T Nation

Training and Nutrition Info

Position of the hold: For the pressing-based movement (bench variations, overhead lifts, squat variations) the hold is performed at the mid-range point, give or take a few degrees (can be a bit higher for squats or a bit lower for benches). For pulling based lifts (rows, high pulls) it is in the contracted position. However for the high pull we use the traps contracted position (shrug) not bringing the bar to the throat.

Christian Thibaudeau: @ brandon… I think that I explained the max pump sets pretty well. The duration of the hold is the same as it?s associated micro-set. For example a 5 sec. hold for the 5 reps portion, a 4 sec. hold for the 4 reps portion, etc. So a set will look like this:5 sec. hold/5 reps/4 sec. hold/4 reps/3 sec. hold/3 reps/2 sec. hold/2 reps/1 sec. hold/1 rep/end of set. Notice that you perform the hold prior to doing the reps. The reason is that we want to create an occlusion effect right from the start

Christian Thibaudeau: @ brandon… normal reps… you only re-rack the end of each micro-set. For example with 5-4-3-2-1… you’d do 5 reps / rack and rest 10 sec/4 reps / rack and rest 10 sec/3 reps / rack and rest 10 sec/2 reps / rack and rest 10 sec/ 1 rep… if you use the press from pins on each rep you rest the bar on the pins but do not pause it or bounce it on the pins. If you do it on a regular movement, touch and go

@ cubuff… yes there is a speed HDL… it’s a new layer that can be added. It consists of 8 sets of 3 reps at 40-50% with 30 sec. of rest between sets

Christian Thibaudeau: SPEED HDL LAYERS (3): Use 40-50% of your maximum (ramp) and perform 6-8 sets of 3 reps. Take only 30 seconds of rest between SETS. Do not focus on finishing the set as fast as possible, focus on exploding during the concentric. A lot of people who try to just go fast, botch the eccentric and their technique has no transfer to their regular lift.

Christian Thibaudeau: SPEED HDL LAYER (2): Since you are accelerating a load, the body is forced to recruit more fast twitch fibers and it allows yu to fatigue and stimulate them more. And you will be surprised at how fast you can be. During an explosive action, you subconsciously apply the breaks to avoid shocking the joints. The more acceleration you produce, the faster you must initiate the decceleration. By having fatigued muscle, you actually produce less acceleration which allows you to accelerate for longer.

Christian Thibaudeau: SPEED HDL LAYER: This is a layer that can be added at the tail end of the layer workout, right after your HDL sets. It works based on the “speed on a pumped muscle” phenomenon which I found to be a surprisingly effective growth stimulus. It also is a great way to be able to continue doing high threshold work even when the muscle is fatigued (more)

Christian Thibaudeau: @ dom… it’s pretty obvious based on the performance of the various layers. If your cluster reps at 90% are very high (6-7+ per set) and that you can use close to 80% on your HDL then you are resilient. If you can do 3-4 reps per cluster and have to use 60-70% on the HDL you are stronger than resilient

Christian Thibaudeau: @ pr-train… you do not do both the max pump and speed HDL. Pick one or the other. I recommend to people who are more resilient than strong to use the speed HDL (working on a weak point) and those who are stronger than they are resilient to use the max pump layer. But if strength is a bit more important than size, I`d pick the speed HDL regardless

hristian Thibaudeau: @ KJmont… since getting the deadsquat bar I stopped doing strip the rack press. The overhead press (from pins) with the deadsquat bar is vastly superior to the strip the rack.
Yesterday 17:37

Christian Thibaudeau: Not doing the other layers for these assistance movements, just the HDL

Christian Thibaudeau: @ Brandon… deadsquat row for back (by far) and preacher curl for biceps. I like to use either 3 sets of max reps/15 sec/max reps or 5-4-3-2-1 for those

Christian Thibaudeau: @ DGarcia… Well when the program comes out you will have a much more powerful weapon. But you can get started, getting a feel for the training, by doing the system as I presented it and doing: 1)High pull + back 2) slight decline bench 3) Deadsquat 4) slight incline bench 5) High pull + biceps… if you have the actual deadsquat bar, I would recommend using it for the slight decline bench too (from pins)

Christian Thibaudeau: @ Brandon… I actually like doing one back or one biceps exercise after high pulls better. I lose focus an interest quick with strictly biceps training. After high pulls I’m in the zone and really get a much better stimulation from the other exercises

In a previous post I talked about the 3 main types of explosive pulls I use. Here’s is a max ramp method that I really like, I feel that it makes the most out of every pulling style.

  1. I start out doing snatch-grip high pulls from blocks; I start out at 60kg and work my way up to a 1RM for the day (lets say 150kg for the sake of the explanation)

  2. I start out where I finished the first portion of the ramp (150kg) and switch to chinese pulls and continue ramping (let’s say to 180kg)

  3. From there I switch again to snatch-grip low pulls ramping from the end of the chinese pull up to a max (let’s say 200kg)

  4. I do one last switch, to clean-grip low pulls ramping from where the preceding step ended (200kg) up to a max (let’s say 220kg)

Because of the high volume of heavy work I do not do clusters. Instead I pick one of the 4 pulling styles, take 80% of the max ramp for that movement (for example if I pick chinese pulls I will use 80% of 180kg, about 145kg) then do 1 rep from blocks and 2-3 reps from hang. I do 3 such sets.

BTW, on chinese pull you are not simply bending down to meet the bar;

You aggressively and rapidly bend the knees while getting the heel back on the platform as fast as possible.

You also actively use your traps not to pull the bar high, but rather to pull yourself down. That is very important for maximum results.

hris Shugart: Another thing I like about this protocol – which is sort of a Pulse Feast/V-Diet combo – is that the evening meal is open for manipulation. You can adjust based on your goal – primary fat loss or primary muscle gain – or if you’re body-aware enough you can adjust based on your needs. For example, you may instinctively know that you need some clean carbs in the evening meal because it was leg day and your body is demanding them.

Chris Shugart: …walk to the cooler and grab a Plazma RTD. (Spoiled rotten, I know.)

Chris Shugart: @brandon76: Yes, it’s hard for we former carb-fearers to get over sometimes, but things like FINiBAR and Plazma accelerate fat loss, even though they’re “carby.” But I wrote yesterday, we can’t compare these types of thermic carbs to solid foods carbs like bread. Different animal, different effect on the body. I may bump to 3 servings of Plazma every training day. Right now I’m playing it by ear. Luckily, I’m training at the Biotest Training Lab so if I decide to have an extra Plazma I just…

Chris Shugart: Fat loss has been steady, losing a pound of fat roughly every two days. Training is going well. As mentioned, I hit a PR (pinned bench press.) Mood is good, energy is good, mind actually feels clearer than normal. Not suffering at all really. I missed having lunch for a the first day or two, but that’s over now and I really look forward to my post-training FINiBAR and pulse.

Chris Shugart: Here’s exactly what I’m doing: 5 or 6AM: Brain Candy. 7AM: MAG-10 + FINiBAR (breakfast). 8:30AM Indigo-3G, 6 capsules. 9AM: Training with two servings of Plazma, sometimes 3 on Dead-Squat days. 10:30AM: MAG-10 + Finibar. 12:30PM: MAG-10 pulse 2:30PM: MAG-10 Pulse. 4:30PM: MAG-10 pulse. 6PM: Healthy solid meal + Flameout. 12AM or whenever I wake naturally to hit the head: MAG-10 pulse in slushie form.

Chris Shugart: @sput79: That’s very cool to hear. Looks like several of us have stumbled upon this method. My newest experiment is to have two FINiBARs during the day as well with a MAG-10 pulse: basically for breakfast, then about 30-60 minutes post-workout. (I’m a mid-morning lifter.) So far the fat loss is just as good, and my workouts aren’t suffering the normal “diet blahs.” In fact, I hit a PR this week while “cutting.” Can’t beat that.
hris Shugart: And if you take care of workout nutrition with Plazma or Anaconda, then adjust the final feeding to meet caloric goals, this can be a great method for lean-mass gains.

Chris Shugart: (cont) And you’re right, it’s pretty economical: no breakfast, lunch, or snacks to buy. Ridiculously convenient too for those who work away from home or go to school. The only people who may struggle are those who are hooked through the opiate receptors from a food addiction issue. But this fades after 3-4 days.
Yesterday 11:00

Chris Shugart: @T-bone12: My method of doing this style of plan is to pulse with MAG-10 at least 5 times before the evening feeding. And 6 pulses would have most people pulsing every two hours until the evening meal. What I do is pulse 5 times, evening meal, then I have a middle-of-the-night pulse when I naturally wake to use the bathroom. I don’t sweat the details of this last pulse. Sometimes I have 1/3 before bed, 1/3 when I wake to pee, then the last 1/3 in the morning.

My goal is to build a great physique. Big muscles, lean body, powerful looking. That is my ultimate goal. And I use performance tools to reach that goal. However, part of the process is focusing on strength. A strength focus will make your muscle look more dense and will also make any subsequent “hypertrophy” workouts more effective.

I also found that while HDL-type work (5-4-3-2-1, extended sets, hard 5, etc.) can help you build more muscle, they work best when used in short cycles. For the first 3-4 weeks they lead to rapid changes in muscle mass and look. However much past that it will actually have detrimental effect on strength progression which will eventually hurt your overall progress.

So every 4-5 weeks it is a good idea to use a strength-based layer phase.

Here’s a good one that I did this morning for the slight decline bench from pins (but it can be applied to other big lifts used in the layer system).

  1. Ramp to a training 1RM (maximum without form breakdown or having to psych yourself up before the lift)
  2. 3 sets of clusters with 90% of your 1RM ramp (if you can’t get 3 reps, decrease the weight on the next set, if you can get 6, increase it)
  3. Lower back down to 70% and ramp up to a 2RM
  4. 2 sets of clusters with 90% of your 2RM (same recommendations as with the previous cluster)
  5. Lower back down to 70% and ramp up to a 3RM
  6. 1 set of clusters with 90% of your 3RM (same cluster rules)
  7. Lower to 70% do ONE max reps set, (NOT extended sets)

Thanks for doing this. Good reference

you are most welcome.
glad it can be of help for you

Yes, 5 days a week using a 2 rep max for 2-3 weeks
High pulls / Slight decline / DS launch / Slight incline / High pull

then use the “tip” sytem for 4 weeks

  1. Snatch-grip high pulls from blocks ramp to 2RM
  2. 1 cluster set on SGHP with 90% of the 2RM
  3. Snatch-grip chinese pulls from blocks starting with the cluster weight and ramping to your 2RM
  4. 1 cluster set on SGCHP with 90% of 2RM
  5. Snatch-grip low pulls from blocks starting with the previous cluster weight and ramping to 2RM
  6. 1 extended set with SGLP with 80% (max reps/15 sec rest/max reps)

For the slight decline bench press I would use the pin height… for example:

  1. Slight decline bench from pins, 3" from chest ramp to 2RM
  2. 1 cluster set on slight decline bench with 90% of the 2RM
  3. Slight decline bench from pins, from mid-range from starting with the cluster weight and ramping to your 2RM
  4. 1 cluster set on slight decline bench with 90% of 2RM
  5. Slight decline bench from pins, last 4-5" of ROM starting with the previous cluster weight and ramping to 2RM
  6. 1 extended set on “no.5” with 80% (max reps/15 sec rest/max reps)

[quote]domcib wrote:
Yes, 5 days a week using a 2 rep max for 2-3 weeks
High pulls / Slight decline / DS launch / Slight incline / High pull

then use the “tip” sytem for 4 weeks

  1. Snatch-grip high pulls from blocks ramp to 2RM
  2. 1 cluster set on SGHP with 90% of the 2RM
  3. Snatch-grip chinese pulls from blocks starting with the cluster weight and ramping to your 2RM
  4. 1 cluster set on SGCHP with 90% of 2RM
  5. Snatch-grip low pulls from blocks starting with the previous cluster weight and ramping to 2RM
  6. 1 extended set with SGLP with 80% (max reps/15 sec rest/max reps)

For the slight decline bench press I would use the pin height… for example:

  1. Slight decline bench from pins, 3" from chest ramp to 2RM
  2. 1 cluster set on slight decline bench with 90% of the 2RM
  3. Slight decline bench from pins, from mid-range from starting with the cluster weight and ramping to your 2RM
  4. 1 cluster set on slight decline bench with 90% of 2RM
  5. Slight decline bench from pins, last 4-5" of ROM starting with the previous cluster weight and ramping to 2RM
  6. 1 extended set on “no.5” with 80% (max reps/15 sec rest/max reps) [/quote]

Are clusters always done one rep at a time no matter if you are ramping to a 1RM, 2RM, or 3RM

ex: 1 rep, 10 secs rest, 1 rep, 10 sec rest,…

When I have ramped to a 3RM I have been doing 3 reps, 10 sec rest, 3 reps, 10 sec rest, 3 reps… at 90% of the 3RM

[quote]Razorslim wrote:

[quote]domcib wrote:
Yes, 5 days a week using a 2 rep max for 2-3 weeks
High pulls / Slight decline / DS launch / Slight incline / High pull

then use the “tip” sytem for 4 weeks

  1. Snatch-grip high pulls from blocks ramp to 2RM
  2. 1 cluster set on SGHP with 90% of the 2RM
  3. Snatch-grip chinese pulls from blocks starting with the cluster weight and ramping to your 2RM
  4. 1 cluster set on SGCHP with 90% of 2RM
  5. Snatch-grip low pulls from blocks starting with the previous cluster weight and ramping to 2RM
  6. 1 extended set with SGLP with 80% (max reps/15 sec rest/max reps)

For the slight decline bench press I would use the pin height… for example:

  1. Slight decline bench from pins, 3" from chest ramp to 2RM
  2. 1 cluster set on slight decline bench with 90% of the 2RM
  3. Slight decline bench from pins, from mid-range from starting with the cluster weight and ramping to your 2RM
  4. 1 cluster set on slight decline bench with 90% of 2RM
  5. Slight decline bench from pins, last 4-5" of ROM starting with the previous cluster weight and ramping to 2RM
  6. 1 extended set on “no.5” with 80% (max reps/15 sec rest/max reps) [/quote]

Are clusters always done one rep at a time no matter if you are ramping to a 1RM, 2RM, or 3RM

ex: 1 rep, 10 secs rest, 1 rep, 10 sec rest,…

When I have ramped to a 3RM I have been doing 3 reps, 10 sec rest, 3 reps, 10 sec rest, 3 reps… at 90% of the 3RM[/quote]

these ar questions baet dor ct, but clusters are done 1 rep at a time. rep, wait, set, rep

as per ct’s new version of layer with intensity zones,
i came up with this possibility
As the 3 main movements: bench, clean & press, snatch high pull
As 3 secondary movements: floor press, front squat, deadlift
DAY 1

  1. Slight decline bench press ramp to 1RM
  2. Slight decline bench press from pins just above sticking point, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
  3. Slight decline bench press lockout (from pins, last 2-3"), start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
  4. Slight decline speed bench 6 x 3 with 50% of no.1
    DAY 2 (clean & press instead of deadlift)
  5. Clean & push press ramp up to 1RM
  6. Clean pull start at 70% of max no.1 and work up to a 1RM
  7. Deadlift start at 70% of max no.2 and work up to a 1RM
    DAY 3
  8. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 1RM
  9. Snatch-grip low pulls, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
  10. Clean-grip low pulls, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
  11. Romanian deadlift 3 x 6-8 reps
    DAY 4
  12. Slight decline bench pres ramp to 3RM
  13. Slight decline bench pres 8 x 3 @ 90% of no.1
  14. Slight decline close-grip bench from pins (just above sticking point) 4 sets of 3 with 80% of no.1
  15. DB shoulder press 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
    DAY 5 C&P DAY
  16. Clean & push press (1 clean + 3 presses) work up to 3RM
  17. Clean & push press (1 clean + 3 presses) 4 sets of 1+3 with 90% of no.1
  18. Clean & push press (3 cleans + 1 press) 4 sets of 3+1 with 90% of no.1
  19. Front squat 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps
    DAY 6
  20. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 3RM
  21. Snatch-grip high pulls, 6 sets of 3 reps with 90% of no.1
  22. RDL 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps
    DAY 7
  23. Regula bench press ramp to 6RM
  24. Regular bench bench 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
  25. Floor press 4 sets of 6 with 80% of no.1
  26. Rope triceps extension 4-5 x 8-10
    C&P DAY/DAY 8
  27. Clean complex 1 (3 cleans + 3 push press + 3 front squat) 4 sets with 70-80% of the max no.1 on the preceding day
  28. Clean complex 2 (3 cleans + 3 front squats + 3 Romanian deadlift) 4 sets with the same weight as no.1
    DAY 9
  29. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 6RM
    2, Snach-grip high pulls 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
    DAY 10
    Max out on Clean & push press, and bench

DO THAT CYCLE 3 TIMES, REST 1 DAY AFTER DAY 6 AND DAY 10

here’s another one declin, ds, hi pulls
DAY 1

  1. Slight decline bench press ramp to 1RM
  2. Slight decline bench press from pins just above sticking point, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
  3. Slight decline bench press lockout (from pins, last 2-3"), start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
  4. Slight decline speed bench 6 x 3 with 50% of no.1
    DAY 2
  5. Deadsquat launch ramp to 1RM
  6. Deadsquat launch from pins just below knees, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
  7. Deadsquat launch from pins above knees, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
  8. Speed squat, 50% of max squat 6 sets of 2 reps
  9. Prowler heavy pushes (as heavy as possible for 20 yards) 6 sets of 20 yards
    DAY 3
  10. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 1RM
  11. Snatch-grip low pulls, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
  12. Clean-grip low pulls, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
  13. Romanian deadlift 3 x 6-8 reps
    DAY 4
  14. Slight decline bench pres ramp to 3RM
  15. Slight decline bench pres 8 x 3 @ 90% of no.1
  16. Slight decline close-grip bench from pins (just above sticking point) 4 sets of 3 with 80% of no.1
  17. DB shoulder press 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
    DAY 5
  18. Deadsquat launch ramp to 3RN
  19. Deadsquat launch 6 sets of 3 with 90% of no.1
  20. Back squats 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps
  21. Prowler sprints (moderate weight, maximum speed over 30m) 6 sets
    DAY 6
  22. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 3RM
  23. Snatch-grip high pulls, 6 sets of 3 reps with 90% of no.1
  24. RDL 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps
    DAY 7
  25. Regula bench press ramp to 6RM
  26. Regular bench bench 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
  27. Floor press 4 sets of 6 with 80% of no.1
  28. Rope triceps extension 4-5 x 8-10
    DAY 8
  29. Deadsquat launch on a 2" block ramp to 6RM
  30. Deadsquat launch standing on a 2" block 4 sets of 6 with 90% of 6RM
  31. Back squat 3 sets of 10-12
  32. Prowler for distance (moderate weight and speed) max distance in 10 minutes
    DAY 9
  33. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 6RM
    2, Snach-grip high pulls 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
    DAY 10
    Max out on Clean & push press, and bench

DO THAT CYCLE 3 TIMES, REST 1 DAY AFTER DAY 6 AND DAY 10

wed 5/29 legs
i will say that less than 8 hours of sleep is not good for heavy weights.
started with my situps- im up to 20 plus 10 each side in one sitting- thats good
since im so tired and tight etc i decided to change it up some
super sets of leg extensions and leg curls as a prepump nothing overly strenuous
extensions 90-180 lbs 3 sets of 12
leg curls 90-140 3 sets of 12
now its practice back squat and front squat technique. i know what the technique should be, i have lost a lot of my mobility/flexibilty over the years for lack of any sort of athletic movements… so to get these back, i have to have frequency without much tension. SO:
starting with just the bar and sets of 1-5 reps( if 1 didnt feel right, i would reset and start again. same thing with 3-5 reps)
i’d do a set of front squat and a set of back squat. going all the way down and just sit there a second or 2, to get the nice stretch. then fire up.
on the front squats i’m still using the cross arms… the clean hold is another thing that has to be worked on after my wrist gets better.
i found my 2 sticking points are: out of the hole, and just below parallel so i did partials from both areas.
i slowly went up to 135lbs. i started to fatigue some, so i set some pins at just above parallel for explosives, then moved them up 1 more notch. those 2 settings the weight felt so light. wow i was poppin.
then fatigue set in some more to the point that i could not set up properly under the pins. so i stopped
this whole squat session was 1 hour
now i went and di some leg press with 2 plates for reps, full rom, partials from the bottom, partials from the middle. NICE PUMP
so the total session was 90 minutes. felt great. i feel great. and not too demanding.

i finished the 4 weeks of dead lift thing. will test my max this week.
i also just started week 4 with squats the same way. all real good so far.
i need to practice hi pulls and cleans so im thinking of using something similar.
i did a complex the other day
sghp from hang 3-5 reps, snatch 1 rep, cleans 5 reps, th muscle snatch 3 reps. i used roughly 50-60% ofmax here.
i did this for 3-5 sets.

great stuff here

I actually do not hate KB high pulls. My issue is more about lowering the KB … the chance of hitting the knees, especially when tired, is fairly high. But if that can be avoided it would be a good movement. I actually like the fact that you from outside-in slightly when you pull.

I personally do KB high pulls but prefer to go one arm at a time. This allows me to mix inside-out (between the legs, pulling slightly out) and outside-in (outside of knees pulling slightly in) pulls. It will not build the same amount of strength as high pulls since you can’t go as heavy, but for higher reps/hypertrophy I like KB pulls.

Some good complexes would be:

Right KB high pull inside-out x 8-12
Left KB high pull inside-out x 8-12
Two-hands (one KB) sumo stance high pulls x 8-12

Or…

Right KB high pull inside-out x 5-8
Right KB high pull outside-in x 5-8
rest 30 sec then do left arm

Or
Right KB high pull x 8-12
Right KB swing x 8-12
rest 30 sec then do left arm

Or
Right KB snatch x 5-8
Right KB high pull x 5-8
Right KB swing x 5-8

domcib wrote:
This is not a complaint. It’s an observation.
I had Bench day today. Higher numbers across the board on every phase of the Ramps. Full ROM, and 3 pin settings. I never got any sort of pump. Overall session was boring.

I now remember, When i was a thrower and lifted for strength, i never really got pumped. Just stronger, and slowly bigger in mass.
I’m curious.
Have you found any sort of truth to this?
Maybe from Olympic Lifters, or Power Lifters?

I’m focusing a lot on the olympic lifts now, and obviously also doing plenty of heavy squats and pulls. When I do that type of training, that is more neural in nature I never get a true pump. What I noticed is that my body becomes more toned during the workout. The muscles look and feel harder, but they are not swollen.

I understand what you mean about the training being boring… when you get used to the pump feeling, when you don’t achieve it sometime feels off. But I actually feel that a generalized “toned” feeling is more indicative of a strength gain spurt while a pump that is suddenly larger than usual indicates an upcoming growth spurt.

I see the same thing a lot with other strength athletes like strongmen and powerlifter… as the training progresses they look more solid and dense, but not swollen big.