Editors note: Due to the huge amount of questions I get every day, I decided to write an article on how to get huge like CT Fletcher. To your success…
So, in my previous article I wrote about the most favorite exercises from CT Fletcher yet many people ask me if there is a specific program that they can follow week by week to achieve more results. Well, I came across a special program, see the video below. I had some doubts in the start but it seems to be the best selling guide on the market, as we speak!
I’ve heard many positive results from folks who have done this. But at the same time, the bodybuilding community may not be ready for this yet, as it is very new.
Please check out the video and let me know your thoughts.
It’s a highly debated and controversial topic among the lifting community. Overtraining is exactly what it sounds like. The body can only handle so much exertion and so much effort put into training at one time (this is still highly debated by some). The human body is an amazing machine designed by Mother Nature. Not only are we capable of pushing ourselves further than we ever thought possible, but the body can also endure a lot of physical pain as well without breaking.
CT Fletcher however believes that there is no such thing as too much strain or pain for the body because he doesn’t actually believe in the ideology of overtraining. Some people agree with him and some people hate him for it, but regardless, the guy can definitely prove his results and that he knows what he’s talking about.
A lot of people commonly mistake symptoms of something else for overtraining, which is a very common mistake.
What Is Overtraining?
When you’re doing fitness activities, your body usually has a set limit that it can handle for that particular activity. Once you’ve reached that limit and continue to push yourself, that’s what the experts call overtraining. Some people say that you get no benefit from overtraining because your body is trying to recover but can’t.
CT Fletcher’s View On Overtraining
Basically, CT Fletcher has stated that overtraining isn’t a generalized idea but its individual per person. Fletcher has stated that what most people consider overtraining; he considers just a regular workout and pushing his body to the limit. In theory it makes sense, because if people are never pushing themselves but they quit when they get tired, they never really know their body’s physical limitations and they’re never pushed. What fletcher believes is that most people don’t experience overtraining; they just don’t train hard enough.
So while there are plenty of people out there in the lifting world who do believe in overtraining, what are the signs of overtraining?
A Loss of Motivation
Lifting to your potential requires you to be highly motivated and wanting to succeed. Some say this isn’t exactly overtraining, but when you lose all your motivation to complete something, you won’t be much use or see much progress. You have to keep yourself motivated to complete an objective and that can be difficult when your body starts shutting down or you start feeling the burn.
Everyone feels a good burn after a thorough workout, but what happens when you start feeling that burn over your entire body and it hurts so bad that you don’t even want to get out of bed? Some people say that’s just your muscles tearing and recovering but others state that this is a telltale sign of overtraining and that your body isn’t going to benefit from any kind of exercises while you’re sore.
The Results Stop Coming In
Constantly progressing is about seeing results. If you stop seeing results, then obviously you’re doing something different or you need to look at your diet. This is one of the most highly debated topics among the lifting community because a lot of people don’t believe that overtraining will stop you from seeing more results. However, some people also believe that overtraining won’t allow your muscles to ever recover.
A Lack of Focus
Have you ever been so tired or so unfocused that it was hard to form a sentence or hard to do a task? This is when you need to give something a rest, even lifting. Perhaps you need to drink more water and get more oxygen flowing into your brain or maybe you just need some time off from something. This may not be a sign of overtraining but rather a sign of depression or stress. Overtraining generally doesn’t cause stress, as this is usually caused by things going on outside the gym.
While it’s not his official name that he’s given himself, CT Fletcher is known as the “World’s stronger man that you have never heard of.” This powerhouse has been lifting for over 30 years and certainly doesn’t look like he’s in his 50s. While CT originally came from Little Rock, Arkansas, he quickly relocated to Southern California when he was young and has remained there for 50 years.
Who is CT Fletcher? His credentials speak for themselves. The bodybuilder of 30 years was once a power lifter and has numerous championships under his belt, including world lifting champion (6 times), world bench champion (3 times) and the world strict curl champion (3 times). One thing that sets him apart from most bodybuilders is that he doesn’t do it for the mass of muscle; he does it to become the most undisputed bodybuilder in history.
One of his most and own personal accomplishments comes from the Baddest Bench Press in America contest. Not only is he drug free, but he attempted to lift 705lbs against some of the best bodybuilders on the planet. When asked about his motivation, CT often likes to cite his mother as being one of the most supportive people on the planet and one of the best mothers a son can ask for.
However, you won’t see Fletcher competing anytime soon, because he has stated multiple times that he will never compete again. He feels that he has accomplished everything in his life that he thought humanly possible and has no desire to go up in competition again. When you get to the age of 50+, all of that travelling can definitely take its toll on the human body, but with someone as in great of a shape as fletcher at that age, he has nothing to prove.
CT Fletcher’s Stats
If the mere sight of an image of CT Fletcher isn’t impressive enough, then listen to these stats. The mere thought of lifting 705lbs is a scary one and anyone that can do that is not a force to be trifled with.
Bench Press (Gym): 705lb
Bench Press (Competition): 650lb
CT Fletcher has coined a workout that he likes to refer to as the penitentiary workout. One of the most interesting things about this workout is that it doesn’t follow the standard norm that most professionals use. Most professionals go with a certain number of sets and a certain number of repetitions to perform each exercise. The penitentiary is all about not caring how many sets or reps you do. It’s all in the mindset and you have to imagine yourself locked up.
Imagine having all the time in the world to being able to lift and that you don’t care how many reps you do. Basically, you’re always pushing yourself on every single lift and every single pull. The basic idea behind this workout is to “give it all you got and make every set seem like it’s your last set.”
CT Fletcher’s Workouts
The workout consists of a couple different parts. First and foremost, he uses a power lifter. What these do is help increase the strength of the lifter and allows you to focus on lifting more. Some of the basic workouts that he likes focus on are as follows:
For these exercises, it’s recommended to be complete 5 sets of 10 reps at a minimum, for every single exercise.
Single arm dumbbell preacher curls
EZ bar preacher curls
Incline bench hammer curls
While CT Fletchers is known quite extensively focusing on his arms and biceps, he does like some other exercises as well that he’s shared.
For the shoulders, he prefers to start out with the seated dumbbell overhead press to warm up. After some repetitions and sets, he’ll move on to the standing barbell lateral raise and finally finish up with the seated smith overheard press.
For the chest, CT recommends starting out with the flat barbell bench and moving on directly to the flat dumbbell bench. Then, you’ll move on to the flat barbell pyramid bench, move on to the smith bench, move on to the incline barbell bench and finally finish off with some good old fashioned pushups.
One of the most noticeable features of CT Fletchers is by far the biceps and it’s also one of his most extensive workouts. The bicep workouts will basically come into 6 different parts.
1 – Start out with the incline bench hammer curls
2 – You’ll then move onto dumbbell preacher curls
3 – Then, move onto EZ curl bar preacher curls
4 – Barbell preacher curls
5 – Straight bar cable curls
6 – Finally, you’ll want to finish off with some concentration curls
You may need to mix and match to find which exercises and sets work best for you.
Who Is CT Fletcher?
If you haven’t heard of CT Fletcher, then you more than likely haven’t spent a lot of time in a gym or around bodybuilders, because he’s one of the most notorious and famous builders that there are out there. Amazingly, while CT Fletcher looks like someone in the prime of his life, he’s actually 54 years old. While he was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, it wasn’t long before his family relocated to Southern California.
He currently resides in Long Beach, California as a personal trainer and holds six world championships for power lifting under his built. One of the most interesting facts about Fletcher is that he stays true to the sport and competition, meaning he only trains by hand and has never taken a single drug in his life. He’s been drug tested three separate times and has always passed.
CT Fletcher Early Life
When CT Fletcher was born, he was native to Little Rock, Arkansas. While it’s not immediately known why the family moved or relocated, but when he was relatively young, he was relocated to Southern California near Compton. He has currently resided in Southern California for over 50 years now and has been inside the gym day in and day out for almost 30 plus years.
Fletcher’s childhood life isn’t exactly the best, because he grew up in a very religious home. Fletcher was often punished by his father who was overly religious and he’s kind of thankful to this day that he was. Not that he condones the behavior, but Fletcher has learned a lot of physical and mental toughness from the enduring pain he had to go through growing up in an abusive home.
However, living in Compton did get the best of Fletcher when he was young, because he did some time in a correctional facility before he was a well-known name. While it’s not relatively known what exactly Fletcher was involved in, there was some illegal activity that he doesn’t quite like to mention or talk about to this day. Instead, he lets the past remain in the past and he uses his past experience to train harder and better.
The Strongest Man You’ve Never Heard Of
This is a name coined by many people who know him, because of his incredibly intimidating physique and his raw age of 54. He looks like he’s in the prime of his life and anyone who doesn’t know him would never guess he’s actually 54. While he wasn’t immediately popular even during the days of his championships, social media recently has helped greatly improve his popularity.
Social media outlets and internet forums everywhere like to admire his physique and all the things he has accomplished in his lifetime. One of the things that make him so unique is that he doesn’t buy into the marketing scheme that is supplements or steroids. He knows how harmful steroids are to your health and he believes supplements are just substitutes for hard work that barely obtain results. He believes in a work for it and earn it philosophy which he has carried through the majority of his life and has landed him to where he is right now.
It’s not uncommon for him to go toe to toe against the younger body builders in the gym and to come out on top. Some of the younger athletes may underestimate him because of his age, but he always proves them wrong more often than not. While he may not be officially the world’s strongest man, he has some pretty impressive lifts under his career.
Not all has always been golden, because he used to live a very unhealthy lifestyle. He had to go through open heart surgery in 2005 because he weighed 260 pounds and was endangering himself with the type of food he was eating. Instead of taking the surgery right away like suggested, CT Fletcher believed in working for his goal and trying to work off those pounds instead but sadly, it made no difference.
He had to undergo the surgery anyways and dropped almost 50 pounds after the surgery. Not only that, but he fully recovered in two years and has been great ever since. CT Fletcher says that he blames himself because of the 8 meals of McDonalds he was eating almost every single day for over 20 years. That can definitely take a toll on anyone’s body when you put that stuff in your mouth and the cholesterol will build up in your arteries.
CT Fletcher’s Career Start
It wasn’t until age 22 that he officially picked up the very first weight. He started powerlifting in 1983 and decided to stop lifting in 1997. He won multiple different championships throughout the world and was world renowned throughout the lifting community.
Fletcher’s Great Achievement
The greatest achievement came in 1995 when he attempted to lift 705 pounds at the Baddest Bench Press in America contest. He felt that this was the highlight of his career because he tried doing it without the use of any drugs and was against some of the best on the planet.
It’s no surprise that the majority of lifters who are serious about lifting know who CT Fletcher is. If you walk into a Southern California gym and there mention of his name comes up, you might hear some chants or shouts being heard around the gym. Some of these shouts may include: “I command you to grow!” “Next stop, Mount Bicepius!” and other unofficial quotes he’s coined over the years. He’s known for highly intensive workouts and talking to his muscles like he’s interrogating them.
There’s a damn good reason behind this though, because he’s not just a bodybuilder, he’s a 50 year old bodybuilder with 6 world champions under his belt. Currently, he’s a personal trainer at the Metroflex Gym in Long Beach, California. You can find him there and I’m sure for the right price, he’ll yell at you too. Some locals around the area like to call him the Superman of Compton, California.
What’s The Significance of Music during a Workout?
Music is one of those things that helps get you motivated and helps get you pumped up during a workout. Not only that, but music has been shown to greatly help productivity in whatever it is that you do and not just lifting. Music can move you and it can affect your emotions as well. Some people like to listen to slow rock songs when they’re sad to be reminded of an ex and some people like to listen to fast paced metal music when they’re lifting to help them pump the iron.
CT Fletcher was recently interviewed about playing music during his workouts and what kind of music he listens to that make his workouts a bit more productive. His answers aren’t particularly surprising but they should give you some ideas of what kind of music you should be playing if you want to exhibit a fraction of the intensity and ferocity that CT Fletcher has.
When asked about what role music plays during CT’s workouts:
Unsurprisingly, he stated that he really doesn’t focus on music mainly but he’s focusing on the workout. He’s highly motivated and devoted to getting the best workout possible in the time span that he’s lifting and doesn’t tend to notice the music around him. In his own words, it’s like a ‘huge, full-out-war’ instead of his head going on and not because of the tunes playing the background.
However, when he does listen to music, he stated that he does enjoy listening to some James Brown, because unlike the younger crowd that listens to metal and heavy music, he likes to keep it classical. It’s not often that he likes to turn music on, but when he does, he’ll blast some Al Green, james Brown or Aretha Franklin to help get the blood moving and keep the intensity going.
When asked about if he had to choose just one album to listen to for the remainder of his life.
Obviously, he was going to answer James Brown. I’m pretty sure CT Fletcher has mentioned James Brown in any music related interview that he got a chance to, but his exact response was: “James f’ing brown”. It should be no surprise to many that since he’s 50+ years old, he grew up listening to things like James Brown and other classical tunes.
One of CT Fletcher’s greatest inspirations for what he does would be Sonny Liston. He knew that Sonny Liston liked to listen to James Brown whenever he was training and that alone gets CT’s blood pumped up to the classical hits. He wanted to be just like Sonny Liston and that meant listening to the same music he trained to. He did state though that he can listen to just about anything, especially anything from the James Brown decade.
When it comes to being the best, CT Fletcher is no stranger to pushing himself to the limits. His main inspiration for being the best would be Muhammad Ali. When he was growing up, he was just another poor kid from a poor family in the mean streets of Compton. You had to be tough to survive those streets and CT gets a lot of respect from that fact. One of the main things people remember about Muhammad is how adamant he was about sticking to what he believed in, which Fletcher says gives him a huge inspirational boost every time he lifts.
Fletcher’s early life
Fletcher is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas. However, he has lived in Southern California for over 50 years. Fletcher grew up in a religious home, where his father, a Pentecostal preacher, routinely punished him. One lesson he did get from his strict upbringing, however, was a mental focus and toughness that enabled him to build an illustrious career in body building. However, despite his religious upbringing, Fletcher became involved in the streets of Compton, earning him a substantial amount of time in a correctional facility. This rough past has truly molded him to unleash in the gym.
Fletcher’s physique, and attitude, changed significantly after undergoing an open heart surgery in 2005. He was weighing 260 pounds before the procedure, so he shed off 45 pounds to try and avoid the surgery. However, it did not work. He came out of the surgery weighing 190 pounds and recovered fully after about two years. While most people attribute steroids to his medical problems, CT believed that this was a result of 7 to 8 meals he took each day for over 20 years from McDonalds.
CT picked up his first weight at 22. However, he started competitive power lifting in 1983, and kept lifting for 14 years until 1997. During his powerlifting (http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerlifting) career, CT won the World Strict Curl Championship three times and the World Bench Press three times. However, he admits that the highlight of his career by far was the 1995 705 pound attempt at the Baddest Bench Press in America Contest. While he did not actually make that life, Fletcher felt this was his greatest accomplishment because he did it drug free against some of the best power lifters on the planet.
CT’s workout plan
To this day, well over 50 perfect of CT’s strength boosting workout still consists of a power lifter training model. This coupled with body building parameters yields an amazingly strong physique. Fletcher describes the Penitentiary Style Workout is not paying attention to set and rep numbers but rather focusing ones energy into every last step.
CT Fletcher’s favorite exercises:
Five to six of a minimum of ten reps
• Contraction or Cable curls
• One arm dumbbell preacher curls
• Incline bench harmer curls
• EZ bar preacher curls
• Barbell lateral raise done in a standing position
• Dumbbell overall press done in a seating position and
• Smith overhead press, also done in a sitting position.
• Smith bench
• Flat barbell and dumbbell bench and
• Incline barbell bench
• Concentration curls
• Barbell and dumbbell preacher curls
• Incline bench hammer curls and
• Straight bar cable curls
• Straight bar tricep extensions and
• W bar tricep extensions
• Lying machine and T-Bar rows
• Dumbbell rows
• Deadlifts and lat pulldowns
• Box squats
• Squats and
• Hack squats
The new CT Fletcher
Now at the seasoned age of 54 years old, “The Strongest Man You Never Heard Of”, as Fletcher is commonly known to his fans has captured The world Fitness Social Media by storm. His whole approach to weight lifting is to “Earn It” without the use of supplements or steroids, simply gain from pure pain. Whether it is, preacher curling, squatting or bench pressing, CT still goes toe to toe with much younger athletes in the gym, coming on top most of the times.
From his YouTube videos, you will learn one thing for sure — You better bring it or simply stay away. These videos come packed with incredible passion for Rawness that has never been captured on tape before. CT’s videos offer practical motivation to keep your muscles ripped.
CT still hopes to get back to powerlifting and defend his unbroken 225 strict curl record someday. In fact, he would love to do it at 54, 24 years after setting the record.
CT Fletcher has been lifting weight for most of his adult life. In 2003, he founded a wellness channel dubbed Strength Project on YouTube. Over the past several months, Fletcher has released several fitness videos that have attracted massive traffic. The Fitness Project has had a huge impact on the fitness community throughout the world. However, it is important to note that Strength Project is not an acrobatics or calisthenics team but rather an all-round team that promotes safe, efficient and practical regimes to help you achieve your fitness goals.
In the following video, CT Fletcher gives you more insight about overtraining.