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Best Damn Workout - Strength Focus?

Hi CT,

I’ve been running variations of your Best Damn Workout for natural lifters with amazing success - better gains than the layer system I might add!

In the last 3 months I’ve gained 6kg while loosing 1kg of fat (my diet wasn’t perfect either, probably 7/10 of where it should be).

I really want to start focusing on strength & power for sport now over muscle growth now, and I wondered how you would set up this workout methodology if pure strength & power was the goal?

Thanks as always

I just read back what I wrote - I’ve read the strength version of the plan but what I didn’t articulate very well was that I wanted to focus on power rather than max strength… Apologies!

Looking forward to your responses

Training for power and athleticism is a whole different animal. The way I train the athletes I work with is quite unique, and might be a bit complex to explain on a forum answer. Plus, I’d need to know your level of proficiency with the olympic lift variation and jumping/plyometric exercises.

Assuming I’m proficient in the Olympic lifts…?

Well, again, I developed a whole system about it and it is a bit too complex to explain it in a forum post.

For example, I just finished developing a product for my website that is the type of program I use with athletes. That program is 200 pages long. Sure the program itself has a lot of pages because each workout has its own page or sometimes two. So 12 weeks, 4 workouts per week, is around 100-120 pages. But there is also 40 pages explaining my system and 30 pages of exercise description.

It is not available yet, sadly.

I can give you some ideas of how I work though. And you can go on my Instagram account (Thibarmy) where I post videos of some athletes I train, showing some of the methods that I use. My Youtube channel also show some of the exercises we do.

  1. The basic plan is 3 days a week. To which a additional 4th workout is added.

  2. The base days are whole body sessions. Normally using 4 exercises per workout. Sometimes 3 if the athlete has a lower work capacity. These are done Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

  3. The extra workout will vary depending on the phase and the person. It can be hypertrophy work for lagging/neglected muscle groups, it could be technique work, it could be lower intensity explosive work or rehab/prehab work.

  4. Each of the base days focus on a different type of muscle action (eccentric emphasis, isometric emphasis, concentric emphasis). That doesn’t mean that we only perform that type of action in our sets, it means that this type of action is emphasized. For example, in our eccentric days we could do the eccentric/lowering phase slowly (5-8 sec, sometimes up to 10 sec), on the isometric days we could include pauses during the movement (1-3 pauses of 3-5 seconds per rep). These are just examples, I have 10-15 methods for each type of action and they are periodized over the training cycle (I don’t use all the methods in one cycle).

Here is an example of an advanced isometric method that we use. This is at the VERY top of the intensity scale and only my most advanced athletes eventually work up to that.

And here’s an advanced eccentric overload method that we use:

Again this is at the top of the pyramid.

Here is a more traditional eccentric method that we use.

  1. On a given day we focus only on one type of action and normally use the same method to minimize neurological stress.

  2. The reps are fairly low (1-6 depending on the method).

  3. I use a 4 blocks periodization model.

ACCUMULATION: Longer duration/Lower weights methods and loading schemes. The purpose of that phase is to prepare the body for heavy lifting. Develop muscles and tendons, improve technique and bar control.

INTENSIFICATION: This is where we have lot of heavy lifting with the aim of increasing maximal strength

REALIZATION: In this phase we also have heavy lifting but around 50% of the workload is done on explosive work.

TRANSFER/PEAKING: In this phase we work on transferring the strength/power developed earlier to coordination patterns that are closer to fundamental movement patterns required in your sport. A lot of people see this as “sport-specific” training, which is a mistake. However we do a lot more movements that are closer to running, changing direction and jumping. Much more focus on explosive work.

Here are some examples:

Of course, the olympic lifts are trained for the whole program. In the ACCUMULATION we use complexes.

For example:

In the INTENSIFICATION phase we go heavy (1-3 reps/set, clusters, 3/2/1 waves):

In the REALIZATION and TRANSFER phases we go lighter (80-85%) but more explosive or sets of 3,

  1. Normally a session has the following:

A. An olympic lift variation
B. A squat
C. A press
D. A pull

Early on we might add a single leg exercise. VERY minimalist. But because of the intensity of the training we cannot do a lot of exercises.

In the TRANSFER phase the weekly structure changes. Instead of using a muscle contraction split, we use a physical qualities split.

MONDAY: Strength-speed (olympic lifts, loaded jumps, throws, prowler sprints, etc.)

WEDNESDAY: Speed-strength (jumps, throws, high intensity plyometrics, light prowler sprints)

FRIDAY: Strength transfer. Here we use the accentuation method: doing exercises that overload the sport-specific range of motion. For example squats from a knee angle of 90 degrees OR squat with chains overloading the top half, incline bench press from pins starting at the mid-range point, etc.

SATURDAY: Speed-strength

Some examples of athletes I work with…

Bobsleigh athlete A (Gab). Front squats 220kg, Back squats 270kg, Power snatch 133kg, 3.64/30m (would be roughly a 4.4 forty), 39" vertical, 11’+ broad jump

Boblseigh athlete B (Pat): Back squat 260kg x 2, Power clean 160kg, Front squat 210kg, 3.58/30m (would be a low 4.3 forty), 40" vertical, 11’+ broad jump

Pro football player (Paul): Back squat 250kg, Bench press 170kg, Front squat 185kg, 40" vertical, 11’ broad jump, we haven’t measured his 40 yet.

Track cyclist (Hugo): 240kg x 3 safety bar squat, 115kg x 3 power snatch, we don’t measure much else because he is in season, that’s just what he did this week.

I’ve always trained a bobsleigh guy who ran a 4.2 forty, 40" vertical and 425lbs bench at 183lbs.

These are just a few examples off the top of my head.


Another example of CTs dedication to Tnation and desire to help us all succeed.
That insanely thorough replay probably took 60 minutes to construct and here it is, free of charge.


This is awesome stuff…thx CT!

@Christian_Thibaudeau I tip my imaginary hat to you sir. The time and thought you put into that response was above and beyond. Whilst this wasn’t my question or my specific area of interest, reading how you work with your athletes and structure the program was really interesting and informative. Thankyou.

I’m with simo, I feel like you should have to pay to open this thread lol. I could care less about being an athlete, but that’s a hell of a response and I’d be thrilled if I was looking to be athletic!

Well, thanks guys. It is honestly just the tip of the iceberg though.


Wow fantastic post!!! Thanks for all informations coach. What you do if athlet is not proficient in oly lift? Could sghp be an alternative?

Yes, that’s what we do in that case, explosive pulls.