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Best Damn Workout Critique

I can’t wait to try it once I’m done with craming for exams😂

I’ve never liked this way of looking at things, because for some reason you are leaving out the next 3 days “off”. Its 3 times every 14 days, not every 8 days. Or rather, once ever 5 days (approximately) versus once every 3 days.

You also have to remember that CT is an actual trainer that trains people and sees their results (and he knows the science too). When it comes to body building, the science around it is not some objective measure like it is in physics.

Studies are very often done on untrained people, a small sample size, or for short durations (6-12 weeks), or have uncontrolled variables, or measure very specific things. It’s not like they take 5,000 people and have them eat the exact same thing with the same stresses in life and the ONLY thing they look at is training frequency or effort for a decade s d see who ends up with the most muscle.

So while its true that “studies have shown” XYZ in body building, those studies might have certain factors that Thibs doesnt have when he trains people that make them less than ideal to compare.

Also, he does has a recommendation for 4 days a week in his follow up aritcle

Anecdotally I’ve never met a really massive or impressively developed dude that hit a bodypart 3 times a week. Zero.

In fact, the great majority hit a muscle once. Natty and enhanced.


Yep. Most body builders do a bro split. I bet the number of competitive BBers who even do an upper/lower is minuscule.

This is anecdotally true. So I’m not sure why so many guys get hung up on these splits that look nothing like what big guys have been using for decades.

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I can understand that thinking for sure. I mean clearly in a 14 day stretch it’s 6 workouts and 3 upper/3 lower. I learned about AB when I was first reading about DC training so most of my thinking on it comes from dontes Trudells line of thought. Also his comparisons are to Bro splits. So most of his points are aimed at AB vs 1x a week per body part.

I think one of the things that I always did like about AB (again this is trudells point) is if you’re able to hit Monday and wedesnday you’ve already hit the full body. If you get sick or just get ran down and can’t lift friday it’s ok. It is a flexible model if you’re a busy guy or gal.

But in saying that I do love Bro splits. You go
In focused on a few things and can put all your effort into it. And like you and Paul said you can literally look around at any gym from big gym bros to me Olympia and find tons of ppl that train this way so clearly it works.

I’ve been wondering about this exact same thing. I began rereading what the body builders of the 50s, 60s and 70s did again (Sipes, Pearl, Reeves) and the use of anabolics was a lot less. These guys just experimented and experimented with so many routines and exercises and were less dogmatic than the internet era. They found what worked for them and I think in the end that’s what everyone has to do. Everyone is different (leverages, slow twitch vs fast twitch, height, metabolism, etc…)

So we concluded that for optimal muscle growth 2 times a week is best.
Why are arms trained 3 times a week on SSP?
Also, for strength, training a movement as often as possible is optimal to build motor recruitment?

For the SSP I just throw in pump arm work at the end during the stars and stripes phase. There’s no heavy arm work being done. It’s actually more for restorative purposes for the heavy work.

Activating the high threshold motor units is about how you’re performing the movement or the loading involved. Creating more motor units involved with that movement happens over time. you can expedite that process a bit by performing it more often during the novelty stages, but after the body “learns” the movement then it’s going to activate the motor units that are involved with that knowledge of that movement.

So once again, after your body “knows” a movement, doing it more often isn’t providing some extra benefit.

Wow that’s also some new information.
So why did Bulgarian trainers train the same movements everyday?
I respect CT and I know you do too, but both of you are almost on the opposite spectrum for frequency.
Almost all of his strength building routines except for best damn strength are repeating movement as frequently as possible.

I would love to hear Paul and CT debate this topic on a podcast or during a roundtable discussion.

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That would be AMAZING!

Have you trained the Olympic lifts? I have, and at a real gym, they are very technical. We had lifters who had been doing the lifts for 10 years, some of those going to the Commonwealth games. Those lifters were still getting daily feedback on form breakdown, let alone the newbs.

The other strength sports are not like that, building muscle is definitely not like that.

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It’s not new information. You’re talking about Olympic lifting, which is like comparing apples and oranges.

Oly lifts can be done more often because there is no eccentric. So recovering from them compared to movements with more accentuated eccentrics, is far easier. That’s also why you can’t get jacked on Olympic lifts too.

But they have to practice them more often because they are more technical so they are much more difficult to “learn” by the nervous system. Squatting and deadlifting and pressing? Easy to learn. And once they body “knows” them it’s not about doing them more often, it’s about doing them with high velocity to increase strength (by activating more motor units), or by using them in some mechanical tension/metabolic fashion to induce muscle growth.

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You would be bored. Thibs and I agree on about 99% of stuff.


Then what is the optimal way to gain strength fast?
If it’s not repeating the movements very often then what is it?

Even if we’ll get bored, I still think it’s worth it!

I just penned an article on it that should hit in a few weeks.

Do you plan on competing in powerlifting or strongman?

If not, then I don’t understand the desire to build maximal strength. At all.

I compete in strongman (poorly haha). Even if I didn’t, I would want to develop maximal strength. I wouldn’t want it at the sake of everything else (ie. Weighing 400lbs) but I’d definitely favour it over maximised muscle development.

Different strokes, I guess. As me and my kids are getting older, I am considering my choices though.