5 awesome take away points from Christian Thibaudeau
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a 2 day seminar from Christian Thibaudeau hosted by Spartan Performance. Christian is a man who has trained a vast array of different people, from bodybuilders to crossfitters and olympic lifters, hockey players and figure skaters. He’s pretty much done it all, he’s made people leaner, bigger, stronger and faster.
What I loved about his writing was his willingness to accept and incorporate different types of training and ideas. Some people in the fitness industry can become almost dogmatic in their approach, he takes what is important and useful and uses it even if it goes against something he previously thought was the optimum way. To quote the man himself
“A coach who is willing to try different things shows that they’re open minded and sincerely looking for the best way to progress, not boost their ego. These are the kind of coaches – and people – I respect.”
The chance to learn from the man in person was to good to turn down. Here’s 5 take away points from the seminar, (I could have made a list of about 100 points).
- Carbs before a workout when looking to maximize muscle growth. Keeping your carbs high before you train will keep your glycogen levels high which is absolutely vital. The whole world seems to be obsessed with low carb diets and trying to grow muscle while following one is going to be extremely difficult. Try some powdered carbs or some pineapple juice around an hour 30mins before your session. It’ll also help with your performance.
- If you’re trying to maintain or grow some muscle mass, keep any conditioning that you do into short, sharp bursts. 20secs intervals with short rests, or some strongman training is perfect.
- Put plenty of focus on your lats, these big muscles on your back are there for a reason. Guys become so obsessed with their chest they forget about their back, it’s vital to get these muscles strong. They are involved in all the big lifts, despite not being the muscle directly challenged, so when you’re squatting, deadlifting or bench pressing having great strength and constant tension in the lats is going to make you stronger.
- Try to lift fast. This doesn’t just mean throw the weight up and down as quickly as possible, what it does mean is to try to lift the weight with real drive rather than slowly when coming out of the bottom of a lift, during a squat for example try to make sure your driving the weight as fast as possible away from the floor, even if it’s a tough rep and the bar is moving slowly because it’s heavy, in your head you should be thinking “FAST, FAST, FAST”. Faster reps = more muscle fibre recruitment = more growth.
- Work hard. Most people like to think they hard in the gym. The reality is very different and therefore they don’t get results. This doesn’t necessarily mean just getting a sweat on, it does mean that every part of the workout has a purpose and every rep counts. You can be doing the most complex, scientifically proven workout there has ever been, but a lack of intensity will lead to zero results. A simple workout however, done with maximum intensity, with every set forcing a physiological response, will get you far further.