I just finished Chad Waterbury?s ABBH. I thought I?d post my experiences with it for anyone who might be considering it. Most of us have read the program, so I?m not going to recap it. If something doesn?t make sense, read the original article.
First, I want to thank Chad Waterbury for unselfishly posting this program online.
I didn?t change my diet going into the program. I eat 6 times a day, plus a post-workout shake on days I train. Mostly P/C meals around workout time and mostly P/F meals the rest of the day. I wasn?t counting calories, but I get 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.
The main improvements I noticed were to my back. And by that, I mean traps, mid back, lower back and hips. In retrospect, that makes sense. The program hits the back directly on the deadlifting day, horizontal pulling day and vertical pulling day. And the fourth day includes squats, which put some stress the glutes and lower back. So you?re hitting your back every day that you train. In fact, I?d go so far as to label ABBH a back specialization plan. Unfortunately, those were really the only improvements I noticed. My arms shrank an eighth of an inch or so. My thighs and chest stayed the same.
One thing that was difficult to plan around was how much the workout time varied. For instance, the high-rep upper body included 5 sets for pulling and 5 sets pushing. That?s only 10 total sets. I was in and out of the gym in 25 minutes. But the lower body low-rep day included 10 sets of deadlifts for thighs, 10 sets for calves and 10 sets for abs, with rest in between each set. Plus I did a couple warmup sets and I also spent 5 minutes on the stationary bike or treadmill before I started lifting. It took me nearly two hours to do all that.
The low rep days were mentally grueling, but I never felt in danger of missing a rep. By contrast, I couldn?t complete all 5 sets of 10 on any of my exercises except squats when the weights went to 70% of max. I don?t know if this means that 80% was too low a percentage to use on my low rep days or if 70% was to high a percentage to use on my final high rep days.
I had been lifting 3 of every 5 days before starting the program. So lifting every other day was a nice change. But I didn?t cut my calories to compensate for the increased rest time. I got a little soft around the middle. Not much. Just a bit. That?s my fault, not the program?s, but you might want to watch out for that.
So would I do the whole thing over again? Yeah, especially if I was one of those guys who had neglected his ?go? muscles and concentrated on his ?show? muscles in the past. (You know who you are.) I will probably do a cycle of EDT, a cycle of Olympic lifts, and then maybe do ABBH again.
Again, thanks to Chad Waterbury. This was a very motivating program that made a big difference in my back strength and size. That?s always worthwhile.