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High Performance Mass Article is Missing?

Hey Thibs,

I’ve used this program before with great success, I was hoping to give it another go - but the articles have been removed, is there a reason for this?


bump. I’m also looking for the HP Mass program. Ran it when it first came out and loved it.

It was a very good program. I made amazing progress with it. Would like to see it online again.

It is odd the whole thing is gone, but here is a thread that might help some of you that have done it before. http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_thibaudeau/high_performance_mass_blank_template_link

Its a bit hard to decipher for those with no knowledge of the program, but for those who have done it you will understand.

T-Nation also has the old videos still on their YouTube page, here is one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTLlRBdFbIw

From there you can find all the other ones if you want a refresher.

Thanks for the post Lonnie. I was unable to download the template from the other thread but the videos on YouTube were helpful. The concept of the program is
clear but any idea how the program is scheduled?

Ex: day 1 - upper pressing
Day 2- lower pressing
Day 3 - back and biceps

I was just searching for the same program and didn´t find the article. So, I am looking in other pages/blogs. This is what I´ve found until now. If you find the rest please let me know as I have never done it, but want to give it a try.

Look Like a Bodybuilder, Perform Like an Athlete
How I Build High-Performance Mass
by Christian Thibaudeau â?? 11/24/2010

I have to admit that when I’m out in public I think of myself as looking powerful, like a bodybuilder â?? but on the other hand, I don’t feel like a bodybuilder. At my core, I have always thought of myself (and I always will) as being 100 percent athlete.
“But Thibs,” you might be thinking, "since bodybuilders train like bodybuilders and athletes train like athletes â?? and they’re both use very different styles with completely different goals â?? you must be one extremely mixed up and frustrated coach."
To which I’d respond: “Increasing a muscle’s size and increasing its strength and explosive power… it’s all the same to me.” In fact, I’ll even go further and say that training for size and performance, together â?? as a single strategy â?? produces the absolute best gains, period!

So, I don’t train specifically for strength, or for performance, or for size, or even for fat loss, I train for it all. With nutrition and supplement plans dialed in, the more strength you gain, the more muscle you’ll put on, and the better you’ll perform. There’s no doubt about it.
Unlike other forms of training, the type of training that’s most effective at building size and performance also increases insulin sensitivity in muscle, which is huge!
In other words, in addition to stimulating maximum growth, you’re also causing muscles to soak up nutrients like giant dry sponges. And with the right workout nutrition, these muscle-sponges will fill up with huge doses of growth fertilizer every time you train.

Oh, there is one side effect… over time, body fat begins to simplydisappear.
So to me, all training should be aimed at building high-performance muscle mass, and the results will be an automatic change in body composition, the magnitude of which is controlled by your diet.
In practice, my methods might seem a bit odd, illogical, or go against common lifting dogma. And, if people actually saw the way that I personally train, they might even think I’m crazy.

The fact that I’m generally lifting some pretty hefty weights might lend some credence to my methodologies, but then again, I train so outside the norm that many lifters simply couldn’t cope with what they see. As a writer, that makes me more than just a little reluctant to, as they say, "tell all."
So before I go any further, I need to clear the air and let you know that I’ve been holding back. The fact is, the information I’ve presented over the years has been a modified version of what I know works the very best, and not the exact kind of training I do.
Don’t get me wrong. What I’ve given you is still very effective. But it’s not my authentic program. The reason I’ve been holding back is that I really didn’t think most people were ready for the information. That’s how different my training is from what everybody else does. That’s no longer the case, and my experience in the Training Lab has changed my perception.

LiVESPILLing with people about my methods, and seeing their excitement over their results, has been a real inspiration. My methods are amazingly effective and powerful, and my goal is to teach these powerful tools to as many people as possible. And for the first time ever, the Training Lab makes that goal possible.
And now I’m ready to give you the purist form of how I build high-performance mass â?? the authentic way Itrain.

It’s All About Pressing

Pressing is performance… it’s the body’s primary movement pattern, and the basis of all of my training. Building muscle mass and increasing performance, it’s all about pressing.
I split the body into two pressing parts, and I base every workout on these two performance areas:
The Training Split

  1. Upper-Body Pressing
  2. Lower-Body Pressing
    Typically I will work both areas every day I train, but between the two, upper-body pressing (or pushing) gets by far the most work and attention. Other areas of the body, primarily lats, abs, and biceps, are added in asassistance work, as needed, and mainly for balance.

If you think about it, that’s how most powerlifters and all Olympic lifters train. Powerlifters, for example, focus on the bench press, squat, and deadlift. They generally plan the training for these lifts carefully, normally including two bench-press days per week and two squat/deadlift days per week.

By the way, a deadlift is not a pull; it’s the same movement as a leg press except you’re using your hands to hold the weight. So the deadlift is a press.
Going back to the powerlifters, their assistance work is often added whenever the lifter feels it’s needed. For the most part, the actual assistance work is not even planned in advance, but rather determined during the workout itself, which is exactly the way I include assistance work.

Upper-Body Pressing

Like I said, I train upper-body pressing more than anything else, which means I do some form of this movement pattern five or six days a week. It’s not always a lot of volume, but it’s always included.
Most often, I include three heavy upper-body pressing days per week, and two or three additional days (5 or 6 total) where I “practice” upper-body pressing by training one movement at the end of my workouts. I know by most standards, that’s a lot of pressing! But in my book, it’s what’s requiredâ?? that is, it’s what’s required if you’re totally committed andserious about making huge differences in your muscle mass size and performance.

I believe that the upper-body pushing muscles thrive on high-performance training methods. These methods are centered on high frequency, low reps, and many sets of few exercises.
When I was an Olympic lifter, I trained the competition lifts every single day, and sometimes even twice a day. It’s simplywhat worked best â?? the more I trained, the better I gained.

I start every upper-body pressing workout with an overhead movement. Ever since I started doing this, my shoulders have been pain free, despite bench-pressing very heavy three to four times per week. At first my bench press numbers went down, but after two weeks my numbers were back to normal, and two weeks after that I was beating personal records, except with the added benefit of healthy shoulders (that stayed that way).

Regarding sets, on the heavy-pressing days, I perform a total of anywhere between 20 and 40 sets. I have gone as high as 70 sets, but the average is about 24.
Considering how heavily involved the chest, delts, and triceps are in most pressing movements, I’ve not found it beneficial to include much isolation work for them. I’m not saying that you can’t do isolation work for chest, delts, and triceps, because I frequently have bodybuilders perform these isolation exercises. But if your goal is to build a lot of mass, power, and strength, not only are they not needed, but they can actually diminish your overall mass gains.

It’s all about finances of training. How much of your training reserves do you want to spend on isolation exercises knowing that it’s cutting into the big exercises that build the most mass?
Lower-Body Pressing

Whenever I talk about “lower-body pressing,” I’m literally referring to every single movement where your feet push against something. It could be the floor or a leg-press platform, it doesn’t matter, it’s all pressing. As I mentioned, this includes the deadlift, which is the same basic movement as a leg press, except you’re using your hands and arms to hold the bar.
And regardless of whether or not your feet are pressing against an object that’s movable or immovable, I want you to think as if you’re pushing “it” away from you. So again, if you’re doing squats, even though the floor doesn’t move, pretend you’re pushing it (the floor) away from you.

Thinking in terms of always pushing away from the body, where the body remains stationary, focuses the mind more on the legs. And by doing that, it helps keep the upper body rock hard and locked tight into position, and therefore provides a much a more stable base for leg pressing.
In general, the legs make the best progress on much less variety than the upper body. Said another way, a lot of variety can really hinder leg development. Basically, regarding exercise selection for legs, whatever you find works best tends to be what always works best.

In fact, for the most part, I only use three strength lifts for legs:
â?¢ Back squat
â?¢ Front squat
â?¢ Trap-bar deadlift
In most of my lower-body workouts, however, I’ll simply stick with back squats as my only strength lift, and perform a minimum of 12 work sets. Like I said, this is for the main “strength” portion of the workout and should not be confused with what I do to add the volume required for massive leg development.


[quote]EthanCSW wrote:
Thanks for the post Lonnie. I was unable to download the template from the other thread but the videos on YouTube were helpful. The concept of the program is
clear but any idea how the program is scheduled?

Ex: day 1 - upper pressing
Day 2- lower pressing
Day 3 - back and biceps

Boy, its kind of hard to explain unless you know all the principles, WATCH THE VIDEOS FIRST, but I’ll try. THIS IS OVERSIMPLIFIED but it will refresh your memory if you have forgotten it.

Day 3 - Neural Charge or off
Day 4 - LOWER BODY PRESSING 1 - Prowler work for legs after main work if available
Day 5 - LOWER BODY PRESSING 2 - Prowler work for legs after main work if available
Day 6 - LATS/BICEPS Fatigue loading
Day 7 - Neural Charge or off

Okay… So some of the stuff you need to know about the program:

  • NO GRINDING, this is a high frequency approach, you will be training almost everything 4 days a week

  • Pick 3 exercises to focus on for upper body days: One over head, one incline, and one flat/decline

  • Pick a squat and a deadlift variation to focus on for lower body pressing days (front/back/high bar/low back/specialty car/trap bar/sumo/etc…)

  • In between all pressing movements is when you do your accessory upper body work: Face pulls, shrugs, pull downs, band pull aparts, etc…

  • You do 2 upper days in a row and 2 lower days in a row to create a “mini-blitz” and then recover 5 days straight instead of training hard 2 or 3 days later as in most 2x a week approaches. The back/bicep day is done in “fatigue loading” style, think squeezes and slow eccentrics on everything.

  • after 6 weeks you deload/change focus for a few weeks, then you can resume with the same or different movements

(some stuff is in caps for emphasis, its unusual/unconventional compared to most programs so I did that to make sure you knew I actually meant what I wrote)

Upper body pressing days: Ramp to Max Training Weight (MTW) on an overhead pressing lift (max weight you can ACCELERATE for 3 reps. Not a 3RM. No grinding ever on this program). Switch to incline movement and continue the ramp from the weight you left off on from the overhead movement to your MTW, then go to the last exercise and finish the ramp.

On day one you will wave load (basically lower the weight and ramp back up over 3 sets) the overhead movement AND THEN RAMP TO MAX TRAINING WEIGHT FOR THE SQUAT MOVEMENT, and on day two you will wave load the incline/flat movement AND THEN RAMP TO MAX TRAINING WEIGHT FOR THE DEAD LIFT MOVEMENT.

The lower body pressing days follow the same principles. Focus on the lower body lifts, and ramp to MTW on one upper body lift

So a week will look like this:

Day 1 - Ramp to MTW on overhead, say 135. Then continue from 135 to 225 on the incline bench, then continue from 225 to 275 on the flat bench. Wave load the overhead press with 105x3, 115x3, 125x3. Do that three times. Ramp to max training weight on Squat (NO GRINDING)

Day 2 - Do the exact same ramp from yesterday (weights may be a bit different from fatigue), wave load the chest focused movement, then ramp to MTW on the dead lift movement.

Day 3 - neural charge

Day 4 - Ramp to MTW on squat, continue from that weight and ramp to MTW on dead lift, wave load the squat. Ramp to MTW on over head movement (remember, NO grinding, only crisp and fast reps. When you cant accelerate you are done)

Day 5 - Same as above except wave load the dead lift, then ramp to MTW for the chest focused movement.

Day 6 - lats/biceps

Day 7 - off/neural charge

In week 2 you add a wave load (4 total), and in week 3 you add ANOTHER wave load (5 total), then in week 4 you go back to 3 and add another in week 5 (4 total) , then another in week 6 (5 total). This completes a 6 week block. The workouts in weeks 3 and 6 are very long.

lol… cant believe I just typed all that out. I’m actually leaving for my honey moon in like an hour so I wont be back to answer anything for 2-3 weeks. If you have any Q’s that Thibs isnt answering I’ll be back around Dec 17th or so and will check this thread.

1 Like

Great synopsis Lonnie! Glad those old spreadsheets and thread still offer some value.

I used the excel spreadsheets to refresh my memory and have been using it again since I posted this thread, already added 10kg to my 1RM Back squat. One of the best programs CT has written imo.

The only downside is that is kinda tricky to implement some olympic lifting and snatch/clean pulls, if anyone has any tips for that i’d appreciate it.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
I used the excel spreadsheets to refresh my memory and have been using it again since I posted this thread, already added 10kg to my 1RM Back squat. One of the best programs CT has written imo.

The only downside is that is kinda tricky to implement some olympic lifting and snatch/clean pulls, if anyone has any tips for that i’d appreciate it.[/quote]

Its actually not, and I totally forgot to mention this above:

  • You start every workout with an Activation exercise (explosive, low reps) for the movement pattern for that day, with the Snatch working perfectly for nearly any day since it is legs/shoulders/back… basically everything

So start 1-2 workouts a week working up to a crisp 3RM, or just up in singles until you know the next rep will not be explosive

Other examples would be like med ball throws forward/up, jumps, explosive pushups off a bench.

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
I used the excel spreadsheets to refresh my memory and have been using it again since I posted this thread, already added 10kg to my 1RM Back squat. One of the best programs CT has written imo.

The only downside is that is kinda tricky to implement some olympic lifting and snatch/clean pulls, if anyone has any tips for that i’d appreciate it.[/quote]

there was a correction of excel spreadsheets, you found those correct?

I found the screen shots for the program

lower body

Hi Lonnie,

I just want to ask you a few questions about those Mini-blitz.

1- Is this way of splitting the volume worked well for you? Because I want to start again this program (that already done), but this time, I only have 5 Days/week that I can train in a gym.

2- I’m just finishing reading the article about the ''look like a bodybuilder/ look like an athlete" program, and I read all what’s in the furum and I want to know how you found the program compared to the old hpm training and if you think there is way to make a kind of mini-blitz that could work in my way…?

Thanks for the answers (and sorry for my english, that’s not my first language) !

If anybody could help me up on that, feel free to answer !

Do it the old way for six weeks, then check out the new layout and do it that way for 6 weeks. No need to choose only one forever

CT obviously changed it around for whatever reason he has, but the old way is still good

Thanks for the answer !
Just a last question… is the 5 Days break after the mini-blitz are to much to recover ? Or this is Just perfect?

Actually the Mini-blitzes are built into the weekly system. Like so:

Monday: Upper Push Emphasis
Tuesday: Upper Push Emphasis
Wed: Neural Charge
Thursday: Lower Push Emphasis
Friday: Lower Push Emphasis
Saturday: Back/bi’s
Sunday: NC

So Monday and Tuesday is the “mini blitz” for the upper push muscles, and Thursday/Friday is the blitz for the lower body. A typical split would be to alternate the emphasis Monday and Tuesday, then repeat it Thursday/Friday

CT recommended 6 week cycles on this program. I suppose you could do 5 days off after that but it might be overkill because you never really hit failure on this program so you likely wont ever feel “run down”

Perfect Lonnie ! Thanks again !

I think the difference is the newer version is less taxing, in my opinion and experience, having done the old one back then and the new one now.

There are a few reasons, I think, as to why it is less taxing. One is exercise selection. The exercises in the new version are more explosive in nature and as such you really stay away from grinding in any way - otherwise you can’t perform the explosive lifts at all. (not the same with squats/dl/etc.) At the same time you are not squatting and deadlifting really heavy day in/day out because of different exercises, which overall taxes less too, I find
Then with the newer version you find your 3RM and thus your MTW (max training weight) - and stick with that through-out the 4 weeks.
I remember with the old one you would to not do it the same way (correct me if I’m wrong) and thus you would need to really keep yourself on a leash every single training session (because most of us like to go at it hard). Having a pre-selected weight really keeps me in my leash, and I’m much better for it.

With every “program” I find that I and most other people set their lifting-numbers too damn high. This little stroke of genius that CT are doing with this approach (3RM * 0.87/0.8 ) and then minus 20/30 lbs - whilst at the same time having the exercise selection revolving around explosive lifts is part of the back-bone of the whole concept.