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Best Damn Workout Critique

Hey @Paul_Carter
I understand that you and thib are good friends, so if you don’t feel comfortable answering this, no problem.
But, I’ve been following you and thib for some time now and I understand that you both like lower volume and intense sets.
However, he prefers higher frequency while you prefer max 4 days a week.

If you had to tweak the Best Damn Workout For Natural Lifters to your preferences for maximum muscle growth, what would you do?

I would pare it down to 4 days a week. Thibs wrote that training a muscle three times a week is optimal frequency for natural guys but I don’t believe that. And the data has shown over and over again that there’s actually no advantage to hitting a muscle three times a week over twice a week.

Thanks for answering,
He makes it 6 days a week but also uses 3 main techniques that trigger protein synthesis.
Rest pause, Slow negatives and myo-reps or dropsets.
Would you still keep the same amount of exercises and have them all done but in 4 days instead of 6? or cut some exercises and techniques out and make it 16 exercises instead of the 24?

Any set that has a high level of mechanical loading or causes metabolic stress will trigger MPS. Set extending techniques do it as well, but they aren’t a requirement for that.

I wouldn’t change anything really except just training 4 days a week. I wouldn’t be moving in all the movements in the 6 days a week to a 4 day a week split.

Great, thanks alot.
I read that you say your best plan for maximum muscle building is the SSP until the hypertrophy books comes out, but when I read it, it looks more like a fat loss plan than muscle gain?

There are no “fat loss” training programs. Fat loss occurs from your diet.

All lifting routines that are worth their salt are geared towards either strength or muscular development, or muscle retention during dieting.

Still mind blown that guys think certain routines are more for fat loss or for muscle building.

Lifting weights should be about…

  1. Strength building
  2. Muscle building or muscle retention

Fat loss is about…

  1. Achieving an energy deficit

Interesting, so using the SSP with a slight calorie surplus and proper protein intake, etc. should provide optimal muscle gain in your opinion?

Dude that is literally mind boggling to me.

Do you really believe in some weight training programs to be more geared to fat loss or muscle gain?

Well like you said, some routines can be geared towards muscle retention. This is not necessarily for fat loss but when cutting you obviously want to maximize muscle retention.
I do believe some routines could increase fatty acid oxidation more than others but that would could only mean a minor percentage increase.

Muscle retention means you’re retaining muscle while fat is coming off.

All training increases fat oxidation to some degree, or at minimum mobilizes FFA. You’re still overthinking this to an insane degree.

Train to build or retain muscle, or increase strength. There’s no such thing as an effective “fat loss barbell” program. It’s a poor tool to use for that.

Well, your the coach and im learning, thanks for explaining.
I think im going to start rotating between the Best Damn Workout and your SSP until the hypertrophy books come out.

On another note, Is carb cycling as beneficial to muscle gain as it is to fat loss?

It can be used for either. One of the things about carb cycling that make it ideal is that someone can use it for a mass gaining phase while keeping the fat gain to a minimum.

It’s one of the things that if I could go back to my younger years I would have practiced this in some fashion rather than all out bulking.

Well then, i guess im in those younger years now and I think im going to start using it more structurally.
High carbs on harder gym days.
When I use the best damn workout, since it is 6 days of moderate intensity, should i just judge which days are of higher intensity and allocate those days for higher carbs and vise versa?

An easy way to do that is to have a regular diet outline and then just add another meal or whatever on days you train. This basically makes it a no brainer way to carb cycle.

It could be a pre workout meal, post, and a drink while working out. The key is to just have it only on days you workout.


This is mind-blowing to me. Where is he getting this data from? I’m a big fan of Thibs, but I’m starting to question a lot of his ethics.

I don’t think it’s a case of Thibs writing anything unethical. Maybe he misinterpreted something he read. The studies have consistently backed up that there’s not a massive difference between hitting a muscle once or twice a week, but significant enough that it’s ideal to hit it twice a week. There’s other factors too, like an increase in gene expression for growth.

But three times a week has shown over and over again basically more work for insignificant gains compared to 2.

So Paul we’ve been discussing optimal sets weekly for hypertrophy. I believe you said 8 sets would be optimal for most. And here you said hitting a muscle 2x weekly is show optimal. Would you say an A B 3 day a week rotation with 4 working sets per muscle group would kinda be the best way to go about it? I know your simple but brutal, gareenteed muscle mass, and ssp Stars and Stripes all follow the A B structure.

But wait a minute, doesn’t SSP only hit a muscle three times in every 2 weeks, so 1.5 times a week?

Well when looking at an AB it’s not just Monday through Sunday. If you hit a leg workout Wednesday you’re hitting it again the following Monday 2x in 5 days then again 3 days later. Essentially every 8 days everything is hit twice.

Yes. Twice one week, one time the next week. I’ve constantly found that to be the happy medium here that works for basically everyone.