T Nation

Have No Fear - CT Is Here!


Fire away fellas.

Any questions for my fat bloated powerlifter arse? I still look halfway decent so, bodybuilding questions will also be fielded.


I know this may sound like a BB question, but I must ask. Do you have any specific Bicep routines or methods for someone who has genetically bad placement of their biceps? I've read that Think Tank about arm work, so I know a bit. But I feel my biceps are lagging behind and I'd like to give them a little push in the right direction, so they wont be ugly AND weak. Any suggestions?


CT, any chance of an article on conjugated prioritization training for strength like you are doing right now? A conjugated approach to bbing would make a pretty awesome article also.

I realize that elitefts, Dave Tate, Louie, etc have a plathora of awesome articles on the subject but I would like to see your spin on it(as a fellow Canuck and all :slightly_smiling: )

Secondly, do you prefer neutral grip DB Bench or a 'regular grip'? How do they differ when it comes to muscles they work?

Neutral or a semi-neutral grip feels a lot more natural on my shoulders for whatever reason.

Finally, are the strippers in Montreal all they are rumoured to be? Me and a few buds are thinking of taking a road trip this summer.


Hello Christian,

Are you for the separation of Quebec....lol nah that's not my question enough of that politic crap.

I asked the same question to Eric Cressey yeaterday, i am curious to learn what you think about this. You are an awesome strength coach, i am proud that you are from Quebec!

Since you are too pretty damn good on working on stuff like that, i have a question for you.

Every time a squat beyond parallel, i feel a huge tension(read bad tension) in the VMO that leave me stiff the next day. The same thing seem to apply under my knee. With or without knee wrap the same thing happend everytime. It calm down maybe 2-3 day later with hot/cold+foam roller massage but it suck big time when it happend.

You seem to be in favor of ass to the grass squat for knee/quads balance but it seem to hurt me even when i use textbook form...

Is there a method to work the vastus medialis without +90 degree flexion squat, i know the thing about leg extension with feet pointed "outside" advocate by ken kinakin but i may not be a huge fan of these.

I train for sprint, 23 years old, 6"0, 190pounds squat ?430pounds.

If you need other info just ask..



just wondering what your current research interests are?

Im not as up to date as i should be on all the current trends so i was wondering what you were interested/researching at present?


Well you can't really change the shape of your biceps, but you probably already know that. What you can do is make them a lot bigger which will partially take care of your problem.

To maximize biceps developement I find the following to be very important:

  1. Include some heavy work: back in the days guys that had tremendous biceps also curled monster weights. Jack Chevrier who was a Canadian bodybuilder in the 70s renowned for his huge guns (heck, even Arnold himself asked him to take a pic with him he was so impressed) and he curled 315lbs (slight cheat) and 225lbs for 12 reps! Mike Mentzer was also known for curling tons of weight. Actually, curling in the 200-225lbs range for reps was "common" by them.

  2. Biceps respond particularily well to eccentric loading. Doing accentuated eccentrics lowered in 5 seconds is a great way to build the biceps.

  3. Biceps are best trained with a low volume of work, but frequently. I found that myself this year.

  4. Working in isometric work at the end of a dynamic set is also very effective. In that case you would hold the weight with the arms bent at 90 degrees after your regular set.

I feel that in your case, training the biceps 3x per week, with a very low volume of work would be best.

Monday go heavy, stay in the 4-6 reps range, you can even cheat a little as long as you lower the weight under control.

Wednesday go high-density: perform a triple set:

A1. Peacher curl 6-8 reps
A2. Reverse curl 8-10 reps
A3. Hammer curl 10-12 reps

Do this triple set 3 times

Friday go triple failure training: Select one biceps exercise with a barbell.

Perform 2 warm up sets and 1 work set:

  1. 6-8 normal reps to failure
  2. Once you reach failure hold the bar at 90 degrees for as long as you can
  3. When you cannot hold the weight anymore have a partner help you lift it, and lower it in 5 seconds for 2-3 reps.



In your Part Time Beast routine, the first time the bench workout is done you do 10 sets with the parameters you made.

The second time you do the bench workout, should you add more weight or repeat the workout with the same weight? If you add weight, how much should you add?



Coach Thib,

Yeah, here's a question for you:

Why is the accumulation phase of your Shoulders Overhaul routine so frigging difficult? The 6 sets of 12 with 60 seconds rest was ridiculous. I don't have my log in front of me, but I recall the loads that I used dropping significantly below the prescribed. Are you certifiably insane, or does that merely mean that I have even more shoulder woes than I previously thought?

You make me mad.



Hello CT, these questions refer to your current strength program.

1)What percentage are you using on your dynamic effort days?
2) What type of warm up and cool down are you doing?
3) Do you feel cardio training has any place in a strength program?



Hi Coach Thibaudeau,

First I just wanted to say thank you for writing such a great program:
Keep your Chin Up

I have followed your program as outlined including grip work for 4 weeks. When I tested my max on Monday, I found that my chin up reps went from 4 to 8. My question is that now that I have finished the four weeks, what do you recommend as a routine to continue to increase my number of Chin Ups? I can perform one set of 8, and then my reps start falling to 6,5,5,etc...

My goal is to perform multiple sets of 10-15 repetitions.

The only problem with continuing with the Keep your Chin Up program is that I can only go to the gym on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, not allowing for the three days of rest between workouts. Do you have any suggestions to modify the program in order to make it fit into the three-day per week schedule? Or any other suggestions? Thank you sincerely for your help and advice.


To be honest I really don't care! Funny thing is that I actually studied in politics for 2 years before turning to exercise science.

Objectively I think that separation would a pretty dumb move economically speaking. And I really think that this "sovereign nation crap" is overrated. Basically politicians want to hold the reigns of power and they will use any idea to be elected. There was a time when separation was a big selling point, so many politicians (even some former liberal ones) used this platform to be elected.

I'd like to say two things:

  1. Injuries are not my forte, especially not compared to EC and MR.

  2. I never really said that I'm in favor of ass to the grass squats. I said that I'm for FULL squats. And I define full squats as the lowest one can go with proper technique without any pain.

Going below parallel is obviously too low for you right now.

The VMO is actually more involved in the last degrees of extension, not in the initial trust of the squat. The best VMO exercises are the lunge, bulgarian squat and step up... none of which involve going lower than a 90 degree knee angle.


Right now, after about 6 months of strict dieting, my favorite research is searching for the fattest, juiciest burger in town!!!

Seriously, I'm into eccentric training, thyroid manipulation and BCAAs.


Add weight if you can move up... you have 10 sets to adjust the load... no need to lift heavier for all sets. You can gradually work up until you reach a top training weight, then stick with it (if you can) or go back down slightly.


It's probably a combination of both!!! You are probably not used to taking such short rest intervals. But it's an accumulation phase. If you use less weight, it really doesn't matter much as long as each set is challenging.


In terms of BCAA's how much should one be consuming. I am taking during my workout and post- workout . Thanks


5g is probaby enough for most. I use around 5g 5x per day. Sometimes I will use up to 10g if I'm dieting.



I have a couple questions for you. First, I want to say I am a young coach myself(22) and your books and other work have really helped me come into my own. I learn something new every time I read Modern strength and power methods. I thank you.

Now, the Integrated Training program you outline in Modern Strength and Power Methods is very demanding(as there are basically 6 wholebody training days in a row if you include maintenance work). Do have have any quick tips on managing fatigue during this cycle or just on proper implementation?

Secondly, I see you started a new Westside style routine. That is my favorite template as its so easy to manipulate. Do you periodize your weekly volume throughout each mesocycle or do you go more by feel? Thank you.


Hey Beast,

What modifications would you make to Westside for someone who doesn't want to gain any weight (other than controlling the diet, of course)?


Maintenance work should be very low in intensity and volume (more like active recovery) or dropped altogether if the athlete cannot handle it. Restorative measures (read my article on the subject) can also help.

As for the westside template. I do record my max effort lifts and cycle my speed work but the rest is by feel.


Keep the assistance work to a minimum and use reps either in the 3-5 reps range or 20-30 reps range.

Do include more GPP work.