T Nation

Mix Different Strength Qualities in One Workout or Not?

Christian Thibaudeau - A man I learned so much from over the past few months - recommends to train different strength qualities in one workout in order of neural expense. But recently I came across a west side barbell article that lightly suggest against this. I think it would so because they are more into strength specialization but is there some greater reason as to why Mr. Thibaudeau would use this. is there some sort of problem where different strength qualities can’t be trained at the same time in one workout or is west side missing out on something? (Clash of two genius entities?)

About what strenght qualities are you talking in specific ?

Do you mean different rep principles? I.e mixing 5x5 for strength with 4x8 for hypertrophy :thinking:

I train multiple strength characteristics each session due to time constraints. I imagine that CT would also use different splits utilizing different strength characteristics dependent on his client and their individual goal. As Westside is primarily a powerlifting gym, it makes sense for them to specialize completely and for CT to give one method that he may use.


Aside from the fact that I have trouble calling anyone from westside a genius outside of maybe marketing, CT doesn’t program specifically for powerlifting, generally speaking. His focus is on building athletes. So that’s a huge difference.

People with high acetylcholine levels (great memory, good coordination, good at multitasking, can run several projects at the same time) will not only be able to train several qualities in a session but actually will do BETTER if they do it.

People with low acetylcholine should stick to a more unidimensional workout structure, only have one main focus per session (but they can train different qualities in the week).

Absolute strength, strenght-speed and speed-strength

Not really, More on the lines of lifting 90% as fast as you can then explosive training. both should be under 5 reps right? Although Mr. Thib did have a strength circuit program where you go from limit strength training to hypertrophy all the way to ballistic training.

Would you still follow this routine if you didn’t have time constraints?

I see. thank you for your input. But why do you think west side’s isn’t a genius - just want clarification as i am thinking of using their methods like the dynamic method and conjugate method

Thank you very much for your reply Mr. Thibaudeau. Is it right to say that west side might be missing out on the benefits of training different strength qualities?

I always have time constraints somewhere in regards to lifting, but probably. I always like doing something explosive and usually warm up with a speed/explosive movement like jumps or throws. I am not competitive in strongman or powerlifting so this is what I have found best works for me.

Why would they do that? They do train multiple qualities, even within a workout. Sure they don’t train limit strength and strength-speed in the same workout. But they do have hypertrophy work in different rep ranges during each session, on top of either the dynamic or max effort lift.

And they have a lot of exercise variation within the workout.

Nobody said that you have to train all physical qualities in the same workout.

People with high acetylcholine need variation within their session. But variation can come from training many different qualities, using a lot of different exercises / tool or training methods.

Thank you very much for your suggestions.

I see, Thank you very much for your explanation Mr. Thibaudeau.

When I was in my 30s, I mixed different strength qualities in single work outs with great results. Now I’m in my 40s and higher rep ranges hardly budge my results at all.

So in my 30s my workouts would look something like these three versions:

Clean and press (explosive), dead lift (low reps), an upper body exercise, and then a more isolated leg movement (high reps)


squat supersets: 315, 225, jumping, rest, repeat


Heavy squat sets, heavy bench sets, heavy rows sets, repeat at medium weight, repeat at a light weight.

The latter two strategies are variations upon articles I read in T-nation, which is why they probably sound familiar.

I do well with doing big lifts low reps, than unilateral assistance with high reps (but controlled good form), and than either following up the next week with high rep compounds and low rep unilateral assistance, or waiting til another cycle to flip it. Conditioning either seperated from workout or if I’m in a fat loss cycle I’ll do HIIT (non eccentric I.e. Rower, prowler, yoke, ropes) right after my workout. I’m also not interested in being a competitive strength athlete so to be taken with grain of salt, but have had great weight loss, strength, and gains with this style.

Yeah I’m seeing lots of parallels with folks’ training style on this thread. For me I think I’m fairly acetylcholine dominant (extroverted, thrill seeking) and have high dopamine levels generally.

To satisfy my craving for variety/novlety I always do some ring work and jumps/bodyweight stuff for ~10 min before every workout.

By mixing/matching various advanced bodyweight moves depending on the day (push/pull/legs) I get all the variety I need.

Then I hit a big movement reptitively because thats what creates gains longer term.

Getting too carried away with variety leads to stagnation in mny case…

Acetylcholine dominance is not a thing. Acetylcholine by itself doesn’t really change your personality. It enhances certain capacities and qualities. BTW I hope you are not using the Braverman test to assess dopamine levels… having a high dopamine score on the Braverman actually indicates LOW dopamine levels BUT super sensitive receptors. This will all be covered in one of my upcoming articles.

Being extroverted is either that you have low dopamine (but super sensitive receptors) or your are hypersensitive to norepinephrine while having high GABA

That’s low dopamine (but sensitive receptors), medium or high serotonine, high acetylcholine

That type needs activation prior to a workout to feel in the zone… activation increases dopamine and dopamine needs to be higher than serotonin to be in the zone, be maximally motivated and have workout aggressiveness