I was about to name this thread ‘I Hate Chad Waterbury’. But that would be wrong, because I don’t really HATE him, rather, I think a lot of his concepts are unnecessary and actually counterproductive for newbies.
I will say this now: This thread is not a stab at Waterbury, or his training principles, or his workouts. This is just some observations and conclusions that I, in my limited experience, have come to.
When I first started getting ‘serious’ (lets face it, for a newbie, being ‘serious’ isn’t really that serious) about building muscle, I read a shitload. I thought I knew everything. I made sure I picked a program written by a top coach, and thought my diet was perfect (but it was FAR from it).
I first did a Chad Waterbury program, I remember it was TBT. Now there are several reasons why I ended up looking worse a year later than when I started. I put on a bunch of fat, and I didn’t really get much stronger. I over-analyzed and I applied principles that I read were important, but I think now a newbie should NOT apply these:
- You have to switch up your training every 4 weeks
- You need to train different muscle qualities in a muscle if you want to train it several times a week
- Don’t train to failure.
These were topics that I read from Chad Waterbury a lot, and while they are important for the more advanced trainee, I think they are absolute codswallop for a new trainee, and will only CONFUSE a newbie. Here’s why I think so:
A newbie should NOT switch up training every 4 weeks. It is simply not enough time to properly progress and set up momentum for a strength program. Rippetoes, one of the best newbie programs IMO, has you going full bore until you can’t gain anymore. A newb can and should be staying on the same program for as long as possible so he can milk everything from it and get his CNS to develop proper efficiency on the big lifts, and not change everything up all the time.
You dont need to do 1 day 3x8, 2nd day 8x3 and a 3rd day 3x5 if you want to train a muscle 3x a week. I personally think it confuses the shit out of a newbies CNS, and takes away from the main focus at this point which should be MORE WEIGHT ON THE BAR.
I think it can be safely said that a newbie doesn’t know how to completely trash his CNS and really ‘overtrain’ himself by training to ‘failure’ 3x a week. I think telling newbies (who don’t have proper experience of what it’s like to actually train very hard) not to strain or lift to ‘failure’ is a great way of telling them to be lazy, and hold back.
Now after writing this I am NOT saying that I am disagreeing with Chad’s principles, not for more advanced or intermediate lifters anyway. I do however believe that programs like TBT are wrong for newbies, and don’t provide a chance for a new lifter to really get a feeling for how exercises work his muscles and how his body handles them.
I also think that newbies can be cursed with an enormous desire to be big and strong. I know I was. I wanted to build muscle so bad that I read and read and read, and it all backfired. I switched programs too soon, I was paying too much attention to TUT, rotating loading parameters, “should I stop this set now, because Chad said I shouldn’t train to failure”, are dumbbells better than barbells?, etc.
And a year later I felt crushed. Because I had utterly failed at what I poured so much time, emotion and resources into. I got ‘analysis paralysis’ and now I am paying for it.
If I could go back and tell myself, the newbie whose brain was overflowing with all of this useless bodybuilding nonsense that was unapplicable to me, if I could go back and tell myself just 3 things, they would be this:
- Pick a handful of exercises
- Get as strong as you can on them
- Eat lots of meat and vegetables
Thats it. Nothing about workout frequency, failure training, or any other bullshit that I didn’t NEED. I just needed to get my ass under HEAVY WEIGHT and get stronger while eating enough healthy food. I don’t understand why I couldn’t get this. I wish I would have picked the simplest routine possible.
I am not an advance lifter. I am still trying to get past the ‘shit’ stage. Which is why I made this thread. I didn’t post this in the ‘Beginners’ section, because I want to know what other more experienced lifters think. What do you think about routines like TBT for newbies? Did you make great gains as a beginner on stuff like this? OR do you, like me, think it is just over-complicated bullshit for a beginner?