T Nation

Ultimate Layer for Hypertrophy


My current training block ends in about a week and a half. At which point Im going all in on the layer system. I've seen so much great information on the forums... continuous clean and press / continuous muscle snatch, barbell olympic complexes, the 3 key training zones, etc etc.

In reality its starting to confuse me. So the nature of this thread is to coordinate a Layering Approach for maximal hypertrophy. To build the biggest, baddest, athletic monster that we are all capable of being.

Im hoping that with everyones input, including CT (hopefully), we can put something really effective together.


Right off the bat I'd like to point out something that CT said would be very effective towards building the "Power-Look"

Decline bench press tilt, accessory lift floor press
Power clean & press, accessory lift front squat
SGHP, accessory lift Deadlift

Ramp up to a 1RM
Then 3 sets of 3 reps with 85-90% of the 1RM (5 sec. rest between each repetition)
Then 10 sets of 2 reps with 60% of the 1RM done in as little time as possible


I've also done some experimentation with the Olympic Barbell Complexes and they seem to be a VERY powerful training stimulus. So thats something I may want to incorporate.


this? http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_thibaudeau/max_muscle_layering


Here is my variant, excluded the Snatch's.

Essentially swapped Snatch's for OH Pressing. Added some read & delt work to compensate.

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

1. Front squat ramp to 1RM
2. Back squat, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Back squat from pins just above sticking point start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
4. Power clean 6 sets of 2 reps
5. Prowler heavy pushes (as heavy as possible for 20 yards) 6 sets of 20 yards

1. Overhead Press from pins (neck level) ramp to 1RM
2. Overhead Press normal, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Push Press, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
4. Romanian deadlift 3 x 6-8 reps

1. Slight decline bench pres ramp to 3RM
2. Slight decline bench pres 8 x 3 @ 90% of no.1
3. Slight decline close-grip bench from pins (just above sticking point) 4 sets of 3 with 80% of no.1
4. DB shoulder press 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps

1. Back squat ramp to 3RN
2. Back squat 6 sets of 3 with 90% of no.1
3. Deadlift 4-5 sets of 4-6 reps
4. Prowler sprints (moderate weight, maximum speed over 30m) 6 sets
Will need some variant or rear delt work in this one.

1. Overhead Press from pins (neck level) ramp to 3RM
2. Overhead Press normal,, 6 sets of 3 reps with 90% of no.1
3. RDL 4-5 sets of 8-10 reps

1. Regular bench press ramp to 6RM
2. Regular bench bench 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
3. Floor press 4 sets of 6 with 80% of no.1
4. Rope triceps extension 4-5 x 8-10

1. Back squat heels elevated (10lbs plate) ramp to 6RM
2. Back squat heels elevated (10lbs plate)4 sets of 6 with 90% of 6RM
3. Power clean complex (3 power clean + 3 front squat + 3 RDL) 3 sets
4. Prowler for distance (moderate weight and speed) max distance in 10 minutes

1. Overhead Press from pins (neck level) ramp to 6RM
2, Overhead Press normal 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
John Meadows delt work; Sit down ? front raise, to side raise, to overhead raise, drop to front and lower.

DAY 10
Max out on squat and bench



Yup. I was looking for that one. Great info there.


So my plan is to periodize with 4 week blocks of hypertrophy specific layer and strength specific block per CT's recommendation. Like so:

Week 1: Ramp to 3RM, 3 cluster sets, 3 HDL sets
Week 2: Ramp to 2RM, 4 cluster sets, 2 HDL sets
Week 3: Ramp to 1RM, 5 cluster sets, 1 HDL set
Week 4: Ramp to 1RM, 3 HDL sets, 2 max pump sets

Week 5 & 6:
1. Ramp to 1RM
2. 2 sets Cluster with 90%
3. Ramp to 2RM
4. 2 sets Cluster with 90% (of 2RM)
5. Ramp to 3RM
6. 1 set cluster with 90% (of 3RM)


I may also want to incorporate some form of conditioning into every session. Most likely it will be the Olympic Barbell complexes one week and 50 reps of ring dips followed by 50 reps of ring rows (body parallel to the ground) in as few sets and as little time as possible. CT has mentioned this method recently


The split will probably look something like this...

Day 1: High pull
Day 2: Incline bench (no pins)
Day 3: TBDL
Day 4: high pull
Day 5: Decline tilt (pins)
Day 6: back and bicep work OR off
Day 7: off

... although I would like to incorporate Continuous Clean and Press in somwhere

Also HDL will be set up as follows...

ACCUMULATION: Use a more voluminous method (5-4-3-2-1 with 70%)
INTENSIFICATION: Use a higher intensity method (max reps/15 sec/max reps with 80%)
TRANSFORMATION: Use a more qualitative method (Hard 5 with 80-85%)

***Each phase is 3-6 weeks long depending on how fast you adapt.


@ JMoo:

Whats up buddy, keep in mind CT suggested a 4 week strength layer phase in between the 4 Acum phases as the effects taper if you run back to back. Which would take the split out 6 months to complete properly. I know Lonnie has busted the 4 Accums back to back and said it was still worth wild. 12 weeks Vs. 6 months. I still want to lay it down and do the whole program properly eventually.


First day today with Decline Bench.

@All; Is it 1 RM for that particular version you are doing - or your 1 RM for the main lift (without pins)

  • Doing No.4 Speed Bench - was so used to heavy weight I nearly propelled the bar out of my hands on the first rep !! First time doing speed work :slightly_smiling:

Overall; was a good day - first day back in like 1.5 years now.


It's 1RM in whatever that particular lift is.


Thanking you.


@ brandon.Ya I want to do the whole 6 months as well.That would be a nice planed out 6 months of pure growth my man.


@ JSnap:

Oh totally...keeping the carbys somewhat in check though for lean mass gains. I am a bit scarred to roll it for 6 months as I'm afraid I'll get bored and want to do something else. Training Program ADD I can def get from time to time.


I can get that way as well.I think though with the olympic complex's CT came up with would help with the ADD that comes across at times.Just need to put them In the mix somehow.


@ J Snap:

No dude! Do not variate from the program! lol

**Also does J Moose not have the cool buffer Moby look going on. lol


HAHA,agree with you on that one.Moby on CT's layers.


I know that Sput has spoken really well to this effect but I think since we're trying to develop a sort of go to place for the max hypertrophy layer system it bears mentioning again, that grinding anything on the ramp up or cluster sets is a quick way to stalled progress!

I did the layers system for 4 months (Intensification phase 4 weeks, strength phase 4 weeks, Accumulation phase 4 weeks, strength phase 4 weeks). I saw phenomonal gains through the first 6 weeks, but pretty much grinded the last rep of every max rep set (except for SGHP) and the last rep of most cluster sets. At about the 7th week my progress fell off of a cliff and I actually started to lose strength. I spent the rest of the "strength" phase just doing 3rm ramps and then 8x3 @ 80% of my 3rm explosive lifts for the next 2 weeks just trying to recover.

From my experience, grinding is death on the layer system.

Even with the lesson learned the hard way the overall results from the program were amazing!! Went from 218 down to 196. Dec Bench went up 20lb (230lbs to 250), Inc bench went up 30lbs (205 to 235), SGHP went up 65lbs (215 - 280), Mil Press went up 25lbs (160 - 185), Deadlift (though I should have been doing dead launch) back to my previous best of 405.

Love this program, can't wait to go back to it and blend in the complexes as well!


Can you put up your system so we can view :slightly_smiling: