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Page 1 of The Black Book of Training Secrets. Enhanced Edition By Christian Thibaudeau. Lepine Publishing. Page 2 of In this chapter …. Page 3 of About the author. T-mag listens to its readers. When we get a lo t of feedback about a pa rticular article or a contributor, we pay attention.

After Christian Thibaudeau p ublished a few articles with us, the message we received from readers was pretty clear: "We want to hear more from that guy! Thibaudeau pronounced Tee-Bow-Doh is yet another French Canadian phenom in the strength and conditioning community.

He's successfully trained a wide array of athletes from Olympic lifters and strongmen to hockey players and figure skaters. He's also a competitive Olympic weightlifter, a football co ach, and is completing his M.

Judging from his articles so far at T-mag, he also knows a heck of a lot about packing on mass. We decided to sit down with Thibaudeau and pick his brain about a variety of topics. Testosterone : Let's start off with some personal hi story. What's your athletic background and how did that lead to you becoming a coach yourself? Christian Thibaudeau : I was the kid that nobody ever selected for dodgeball in grade school.

You know the type: skinny-fat with no athletic ability, much less physical capacities. The sad thing is that I loved sports. I watched every type of sport there was on TV, day in and day out. I loved athletics so much but was about the worst athlete in the world! T : I've seen you lift and obviously a lo t has changed!

What happened? CT : When I turned 11, I decided that enough was enough. I actually started doing push- ups, sit-ups and other such exercises every day. From that moment on I was hooked on training! In high school I was able to make the football team as a receiver.

I was about 13 years old and w ould train every lunch hour. When I look back I must say that I starte d my training career doing exactly the opposite of what all the others did. Most guys st art off training only their upper body; I only worked my legs. I reasoned that as a receiver I only needed strong legs.

By the time I turned 17 I was a trainaholic! I was playing linebacker and trained every chance I had. Page 4 of In college I really started to train intelligently. Ironically, there wasn't a day in which I wouldn't curse my lack of talent.

Today I actually think of it as a blessing in disguise. I rea lized that I liked trai ning more than playing football. So after my "career" was over I turned to Olympic lifting.

I also competed in strongmen competitions. T : What do you do now as a coach? What's your week like? CT : My schedule varies during the year. During the season most leave for their respective team. We keep in touch but I don't train them directly.

I also train football players in my group. On some days I have 15 to 20 athletes training together. That makes for a very positive and motivating atmosphere. In the winter my clientele is mostly comprised of football play ers and figure skaters. As I said, I always loved athletes and I consider any chance I get to work with them a blessing, regardless of their level. T : Judging from your training photos, I'm gue ssing you're now one strong and powerful S.

What are your best lifts? I can't compete with elite powerlifters as far as the deadlift, squat, and bench press are concerned and I started Olympi c lifting too late to be an in ternational force, but I have no weakness.

I've cleaned kg lbs from blocks, power cleaned kg lbs from the hang for four reps, clean and jerked Nothing to write home about, but it does show some strength balance. T : Well, you may not be an "international force," but that's pretty damn impressive to most people! Switching gears, you once wrot e that aerobic conditioning was overrated for boxers. What about everyone else? Page 5 of My athletes never do any aerobic work.

However, they'll do a lot of 50 to 60 seconds sprints while pulling a light sled, lots of m running with shor t rest intervals and lots of HIIT type running. I feel these training methods are much more sport specific and more effective at burning body fat. You should see the body of hockey player Alex Tremblay, the leading scorer in Canadian University Hockey. Most natural bodybuilding competitors look like Fat Albert next to him! T : You've also written about something cal led non-functional hypert rophy.

Tell us about that. Mel C. Siff is probably one of the first to have explained this concept. More recently Brian Haycock has also brushed the subject. Basically, non-functional hypertroph y refers to gains in muscle size that aren't associated with an improved capacity to produce force.

That could e ither be due to hypertrophy of the non-contractile elements of the muscle st ructure sarcoplasm, collagen, etc. T : And in English that would mean…. CT : Non-functional hypertr ophy is like adding weight to your car without touching the engine. Your car is heavier but you don't have more power to balanc e that increase in weight. It might make you look good, but it cer tainly won't make you efficient!

Athletes should focus on functional hypertr ophy. To promote it you must use methods which lead to a high level of muscular tens ion. The two best examples of functional hypertr ophy are the Westside Barbell Club lifters and elit e Olympic weightlifters. T : Cool. We see a lot of stuff these days encouraging bodybuilders to incorporate Olympic lifts into their training. Why shoul d a bodybuilder — or just some guy wanting to look big and powerful — use Olympic lifting?

CT : Because I said so! Nah, seriously I think it all comes down to a variety of stimulus. Bodybuilders pretty much have the slow, contro lled exercises covered. Same thing goes with training! Page 6 of Explosive training, not just th e Olympic lifts, creates a ve ry brief but extremely high intramuscular tension.

This is a powerful growth stimulus that shouldn't be forgotten. By using high-acceleration exercises you increase force output, which increases intr amuscular tension, which increases growth stimulus.

But in all fairness, bodybuilders don't have to use the Olympic lif ts. Including regular lifts that are performed e xplosively is a good start.

T : Can you give us an example? CT : The Westside guys use the bench press a nd squat because these are their main competition lifts, but an athlete or bodybuilder could use the same method with other exercises. I'd recommend using only multi- joint exercises for that purpose, though.

T : Okay, this may sound crazy, but speaking of lifting explosively, I read something once about actually throwing the bar up out of your hands while benching, then catching it. Is that a real training technique or just a flamboyant way of committing suicide? CT : Funny you should mention that!


Christian Thibaudeau - The Black Book of Training Secrets

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The Black Book of Training Secrets: Enhanced Edition

Page 1 of The Black Book of Training Secrets. Enhanced Edition By Christian Thibaudeau. Lepine Publishing.

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