Biotest

Christian Thibaudeau Log 2


#1

Previous Logs:

Christian Thibaudeau Log 1


#2

Looks like my first log got so popular that we exceeded the allowed post number :slight_smile:


#3

I think T-Nation needs to start a hall-of-fame and we know who the first inductee is : )


#4

THIBS’S THOUGHTS

Chasing PRs

I’m working with a lot of Crossfit athletes at the moment. And one thing that really stands out as far as their mindset is concerned is their focus on “beating their PR” (personal record).

Snatch, clean, jerk, push press, deadlift, squat, front squat, etc. Getting a new PR is their number one objective and motivation. It’s not learning to lift, it’s not perfecting technique, it’s not getting the most out of their movement, it’s beating their PR.

On one side that’s a good thing. Being performance-driven is normally not a bad thing. It forces you to work really hard. It improves training focus and drive and it makes you less likely to be intimidated by a weight.

However it can also have it’s drawbacks.

You see, improving your technique on the big basic lifts takes time (especially on the olympic lifts). And chances are that while you are working on correcting your bad habits you might lift less weight than using your bad, but more comfortable (at the moment) technique. That’s why few people are actually able to correct their technique: they work on the new technique. And as soon as they think they got it, they try to beat their PR… it doesn’t work (the new technique is not engrained enough yet) and they conclude that the “new technique doesn’t work” and they go back to their previous habits.

Personally when I work with them I emphasize that we will NOT focus on PRs. That we will focus on technical mastery. I reinforce that I prefer to see a super solid technique at 90% of their previous PR than a new PR done with iffy form.

That’s why I actually prefer NOT to know my athlete’s PR when working with them. I let what I’m seeing tell me if we can add weight or not.

An you know what? At one point a PR weight becomes just another lift.

Here’s something that happened wednesday. I was coaching a crossfit male competitor. We made a pretty big modification on his snatch, so we went way down in weight. After a few sets he was starting to look crisp so we gradually added weight, but only because he looked super solid and sharp. He ended up at 195lbs for a double (2 reps) on the power snatch, VERY solid and explosive. In my mind that was what a 85% lift normally looks like. The guy smiled and told me “my previous PR on the power snatch was 165lbs”.

He went to a girl who competes on the same team (I also train her) and told her “I just got a 30lbs PR”… she replied “I thought Christian didn’t have us go for PRs”… the thing is that this girl, herself had the same thing happen the week before when she bested her best jerk by 20lbs and actually got a clean PR 30 minutes earlier!!!

We never “shoot for PRs”… but they still happen because we focus on proper form and when the body is ready the PR arrives… but because the technique changes are solid the PRs are 20-30lbs, not 5 or 10 (which is often due to just being in better shape, or being lucky).

It’s important to focus on the qualitative, and the quantitative will follow and will improve for much longer than if you just chase numbers.


#5

[quote]sput79 wrote:
I think T-Nation needs to start a hall-of-fame and we know who the first inductee is : )[/quote]

Yeah, but not my first log will become forgotten and people will laugh at how few viewers I have in my current log!!! Only 300k to make up for!


#6

CT - if I work out in the mid morning (3 hrs after waking) I get less of a max pump effect compared to lifting in the mid to late afternoon. What’s with that?


#7

CT,

Does drop level HIIT make sense? I mean:

Intervals in stairmaster machine o cycling with resistance
2 minutes low intensity - 2 minutes as fast as possible, 8-10 times

So in the high intensity I’m gonna try to keep 90 rpm, and at time I’m not able to keep 90 rpm and decrease my performance, I drop one level of intensity to keep 90 rpm, and if it’s necessary drop level to reach 2 minutes.

And if I want to do low intensity cardio after workout, Is there any phenomenon like post absorptive state after taking plazma?

Thanks


#8

[quote]mstorm wrote:
CT - if I work out in the mid morning (3 hrs after waking) I get less of a max pump effect compared to lifting in the mid to late afternoon. What’s with that?[/quote]

You have ingested more food by the late afternoon workout than if you train early AM… so glycogen stores are probably fuller, leading to a better pump… can also be due to better blood flow.

In the morning you can also be less hydrated which can diminish the pump and core temperature is lower.

It is likely a combination of these factors


#9

CT -

What is your opinion of dumbell standing OHP (single or Both hands). I have a weak core in the standing OHP and wanted a change of pace to emphasize stabilization. I’m also incorporating a couple of barbell OHP sessions each week to focus on technique. I currently OHP about 185 for a single and weigh 165ish. Curious if you had an opinion on this approach.


#10

[quote]pflifter wrote:
CT -

What is your opinion of dumbell standing OHP (single or Both hands). I have a weak core in the standing OHP and wanted a change of pace to emphasize stabilization. I’m also incorporating a couple of barbell OHP sessions each week to focus on technique. I currently OHP about 185 for a single and weigh 165ish. Curious if you had an opinion on this approach.[/quote]

I like any form of overhead work really. I don’t see standing DB press (pressing with both hands at the same time) as more demanding on the core than regular barbell pressing. Single arm, yes.

The best overhead pressing variation to improve core stability is Savickas press: a barbell overhead press (can be done with DBs too) while seated on the floor (straight legs in front of you, no back support).


#11

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]pflifter wrote:
CT -

What is your opinion of dumbell standing OHP (single or Both hands). I have a weak core in the standing OHP and wanted a change of pace to emphasize stabilization. I’m also incorporating a couple of barbell OHP sessions each week to focus on technique. I currently OHP about 185 for a single and weigh 165ish. Curious if you had an opinion on this approach.[/quote]

I like any form of overhead work really. I don’t see standing DB press (pressing with both hands at the same time) as more demanding on the core than regular barbell pressing. Single arm, yes.

The best overhead pressing variation to improve core stability is Savickas press: a barbell overhead press (can be done with DBs too) while seated on the floor (straight legs in front of you, no back support).[/quote]

CT - ever try a 1-arm DB Savickas press? I found it much more comfortable on my lower back (old injury) and you can really feel the delt working.


#12

[quote]mstorm wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]pflifter wrote:
CT -

What is your opinion of dumbell standing OHP (single or Both hands). I have a weak core in the standing OHP and wanted a change of pace to emphasize stabilization. I’m also incorporating a couple of barbell OHP sessions each week to focus on technique. I currently OHP about 185 for a single and weigh 165ish. Curious if you had an opinion on this approach.[/quote]

I like any form of overhead work really. I don’t see standing DB press (pressing with both hands at the same time) as more demanding on the core than regular barbell pressing. Single arm, yes.

The best overhead pressing variation to improve core stability is Savickas press: a barbell overhead press (can be done with DBs too) while seated on the floor (straight legs in front of you, no back support).[/quote]

CT - ever try a 1-arm DB Savickas press? I found it much more comfortable on my lower back (old injury) and you can really feel the delt working.
[/quote]

Can’t say that I have, but I’ll try it tomorrow with a client of mine for sure!


#13

Hey CT - thanks for the great “6 Ways to Keep Getting Stronger” article. I have a question regarding it if you don’t mind.

I’m cutting to fit in a weight class for a bench press competition. Is ending every workout with bench press like you outlined in the article too taxing now that I’m on a moderate calorie deficit?

Edit: Additional question, is it okay to just use 140kg for the bench sets even though 80% of my 1RM is more like 135-137,5kg? Just a lot more convenient to load the bar with 3 big plates per side.


#14

[quote]Evander wrote:
Hey CT - thanks for the great “6 Ways to Keep Getting Stronger” article. I have a question regarding it if you don’t mind.

I’m cutting to fit in a weight class for a bench press competition. Is ending every workout with bench press like you outlined in the article too taxing now that I’m on a moderate calorie deficit?

Edit: Additional question, is it okay to just use 140kg for the bench sets even though 80% of my 1RM is more like 135-137,5kg? Just a lot more convenient to load the bar with 3 big plates per side.[/quote]

It depends how much of a deficit. BUT keep in mind that doing 1-3 reps at 80% will not require much calories for fuel and it does not represent a big thing to recover from either. There are tons (most of them actually) of competitive olympic lifters who have to drop 3-7 (some even 10kg) to make a weight class while still doing daily squats/front squats, snatches and clean & jerks.

I believe that a lot of people doing mostly strength work, end up losing strength because they are so afraid of overtraining when they reduce calories than they stop providing the adequate stimulus to maintain/increase their strength.

Now, with bodybuilding-type training that’s another story because their type of work using higher reps tend to use up a lot more glycogen. When calories are reduced their glycogen stores drop and volume work can have a detrimental effect.

Now it IS possible that you will lose some strength while decreasing your weight. A lot of strength athletes lose a small amount of strength while trying to make weight… a lot of weightlifters snatch, clean & jerk 5-7kg more 2-3 weeks prior to a big contest… being heavier, even if it’s water weight can help with your strength. This is especially true on the bench press. I remember at one point I was focusing on the bench press… on tuesday I hit 190kg fairly easily. On friday I took a hot bath/jacuzzi with my wife (no drinking or “crazy stuff”, just relaxing) but I didn’t take time to properly rehydrate and the next day, even if feeling good, I failed to bench 170kg.

I find that any pressing exercise is significantly affect by any form of weight loss. The squat is a bit affected too but not as much (it’s mostly affected if you lose enough weight to have a decrease in waist size) and the deadlift is the least affected of the movements.

But I believe that daily work on the bench press can help you avoid the strength loss that comes from losing weight.


#15

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Evander wrote:
Hey CT - thanks for the great “6 Ways to Keep Getting Stronger” article. I have a question regarding it if you don’t mind.

I’m cutting to fit in a weight class for a bench press competition. Is ending every workout with bench press like you outlined in the article too taxing now that I’m on a moderate calorie deficit?

Edit: Additional question, is it okay to just use 140kg for the bench sets even though 80% of my 1RM is more like 135-137,5kg? Just a lot more convenient to load the bar with 3 big plates per side.[/quote]

It depends how much of a deficit. BUT keep in mind that doing 1-3 reps at 80% will not require much calories for fuel and it does not represent a big thing to recover from either. There are tons (most of them actually) of competitive olympic lifters who have to drop 3-7 (some even 10kg) to make a weight class while still doing daily squats/front squats, snatches and clean & jerks.

I believe that a lot of people doing mostly strength work, end up losing strength because they are so afraid of overtraining when they reduce calories than they stop providing the adequate stimulus to maintain/increase their strength.

Now, with bodybuilding-type training that’s another story because their type of work using higher reps tend to use up a lot more glycogen. When calories are reduced their glycogen stores drop and volume work can have a detrimental effect.

Now it IS possible that you will lose some strength while decreasing your weight. A lot of strength athletes lose a small amount of strength while trying to make weight… a lot of weightlifters snatch, clean & jerk 5-7kg more 2-3 weeks prior to a big contest… being heavier, even if it’s water weight can help with your strength. This is especially true on the bench press. I remember at one point I was focusing on the bench press… on tuesday I hit 190kg fairly easily. On friday I took a hot bath/jacuzzi with my wife (no drinking or “crazy stuff”, just relaxing) but I didn’t take time to properly rehydrate and the next day, even if feeling good, I failed to bench 170kg.

I find that any pressing exercise is significantly affect by any form of weight loss. The squat is a bit affected too but not as much (it’s mostly affected if you lose enough weight to have a decrease in waist size) and the deadlift is the least affected of the movements.

But I believe that daily work on the bench press can help you avoid the strength loss that comes from losing weight.[/quote]

Thank you for the very detailed answer. :slight_smile: I have to keep the hydration thing in mind. So did I understand correctly that I should take the daily sets relatively easy and leave reps in the tank?


#16

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]mstorm wrote:
CT - if I work out in the mid morning (3 hrs after waking) I get less of a max pump effect compared to lifting in the mid to late afternoon. What’s with that?[/quote]

You have ingested more food by the late afternoon workout than if you train early AM… so glycogen stores are probably fuller, leading to a better pump… can also be due to better blood flow.

In the morning you can also be less hydrated which can diminish the pump and core temperature is lower.

It is likely a combination of these factors
[/quote]

That all makes perfect sense, thank you. Now also just out of curiosity, does that same combination of factors lead to a better physiological environment and make my mid-afternoon sessions more effective for hypertrophy, all else being equal (weights & reps used, etc)?

And how did you like the 1-arm DB Savickas press?


#17

Thanks CT. I’ve never tried those and will give them a shot. You go heavy with those of usually leave some reps in the tank?


#18

Sorry that last post was a follow up on the Savikas press.


#19

CT, I was curious when you talked about switching between Alpha GPC and Brain Candy, do you typically use the original or caffeine free version?


#20

[quote]Eazy wrote:
CT, I was curious when you talked about switching between Alpha GPC and Brain Candy, do you typically use the original or caffeine free version? [/quote]

I use the original