Oh yeah… STOP POSTING YOUR QUESTIONS IN OTHER PEOPLE’S THREAD. It’s REALLY annoying and show a total lack of respect for the OP. If you do it again not only will I not answer your question but I will stop answering any future questions.


#8

Really appreciate those points CT. And got it on starting new thread next time. I’m taking Plazma intra and Surge afterwards didn’t know that wasn’t good? (edit: ok I see your 2 MAG-10/2 Surge Workout Fuel recommendations. Surge workout sits a bit heavier than MAG-10 or Plazma so will play with timing).

Those other items seem very true. Might try a deloading/or at least drop stims off for some time. Thanks


#9

[quote]-Sigil- wrote:
Really appreciate those points CT. And got it on starting new thread next time. I’m taking plazma intra and surge afterwards didn’t know that wasn’t good? (edit: ok I see your 2 mag 10/2 surge workout fuel recommendations. Surge workout sits a bit heavier than mag 10 or plazma so will play with timing).

Those other items seem very true. Might try a deloading/or at least drop stims off for some time. Thanks [/quote]

I say that because you mentioned now just taking MAG-10.

A deload wont be it. When your body is your desensitised to training you need 10-14 days without ANY training to resensitise to training


#10

Your problem is not a lack of recovery… in which case a deload would work. It’s that your body is used to training and adapted to it. A mere deload will do nothing.


#11

[quote]Akidara wrote:
Hello CT,

Just quick wanted to say thank you for introducing the T-Nation readers to the layer system. It works great for me and I learned much while using it. In the past you really always helped me and gave me great advice, thanks for it! The principles I learned and used with the layer system will always be a foundation in my training and be a cornerstone in my workouts!

In the last 8 weeks of a layer cycle my bench went 30lbs up, my squat 22lbs and my sghp25 lbs, but my overall strength and size also increased.
I hope this post gives you something back for all your work here on the forums and motivates you to develop new great training systems.
[/quote]

Great gains man. Which lifts were your strengths before? Layers helped me bring up my weak lifts and I think part of it was that I really got my form locked in. Anyway, keep up the good work!


#12

@Sigil: I couldn’t agree more with what CT said. IF is terrible for building muscle. I experimented a few years ago after I had build my physique up to it’s all time best. I lost about 15 pounds of muscle and felt terrible. I’m very disciplined and ignored how I felt for a while because I was so determined to do IF. I was shredded, but lacked muscle and certainly didn’t have a power look. After I stopped IF I went back to what works and gained 25 lbs and am almost as lean. I look and feel so much better now too. I wanted to train all the time just like you, I love it, but I started taking more days off and my body responded quite well. I know you love looking ripped and that can be addicting, but I wouldn’t do IF if someone payed me to.


#13

[quote]lotsi81 wrote:

[quote]Akidara wrote:
Hello CT,

Just quick wanted to say thank you for introducing the T-Nation readers to the layer system. It works great for me and I learned much while using it. In the past you really always helped me and gave me great advice, thanks for it! The principles I learned and used with the layer system will always be a foundation in my training and be a cornerstone in my workouts!

In the last 8 weeks of a layer cycle my bench went 30lbs up, my squat 22lbs and my sghp25 lbs, but my overall strength and size also increased.
I hope this post gives you something back for all your work here on the forums and motivates you to develop new great training systems.
[/quote]

Great gains man. Which lifts were your strengths before? Layers helped me bring up my weak lifts and I think part of it was that I really got my form locked in. Anyway, keep up the good work!
[/quote]

Ironically the bench press. But at least I learned finally that low reps squat don’t work so well for me and that i need higher reps and accessory movements.
Yes my form has also improved, but hard to say haha.


#14

Fully agree!

I love this program since the start and doubt ill ever leave it.


#15

Hi,

I saw ct’s advice below…

I have an easy format from him; MAG-10 in the morning with superfood (my addition)
MAG-10 3-4 hrs later
Micro pa and plasma 1 dose, 1 hour out.
Indigo and 1 dose plasma half hr out
1 dose plasma for upper, 2 dose plasma lower body.
2 dose mag10 when you get back
Eat as much meat and veg as is humanly possible.
Sleep.
Repeat.
Simple, clear, effective.


#16

[quote]Akidara wrote:
Hello CT,

Just quick wanted to say thank you for introducing the T-Nation readers to the layer system. It works great for me and I learned much while using it. In the past you really always helped me and gave me great advice, thanks for it! The principles I learned and used with the layer system will always be a foundation in my training and be a cornerstone in my workouts!

In the last 8 weeks of a layer cycle my bench went 30lbs up, my squat 22lbs and my sghp25 lbs, but my overall strength and size also increased.
I hope this post gives you something back for all your work here on the forums and motivates you to develop new great training systems.
[/quote]
My quote button is working again! Are you doing front or back squat? I ask as I found myself unable to recover from DL and BS; CT advise front squat with 4Ã??8 back squat at the end.
Also are you doing to 1rm or 2-3; I noted his article on the topic but I do love my 1rm!