T Nation

Are Those Good Exercises for TBT ?



I've been training for 4months so I am a newbie.
I am doing total body training. Currently I am trying to design exercises scheme for one of the CW plans.

I would like to follow his advice to choose 2 sets of 6 exercises to train whole body (days A and B).

Here are my initial picks :

A :
bench press
pull downs

Standing calf raises

Seated military presses
Barbell curls (*)

chins (or variations as I am too weak to do many of them)

different kind of squat
one leg calf standing calf raises

Standing military presses (**)
dumbbell curls (***)

Now I have a few questions

a)do you see any better exercises than barbell curls to add to previous five ? I would like to avoid isolation movements but I cant see what I can add instead and training with only 5 is a little to short

b)any idea for other deltoitds compound exercise instead of military presses (standing/seated is not much variety I think).

c)I plan to do ex's in pairs like I wrote them (set of first one, rest, set of second one etc); is there any better way to pair them ?

d)do you see any other ways to improve for these selection of movements (I cant do olimpic lifts and such things because I dont have anybody to teach me proper technique and I believe its too easy to screw up). I would like to incorporate dead lift though but I don't see how to do it properly.

Any help is much appreciated :slightly_smiling:


Id do a DL variation on day B instead of another squat.Then On that day you could knock out the second day of curling and isolate the quads instead. For the sholders various raises on one of the days would do you some good hitting the varied heads of the delt instead of all mainly focused on the front



I second the suggestion of deadlifts instead of another squat.

You could do pull-overs instead of one of the military presses.

Have you considered sticking a bent-row or seated cable row in the mix instead of either pull-downs or chins? Or you could use one instead of dumbbell curls. You also could replace dumbbell curls with upright rows.


I agree with Phill and MK. However, I have to ask, why not pick more of the exercises CW lists in his TBT program? Also, why are you picking 2 sets of exercises? TBT is done over 3 days, why not pick 3 sets for the first two weeks and then switch it up?

Next, reading your post, I'm not sure you read all of CW's article. He mentions pairing up exercises with the antagonist. In other words, curls go well with tricep extensions, etc.

Finally, CW recommends doing 4 compound movements and 2 isolation exercises. Why don't you follow his program instead of trying to avoid isolation exercises? If you are new to the game, the best thing you can do is follow a program that is laid out for you EXACTLY as it is presented. Later, when you get to know your body and how different exercises work for you, change things to suit your goals.


Thanks for answers.

So how do I do that ? Can I do both back and DL in one workout ?

Here is my try :

Day A:

Bench press
Chin-ups (or variations if I am unable to complete required reps)

Military press
Biceps curls

Back squats
One leg calf raises

Day B :

Calf raises

So I need 3 more. I guess something for quadriceps, other part of deltoids (CW suggested military presses with other grip, is it ok ?) and something more. Probably something which is missing in the whole thing but I dont see what to choose.

I dont see what I can mix with DL.
I am trying to apply advice from this article:

Is it possible to do DL's and squat on one workout ?
If not what is the best way to train quadriceps on DL days ?


I picked only those listed. I cant see any for isolating quadriceps though so I cant see how to fit DL into the mix (see link above). Ive read all his articles on T-Nation I am trying to start with something simple.

I understand it but as you can see if you choose 6 excersies you need 3pairs. Quotation : 'Perform with the same parameters as Week 1, but execute antagonist training for all six exercises (more on this later).'

So if I cant find perfect 3 antagonist pairs I need to pair other ex's, right ?

Ok. 4 compound, 2 isolation. Now can you please help me to design nice set with DL in it ? :slightly_smiling:

I have problems completing two so far :slightly_smiling:

Yes but as I choose only 2 isolated ex's its not possible to do perfect antagonist pairs.

ok, so still its only 2 isolation and for sure i wont choose one for biceps and one for triceps :slightly_smiling:


Front squats do a good job of isolating the quads. Over head squats work my quads a bit more. These work well for antagonist pairs and add a few extra exercises to your list.

You aren't aiming for perfect antagonist pairs. However, you want something that is close. I do hammer curls with standing tricep extensions (I may even keep the grip the same). Bicep curls with skull crushers, etc.

And yes, changing the grip on an exercise is a good way to change the exercise.

Oh, and don't forget good mornings. CW has them on his list and are a good hamstring exercise. Works well after doing a squat workout.

Finally, yes, it is possible to do DL and squat the same day. A number of CW's programs ahve that pairing. However, if you are new to the game, it may be difficult to get a decent amount of weight for whatever is the second exercise. I'm not saying don't do that, but, I am saying that you need to take into account your level of fatigue before getting hurt.


You don't always have to do strict antagonist pairing, sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Try not to pair things that overlap, though. Don't pair presses with tri work, or rows/chins/PDs with curls. Pairing quad-dominant and ham-dominant exercises is a great workout, but as a beginner, you may need to work up to it. It's OK to pair each with a isolation exercise, instead of pairing them with each other.

I would recommend that you do both quads and hams most days. I don't think it's necessary to do a bench variation and a military variation every day.

Here are a bunch of examples of days I did:

BB incl bench
Wide grip PD
Romanian DL
Bulgarian squat
Preacher curl
Cable Ext. rotation

Leg press
DB bench
Neutral grip cable row
hanging leg raise
cable lateral raises

Good morning
Front squat
BB decl bench
hang clean
standing calf
rope tri pressdown

Sumo DL
Reverse lunge
Upright rows
cable crunch
DB ext rot

DB incl bench
Supinated PD
DB curl (seated on incl bench)
seated calf

Back extensions
hack squat
BB bench
DB bent row
Skull crushers
L lateral raises

If you want to do more shoulder work, try to focus on the lateral delts. The anterior should be getting plenty of work from benches and dips, and the posterior from chins/rows/PDs. If you really want to hammer your shoulders, one of your isolation exercises each day could be some kind of lateral raise: DB, cable, L-laterals. Thibs had some good shoulder isolation exercises in one of his articles.


stiff-legged deadlifts - hamstrings, glutes, lower back
high-pulls - calves, medial delts, biceps
leg press - mostly quads, with some glute action

Those would all be nice choices too, I do not think they have been mentioned yet. I am not sure why you feel you need to isolate quadriceps, since I have never done the Waterbury Method program, but leg presses would do that well. If you really wanted to isolate them you could do leg extensions :confused:


Thanks for the answers !

DTLV, thanks for those specific sets, this is what I need (I need to learn many of those lifts though as Ive never done them). I will experiment with those in near future (adding one at the beginning, switching after 4-5 weeks or so as I need a little more time than recommended 2 weeks for learning the exercise and I guess I wont stagnate fast if its first time in my life when I incorporate given lift).
A couple of questions though :

1)what is PD ? Pull-Down ? I guess I need something for back to it sounds logical

2)What is Cable Ext. rotation ?

3)What is DB RDL ? Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift ?

4)Do you recommend full range upright rows or only to the chest (I have read that the latter is safer)

it was mentioned by Phill. I am not sure if its necessary.


Your making this very very hgard on your self. KISS keep it simple stupid.

On each day pick ONE big push, one big pull, one big legs, tack on a ab move and maybe an isolation or two and call it a day. then do that again with different exercises. its not about getting alll the whole body in one day you will nail it all over a week if you vary the exercises and keep them Money Big compounds






I do them bent slightly at the hips, and only till my upper arms are parallel to the ground.