T Nation

Best Damn Program: Rest Periods and Connective Tissue Questions

Hi Christian

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us! What an amazing age to live in!

I just started your “best damn” workout routine and I have a few questions:

1.) I understand that your program relies on low reps as to not trigger cortisol production. It still is a hypertrophy program though. Shall I therefore use 90 seconds of rest and choose weights accordingly, or wait for 3 minutes to use heavier weights?
Do these decisions even matter or can I use them as tools to alternate between tension and metabolic stress cycles?

2.) Sadly, most probably trough poor genetics as my family shows, I have poor connective tissue strenght. Even though I have a really balanced physique and making sure to protect my shoulder from injuries, my ac joint is slowly separating. I’ve tried just about anything and I’ve simply accepted to try and work around it. Same goes for my inigual fascia.
I’ve felt a strain a few times and through ultrasound my radiologist noticed a 1cm protrusion of my organs through what seems to be partially torn fascia.
Eversince the diagnosis I had to make sure to keep intra-abdominal pressure low to prevent further tearing.

tl;dr: I have poor connective tissue despite proper diet and am looking for tips to work around a separated ac joint and having to keep intra-abdominal pressure low.

How does this interfere with “best damn”? Well, heavy squats and deadlifts rely on the valsava which IS heavy pressure. I also used high reps for shoulder exercises because I can work around an ac-joint separation easier with lower weights.

If you have any advice concerning these two issues I have, I’d be so grateful. It seriously frustrates me to no end…

What do you mean low reps??? Have you read the article? YES there is one heavy lift per workout, but eve that is trained with at least 10 reps per set since it uses the rest/pause method. The others methods are “pump” methods like drop sets, myo reps, mTor reps which mke a set last in the 40-60 seconds range. This is not low reps.

Then you might want to use the mTor method even for the big lifts instead of rest/pause or clusters. The slow eccentric will actually strengthen tendons (it’s one of the few things that do).

1 Like

Oops, sorry. I totally forgot about that. Even though those techniques are what made this even more interesting in the first place.
Excuse me on that part. I’m very stressed at the moment. Going through a breakup while having university finals…

Thank you very much. I understand that mTor is appliccable for the lifts regarding my ac-joint injury.

However I do not quite understand how mTor will decrease intra-abdominal pressure on deadlifts and squats? Yes, I’ll go lighter on them but the pressure will last much longer, will it not?
I can see how lower pressure over a longer time period can cause less damage than high pressure over a short period.

Thanks again for taking your time to help me out. I really appreciate it.

Well just change the exercises. As I wrote in part 2, you can change the exercises as long as you respect the “spirit” of the program

I will therefore substitute RDL with reverse hypers and squats with leg presses.
These exercises seemed to keep my pressure low.

I hate to bother you any longer, but this issue frustrates me:
Do you think I will be able to fully function without the added stability of a functioning ac-joint tendon? By full functionality, I am satisfied with being able to continue bodybuilding without hypertrophic limitations.

Also, the following question still stands:

Sure. Because of a shoulder issue from the days I did tons of gymnastic rings work I cannot do heavy bench press (or any form of heavy pressing for that matter) anymore. Most of my upper body work uses lighter weights and my upper body development is improving

So you have first hand experience then! That sure does give me hope because you look phenomenal.

Do you still press overhead? Because I can not and have substituted it with cable lateral raises…
I know that is not optimal at all.

Any advice on how you worked around that?

No. The only form of pressing I now do is dumbbell flat bench press but with higher reps and slower tempo.

My delts work is all isolation, I often use “growth factor sets” (do a search I wrote an article about that)

Good to know we have resorted to the exact same alterations.

I’m glad you could help me and I highly respect your dedication towards supporting everyone here. It is not at all usual for trainers to help out lifters with such high quality advice at no charge.

I have no further questions. Thanks a lot.

Anytime man.

Regarding hypertrophy, recent studies have shown that the load you use doesn’t matter if you reach failure. 30% and 80% led to the same size gains if the sets are taken to failure. STRENGTH development requires heavy weights, but size can be achieved others ways.

That’s the best thing I’ve read in ages! Thanks for the article. I’m confident I’ll reach my goals one day. Namely an FFMI of 25. Currently at 22 after 1.5 years of proper lifting :confused:

You have a good structure. Good shoulder width versus waist. You can look totally awesome with the proper work. Best of luck

I also see that you are from Basel. I’ve been there often because my good friend lives in Besancon and I often give seminars there. And when I go there I take the plane in Basel

Thank you! That’s really encouraging

Awesome! Basel is a great city for a day. In case you’re coming around soon, on the 19.01.2018 Basel has a museum night. Free entry into any museum as well as free public transport.
Since it has the highest museum density of any city in the world, there’s plenty to visit.

If you’re ever going to give seminars at the university of basel, please let me know! I’d love to check those out.