So I have been running "The Best Damn Workout Plan for Natural Lifters". This is week 8.
I followed the plan as it was laid out, but added 1 or 2 extra sets maximum on 1 exercise for areas that needed help when I felt it was feasible and when I was feeling really good. Conversely I dialed it back if I felt necessary. Previously I was doing 4 days a week split with my main lift concentrated on strength (similar to 5/3/1) and then some strongman type stuff at the end, and some light conditioning work on off days. I worked submaximally around my maxes: Bench max was around 300, squat 315 for 2 easy reps, deadlift 400.
The biggest challenge was leaving the gym with this feeling of having needed to do more sets. During the transition week I also cut my calories slightly as I felt I was eating more than I needed to with the new reduced volume. This didn't compromise any intensity on BDWP for Natties, although I am unsure if this was necessary.
Another challenge was reducing the load on some of the exercises so I could feel the target area better. In comparison to my target weights before it looked like I was doing absolutely nothing in terms of weight.
For what it is worth, my weight has stayed relatively the same but I seemingly look better. I do want to pack on more size though without getting fatter. I look better but unsatisfied which makes me wonder wtf was I doing before.
I do feel like my shoulders look slightly larger, along with my biceps. My legs have also grown favorably with some definition. My quads seem fuller, and my hamstrings are looking better than ever. My back is also wider and I have received more compliments too and I do notice more heads turning. These results were paradoxical to me at first, because I felt like I was busting my ass more in the gym on the previous workout program, probably just because of the extra volume. That is not to say that the intensifiers of Thib's BDWP aren't 't grueling or difficult.
This is more an open question but I am unsure the next step. I think I am going to continue with this and or possibly swap some stuff out after another 6-8 weeks because it does seem like this is still working for me.
I am not even sure if I am going to chase strength like I was trying to before, but out of curiosity I was wondering if that strength alternative to the BDWP for Natty's is in the book "Maximum Muscle Bible", specifically Ch 15 Thib's Strength/Pump program. I recently got this book for the holidays and look forward to reading it.