T Nation

Chad Waterbury and How I Failed

[quote]goya wrote:
Here are a couple of things I think are overrated:

  1. Rep speed

It does not matter. Pick a speed you are comfortable with and that is not too slow but no need to be explosive, just be consistent from set to set and from work out to work out.
[/quote]

However, if you are NOT a newbie, this is one area you can (and absolutely should) change-up from time to time. In fact, it may the easiest way to to make changes, as you can keep the same exercises, yet still offer something different.

If you do fast reps all the time, then slower ones would be good for concentration and to give your joints and tendons a rest every once in a while.

If you do slow reps all the time, then fast reps are a good way to help you break through plateaus or pump-it-up from time to time.

Scott

[quote]mrw173 wrote:
I know this isn’t exactly what the original poster wanted, but I’m confused as to why Waterbury’s programs, when implemented correctly as prescribed, should be avoided by beginners? What are central to his programs that result in such a statement?

I can see how the advanced bodybuilder may not benefit very much from total body workouts. I’m personally not at that level, but I’ve heard numerous other people say that and I’ll trust them. But I fail to see why the beginner or intermediate lifter should avoid programs like CW’s that maximize variability.

One distinction that should be made is what is a beginner? CW says in his book a “true” beginner who is just picking up weights for the first time should just do something basic. But his definition of a beginner for his programs is someone who already has a solid base.[/quote]

Because if you are doing 3 different rep schemes throughout the week, it takes you three times as long to progress on them. Why would a beginner need to do a different workout every time he enters the gym, when insted he could be adding a few pounds to the same lift and progressing very linearly? Chad Waterbury has so much variation in his programs because he believes your body adapts very quickly to specific training stimuli (exercise and rep scheme). A beginners CNS doesn’t adapt that fast that in 2 weeks he needs to do a different bench variation or switch his reps around.

It’s funny because the more I look around the more I see that the biggest guys do pretty much the same workouts all the time, and only make small tweaks here and there. They switch lifts when they plateau on one, which may be 3 weeks or 35 weeks.

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
mrw173 wrote:
I know this isn’t exactly what the original poster wanted, but I’m confused as to why Waterbury’s programs, when implemented correctly as prescribed, should be avoided by beginners? What are central to his programs that result in such a statement?

I can see how the advanced bodybuilder may not benefit very much from total body workouts. I’m personally not at that level, but I’ve heard numerous other people say that and I’ll trust them. But I fail to see why the beginner or intermediate lifter should avoid programs like CW’s that maximize variability.

One distinction that should be made is what is a beginner? CW says in his book a “true” beginner who is just picking up weights for the first time should just do something basic. But his definition of a beginner for his programs is someone who already has a solid base.

Because if you are doing 3 different rep schemes throughout the week, it takes you three times as long to progress on them. Why would a beginner need to do a different workout every time he enters the gym, when insted he could be adding a few pounds to the same lift and progressing very linearly? Chad Waterbury has so much variation in his programs because he believes your body adapts very quickly to specific training stimuli (exercise and rep scheme). A beginners CNS doesn’t adapt that fast that in 2 weeks he needs to do a different bench variation or switch his reps around.

It’s funny because the more I look around the more I see that the biggest guys do pretty much the same workouts all the time, and only make small tweaks here and there. They switch lifts when they plateau on one, which may be 3 weeks or 35 weeks.
[/quote]

I think part of the picture, again, is how do you define beginner? For someone who is picking up weights for the first time, or has very little experience, then adding weight to the same lift and progressing linearly is logical. For someone who is slightly more experienced (but still a “beginner”), I’d imagine that variability could do them some good, but I’ll appeal to the judgment of more experienced lifters on that one.

  1. Pick a handful of exercises
  2. Get as strong as you can on them
  3. Eat lots of meat and vegetables

The three rules above work for many if not all lifters when implemented correctly.

If you failed on a Waterbury program, good. Now you at least know what doesn’t work for you. Take it as a learning experience. If you wanna blame someone for your failure then blame your self.

I failed on Dante’s DC a year ago and you don’t see me talking shit about him. I failed on my own. I did realize early enough that training to failure didn’t work for me. DC wasn’t meant for a intermediate beginner and I learned that the hard way.

I think Chad’s articles and books are for people who like to learn things about their own body, not for people who are looking for simple answers and quick fixes. Waterbury trains athletes, not beginners.

I think this is just an example of learning what it takes to build muscle for each individual. Understanding what works best for you might take time and if your a newbie, knowing right of the bat will definitely be difficult.

I think blaming other people is just an easy way out. Take responsibility for your own actions. Why not thoroughly investigate a program you are about to do? How about identifying what your goals are and what you wish to accomplish? Heck, T-Nation even has a search button, have you tried typing in TBT? I did and got several helpful threads about about the workout: http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=524722
that’s one you can start off with.

I’ve done several total body workouts when I started lifting weights including ABBH I and II, Waterbury Method and Art of Waterbury. I thought all these workouts were great and I got great results. I didn’t let myself get easily confused since I searched every possible thread regarding a workout and I even remember pm several members asking them questions.

I’m not an expert, but I have an idea of what works best for my body. I’ve gone through several bad experiences which has helped me become a better person and I know I am not going to repeat those same mistakes.

But… Dante has a gallery for everyone registered to see his trainees and how his methods work.

I really think that his methods do work. With Dedication everything works.

The routines of Trevor Smith worked for some too…

But that does not mean that his methods are the most efficient.

On a side note, something that i find amusing, is how people hold into other people that they admire and treat them like some sort of demi-god.

Come on… successfull or not, Chad is still a human, and can make mistakes and even routines that dont work all that well.

[quote]Megatron999 wrote:

  1. Pick a handful of exercises
  2. Get as strong as you can on them
  3. Eat lots of meat and vegetables

The three rules above work for many if not all lifters when implemented correctly.

If you failed on a Waterbury program, good. Now you at least know what doesn’t work for you. Take it as a learning experience. If you wanna blame someone for your failure then blame your self.

I failed on Dante’s DC a year ago and you don’t see me talking shit about him. I failed on my own. I did realize early enough that training to failure didn’t work for me. DC wasn’t meant for a intermediate beginner and I learned that the hard way.

I think Chad’s articles and books are for people who like to learn things about their own body, not for people who are looking for simple answers and quick fixes. Waterbury trains athletes, not beginners.

[/quote]

Good post.

Mentzer was an advocate of multiple rep ranges AND total body training, he had an incredibly impressive physique. In defense of spilts too though most pros use a split routine. You also have to take into account that pros are on very heavy anabolics and are genetic freaks.

If you look at your average, unassisted trainee you get better answers as to what does and dosent work. Most people in gyms do splits, and its not often that you see a really impressive physique. Both methods will work, some might do better with splits and some might do better with full body routines, but its really just a matter of hard work and a solid diet.

[quote]tremad12 wrote:
Mentzer was an advocate of multiple rep ranges AND total body training, he had an incredibly impressive physique. In defense of spilts too though most pros use a split routine. You also have to take into account that pros are on very heavy anabolics and are genetic freaks.

If you look at your average, unassisted trainee you get better answers as to what does and dosent work. Most people in gyms do splits, and its not often that you see a really impressive physique. Both methods will work, some might do better with splits and some might do better with full body routines, but its really just a matter of hard work and a solid diet.[/quote]

Mentzer didn’t get big on TBT. Nobody does.

[quote]austin_bicep wrote:

Could not agree more. I think his concepts are way overrated and his physique is something I would not aspire to look like. [/quote]

Word.

[quote]Waterbury trains athletes, not beginners.

[/quote]

This may be an overstatement, but I can relate to it. I’ve been a trained athlete for most of my life, and hate weekly split routines because I feel like I’m slacking off by not hitting a muscle group more than once a week. I know that’s an overly simplistic argument because there’s more than one way to do a split routine.

But, I’ve loved doing CW’s stuff because it feels more like training than I’m used to. That doesn’t mean it’s the “right” way to do things, but it is one of the reasons I like it.

People here are talking like CW is some arm chair expert… If i remember correctly he went from 160 to 260 pounds and also squated over 600, i dont know about you but that is impressive for me.

Second, no pro bodybuilder uses his principles… yes no pro bodybuilder uses Thib’s creative training methods or exercises either, or Poliquin 10x10, or EDT… who cares?

i’m no pro bodybuilder and i’m interested in what works for me, if TBT 3x week usually gives better results for me, should i stop doing it because its not what works best for Ronnie Coleman?

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
tremad12 wrote:
Mentzer was an advocate of multiple rep ranges AND total body training, he had an incredibly impressive physique. In defense of spilts too though most pros use a split routine. You also have to take into account that pros are on very heavy anabolics and are genetic freaks.

If you look at your average, unassisted trainee you get better answers as to what does and dosent work. Most people in gyms do splits, and its not often that you see a really impressive physique. Both methods will work, some might do better with splits and some might do better with full body routines, but its really just a matter of hard work and a solid diet.

Mentzer didn’t get big on TBT. Nobody does.[/quote]

I think Mentzer used TBT in the begining and later changed to splits when he felt training shouldnt be only low volume but low frequency also.

Guys like Grimek, Steve Reeves and Sergio Oliva got big using TBT… But its not what works for others but what works for you is what matters.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
austin_bicep wrote:

Could not agree more. I think his concepts are way overrated and his physique is something I would not aspire to look like.

Word. [/quote]

He also clubs baby seals and puts out cigarettes on little orphans.

Look, if the OP [quote]put on a bunch of fat,[/quote]and [quote]didn’t really get much stronger[/quote] after a YEAR of lifting - that is HIS fault for beating his head into a wall month after month after month and expecting a different result (seriously…a full year?)

He says he [quote]read a shitload[/quote], thought he [quote]knew everything[/quote], yet the ONLY principles he decided to apply were those from CW.

It’s not as if this site (and his gym, perhaps) doesn’t have a load of experienced lifters whom he could have consulted on his lack of progress. You know, instead of waiting a full year putting on fat and gaining little strength. It is HIS fault that he ignored all the resources he had at his disposal and, instead, [quote]worshipped Chad Waterbury as a god[/quote].

The OP even states that he [quote]trained like a pussy[/quote] and [quote]ate retardedly[/quote]. Apparently his “reading a shitload” didn’t cover basic dietary advice or how to lift with sack and heart.

Fact is, he would have made shit progress no matter what his routine was and no matter what particular author he decided to listen to, because he really didn’t put in the legwork necessary (either in the books or under the iron) to achieve anything noteworthy.

The problem isn’t that routines today are too complicated and that information is too plentiful. The problem is that he threw out his ability to think critically in order to find a magic solution and a guru.

If this post sounds a little hurried, then I apologize. I’m just shaking my head at the prospect of this thread turning into a “split vs. full body” or “the Forum Vets vs. Chad” debate. This shit was done to death a year (or so) ago.

Now, this is not to say that the 3 Principles he listed aren’t good - they are. It’s just that the whole background story he gave about failing on a CW routine was unnecessary because the fault is his, and his alone, and some are gonna take it that he is blaming Chad (this is already happening) and overlook the big picture, here.

[quote]anonym wrote:
If this post sounds a little hurried, then I apologize. I’m just shaking my head at the prospect of this thread turning into a “split vs. full body” or “the Forum Vets vs. Chad” debate. This shit was done to death a year (or so) ago.
[/quote]

Do you have a link to this? It would be informative to people that weren’t around here a year ago, and would keep discussion of those topics out of this thread.

To the OP:

I’m glad you’ve invested the time to learn what works for you. That’s probably worth a lot.

[quote]mrw173 wrote:
anonym wrote:
If this post sounds a little hurried, then I apologize. I’m just shaking my head at the prospect of this thread turning into a “split vs. full body” or “the Forum Vets vs. Chad” debate. This shit was done to death a year (or so) ago.

Do you have a link to this? It would be informative to people that weren’t around here a year ago, and would keep discussion of those topics out of this thread.[/quote]

One of them was titled “The Critic vs. Waterbury” (discussing the article) and the other spinoff thread (at around the same time, I believe) mysteriously “vanished” after it got a little unprofessional (not to say it was deleted, just that I wasn’t able to find it at a later date - take from that what you will).

If someone else manages to dig it up, that would be cool.

Running a search for the first one will get you a good start on what you want, though.

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
jsbrook wrote:
You did a program that wasn’t designed for a newbie and complain that it didn’t work for you as a newbie. I’m not exactly sure what you mean by training different muscle ‘qualities’ but how does TBT not do that? Waterbury DOES routinely recommend against TBT for newbies, instead opting for something like ABBG or even Big Boy Basics for rote beginners.

Even though it’s not designed for newbies, I’m still wondering how you didn’t add strength if you were training with sufficient intensity. Not training to failure does not mean a pansy-ass workout. You should’ve still been reaching near failure on your sets and possibly failing on the last set of an exercise.

yes I did train to near failure (or what I percieved as it).

I don’t want to turn this thread into a discussion about how to train on TBT or ABBH. Thats not the point.

The point here isn’t even exactly about Chad Waterbury. I am regretting I even mentioned him in the title.

The point is that I believe nowadays things are FAR TOO OVERCOMPLICATED FOR NEWBIES. Newbies should just be told to lift hard and eat enough food. That is all. I didn’t even read about the intensity part when I started. Yes go ahead and laugh at how ridiculously stupid that sounds but I honestly didn’t know the meaning of hard work, or what it is to really push yourself in the gym. What I thought as failure was probably only the minimum level of intensity that I should have trained at, and instead I was purposely avoiding this becasue of all this unnecessary information in my head.

It is only recently that I have actually been reading here (on these forums) about the importance of simply getting as basic as possible and focussing ONLY on progressive poundages with adequate food and recovery. For some reason, on other places as well, this kind of knowledge seems hard to come by.

I honestly believe that I would have faired much better if I would have not even found the internet, and instead would have been forced to find a powerlifting gym and learn from them. I also do not believe I am the only person who feels this way.

Now go ahead, and flame me. Tell me how wrong I am and how Chad Waterbury is a god. I am waiting for it.[/quote]

Chad’s not god by any means. But he has written some solid programs. I never had any trouble packing on muscle on any of his that I’ve used. I totally agree with you that much of what he writes is ‘unecessarily’ complicated and shouldn’t be used by newbies. You probably WOULD have been better off doing something else. TBT is not designed for newbies and you shouldn’t have been doing it.

But I maintain that progress like that is pretty weak even if a program is sub-optimal for your level of experience at a given time. If a year goes by, and you’ve only gained a small amount of strength, that’s on you and how you’re training and eating.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
tremad12 wrote:
Mentzer was an advocate of multiple rep ranges AND total body training, he had an incredibly impressive physique. In defense of spilts too though most pros use a split routine. You also have to take into account that pros are on very heavy anabolics and are genetic freaks.

If you look at your average, unassisted trainee you get better answers as to what does and dosent work. Most people in gyms do splits, and its not often that you see a really impressive physique. Both methods will work, some might do better with splits and some might do better with full body routines, but its really just a matter of hard work and a solid diet.

Mentzer didn’t get big on TBT. Nobody does.[/quote]

So, you consider Waterbury small? He may not have a competitors physique, but dude’s got some size as far as I can tell from the few pictures I’ve seen of him.

[quote]Der Candy wrote:

yes I ate retardedly. I ate way too many carbs and not much protein. I trained like a pussy. But it didn’t help that I was overcomplicating everything by switching programs every month and worshipped Chad Waterbury as a god. I plan on sticking to my current routine for as long as it lasts, that maybe 6 months, or 2 years.[/quote]

Unless you are a genetic freak you aren’t going to gain training “like a pussy” and eating horribly.

Quit blaming others for your mistakes and own them yourself.