Thib's 10 Principles

1. Do the least amount of work to get solid results. When in doubt, do less, but harder.

2. Build strength on the big basic lifts. This doesn’t mean maximum singles, strength is best built with 3-6 reps/set.

3. Carry weights. Various forms of loaded carries and sled work should be a significant portion of your plan. Both short/heavy and long/lighter carries.

4. Emphasize the neck, traps, forearms and core. Being thick and strong in those areas is what will give you that powerhouse look. The grunt/power look is not about having the best shoulder-to-waist ratio, round muscle bellies and separated arms It’s about looking like a block of concrete.

5. Get in great physical condition. You should be able to stay relentless for some time, not fizzle out after 20 seconds of hard effort.

6. Do something athletic in your program. Jump, throw, sprint or do complex movement skills. The goal is not just to build a physically intimidating physique, but one that (to quote Mark Rippetoe) is “more useful in general”.

7. Work on your limitations. In what physical area(s) do you suck? Mobility? Endurance? Movement control? You must not accept sucking at anything. While I don’t want you to become a marathon runner or a Cirque du Soleil artist, you should be able to do any basic thing at an acceptable level.

8. When you put something In, you take something out. This goes back to point #1. Every time you add some more training or conditioning stuff in a training day, you must take something out. We love training, it’s easy for us to just add more and more stuff. But it quickly becomes more problematic than helpful.

9. Learn the difference between training to stimulate, training to maintain and training to recover. When you want to change your body, you must train very hard. It must be challenging and even suck to some extent. But you can’t always train that way. Lower effort work can be useful to give your body a break without losing your gainz and to resensitize your body to the training stimulus once it becomes non-responsive. Training exclusively in Beast Mode might sound good on social media but it’s the best way to progress fast for 5-6 weeks and then stop progressing almost forever.

10. For every workout have a skeleton plan. The skeleton plan is the bare minimum you can do and still get gains/improvements from that session. It can be as little as one exercise, but more likely 2 or maybe 3. If you “don’t have it” on one day, make a deal for yourself: only do the skeleton workout but do it as if your life depended on it.


Thank you for sharing this

So many people could do with number 1. I see far too many people pounding themselves doing 5-6 days a week making little progress or regressing and somehow thinking they need to add another chest exercise.

The PT in the local gym I go to has a guy I know doing 3 dropsets on each of his 4 sets (16 total sets per movement) of incline chest press, bench press, and dips all in the same week. 48 total sets and then he does some decline + accessory afterward, all when he can’t even bench 80kg yet. At least the PT will be able to earn some more money off him when he gets to use that sports massage certificate.

The smallest amount of work to elicit the biggest response, always.

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“Chase performance, not fatigue’” is one that’s been burned in my head ever since you said it.

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Thanks for this. Like most pieces of wisdom, it’s stuff we already know but for some reason we need to be constantly reminded of. It’s surprising that with years of training under my belt, I somehow still break these rules more often than I’d like to admit.


I feel like nr 8 is the worst one. As 2A type I won’t to do everything at once :slight_smile:
But generally what is Your opinion about this? For example, I want to learn Handstand before my 40’s and I started to do 4-5 times 20 minute morning sessions a week with some handstand practice.
Should I decrease other shoulder work in my training? I’m doing a lift specific plan and I decreased isolation work for delts but one overhead pressing day I plan to keep handstand pressing exercise for 4 sets of 4-6 reps to help with the skill development. Will it be fine?