T Nation

Best Damn Workout as a Circuit?


#1

Thinking of doing the best damn workout for natural lifters because I teach and coach and I’m pressed for time during the winter. Just wondering if you perform the exercises one at a time or like a circuit?


#2

This one?

Pretty sure you do the exercises one at a time. You can really focus on the movement at hand.

Could be wrong though. See if C.T. responds.

If you’re really crunched for time, you could try this:

They’re both six days a week, but this one may be faster. Haven’t tried the first one so I can’t for sure, but I’d guess that the second one is.


#3

One at a time for the best damn program. Two preparation sets then one all out to failure using whatever intensity technique prescribed.


#4

One at a time. I rested for about 60 sec between sets. The workouts took me about 45 minutes, maybe less.

If you’re looking for a circuit then try Built for Battle.


#5

I have used 2 exercises and alternated between them. As a circuit would probably be too long between exercises


#6

Too long between? That would increase performance on each set.


#7

Maybe, but i like maximum pump on most exercises. And doing all the max intensity sets together may decrease performance when it really coumts


#8

The purpose of the program is to hit failure. There’s not really any point in resting longer to get more reps before failure.


#9

So tell me this. Will you get bigger and stronger if?
A: you do 8 reps with 100 lbs and hit failure
or
B: do 8 reps with 80lbs and hit failure since you chose shorter rest periods

If it was just about failure then I’d only rest 30 seconds and finish my workouts in 20 minutes or less.


#10

The study I’ve seen cited in articles compared hitting failure at 8 reps vs 30 reps. Both were comparable in hypertrophy gains but the 8 rep group improved their strength more, but it was a small amount.

I think it was one all out set to failure.

Best Damn uses two prep sets and one set to failure. The prep sets are to prime your body and help you find the right weight for the final set.

If you’re wanting to do multiple working sets with longer rest then that’s fine. It’s just not Best Damn.


#11

There is an increasing amount of evidence that longer rest periods lead to more hypertrophy. The most recent study I saw cited compared 2 and 5 minute rest periods. The participants who rested for 5 minutes between sets had greater muscle gains.

The article acknowledges that failure is important, but that’s not to say that it’s the only thing that matters when it comes to muscle growth.

The purpose of the program isn’t to hit failure. It’s to maximize the hypertrophic response with minimal volume. Long rest periods will do that better than short.


#12

Personally, I don’t think there is huge advantage in that for such a programme where you’re doing a couple of warm-up sets of 4-6 reps followed by an all out set resting up to 5 mins between. You’re hardly going to be ramped up going into that last set following that approach. I think Poliquin was quite insightful on that topic.

In terms of research, last stuff I read from Schoenfeld et al put it closer to 2-3 mins. Vince Gironda would be spinning in his grave!


#13

Well yes, obviously research findings have to be taken with a grain of salt. No one in their right mind is going to rest 5 minutes between every single set. I was just stating findings that demonstrate the positives of a very long rest period. The thing of note in that study was that it was 2 minutes versus 5 minutes, because 2 is considered long and even optimal by some.

I believe that Schoenfeld suggest 2-3 minutes because he acknowledges the importance of both the rest period AND total volume. Since we’re discussing a different approach to how the same exact program can be performed, volume will be equal, or slightly higher for the people who take a longer rest period. So, in this case I do not see how a shorter rest period would lead to better gains.

Just to comment on this. Best Damn is not a performance program. The rest pause sets are really the only ones that may significantly benefit from neurological potentiation. Even so, it would last more than 2-3 minutes.