T Nation

Yearly Schedule


Hey CT,
Just have a few questions on my training schedule I have planned out for the year.

1. My yearly plan is to run the Optimal Strength Program while continuing to put on size and weight slowly (0.5 lbs a week) than move onto Strength Skill Circuit Method in the second part of the year to lean up losing fat and improve muscle hardness. Good plan?

For the Optimal Strength Program, a few questions-
2. How can I implement the ‘Strongman Arms’ protocol to Optimal Strength program. My arms are my weak link so want to add techniques explained in your article-
‘based on maximizing fiber recruitment through supramaximal loading, then doing hypertrophy work while those fibers are still more sensitive to being recruited,’ which helps with the mind muscle connection especially during the hypertrophy sets as you feel the muscles much better.

I also like your mind muscle technique where you ‘hold the middle of the range of motion for 15 sec, flexing the biceps (or triceps) hard… then do 8-10 reps with a fairly slow speed’. + rest pause approach, etc

With these techniques, how could I implement them into the Optimal Strength Program to really achieve some arm growth? While appreciating the 1 working set approach? Could you layout a plan for the 4 phases?

3 . Can I alternate between High Incline Press and Behind the Neck Press or is it best to stick with only one for entire program

4 . Substitute for Smith Machine Incline Press, I was thinking Light Reverse Band Incline Press?

5 . Can I add Overload method to end of each session
i.e. For the Big 3 (Squat, Bench & Dead), alternate between overload holds and overload partials (100% - 105% of 1RM) (1 Set of 15 sec? holds alternate 1 Set of as many partials lifts). Done for the exercise perodised for that session at the end of the session
To help ‘desensitize (over time) the Golgi tendon organs, which will allow you to use a greater proportion of your strength potential’.

6 . Can I add Farmers walks to Deadlift day, how would you periodise this over the 4 phases?
I can take out a 1 or 2 back exercises to fit this in

7 . Is doing Neural Charge Training on each ‘off days’ ok/ recommended?

8 . What day is best to do sprints/ conditioning as a second workout

Appreciate the help this

Take care,


I don’t know, I never plan that long in advance. I believe that unless you are competing on a certain date your training should be designed to fix your flaws/problems. Since you can’t know in advance how long it will take to fix them I think that it’s impossible to plan many months in advance. What if you have put on too much fat before you planned to diet it down? Do you continue until it’s time to diet down? If after the first part of the year you find that you didn’t put on enough muscle and fat level are ok, do you switch to dieting nonetheless?

I personally plan training on the short term basis. I keep an eye on the ultimate objective and know where I’m going but I can’t make myself or my client’s prisoner of a rigid plan.


You can’t add a program to a program… that’s why I don’t like the idea of using a rigid schedule like you are. You have a weakness, you need to fix it, then focus on fixing it and you’ll change your program later.

So right now it might be best to focus on fixing your weak link, devote around 4 weeks to it:

DAY 1: Strongman arms workout
DAY 2: Legs
DAY 3: Biceps/Triceps fairly heavy work (6-8 range)
DAY 4: Pulling workout
DAY 5: Pushing workout


If it’s the main lift (first exercise) you don’t change it. If it’s assistance work you can change it.




I love overloads but I hate messing up with a program. You start adding this and that and this and that and you end up with way too much volume and mess up recovery. You can try adding them but only if you can have the discipline to drop them AT THE FIRST SIGN OF NEURAL FATIGUE


No, don’t start adding more stuff.

That’s why I don’t like to put myself in a box with a rigid plan. You seem to be someone who likes to experiment. Forcing yourself to stick to a specific program will KILL your gains, even if it is a very good program. I can’t follow a specific program myself, I need the possibility to change things around based on what excites me and what weaknesses I find.


No, stop with the mindset of wanting to do more Neural charge workouts can be used in a week, but IN PLACE of a high stress workout to facilitate recovery or as part of a deload.


Don’t… man you seem to be a stimulus addict… likely acetylcholine dominant (take the Braverman test)… if you are acetylcholine dominant you pride yourself more in how much work you do rather than on results. SADLY acetylcholine dominant peoples can’t tolerate a lot of workload. So they are their own worst enemy. You have to make choices. You can’t use all the tools at once, you wont recover from it. This is also why in your case following a fixed plan is not a good idea. If you are acetylcholine dominant you need to change program every 3 weeks and the 3rd week should be much lower in volume that the first 2.