The Strength Skill Circuit Method

Touched on in other threads but figured this would be better for specific q’s/feedback on the program.

Amazing stuff, just a few q’s CT:

  1. In commercial gym with one power rack, one barbell, is there any way we can make this work?

  2. Similarly, could a weighted bodyweight movement be used in leui of the barbell press (e.g. would set up around front squat weight so can do the pushup, then front squat…finish up then take that bar and do SGHP) or row (weighted pushup/weighted chins)

  3. Not ideal but if needed, can do last exercise separately? Last being the most demanding (deadlift or squat)

  4. Rep style? What is perfect rep here? I can see 3 slowed eccentric reps as being great growth inducing in addition to performance, shoudl we do that or focus on explosive/as fast as possible


Thanks for the post! I just checked out the article, and it looks great! Logistically, it might be a challenge. If I work out at off times, it could work at my gyms. I plan to give it a try, as this is the type of program I enjoy doing.

I have, in the past, done things like you are suggesting (substituting BW moves for barbell lifts). The trick is to find something equally challenging. I’m pretty good at BW stuff (and I think you probably are too), so that opens some doors. For example, feet elevated 1 arm push ups for heavy BP. Three of these are hard. Hand stand push ups with hands on boxes so you can go deeper, for OH presses. Pistols squats (even weighted with KB’s in your hands) for front squats. Single arm DB high pulls or snatches to replace the barbell lifts.

These aren’t ideal. For the unilateral varieties, you’ll end up with more sets obviously to work each side. The explosive DB variations of high pulls and snatches aren’t as heavy as the BB versions, and again you’ll do extra sets to work each side. I would think if you start with one alternate variation, you’d want to stick with it a while and allow for progressions with the same moves.

As for the last two questions: He does state in the article that you cannot do the exercises separately, and the circuit is key to the program. Lastly, he shows a video clip of him doing one circuit to give you an idea of rep style. He doesn’t emphasis the eccentric, and instead performs them fast and explosive.

Not CT, of course, but thought I’d chime in.

Not likely. But there question is: why are you still training there?

Only if the body weight exercise can be done with a weight that is challenging for 2-3 reps

Listen I designed it as a circuit. It’s part of the deal and part of why the program works so well. Can you do one lift separately? Sure. Will it “work”? Of course it will. But it will be a little bit less effective (especially if you are already making it less effective by changing the exercises).

On the pressing and squats I do not hate the idea of a slower eccentric. On the deadlift I prefer to almost drop the bar down and on the olympic lifts it’s a given.

Bravo, CT. Excellent programs on your site. Thank you for always supplying superior content.

Hi CT,

I really like these strength complexes. I have a couple of questions if that’s okay?

Am I understanding the set/rep progression correctly?

Also, I training in a home gym, but I think I have enough to make it work. I would need to use a swiss bar for the bench or substitute bench for dips, though. Would that be okay? I have a weighted vest and a dip belt so a challenging 2-3 wouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, can I train this way on a caloric deficit and see results?


No joke, hype, exagerration, or uncertainty…THIS IS THE OPTIMAL WAY TO TRAIN if you’re natural.

A few months of year do bodybuilding or layers optional, but this is the long term base training style holy grail (lol)

First workout today, I didn’t even get to do circuit style, and motivation, muscle pump/hardness on another level. Can’t wait for workout B tomorrow.

I do most of my sets using EQI style (refer CT/joel seedman post), excluding o-lift obviously, and it is just a brilliiant way to do 3 reps while getting hypertrophy/improving skill.

Coach what is the clean grip high pull (since i can’t do power clean catch properly) and how is it different from SGHP. I remember you advising using wide grip for high pulls because of potential shoulder impingement. Should CGHP be more viewed as a “low pull” or are we still going for that bar to throat.

Thanks again, epic stuff. I barely did assistance (other than some lunge jump/ring stuff to activate), but will slowly select isolation (probably done with EQI style, its amazing) like split squat/lunge, shoulder laterals, weighted dip/chins


Hey All…question for you. I have a home gym and only have 1 power rack station and a deadlift platform area. If you had to choose, which of the following would you do: 1) Back squat, Dumbbell bench press, Power clean or 2) Leg Press, Bench Press, Power Clean.

First one

That’s what I was thinking as well. Thanks a ton, CT.

CT what do you do here if you overestimated 80% RM or if performance off that day. I take it you don’t ever want to grind (killing performance for rest of the sets)?

Also is a clean grip high pull more of a low/pull power shrug or do we try to go for throat (then it becomes more like upright row & i get rotator pain, unlike SGHP)?

Thank you !

Lower the weight in that case. And consider keeping it lowered for the whole cycle. Its a long run thing, better to underestimate than overestimate

It’s more of a low pull

Good to know. I’ve seen these called “clean pulls” as you demonstrate. Is it bad to do clean grip high pulls all the way up to the mid-chest?

One of my favorite ramps is the SG high pull, to clean grip high pull, to "clean pull (as you demonstrated in video), to “shrug pull” (essentially an explosive RDL with a shrug), to DL. I’m interested to know if I should remove the clean grip high pulls, with the pull up to mid-chest.


Very cool…how much pulling should one do on a low pull/power shrug? Is it just a shrug with traps (natural arm bend) or are we pulling a bit with the biceps (will that tear on heavier weights?).

Also programming zercher squat off pins (same height as my SGHP, conveneint with one bar) can’t wait tmrrw

The arms are not pulling. They are bending to let the bar move up from the momentum created by the legs hips and traps

Your sghg/zercher seems about right

Did today, lets just say don’t jump into Zerchers if you’ve never done them before LOL

Nooks of elbow, very painful/awkward and when I went heavier was seeing stars (something about upper body positioning).

Yeah…going to play around with these before using as main lift