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Nutty's Review of Simple Guaranteed Strength and Size

#1

@Christian_Thibaudeau
I just completed my last day of the program and I LOVED what this program did for me.

BACKGROUND
I’m 32, 5’7, and currently 186. I have been lifting SERIOUSLY for ~4-5 years now. I am the ultimate program hopper. I use to switch programs every week. Never affected me because I bust ass in the gym and I eat high quality foods. I did 531 Building the Monolith last year and decided it was time to try another program and found SGSS from Thibs. I love doing a lot of work on the basics. I trained FULL BODY for 90% of my lifting life and when I decided I wanted to try an upper/lower split, this program really intrigued me. I’ve always used double progression naturally, but more so 5x3-5 and 5x8-10, then add weight. Sometimes I would get stuck at a weight for a month, but I just kept chipping away and would be able to get all the reps and then add 10-20lbs and go again. I’m in this for the long term so never worried about maxes and all of that. I had never done any sort of periodization in my life (minus the 6 weeks of BTM) so this was new to me.

I have always been intrigued by coach’s programs, but never found one that fully resonated with me until I saw this one.

RESULTS
I added 30-70lbs to all my 1RMs with this program.
Previous 1RMs
Back Squat - 445x1
Deadlift - 500x1
Bench Press - 305x1
OH Press - 225x3

BW - 176 —> 186

From Week 1 Working Weights to Last Day
Back Squat - 335 @ 5x8 —> 500x1
Deadlift - 365 @ 5x8 —> 530x1
OH Press - 155 @ 5x8 —> 255x1
Bench Press - 245 @ 5x8 —> 355x1
Front Squat - 295 @ 5x8 —> 395x1
RDL - 335 @ 5x8 —> 405x1
Chin-Ups - Stuck with 5x10 each training session
BB Row - 265 @ 5x10 —> 315 @ 5x8
Farmers Walk (used a trap bar) ended with 365lbs.

CHANGES MADE TO PROGRAM
LOWER DAYS
Back Squat (ss: Abs)
Front Squat (ss: Abs)
Deadlift (ss: Abs)
RDL (ss: Abs)
I care more about my squat than deadlift, but in all honesty the only reason I did it in this order was because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of going back to the squat rack after deadlifting. So back squat —> front squat —> deadlift —> RDL made the most sense to me.

UPPER DAYS
OH Press (ss: Chins)
Bench Press (ss: BB Rows)
BB Curl (ss: 100 push ups even though I never wrote this down)

I superset everything to keep training time down.

I basically added 10lbs a week and then 20-40lbs per phase change.

DIET
I would lift at 6am on most days, but I don’t eat until 12PM (noon). A typical day looked like this for me:

  • 12PM - Meal 1 - Carbs, Eggs, Raw Veggies, Fruit
  • 430PM -Meal 2 - Burrito, Pho, Sandwich, etc (this meal is typically meatless 4/7 days)
  • 730/8PM - Meal 3 - Carbs, Meat, Cooked Veggies
  • 1030PM - Smoothie - Fruit smoothie (apple, banana, honey, peanut butter, spinach, seeds, etc.)

During this time I ate a lot of sourdough bread. Easy way to make some egg sandwiches in the morning and quickly up the calories.

CONCLUSION
This program is great. I got noticeable stronger, bigger, and denser. I hit all lifetime PRs basically through every phase. My wife said it looks like “I have steel cables going down my back” because my erectors have strengthened like crazy during this time. My upper back, lower back, glutes, shoulders, triceps, and quads got much thicker and denser with this program. This program beats you the hell up though. If you are using really heavy loads the sheer amount of tonnage starts getting to you. I got bi-weekly massages and swam a bunch during this on my off days to help. Double progression is THE progression for non-competitive lifters. Nothing more simple to follow. You could run a program LIKE this for the rest of your life using the basic principles. Even a beginner could run this program 4x a year and after 3-5 year could have some big numbers!

I would recommend this program to anyone from beginners to advanced people. It’s a good way to just get back to the basics and cut out the fluff and put in some serious work. You get A LOT better at squatting, deadlifting, pressing and pulling.

FUTURE PLANS
I’m pretty beat up now, so I’m about to take 2 weeks off from lifting and then get back after it. I have no real goals when it comes to lifting except maintain my strength. With the summer time here I think I will go back to a basic 3 day full body and do 3 days of hard conditioning and just really enjoy outdoor summertime here in Denver.

ADVICE TO ANYONE RUNNING THE PROGRAM
Make sure to EAT. Think of what you want to hit on Week 12 and work your way back. The first week or two might seem easy, but trust me it will start to get tough! Make sure to condition (easy) and stretch during this time. You could run this program in way that the first 3 phases are 4 weeks instead of 3. Probably would be bit better to get use to the weights.

Awesome program Coach! I plan to recommend to this plenty of people!

5 Likes
#2

Damn! Incredible results! This sure caught my attention. But I noticed something, and either I have terrible form or I’m an anomality. I think that your RDL didn’t move because most likely with 8 reps @335 you could do one @405. Personally I can do 2 good RDL reps with my max DL so I think my DL form is really bad

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#3

Thanks man! My 1RMs all went up 30-70lbs.

You got to remember I would do RDL after 3-5 sets of squats, 3-5 sets of front squats, 3-5 sets of deadlift, and then finally get to RDL. After you squat for 400+, front squat for 350+ and deadlift for 400+ not going to have much in the tank left when it comes time to RDL haha!

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#4

Those numbers and you gained 10 lbs, damn it nutty post pics already…lol

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#5

Yes indeed this looks really brutal ahahah…

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#6

Did you compare your new " @ 5x8" numbers? Or previous 1RM? Im kind of dumb when it comes to 1RM stuff so I really have no idea what, for example, 155 @ 5x8 to 255x1 means in terms of strength gains.

#7

No those are the numbers I used the first week of the program. these were my previous 1RM.

Squat 445x1 --> 500x1
Deadlift 500x1 --> 530x1
OH Press 225x3 --> 255x1
Bench Press 305x1 --> 355x1

But you have to remember these old 1RMs were just doing the one lift that particular day. The new 1RMs are after doing a lot of reps and lifts before. So technically my REAL 1RM is probably much higher.

Prior to this program I could hit these weights, sets & reps any day of the week with 30 sec rest times between sets under any condition:

Back Squat - 405 @ 5x5
Deadlift - 405x15
Bench Press - 275 @ 5x8
OH Press - 205 @ 5x5

#8

Haha, in due time man! Waiting for the right sexy one to post for all of you haha!

Brutal is how I would exactly describe it!

#9

How long did you spend in the gym each day?

#10

60-75 minutes.

I rest 30s-120s between all sets. With front squats and rdl never needed warm up sets.

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#11

Also wanted to say that you’re really strong !

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#12

Ya the program smokes you. Almost makes more sense to do front squats first then back and do trap bar deads or snatch grip back extensions for first 2 phases.

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#13

What the fuck? You must be some kind of genetic freak or something to be getting those sort of gains while training fasted.

Why don’t you compete in something? Powerlifting, strongman, something.

Yeah, from what I see it doesn’t even look like you were actually peaked for those lifts.

I think you have the potential to become an elite level lifter, seriously.

3 Likes
#14

Thanks man! Working towards that!

I think the beauty of this program is you can fit it towards your needs. I think it makes sense to do some variations for phase 1-2 and then switch to main lifts for phase 3-4.

I do have awesome genetics. D1 Level athleticism, can do all sorts of flips, I was snatching 185 when I was only squatting 245. I’m 5’7 and can dunk haha. So god bless my family genes for hidden genetics!

Haha man, but I’m not really fasted. I’ve been training like this for over a year now overall, so my body has fully adjusted to training fasted. Plus you gotta remember I have a big shake like 1/2 hour before bed and I sleep for 6 hours every night. But don’t tell no one I actually drink hot water with lemon and honey while training haha!

Man you know I have thought about it but I honestly don’t care that much about it. I run a company that takes up anywhere from 40-70 hours a week of real work, so between that my wife, family, friends, and my personal time I don’t have much time to think about training. I train because I want to be strong (being jacked is just a bonus) and it’s something that allows me to release all my stress with aggression. I actually hate training (love squatting), but I do it because I know it needs to be done lol. I actually really enjoy ninja warrior training, so that’s where more of my competitive juices run.

I appreciate that man! I probably do, but I just don’t want to train at the intensity needed to reach those levels. I budget 1 hour a day to training and I really like only 3-4 of those days to be lifting. The other days I like doing all sorts of other shit lol.

I think I’m good with just being that random strong ass dude in the gym haha!

#15

Just to put it into perspective, your bodyweight and numbers would give you a 415 Wilks, which is not incredible but decent, but to top it off you didn’t peak and taper for those numbers plus the way you were training was not really prioritizing the bench and deadlift. And you don’t use a belt either?

I’m not trying to convince you to do anything, what you want to do is your business. A few years ago I thought I would do a PL meet just for fun and to give me some clear goals for my training, I liked it more than I expected and now I’m all into it. But I can see why it’s not something that appeals to everyone.

Are we going to see you on American Ninja Warrior any time soon?

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#16

My core is my belt! I don’t believe in belts unless you’re injured, but that’s just personal preference.

I’ve done a mock powerlifting meet at a gym I was going to few months ago, I just don’t find it fun. I love lifting heavy, but as a sport I can’t get into it. Love olympic weightlifting though, but it takes too long to get the technique down to compete at a high level.

I have been wanting to try strongman though. I actually bought a log a few months ago and will start incorporating it once I’m done with my layoff!

I gotta get much better at some of the events and I gotta lose some mass to even attempt to really compete at it at a high level. I’m not too bad at events overall though. I got a really strong back, grip and big hands for my size so it helps. If I can make enough a time to get competitive at it I think I’ll go to some of the regionals early next year to see if I can qualify.

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#17

It makes a big difference on squats once you get used to it. With the kind of progress you made on this training cycle I could see you squatting 600 with a belt by the end of the year.

You have some crazy work capacity so maybe that’s where you would really be able to put your abilities to use.

Go for it if that’s what you’re into.

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#18

The more and more I think about it strongman I think fits perfectly with my schedule and my philosophy when it comes to lifting and training. Lift 3x a week and then every Saturday morning just go do some strongman stuff.

Mon - Full Body
Tue - Condition
Wed - Full Body
Thu - Condition
Fri - Full Body
Sat - Strongman Events
Sun - Yoga/Recovery

#19

What exactly do you do for conditioning? How hard do you go on it? Too much of that could be counterproductive, that’s the only thing I’m not sure about here.

Thibaudeau has an article on his site about Jimmy Paquet and JF Caron (two WSM competitors that he knows), check it out. Josh Bryant also has some info on strongman training, he won a US strongman championship a few years back and coaches several strongmen.

I don’t compete in strongman and I don’t know more than the basic stuff so I’m kind of out of my league with that, but I wish you luck.

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#20

Two thibaudeau workouts you might enjoy

  1. strength skill circuit method
  2. Russian strength skill
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