Coach Thib's Training Log #1

Ok, I’ve done coaching logs before and didn’t stick with them and swore I’d never do one again for a few reasons:

  1. I like to experiment. While my training is pretty much aimed at one specific goal and I use a general template and strategy to reach that goal, I need to allow myself to change things around from time to time. And this might not be the best thing to do for most.

  2. What I do is designed for me. My goal, my needs, my preferences, my training background/history, my physical situation and adjusted based on how my body reacts as the plan goes along. As such, it provided very little value for your own training and my fear is that out of admiration, respect or being super-fans, people start doing the exact same thing I’m doing and get sub-par results because it’s not adapted to them.

  3. I hate to sound prissy, but training is my “secret garden”. It’s my refuge. I’m a private person who is often forced to live in the spotlight and training has always been my “me” time. When I get it out of the open I feel like I lose that and it makes my life worse.

  4. My brain is weird: on one hand, I have a PROFOUND need to help others out when it comes to training. I really do go to extremes sometimes in that regard (I’m emailed my full seminar material to some people for free without them asking, I’ve called/video called people who sent me questions by messenger because typing an answer would have been too long, etc.) BUT when I feel like someone DEMANDS something, I immediately pivot and don’t want to help them. For example, many of you know that the thing I HATE the most is when people “bump” their questions in the forum as I feel like they are demanding an answer out of me. Anyway, I know that from time to time I will miss some log updates and I fear that if people keep asking “where is the workout for Day 3?” or something like that, it will just piss me off and make me want to stop doing the log.

Anyway, I’ll try doing one again because it seems like some people like the info in them. So we’ll see how it goes.

CURRENT GOAL AND WHERE I’M COMING FROM
For the past 14 or so weeks my main focus was strictly body composition related. Specifically getting really lean while hopefully improving some muscle(s) to create a more aesthetic physique.

This involved a pretty strict diet (including a 7 weeks period where I tested a carnivore diet), a high amount of cardio work and training focused pretty much exclusively on hypertrophy.

I reached a satisfactory level of leanness (I’d say 5-6lbs leaner than in my last photoshoot - for example, the pic in the Surge Workout Fuel banner) with a tad more muscle mass in the arms and shoulders.

I briefly entertained the idea of doing a bodybuilding competition but if I’m 100% honest with myself I couldn’t pull it off. I was starting to feel run down, lazy, mentally drained and was still maybe 5-6lbs away from contest shape. With a family, my business, constant traveling for seminars, etc. I just can’t afford to feel like crap and be non-productive.

IMPORTANT: Some people absolutely can be motivated simply to look good. I can’t. I need a specific goal to keep me on point. The moment I don’t have a precise objective to train for, I start getting all-over the place with my training and nutrition. Furthermore, while I enjoy being in grate shape, it has never been my main interest. I’m still about improving human performance, first and foremost. So just training to keep looking good will just not cut it after devoting a hard 14 weeks to it. I need something specific. And, ideally, performance related.

If you have been following me seriously you know that about 4-5 months ago my goal was to try to get back to my all-time best 40 yards dash (a laser 4.54 when I was 25 years old). And all my training was geared toward that. But I pulled an adductor pretty badly when I slipped while shoveling snow.

I couldn’t full squat, deadlift from the floor, perform plyos, much less run. So that kinda halted that goal and that’s when I decided to get into photoshoot shape again.

My adductor is a tad better but still not 100%. So sprinting can’t be my goal.

Originally I was aiming at getting my strength back up again. And started to plan accordingly.

But then I had some good news: a daycare spot opened up for my youngest one, 3 days a week. On those days both of our kids can go to daycare. Which rekindled my desire to improve my golf game.

If you are new to the show, you might be completely lost with that comment! So here is a bulletproof recap:

  • I used to play golf competitively until I was 18. My father was the president of the local country club and my brother played in college. Golf was a passion for me even before training was.

  • I stopped playing roughly 25 years ago when I fell in love with olympic weightlifting. And had not touched a club until 3 years ago.

  • 2 years ago I got bit by the golf bug again and played all summer THEN spent the following winter training exclusively to improve my golf swing speed (my driver speed went from 112mph to a max of 133mph). BUT I actually had to cancel my plans to play when my wife got pregnant with our second kid. I just couldn’t justify spending a few hours at the club 3-5 times a week, on top of my training, while she was breastfeeding and taking care of 2 kids (daycare closed down because of COVID).

So yeah, this week I started playing again (well, only hitting balls at the moment) and I want to design my training with two main goals in mind and a secondary one:

Primary 1: I want to get stronger on the big basic lifts

Primary 2: I want to increase my swing speed

Secondary: I want to keep looking decent. I will likely lose a small amount of muscle in some sports to allow me to swing better, but I want to keep 90% of my current condition, if possible

I’ll try to keep this log up for as long as it is tolerable for me to do so!

Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

14 Likes

Monday June 20th training

A. Bench press 5 x 3 @ 80% of my pre-cycle max

B. Slingshot bench press 3 x 6-8 (the third set being very close to a 6RM, maybe 1 rep in reserve)

C. Weighted dips 3 x 6-8 (the third set being very close to a 6RM, maybe 1 rep in reserve)

D. Triceps pressdown 3 x 8-10 (again, third set was 1 rep in reserve, or even closer to limit)

E. DB lateral raises 3 x 8-10 (same)

2 hours later I went to the range and hit balls for around an hour.

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Tuesday June 21st training

A. Deadlift 5 x 3 @ 80% of my pre-cycle max

B. Snatch-grip high pull from hang 4 x 3 (ascending weight, still lightish as I’m reintroducing explosive work in my training)

C. Wendler row 3 x 6-8 (last set being close to a 6RM)

D. Harness/Cable neck flexion 3 x 10-12

E. Harness/Cable neck extension 3 x 10-12

Note: Between every set of A - C I did rotational stretches for my swing

Power session (3 ish hours later)

  1. Medicine ball “shot put” 3 x 5 (8lbs ball)

  2. Overspeed work - 3 waves of:

3 reps with green superspeed stick (much lighter than driver)
3 reps with blue superspeed stick (slightly lighter than driver)
3 reps with red superspeed stick (slightly heavier than driver)

There was rest between every set within a wave and between waves.

*I need to work on these because even though the goal is to swing as hard/fast as possible to train the nervous system to go faster in a normal swing, I was altering my technique to get more speed and I want to avoid that.

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Some important notes:

  • At the moment, I wouldn’t say that what I do is golf-specific. I’m just introducing some power work to get my body used to moving fast again.

  • My main focus is still overall strength. It *might" (or might not) become more golf-specific as it goes along depending on my progress in strength, golf and body comp.

  • When I have strength and golf workouts on the same day, it is not necessarily the optimal split, workout order or time between sessions. It’s what I can do with my schedule.

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I for one look forward to the Black Book of Gains for Golfing.

So many athletes seem to find or rediscover a love for golf, you see it all the time. Maybe it’s as simple as the change of pace and the minimal impact it’ll have on your main sport of choice.

Some nutrition points

  • I am NOT going to post any food choices or macros/caloric breakdown simply because I do not measure my food intake nor do I eat according to a specific meal plan. I did that for the past 14 weeks and I’m mentally burned out and just want to eat normally.

  • That having been said, I still focus on eating “properly”, in a way to favor recovery and health. I also want to avoid gaining too much fat. I can handle being 6-8lbs heavier than my leanest condition, but I want to stay there for now. So my food intake actually fluctuates depending on how I look and feel.

  • I use 1 serving of Surge Workout Fuel with every session (strength, golf practice or power training).

  • I started using creatine monohydrate. Call me old-school but I do use a 7 days loading phase where I take in 4 x 5g during the day. Then I’ll use 5g per day.

  • I use Brain Candy 4 days a week upon waking up (the 4 days that I have strength sessions)

  • For health I use Flameout, Curcumin and P-Well

  • Before golf practices I use noopept and alpha-GPC

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What was your experience with the carnivore diet? Benefits, downsides, mental and physical performance?

Are you still on the carnivore diet or have you started reintroducing carbs again? I’m curious about the “why” for using a carnivore diet.

It’s a restrictive diet that excludes entire food groups like vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, potatoes etc. Forgive me if I’m a little sceptical about how healthy that actually is long term.

Even if it is healthy, socially speaking it will be very hard to maintain considering carbs are an integral part of food cultures worldwide.

Edit: you’re probably not on the carnivore diet anymore since your cut lasted 14 weeks. I noticed just now that you experimented 7 weeks with the carnivore diet so there’s my answer.

I talked about it in some of the “instagram lives” that I did.

PROS

  • I felt good on it. At least initially. More energy but that could be attributed to higher adrenaline. Carnivore tends (like keto and fasting) leads to low blood glucose levels, so the body must mobilize stored glycogen to maintain stable blood glucose levels. This leads to more cortisol (which is used to mobilize the glycogen with glucagon) leading to an increase in adrenaline through a conversion of noradrenaline potentiated by cortisol.

  • I dropped weight fast. Obviously, lots of it was water weight (low insulin = more diuresis) but, even though it is not popular nowadays to go against the “CICO dogma” I did lose fat faster and with a higher food intake than with “normal” diets. This actually became a “CON” (more on that later).

  • I improved insulin sensitivity greatly. Even when I reintroduce carbs my blood glucose levels never stayed high for a long time (I used a device that measured blood glucose constantly, basically every minute). My blood glucose level was around 4.7mmol/l on carnivore and even when I reintroduced carbs, my baseline never went above 5.1 and after a 100-125g carbs meal it would do up to 6 and come back sown to 5 within an hour or so.

  • I liked that I could eat to satiety (and more) and still drop fat

  • I loved my blood pressure… but it actually lowered it too much and I started to have hypotension episodes.

CONS

  • I can’t see myself building much muscle on a carnivore diet. Not saying that it’s impossible, but I just couldn’t eat enough to avoid my weight from coming down. At one point I had to add one “ketobrick” per day, which gave me around 900kcals more (80% from fat) just to maintain my weight.

  • Even though I didn’t get cravings (I was so full a satiated that I didn’t have any physiological hunger) I started to “want” different tastes. It was weird because I wasn’t actually craving sugar, but I WANTED sugar.

  • I peed a lot more than usual. On the plus side, I guess it kept me dry and looking more defined, but it got really annoying, especially at night.

  • I was flatter. Actually this only happened after 3-ish weeks and might have been related to doing too much volume. I would pump up fine in the gym and look awesome. But looked deflated the rest of the day. BUT I looked dry so it wasn’t all bad.

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No, I stopped around 6-7 weeks ago.

I toyed with going back on it again but maybe keeping intra-workout carbs. But with my new goal, I don’t see it as ideal.

It was honestly because I didn’t believe in it.

People were asking my opinion but I don’t feel intellectually honest, critiquing a way of eating solely based on theory. I needed to do it myself to feel ok bout talking about it.

I was able to critique intermittent fasting because I used it extensively myself. Same with keto.

I was fully expecting it to suck in every regard. But it was better than expected. Simply not adapted to all goals.

Well, for anyone that would be a very valid point. BUT…

a) I’m not a social person and have absolutely no problem asking a host to just give me the meat (or whatever animal food they are preparing). Heck, I’ve gone to dinners where I didn’t eat anything, just enjoyed the conversation. I have no mental block in doing that.

b) I’m a naturally super picky eater. So pretty much everywhere I go I’m already very limited in what I eat and I have adapted to it.

c) The only issue for me, were I to stay on a carnivore diet, is when I give seminars. Not necessarily from a food availability perspective (I normally book hotels with a kitchen and a grocery store within walking distance) but a psychological one: I have this bad habit of “rewarding myself” after a seminar.

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And if you’re on low or almost no carbs, but you’re not calorie deficient, does that still matter how you train? Without being an expert, I guess that with such a diet it is better to train harder and with less volume. My guess comes from the fact that the body does not have and does not produce enough glycogen and at lower repetitions the energy supply is different. And if you’re carb-free and plus calorie-deficient, I guess the approach will be the same. Heavy lifts (at least 80% RM) with small volume.
But the conclusions I draw may be completely wrong.
Congratulations on the created diary.

I honestly don’t have the long-term answer. Carnivore proponents mention that the human species evolved and survived eating mostly animal foods for a very long time. Eating a small amount of fruits only seasonally and relying on veggies as a last resort survival food. And up until recently, you still had (still have some, but least) some populations not only surviving but being very healthy eating almost exclusively meat and animal products.

Yes, that would make absolute sense. At least for weight training. Cardio/conditioning would be the opposite: long and slow being better than short and hard.

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Thank you for the extensive replies Coach.

I like how you answered each question separately, that makes it very easy to digest and understand everything you wrote here.

It’s not likely that I’m going to try the carnivore diet as I have different belief systems about nutrition and health.

But it does interest me up to the point that I wanted to understand the concept better.

You’ve given me some food for thought (pun intented).

Thank you

Yeah, I probably won’t use it again. Or if i do, it will be a modified version for a very short period of time (4 ish weeks).

I would do it like this:

  • Add pre/intra workout Surge Workout Fuel
  • Be fairly strict carnivore 6 days a week
  • On the 7th day eat mostly fruits, and a large variety of them along with some veggies
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Your idea has something biblical to it. Not that I’m a Christian (not anymore at least), I’m actually an atheïst.

But I can actually see some overlap with the Bible’s description of how God created the world. The first six days he had to put in some serious work but on the seventh day he rested and “ate the fruits of his labor.”

I’m fully aware that this notion has no added value or doesn’t have anything to do with what you just said. It just slipped my mind I guess. I make weird associations every now and then :slight_smile:

Just for fun I shall consider giving this modified version a go for a couple of weeks. But I still remember your warning in the neurotyping course that this way of eating is not meant for everyone, especially those who are anxious or easily irritated.

Thanks for sharing CT

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@Christian_Thibaudeau I just want to say thank you very much for giving so much insight and for sharing so much private stuff. I appreciate you and thank you very much for putting so much effort and work in this forum. Please keep going

Curious to hear how it works out for you. I wonder whether it would be better to experiment with this during a strength or a performance phase of a training cycle …