Strength/Size Program and Stimulating Reps

Coach I had great success with your thibarmy strength size program. I’m going to run it again.

My question is for stimulating reps

  1. If 15 to 25 stimulating reps is ideal for growth, how would that be divided up on back day? Would you have to get 15 stimulating reps on deadlift and a vertical pull and a horizontal pull, OR would 15 - 25 reps on all those be combined?
    Here is a picture of back day example

  2. After reading some of Chris Beardsley work he says longer rest (4 min) are better than short reps as in rest pause? The reason I ask is because later weeks of this program involve a lot of rest pause sets on the assistance lifts…

Thank you for your time!

Rest/pause doesn’t count as short rest. If you take 15-20 seconds of rest during a set, it’s still the same set and the purpose is to get a few more quality reps in.

While I am moving toward slightly longer rest periods (3 minutes normally). I think that 4 minutes is too long except when doing super demanding movements like squats and deadlifts.

As for your total effective reps, I think you are splitting hair here. As what is an optimal total number will heavily depends on individual factors anyway.

Furthermore, I don’t really understand the purpose of your questions. You mention that you had great success with the program. So great that you want to run it again. In that case, why does theoretical minutiae matters?

I actually posted something about this on my instagram account recently. Hypertrophy studies have very little value when it comes to finding out what will work best for you.

Here is the post:

Studies and science are interesting as ONE tool to gain a better understanding of how the body responds to training. But it is my belief that people put too much faith in studies comparing various training protocols

Here are the problems with these studies:

  1. You have studies “proving” the opposite of what your favorite study found out.

  2. Long-term studies don’t factor in nutrition, rest, genetic predispositions, life stress, etc… If you’ve been training for more than a year you know that these factors matter at least as much as the training protocol itself when it comes to building muscle. If by the luck of the draw, a group has more individuals with a favorable profile outside the gym, that group will get better results regardless of the program they are on

  3. Not all training-related factors are considered. How hard are the subjects training (I understand that the sessions are supervised, but even the best researcher might have a hard time differentiating between 2 or 4 reps in reserve). I strongly doubt that researchers really account control for effort level, and most of the time it doesn’t fit with that the study says. For example one study had subjects supposedly do 8 sets of 8 reps TO CONCENTRIC MUSCLE FAILURE with ONE MINUTE REST on squat. Just for fun, try to do one set of squat to true falure and let me know if you can do more one set within 1 minute… let alone 7! And that was only one of the many exercises in the wokrout! Heck, they even had them do 16 sets of leg curls to failure with one minute rest!!!

We could even go conspiracy theory and mention that some subjects might be doing extra work on the side. Some might also be very active or do a lot of cardio outside the study, which could decrease gains

  1. How advanced a lifter is. They normally account for training experience, in years of training, but not as muscle gained. Someone who has gained 25lbs of muscle already will not grow as fast as someone who has only gained 5lbs, regardless of years of experience. Again, if by the luck of the draw a group has more “high gain potential” subjects, that group is at an advantage regardless of the training intervention

And there are other elements…

What I’m saying is that you can read thee studies and they can be helpful. But seeing them as the word of God is a huge mistake. Especially if you have a personal bias toward a certain type of training an only consider studies “proving” your beliefs to be “right” and not considering opposing research.

I think that a lot of people get paralysis by overanalysis by focusing too much on the “science” and not enough on what actually happens in the trenches.

I personally prefer short-term interventions that measure direct physiological responses to a training bout. THESE are useful. But I honestly don’t think many people can get a lot out of 8–16 week studies comparing two training programs.


Thank you for the reply. I did have great results and starting from week 1 again tomorrow.

The main reason I guess was wondering if I could get even Better results resting longer.

Instead of doing rest pause for 8,3,2 reps with 200 lbs, just do 8 reps rest 3 min and do a second set of 7 or 8 reps. But like you said that’s probably over analyzing and wouldn’t make a huge difference.

Thank you for your time

That is the only change I would make, but not within the rest/pause. Because it would allow you to use more weight on average.

But I’me actually working on an article explaining how people mess up their results when they try to take a great program and make it better.