T Nation

Thib Is Back - Q&A April 5-12


I'm back from my vacation to Cuba. I couldn't get online due to the laws over there (couldn't even bring my cell phone). Well, we had internet access... for 20$ an hour on a line that took about 5 minutes to load the hotmail front page!

So if you have any questions, I'm all yours now!


BTW, I just got word that the DVD I made to explain mechanical drop sets is available at www.muscledrivethru.com. It gives over 30 MDS pairings.


Great to have you back Coach , hope you had a wonderful and relax vacation
Coach, planning a future fat loss plan ,when following a low carbs fat loss diet(50-100grs), using only heavy weights and low intensity aerobics and wanting to add every third week, 2-3 HIIT or Lactate inducing workouts just for that week to change things up, what will be the correct way to calculate the amount of carbs needed just to support those sessions, and when is the best time to take them, if having the high intensity sessions in the morning and weights late afternoon, also would you subtract those calories from the daily fats or just add them.

Thanks in advance


If you are planning on doing HIIT only once every third week you wont need to change your diet much, if at all, until you get down to something like 8% body fat.

Simply adding 25g of carbs right after your HIIT session added to 20g of glutamine and 20g of BCAA (or 5g of leucine) will prevent any potential catabolism. Keep the rest of the diet the same.


It was decent. It's the first time that we had a decent gym in a vacation resort, so I was able to train properly before going to the beach.

The food wasn't really bodybuilder friendly though. It was a buffet and there were very few sources of protein that didn't either pose a danger to your life or contained twice the amount of fat as protein.

But all in all it was fun.


Welcome Back Coach,

Is the DVD on Mechanical Drop Sets related to the future T-Nation program or is it separate, hence two full muscle building programs?

In Get Jacked, you mention the addition of Fenuplex. If I were to follow the entire Insulin Resistance protocol, is it ok to continue the protocol into weeks 9 and 10 or should I stop after week 8?

Also, I made it through Weeks 1&2 using the Glutamine after WO, but it made me horrifically nauseous and light-headed. (Usually had to sneak in my dairy early) What would you suggest for the later weeks when the higher doses of Glutamine return?


Sidenote: What is proper pre-beach training?


Thank you coach!
(I guess is the same for the lactate circuit/pairings, rigth?before each session)

Thats cool, first you went to the gym and then relax in the sun :wink:, you deserve it coach!!

thats funny! I guess you took you Metabolic Drive with you :wink:


Hey Thib,

I was just thinking of new workout strategies and wondered if you came across anything like this. I haven't actually tried it, but it'd have a typical 3 day workout split plus an extra day that can change from week to week.
So like,
Day 1 (Chest+Back)
Day 2 (Legs+Calves)
Day 3 (Shoulders+Arms)
Day 4 Change every week

On the fourth day you can do any body part that might be lacking or you feel you didn't work hard enough. Also I figured you can get the benefits of doing a new workout that would shock the muscles every week and still track your progress on the other 3 days. I'm not going by anything scientific so this could all be broscience.

I also figured most people constantly change their workouts and never stick to anything so maybe that varied workout could help those people that find it hard to do the same thing for a month or two.

I doubt this is a good program, b/c I've never read about it before, but who knows. What do you think?

Thanks for reading coach


Hi CT, welcome back!

I would like to know your opinion on an idea that I have, I want to help my brother improve his capacity to tolerate the build up of lactic acid in his body, he competes in swimming on 50(28sec) and 100 meters butterfly(58 sec) and free style, my reasoning is that, that way once he starts to do the hard swimming intervals he will be able to maintain a higher output and speed.

My plan is to have a 12 week cycle, starting with 2 strength sessions and 2 lactate whole body sessions (your PHA circuits and your metabolic pairings) for the first 4 week block, swimming will be low volume, skill sessions, next 4 weeks, change that to 1 strength/3 lactate and final 4 weeks 1 strength/4 lactate sessions(one whole body, 3 upperbody circuits). Looking at the progression from your 400 runs for fat loss from your black book, I will be using a similar linear progression on volume , unless you have a better option.
The lactate sessions will by what you have prescribe in your articles, I know those are more then a minute in work time, do you think that will be ok or should I keep the work time to 60 sec to match more closely his swimming times?

This will be off-season for him and we have the swimming coach on our side, so the swimming during this period will be mostly to maintain and improve skill and in the last block maybe some speed work(alactic work 15sec or less).

Do you think this is a good idea or I am just nuts to think about it.

Thanks CT


Complicated issue... the T-Nation project is actually much bigger... probably the biggest thing that has been developed surrounding building the perfect body. It will not be just a program, it's much more than that, it's a whole system... which is include mechanical drop sets among other techniques.

The DVD comes with a 12 week program using the MDT as it's base.

You can keep it up for the duration of the program.

Cut the glutamine in half, add 1/2 scoop of whey.

20 sets of bis and tris followed by an all-you-can eat pancake breakfast to get the veins popping!


Last time I went, I did bring it. This time I forgot it (I also forgot to bring Imodium but that's another story) so I kinda look like a marathon runner right now. Kidding... I actually believe that a 1 week low-protein intake is beneficial (look up protein cycling for more info) for long term growth.


I hope you had a good trip regardless of the strict laws!

I have been doing the "running man" program (400m sprints) for about a month now. During my rest intervals, should I still be moving around, stretching, or something else?

You're definitely correct, 400m sprints are hell on earth!


Funny you mention this approach because that's one I just used with a client!

I actually like this approach because it reduces the negative impact of a bad workout. For example, if during the week you back training sucked for some reason, you can get a second stimulation to make sure that you got optimal growth in that muscle.

Two things to remember though:

  1. Always have a day of rest prior and after the ''fourth'' workout, to avoid any negative carryover.

Something like:

Mon: Chest/back
Tues: Legs
Wed: off
Thu: Arms/delts
Fri: off
Sat: touch-ups
Sun: off

  1. Don't just train a muscle because you like to train in on Saturday, this workout has to have a purpose... either to bring up a lagging bodypart or to touch-up a muscle that was understimulated during the week.


Always move around. You can do dynamic mobility movements like arms rotations, trunk rotations and leg swings, but no static stretching.


I thought you definitely would have taken a few cheat days, what was I thinking?!

In all honesty, don't you feel you need a mental rest every now and then? With all you do on the site, in the gym, and in the kitchen, I would imagine you need a break, and a "vacation" would be the ideal time. Was the only reason the vacation was not rated higher than "decent" because of the bodybuilding setbacks?

I ask because I am traveling to Australia next month.


Hey Thib, happy to hear you had a good trip!

I remember you recommending a while back not rolling the shoulders when doing shrugs.

Not really related but what do you think of turning the weights when doing Seated DB Shoulder Press? (Starting position palms facing ears)

Is it a variation you use?



Hey Thib, welcome back! I hope you had a good vacation. My question is why does the Q&A have the dates April 5-12, are you going somewhere else after this week, or will you create a new thread weekly to prevent it from piling up.


Hey Thibs, I hope you enjoyed your vacation!

Couple of questions:

1) What is your opinion on ramped sets vs straight sets?

I.e - 95lbs x 15 -> 135lbs x 12 -> 185lbs x 10 > 205lbs x 8-10

opposed to

185lbs for 4 sets of 8-10

Do you think there is a noticable difference between the two for muscular and strength gains? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each one?

Additionally, when/how could I incorporate each type in my training?

2) I found these down the baby isle section of the supermarket: Heinz farley rusk biscuits ( http://www.heinzbaby.co.uk/products/baby_4_to_6_months/our_products/heinz_farleys_rusks_.aspx )

nutrient breakdown:
1.1g protein
13g carbs (4.9g sugars)
1.3g fats (0.6g saturates)
0.9g fibre

wheat flour, sugar, veg oil, prebiotic (oligofructose) (3%), calcium carbonate, emulsifier (monoglycerides), Vit C, Niacin, Vit E, Iron, Vit B6, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vit A, Vit D, Vit B12

I was curious, have you ever heard of these before? And do you think they would be a suitable source of carbs?


I must have missed your departure on the blitz page; glad to hear you actually had the ability to continue training at your resort.

Reposted from the blitz page:

Coach, I was wondering what your thoughts are on additional ESW during a mass phase?

So often I hear recommendations to not lift a pinkie when eating massive amounts of clean food to gain mass. At the same time, so often do I see the fat guys in the gym giving the old 'bulking' excuse for their unhealthy bodyfat. Coincidence?

Also, with that question, I'm curious if you recommend against any particular 'health-promoting' foods while on the aforementioned mass phase? What I mean is, for example, perhaps kale and spinach are far too satiating and will give you great amounts of micronutrients but leave no space for the heavy macro intake required to build muscle, something of that nature.


EDIT: (One more question came to mind)
I've been reading a ton of material you've written regarding carb cycling, fat loss, your refined physique transformation article, etc. With regards to dieting away the adipose, do you find it better to make sudden drops in calories or ease it down little by little?

I was under the impression you favored the latter, following the path of results or lack thereof. However, I've been experimenting with the AD and, more recently, Berardi's Get Shredded. I worried however that when reducing my calories to something so low, the effect wouldn't be as great because my metabolism has been slowed due to several weeks of dieting.

So, although I've seen you say things in favor of dieting slowly, I've also seen you profess against metabolic slowdown brought on by long periods of dieting. Could you shed some light on this?

(In short)
A)What are your thoughts are on additional ESW during a mass phase (consisting only of strength training)?
B)Do you recommend AGAINST any particular, typically 'health-promoting' foods while on a mass phase?
C)What is your opinion on dieting slowly versus suddenly, and how to best combat metabolic slowdown?


Damn I can't wait for the T-Nation muscle building project to get here!!!

Congrats on your movie grossing a box office record this weekend!