T Nation

Doug Santillo

Hey doug, thanks for the answers, i know what your saying, but i’m just doing core lift workouts for another week then i’m starting your program, listen man, i’m working nightshift, for the past 2 months, its kinda hard to follow any program, if any, so right now im not following anything , i’m just going downstairs once in a while when i have enough sleep, and doing some core lifts, and its helping of course, another week and im off this shift, then i will start your program right away, but i was wondering if i can go to another beginner’s program after yours, its for 8 weeks and i posted it like in the next 3 pages, its opposite of yours, lower body day one, upper day two, day 3 rest, day 4 repeat one, day 5 repeat 2, day 6 and 7 rest. Or should i just get right on a whole new program, i’m talking ajv’s advice on periodization. What do ya think, i can’t help it, i just want to start out and continue to do whats best.

John, I feel your pain brother. It’s pretty tough for some people to get to the gym. But here’s what you need to realize… Even though your recovery ability and time may be hampered by the night shift you’re working, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan of attack! The point here is not that you have to use a program designed for a person with unlimited time to train and solid recovery ability, but rather that you need a program tailored for you that takes into account your time restraints and your personal recovery ability. Had you included more information, I would have changed my recommendations for you. Regardless of your situation, YOU MUST have a plan.


I went back and read what ajv wrote to you, and I think he outlined a very useful periodization model. It uses alternating periodization with a stability phase to start with. Note that Poliquin, King, and Staley all recommend similar models. However, I have no idea where he gets the idea that Ian’s t-mag programs are not “periodized.” His limping and super strength programs are linearly periodized in just as methodical an approach as any you’ll ever find, including the one described as Tudor Bompa’s.


I want to clarify a point for you, and everybody else right now. You will never find one periodization model, or one ANYTHING for that matter, that you can call the best. Tudor Bompa has some great thoughts on periodization, but he, like any good trainer, recognizes the need for specificity. He does not apply this one “periodization” model indiscriminantly. There’s some great theory behind that model, as there is behind about a dozen periodization models I can show you. The idea that you can find one periodization model that is the best is very naive.


Alternating periodization models like the one ajv described can be great, but that’s not what you need right now. At the beginning level, your nervous system won’t be able to recruit your fastest motor units, so there really isn’t a point to taking your reps down below 5 until you get some experience. That of course doesn’t mean that variety isn’t required, but that maybe a linear model is more appropriate for you.


I’ll tell you what. Shoot me an email at drsantillo@hotmail.com, and I’ll help set you up more specifically.

DOUG, I respect you, but I don’t think you’ve understood a few things about my post to Johnny.

1. If you go back and reread my post, you'll see I never criticized Ian King's workouts. I warned Johnny against being awed by his progress with the standard york barbell "one size fits all" type of program.

  1. I admit that you have a point on begginers and training for maximum stregth. I didn’t have the time to take every detail into account in my post. I only meant to give Johnny a basic overview of a peridization model, based on what he said his goals were. I assumed he would look into things on his own, or perhaps enlist the help of someone like you.

  2. I never claimed that this p. model was THE best one. Yes, Tudor Bompa (like any other trainer) uses different models based on specific goals, competition seasons, sports you’re training for, ect… I am well aware of this. Like I said, the model I outlined wasn’t sent from God. It was just quick advice to get Johnny thinking.

hey ajv, i meant to say i’m taking your advice, not talking your advice in the last post i did, lol. It seems like great advice, where can you get books on this Tudor guy, i want to buy a book from him and get buffed, the reason for this, is if i keep on changing my program, i shouldn’t run into a plateau should i? i mean if the body is seeing a different program after 8 weeks or so, and getting adequite rest, i don’t know if that’s the way to spell that hehe, then i shouldnt have problems with not getting any gains right? and what i said in my last post about doing 2 beginner programs, both pretty different, one that im starting off with is doug’s for 4 weeks, then off to another guy’s for 8 weeks, and i totally believe that if i stick to the basic core lifts and work my way up to heavy weight, i should increase big in mass and strength, just by reading what tapper said sparked me to think that. what do you think?

Johnny, you could get books by Tudor Bompa at any Chapters/Mcnally Robinson/ most likely even at a nearby university or public library. My advice is to read all you can. You don’t necessaryily have to buy every book that looks good either. Just take it out of the library and photocopy anything you think is original and relevant. I would advise you to take the opportunity and e-mail Doug, though. If you have a guy who can personalize a program for you (and has the credentials to show for it), you’ll be much farther ahead. God knows all of us wished we’d had someone to guide us through that first shakey year.

Here are 2 of Tudor’s books that I think you’d enjoy.

  1. Serious strength training-this is for the layman. It has descriptions of numerous periodizations, one that focuses on mass, one that focuses on limit stregth, one that focuses on muscle definition, as well as one for the entry level strength trainer like you (Doug is right, this particular one doesn’t include a phase for limit stength), etc…

  2. Periodzation for sports: exactly how it sounds. Specifically for the athlete. It teaches you methods of training for power (strength.speed), power endurance, muscular endurance, as well as most of the ones from S.S.T. It also gives you periodizations for numerous sports (sometimes even positions in particular sports).

They are both published by Human Kinetics (they have a webpage somewhere). By the way, TUDOR himself has a webpage too. Mostly advertising, though. It would be worth checking out, anyway. It’s www.tudorbompa.com.

He’s written many others, but they may be too theoretical and not applied enough for you at this point in time. I would also suggest you look into these authors: Dr.Fredrick C. Hatfield (Dr. Squat webpage, as well as books),Yuri Verkhoshansky, and anything by the westside barbell boys (Dave Tate, Louis Simmons). But once again, Doug would be a big help in putting everything together. I’m still finishing my bachlor’s degree in exercise science. He’s beyond that. Don’t pass up the offer of his help! Good luck!