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Tuesday the 10th: CT's Here For Your Needs!

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CT,

I have been a competitive gymnast for about 15 years now, training for about 20 years total. Throughout the years, especially since finding T-Nation, I have become increasingly interested in methods of strength development with direct application to gymnastics, specifically concerning strength on rings. I am trying to think of better ways to increase the rate of strength development, when compared to normal methods of strength training in gymnastics. The major strength skills (on rings) are primarily composed of isometric contractions in one position, then moving to another position, also using isometric contraction, etc. It seems that isometric strength development is not a focus in many sports and thus there is not much information regarding it.

It seems like most ring strength workouts for gymnasts, with the goal of holding isometric positions, consist of either sets of single reps of maximum isometric contraction (with or without the aid of someone spotting or helping them) or sets of multiple reps through a range of motion, again using maximal strength. This just seems like continually training to failure and we are spinning our wheels. I can?t help but think there is a better, more structured, way.

I have read your article “Isometrics for Mass” which provoke some interesting thoughts. I directed this post to you due to the fact that I haven?t found many people who have written about isometric strength development and your involvement with sports performance development. I realize that there is some gymnastics-specific knowledge to consider here and I have some thoughts concerning this topic, but I would like to hear your general thoughts on the development of isometric strength and its application to gymnastics. Thanks.

  • Gatti

Thoughts on bench shirts? What brand/shirt would you suggest for someone who has never used one before?

ok CT you spoke about amino loading so whats up with that and is it good for cutting or muscle building…anything will help

CT,
I am trying to decide which lifting program to use while cutting on hypo kcal and carb cycling diet like you used in the Mutation Series except a little lower calories. I cant decide between the programs you used in Mutation Series (Ext.5s) or OVT (OVT does seem a bit too demanding for me on a heavy hypocaloric diet). Thanks, love your work.

Hey CT,

I’ve been doing the Pillars of Strength program and it’s great. I’m on round 2 and I just finished program A for the second time now. I was wondering, for the Hack Squats, should my calves be the limiting factor for the weight or should I just go heavier and not worry about my calves so much? Thanks!

Hi CT

I sent you this yesterday, but I’m not sure if you got it.

I asked which of your programs would you find most appropriate to do when

a) On a short PH cycle (2-3 weeks)

b) On a longer PH cycle (4-6 weeks)

Thanks!

fragfeaster777

Hi Coach Thibaudeau,
I tried posting my question in your latest thread “Have no Fear, CT is here” in the Strength Sports Section, but I guess you didn’t reply because the topic didn’t fit the forum. I figured I could try again in the Building a Better Body forum and hopefully you will help me out. I would be really grateful for an answer or an aknowledgement of my question. Thanks!

First I just wanted to say thank you for writing such a great program:
Keep your Chin Up
http://www.t-nation.com/...pic.do?id=46027

I have followed your program as outlined including grip work for 4 weeks. When I tested my max on Monday, I found that my chin up reps went from 4 to 8. My question is that now that I have finished the four weeks, what do you recommend as a routine to continue to increase my number of Chin Ups? I can perform one set of 8, and then my reps start falling to 6,5,5,etc…

My goal is to perform multiple sets of 10-15 repetitions.

The only problem with continuing with the Keep your Chin Up program is that I can only go to the gym on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, not allowing for the three days of rest between workouts. Do you have any suggestions to modify the program in order to make it fit into the three-day per week schedule? Or any other suggestions? Thank you sincerely for your help and advice.

Hey CT, summer is dangerously close, and while I’m fairly lean right now I’d like to “take it to the next level” in the next couple of weeks and really get those abs/other muscles to shine…what would be some of your reccommendations?

[quote]fedaykin wrote:
Thoughts on bench shirts? What brand/shirt would you suggest for someone who has never used one before?[/quote]

I honestly wish that powerlifting would go the minimalist equipment way. Either no equipment, or the same brand for everybody. Nowadays it’s almost like formula 1 racing!

That having been said, if one is to compete in a federation where gear is allowed, might as well use it. You don’t go to war with only a knife!

If you are just starting out I suggest a single ply poly shirt. Either an Inzer shirt, or my personal favorite, a Metal shirt. A Metal IPF shirt or a Metal Viking shirt is my recommendation.

[quote]kpd315 wrote:
ok CT you spoke about amino loading so whats up with that and is it good for cutting or muscle building…anything will help[/quote]

I believe that it’s more useful when cutting than when bulking. I feel that the biggest benefit of frequent BCAA ingestion if to prevent muscle proteins (muscle tissue) from being used for energy while on a restricted calories diet.

[quote]doctasarge wrote:
CT,
I am trying to decide which lifting program to use while cutting on hypo kcal and carb cycling diet like you used in the Mutation Series except a little lower calories. I cant decide between the programs you used in Mutation Series (Ext.5s) or OVT (OVT does seem a bit too demanding for me on a heavy hypocaloric diet). Thanks, love your work.[/quote]

Definetly go with the extended 5s or one of Chads’s program.

[quote]fragfeaster777 wrote:
Hi CT

I sent you this yesterday, but I’m not sure if you got it.

I asked which of your programs would you find most appropriate to do when

a) On a short PH cycle (2-3 weeks)

b) On a longer PH cycle (4-6 weeks)

Thanks!
fragfeaster777[/quote]

2-3 weeks = OVT for the duration of the cycle followed by a low volume, heavy loading program for 3 weeks.

4-6 weeks = East European Bodybuilding for 3 weeks then OVT for 3 weeks followed by 1 week of HST training and 3 weeks on Chads’s Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy.

[quote]H factor wrote:
Hey CT, summer is dangerously close, and while I’m fairly lean right now I’d like to “take it to the next level” in the next couple of weeks and really get those abs/other muscles to shine…what would be some of your reccommendations? [/quote]

I want to hear the answer to this question. What’s the fastest way to lose as much body fat as possible in 6 weeks?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
fedaykin wrote:
Thoughts on bench shirts? What brand/shirt would you suggest for someone who has never used one before?

I honestly wish that powerlifting would go the minimalist equipment way. Either no equipment, or the same brand for everybody. Nowadays it’s almost like formula 1 racing!

That having been said, if one is to compete in a federation where gear is allowed, might as well use it. You don’t go to war with only a knife!

If you are just starting out I suggest a single ply poly shirt. Either an Inzer shirt, or my personal favorite, a Metal shirt. A Metal IPF shirt or a Metal Viking shirt is my recommendation.[/quote]

Thanks for the advice!

[quote]H factor wrote:
Hey CT, summer is dangerously close, and while I’m fairly lean right now I’d like to “take it to the next level” in the next couple of weeks and really get those abs/other muscles to shine…what would be some of your reccommendations? [/quote]

Honestly, don’t go overboard. If you are too drastic during those 2 weeks you could do more harm than good to your physique.

I suggest a moderate caloric restriction, something like 13x bodyweight in pounds (e.g. if you are at 200lbs, start at 2600kcals/day). Use a carbs rotation:

Day 1: low carbs (50-75g)
Day 2: moderate carbs (100-125g)
Day 3: low carbs (50-75g)
Day 4: high carbs (200-250g)
Day 5: low carbs (50-75g)
Day 6: moderate carbs (100-125g)
Day 7: low carbs (50-75g)

Carbs should come from clean sources, veggies, some fruit (in the morning), oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes, yams.

Include energy systems work 3-4 times per week… 2 low intensity (treadmill at 3.2mph and 12 degrees incline for 30 minutes) per week and 1-2 higher intensity sessions (intervals). DO NOT perform the high intensity sessions on a low carbs day.

Thanks for the response. I will do the ext 5’s in your Mut. Series II. Looks fun!

Also, I see that you do not have heavy ab workouts in the program. Just thinking of what you have said about lifting heavy while cutting and some things you have said about heavy ab training. Should I stick to program or go heavier?

[quote]doctasarge wrote:
Thanks for the response. I will do the ext 5’s in your Mut. Series II. Looks fun!

Also, I see that you do not have heavy ab workouts in the program. Just thinking of what you have said about lifting heavy while cutting and some things you have said about heavy ab training. Should I stick to program or go heavier?[/quote]

I never include abs programs in my strength training plans. I always plan abdominal work individualy. I might do some light abs work after a regular workout, but the real deal is planned by itself.

[quote]cjgatti wrote:
CT,

I have been a competitive gymnast for about 15 years now, training for about 20 years total. Throughout the years, especially since finding T-Nation, I have become increasingly interested in methods of strength development with direct application to gymnastics, specifically concerning strength on rings. I am trying to think of better ways to increase the rate of strength development, when compared to normal methods of strength training in gymnastics. The major strength skills (on rings) are primarily composed of isometric contractions in one position, then moving to another position, also using isometric contraction, etc. It seems that isometric strength development is not a focus in many sports and thus there is not much information regarding it.

It seems like most ring strength workouts for gymnasts, with the goal of holding isometric positions, consist of either sets of single reps of maximum isometric contraction (with or without the aid of someone spotting or helping them) or sets of multiple reps through a range of motion, again using maximal strength. This just seems like continually training to failure and we are spinning our wheels. I can?t help but think there is a better, more structured, way.

I have read your article “Isometrics for Mass” which provoke some interesting thoughts. I directed this post to you due to the fact that I haven?t found many people who have written about isometric strength development and your involvement with sports performance development. I realize that there is some gymnastics-specific knowledge to consider here and I have some thoughts concerning this topic, but I would like to hear your general thoughts on the development of isometric strength and its application to gymnastics. Thanks.

  • Gatti[/quote]

Gatti, I think that this is a subject that could be discussed at length and might not be suited for a forum. You can email me at christianthibaudeau_1@hotmail.com if you want to discuss it. It will also be easier that way if I ever need to send you some documents.

I am using MAG-10 for the last two weeks of the on the second phase of the Easy Hard gainers. Any suggetions on what do do next to keep the gains. I am 42 years old and still recover pretty well. Thanks.