T Nation

Chad Waterbury and How I Failed

Wah, wah, that routine was too complicated to give me a clue and make me stop eating like a retarded and training like a pussy.

I doubt you actually read Chad’s book, but if you had, he says something specifically like “Beginners’ don’t need my programs, they’re not for them” when he lays out the programs.

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[quote]ZYL281 wrote:
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.[/quote]

This thread is another perfect example of how a lot of people on this website are not capable of having an intelligent conversation at all.

Claiming that the O.P trains like a pussy is totally unsubstantiated. I bet more than half the people that posted on this thread don’t even lift.

Good call on not naming the thread “I hate Chad Waterbury”. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]DanErickson wrote:
Claiming that the O.P trains like a pussy is totally unsubstantiated.[/quote]

Is this a serious post?

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
yes I ate retardedly. I ate way too many carbs and not much protein. I trained like a pussy.[/quote]

and

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
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.[/quote]

This is a perfect example of why I tell new people to keep it simple, eat healthy, and lift hard. I refer people to this site all the time with the disclaimer that most of these articles are for advanced lifters. But it helps to read it anyway to expand your knowledge base.

I’m not advanced yet. I don’t follow any advanced programs but I still make progress. I just pick and choose from everything I read. I regularly make small changes and keep what works. It really isn’t as hard as people make it out to be.

[quote]DanErickson wrote:
This thread is another perfect example of how a lot of people on this website are not capable of having an intelligent conversation at all.

Claiming that the O.P trains like a pussy is totally unsubstantiated. I bet more than half the people that posted on this thread don’t even lift.[/quote]

Except that he said he trained like a pussy…

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
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:

  1. You have to switch up your training every 4 weeks
  2. You need to train different muscle qualities in a muscle if you want to train it several times a week
  3. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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:

  1. Pick a handful of exercises
  2. Get as strong as you can on them
  3. 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?[/quote]

Well, if this thread had simply been titled ‘Tips for Newbies’ and said something like, “get in lots of solid protein, focus on the big lifts, lift with INTENSITY, and forget about the ‘complicated’ programs till later,” I don’t think anyone would have disagreed. I also don’t think any credible person, poster or author, ever said otherwise on these forums.

I don’t think TBT is a great program for newbies, to answer your direct question. I started with an upper-lower body split in the higher rep ranges. 8-12 reps. Focused on the big, compound exercise with some isolation work at the end of workouts. Focused on upping the protein dramatically and eating more than I was used to.

[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 … < “but” doesn’t matter after the preceding sentences>[/quote]

This thread should have just been titled “How I Failed Myself”.

Really, even after spending about 10 minutes on T-Nation, a person should come away with “It doesn’t matter if I just walk on a treadmill as long as my diet is in check, I will progress or maintain”.

There can be no “but” in the quote above. Period.

Equation:

[Diet not in check] + [Insert program of choice here] = Sub-Optimal results

Chad Waterbury, Dan John, Alywn Cosgrove, and Ross Enamait have been Godsends to me and my personal transformation. I’ve lost fat, gained muscle, and increased capacity with alternating or combining the methods of those folks. Add in Shugart’s V-Diet for a fat-nuking bomb, and results have followed. Again-- fat loss, muscle gain, increase work capacity with high-intensity full body workouts.

How?

  1. Diet in check
  2. Train hard because my former fat self is always “closer than appears in my rear-view mind’s eye”
  3. Followed directions
  4. Did I mention Diet in check, trained hard like my life depended on it, and followed directions?

So the moral of this story is, if you train like a pussy, dont blame the program, blame yourself.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
Obviously Waterbury himself hasn’t built an impressive physique through his own training principles, but we understand that the guy is busy… I guess… But who do we see that has built an impressive physique using Waterbury routines?

Besides, of course, complete beginners who will make progress on any routine. Although, as the OP pointed out - and I agree with him - it is probably bad for beginners to be exposed to most of the stuff Chad Waterbury is putting out there.[/quote]

This needs to be highlighted.

Who has built a great physique by following these “amazing” programs? That is what truly matters.

Can those who have post pics in this thread?

Please follow this post with pictures of your progress.

While I believe that the specific program you are using is irrelevant for the most part (even though I will look to those who have succeeded and follow what they do instead of what those who haven’t are doing), and that your progress is based on your effort, if people are going to claim “superiority”…which it seems quite a few do, I would love to see the superior results that top any other random routine (especially those that have built the best in the world).

I think it’s pretty hilarious that some poeple are so anti-Waterbury, but if you just asked them whether or not they agreed with his basic principles without telling them “these are Chad Waterbury’s principles,” they’d agree with 90% of them.

  1. Lift heavy.
  2. Use compound exercises
  3. Progress consistently.
  4. Put 100% into every set.
  5. Eat lots of good stuff.

OMG, heresy!

[quote]rmccart1 wrote:
I think it’s pretty hilarious that some poeple are so anti-Waterbury, but if you just asked them whether or not they agreed with his basic principles without telling them “these are Chad Waterbury’s principles,” they’d agree with 90% of them.

  1. Lift heavy.
  2. Use compound exercises
  3. Progress consistently.
  4. Put 100% into every set.
  5. Eat lots of good stuff.

OMG, heresy![/quote]

In past “debates” with Waterbury, it is the extreme statements he makes that people take offense to.

“Bodybuilders can’t climb stairs” anyone?

I also find it funny that some of the least developed people act like these programs are somehow superior and so much so that they recommend them to everyone even though their own development isn’t impressive at all.

I wonder what would have happened if the OP picked one of the advanced routines CT has written and then shit all over it for not yielding results because of not eating properly, not understanding and misapplying what’s being said, not training with enough effort then complaining that there’s too much science?

Ooo, I know let’s have a new trainee follow and advanced Westside template, totally fuck it up, then piss and moan about how ineffective it is.

Man, you fucking people are tiring.

[quote]irongutted wrote:
But… Dante has a gallery for everyone registered to see his trainees and how his methods work.
[/quote]

Dare I say Dante is to Bodybuilding like Loui Simmons is to Powerlifting?

Both ignored conventional wisdom and devised training methods based purely off what they believed made the most sense scientifically. Sure, Loui was more scholarly about it and his champions dominate the powerlifting world more than Dante’s students dominate bodybuilding but they both created solid programs based around

  1. Constantly making PRs
  2. Using templates that maximize recovery but train muscles as often as possible
  3. Take into account how muscles work (Dante using Extreme Stretching, Drop Sets, Widowmakers, and Negatives to maximize muscle growth. Loui using Overspeed Eccentrics, Sled Dragging, and Box Squatting to maximize strength gains while minimizing stress on the body)

Look at Dante, he’s massive. Look at Loui, he’s as strong as a Gorilla. Look at Chad, he’s in pretty good shape.

When I think about Loui or Dante Training, I imagine them screaming at the bar, cursing, and going bat-shit loco to break PRs and make progress. After reading Chad’s article about how he trains, I just kind of see him doing 40lb 1-Arm Arnold Presses and doing that inhale coming down, exhale coming up stuff while he focuses on feeling the contraction.

I remember looking at his mass program, which consisted completely of unilateral movements. It was all pistol squats, kettlebell floor presses, and free-standing 1-arm rows. You CAN’T train with a lot of intensity on these movements.

Disagree with him all you want, but it’s pretty classless to knock the man personally.

If only we could get Novagreg and Chad in the same room then we could save a fortune in torches

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
irongutted wrote:
But… Dante has a gallery for everyone registered to see his trainees and how his methods work.

Dare I say Dante is to Bodybuilding like Loui Simmons is to Powerlifting?

Both ignored conventional wisdom and devised training methods based purely off what they believed made the most sense scientifically. Sure, Loui was more scholarly about it and his champions dominate the powerlifting world more than Dante’s students dominate bodybuilding but they both created solid programs based around

  1. Constantly making PRs
  2. Using templates that maximize recovery but train muscles as often as possible
  3. Take into account how muscles work (Dante using Extreme Stretching, Drop Sets, Widowmakers, and Negatives to maximize muscle growth. Loui using Overspeed Eccentrics, Sled Dragging, and Box Squatting to maximize strength gains while minimizing stress on the body)

Look at Dante, he’s massive. Look at Loui, he’s as strong as a Gorilla. Look at Chad, he’s in pretty good shape.

When I think about Loui or Dante Training, I imagine them screaming at the bar, cursing, and going bat-shit loco to break PRs and make progress. After reading Chad’s article about how he trains, I just kind of see him doing 40lb 1-Arm Arnold Presses and doing that inhale coming down, exhale coming up stuff while he focuses on feeling the contraction.

I remember looking at his mass program, which consisted completely of unilateral movements. It was all pistol squats, kettlebell floor presses, and free-standing 1-arm rows. You CAN’T train with a lot of intensity on these movements. [/quote]

Good post.

A lot of what you said are many of the reasons why I chose to start doing DC training. Like Prof X said, look at what those who have been successful at what you want to do and follow their example.

Dante doubled his bodyweight (from 130 to 300+), and his methods have produced dramatic results for literally hundreds if not thousands of trainees. Some of his guys are incredibly strong and muscular and fully credit his methods for getting them there (obviously they also busted their asses). He also routinely takes already large individuals who can’t seem to grow any bigger and gets them growing again. Those are some results worth mentioning.

Now, no offense to Chad, but I honestly just don’t think he’s much of a bodybuiding coach. A performance coach, yes, and a good one. But a bodybuilding coach, no. He certainly hasn’t had anywhere near the level of results that Dante has when it comes to bodybuilders.

I agree with the OP’s original point, don’t over-complicate things (beginner or not). And always stick to the basics.

[quote]Megatron999 wrote:

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.
[/quote]

Perhaps the fact that it’s mentioned about 20 times a day over at IM should have been a clue that it’s not meant for intermediate/beginner’s. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, I have yet to meet a single person who training to failure didn’t work for. In most cases they don’t get results because of either:

a) poor diet
or
b) not enough rest (poor recovery abilities)

While I’m not arguing that people have individual body structures, recovery abilities and likes/dislikes, I really think the whole “what works for you may not work for me” thing gets a little overblown IMO.

We are all human, we all have the same basic physiological structures and systems. Sure, you’ll get some rare individuals who fall to either side of the bell curve, but a sound program will produce results in the vast majority of people.

And principles, such as progressive overload/stress (can be achieved via mind blowing intensity, volume, etc…) will work for any human. It’s just a matter of understanding how to correctly structure the program for the individual.

Its not just Waterbury. Its any author who offers a routine. Only noobies are gullible enough to follow someone else’s routine to a “T”.

I am sure they are all intelligent people with a lot of tricks up their sleeves. But use your brain. Pick out the useful tidbits from their articles. Find out what works for you. Making your own custom-tailored routine is what will net you results. Cutting a routine out of a magazine is laughable at best.

It boggles my mind why this discussion is even taking place.