T Nation

Thib's Max/Cluster?HDL

[quote]Kal-El wrote:
Thanks for the responses. One thing though…How many parts are most folks working? Is this basically one part per day? Looks like you may be whooped after doing one part. Granted, by one part I understand it is a compound movement hitting multiple muscles. Just curious if two movements is considered. Thanks again to all.[/quote]

1 per day for me.

Going to start adding in some accessory work for areas I need to directly address for myself. Doesn’t need much if your ramp to max/cluster/hdl hit everything how you want it to.

How are you guys setting up your week? As far as I could gather, CT has been somewhat coy about how to set up a week’s worth of training with this 3-layer system. I’ve only seen two explicit templates:
Day 1 - Incline, 2 - High Pull, 3 - TBDL, 4 - Decline, 5 - Pedlay Row, 6 - TBDL
and then last week:
Day 1 - Incline, 2 - High Pull, 3 - OHP (scrape the rack), 4 - High Pull, 5 - Decline, 6 - High Pull
With some front squats and rows sprinkled in on two of his High Pull days

Right now, I am doing this:
1 - Pin OHP, 2 - High Pull, 3 - Recovery only, 4 - Box Front Squat, 5 - Shallow Incline from from Pins (2" above chest) 6 - High Pull + Rows, 7 - Off

I’m in my 3rd week, and I am shocked at the changes I’m already seeing. I hit an Incline pin press in wk 2 that was only 10lbs less than my PR flat pin press, and that was when I was 40lbs heavier! I also set a 30lb PR in the box front squat in week 2. It’s still early, but here’s a few things I’ve learned:

  1. The rest periods are really half the game. Put a stop watch or clock in your line of sight.
  2. You work from pins so you don’t have to re-rack, not because of some specific bar height. For box squats and OHP, I actually set the pins just below where I actually start from, so when I begin ascent off the box, the bar is already just above the pins, resting fully on me. That’s how I got to “full range” on those movements.
  3. I learned to high pull from Bill Starr 20 years ago, so I am very comfortable doing this movement. It is a serious mass builder when done properly. If you can, do a few sets of hang snatches beforehand, to get your body feeling the movement pattern. If this exercise is new to you, do more sets at lighter weights, really working on getting the bar to “float” at the top (I like the KB swing analogy) before going for heavier weight.
  4. As a former PLer, my body was used to hitting heavy singles, but I was failing on the 2nd and 3rd rep of the cluster sets in wk 1. In wk2, I was able to get 15+ cluster reps in 3 sets on everything. Be patient with the system for a few weeks.
  5. For the guy worried about triceps, I do the inclines narrow, with half my thumbs on the smooth part of the bar. All parts of my triceps are throbbing by the end of the 3rd HDL set.

What I am thinking about next:

  • I have no idea how to program biceps into this split
  • I normally do a fair amount of conditioning work, and CT has panned most questions about adding anything except “pump” and “explosive” work. Wondering if I just take one movement at a time, then build a program around the rest to my specific preferences might be better?
  • I started this because I tweeked my wrist and needed a break from cleans. Not sure how I will build a program that “greases the groove” for cleans with the layers. I just don’t see doing full cleans with this rep scheme.
  • I have not idea how to eat on this. I feel less lean after two weeks (combo of lower volume, less conditioning, and not carb cycling til I figure out where to put the low carb days). It seems like it works best done 6 days a week, so not a good carb-cycling program. I am guess its a “eat a lot, take a lot of supps” kind of program. Thoughts?


Orcrist–#4 is a big one for me. I have a reaaally rough time with clusters but the max isnt a problem. Same thing: PL trained for years lol.

As far as biceps go, i’d just do a beach work day separate from the split to be honest. I reall don’t like doing them, but I basically do that or as part of the warm-up if inflammation at the elbow is a problem on pressing days. Might be more of an issue for competitive bbers, but for most I really think thats probly all you need. Lord knows I dont want to spend an hour in the gym just for biceps anyways.

I like the old “structural” layout in terms of volume with low rest. Grt in, 25 minutes, get out.