T Nation

Chad Waterbury and How I Failed

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
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.[/quote]

That’s the exact reason why I all but stopped writing articles detailing complete routines. I much prefer to present ‘‘ideas’’ and concepts that people can try to apply to their own training and find out how it works for them.

Simply put, I NOW feel that I’m much more useful as an author by giving people a few more tools to add to their toolbox than to give them a hammer and tell them ‘‘that’s the only tool you can use to build a house’’ (wow… I think that this is my all-time best analogy!).

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Chickenmcnug wrote:
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.

That’s the exact reason why I all but stopped writing articles detailing complete routines. I much prefer to present ‘‘ideas’’ and concepts that people can try to apply to their own training and find out how it works for them.

Simply put, I NOW feel that I’m much more useful as an author by giving people a few more tools to add to their toolbox than to give them a hammer and tell them ‘‘that’s the only tool you can use to build a house’’ (wow… I think that this is my all-time best analogy!).[/quote]

Good post.

I wish others could learn from it.

[quote]Der Candy wrote:

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.
quote]

Thats the human experience. You live and you learn. Why do you think that the end all routine should be given to you? Or even that some sort of definitive answer exists at all? Simple fact of the matter is that nobody gets it perfect the on the first try.

So you feel you Chad’s guidelines didn’t work for you? Poor baby. You think you wasted time? I am going to have to disagree with you. Even if you won’t admit it, you had to have learned something. You learned what didn’t work(for you) atleast. Therefore you are 1 step ahead in the game.

now thats some socrates shit for you

[quote]anonym wrote:
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.

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

Look, if the OP put on a bunch of fat,and didn’t really get much stronger 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 read a shitload, thought he knew everything, 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, worshipped Chad Waterbury as a god.

The OP even states that he trained like a pussy and ate retardedly. 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]

Good post.

The only reason I included Chad Waterbury in my original post was as an example of how I started reading too much in between the lines and getting carried away with scientific stuff instead of focussing on the basics.

I didn’t start this thread to argue about TBT vs Splits, whether Chad’s programs actually work, or whatever. Rather, it was all just a big observation on how easily I got side-tracked as a beginner and didn’t work hard enough and switched things up too fast. I was reading about muscle-fiber ratios instead of how to be intense in the gym (some of you may scoff at me needing at that stage to read an article on the internet on how to be intense, but I am not you).

I have learnt now what really matters. And I have a MUCH better grasp of how my body works. The lesson here is that over-complication is a bitch, especially when you don’t have the mindset of working hard, which is most important.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
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!

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.[/quote]

Great Point. I think this is my biggest problem with the Waterburyites. Chad is a typical sales man - my product good, others bad. I started on this site by blogging on others, and having kids tell me my program was crap, and this new way of training was the only way to make real progress. They would also say BP splits only work if you are taking steroids like the pro’s, that may have even been a direct quote from him. The interesting thing was, those same people never seemed to be able to make consistent progress, for whatever reason.

I have learned a thing or two from reading his articles, and Chad is obviously a smart and successful guy. It’s his idea that all the principles which have built the best physiques in the world over the past fifty years do not work, and his are better (his supposed revolutionary rep speed/vs fatigue article for example) that have confused and simply misinformed the undiscerning minds.

It is a good thing other authors have been more even approached, or I do believe T would not be as credible as it is today.

I think we all have the same goal in mind, well at least most of us. To get huge and strong.

But we have to drag our own asses there. Dante, Louie, Chad, Thib or anybody isn’t going to carry our asses to get there. Doesn’t matter what road you take as long as your going forward and making progress.

Am I as big as Dante or have the physique of Chad? Hell no! So I can definitely learn something from them. Will I get to my goals walking the same road they did? I’ll have to try it out and learn that for my self.

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
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.[/quote]

I don’t know. While I agree that there is some truth to your statement, it would also be foolish to say that “pre written” routines are not valuable (even in many cases for advanced trainees).

Just a quick glance at the track records of programs like Starting Strength, 5x5, Westside, DC, to name some of the more popular and successful ones, and it’s pretty obvious that pre written programs can be quite effective.

Yes, sometimes writing your own program is the way to go. But, if you can take advantage of other’s experience and what they have found works best after trying different things on literally thousands (if not tens of thousands) of trainees over decades of training, then why wouldn’t you want to?

Why spend 10 years of your time experimenting with countless different self made programs to find that one that works well, when you can draw on the knowledge of someone who has already done so and found something that works well for 95% of the training population?

I’m all for self knowledge, but sometimes I think it’s good to just humble yourself and follow a proven effective program.

But, hey as long as you are progressing towards you goals, that’s really all that matters.

[quote]joeab wrote:

[/quote]

This switching it up thing seems to be ‘common knowledge’ on the internet, yet every successful, experienced guy I’ve known or heard or read about has been on basically the same program forever, with tweaks when certain aspects stop working. If you follow the elitefts logs for example, people aren’t jumping from HIT to GVT to TLA, they have their methods and they follow them, with course corrections.

Topic is misleading. If you have more bodyfat after a year it is your eating habits that is at fault. Unless CW is visiting you at home and spoon feeding you.

Congratulations on discovering what works for you and what doesn’t and realizing that theres a large variety of training material on the internet and not all of the information out there will give you the same results.

Playing Devil’s Advocate : Unless you are a paying client of “whatever trainer” then I don’t see how you can tie a [general writeup] with your own personal goals and training.

Hire yourself 10 personal trainers and none of them will give you the exact same routine as the next.

Example - physique clinic, if you pay attention for a second you will see participants having their exercise and nutrition tweaked overtime ~ also if you take 1 more second you will notice that the workouts are not the same for every single participant. This is deep enough for today.


In closing, I’ve always liked reading CT and CW’s articles as much as I enjoy reading the Atomic Dog articles! Just like how I enjoy reading posts from specific T-Nation members. I hope that no CONTRIBUTOR gets discouraged by this post despite the fact someone decided to play the blame game.

“THERES NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”

** The idea of tagging articles/workouts with ratings for Beginners, Beginner-Intermediate, Intermediate and so on is a good idea… **

But that won’t save you from the weekend warrior of 10 years that hibernates for 9 months out of a year and in March decides he is going to have a six-pack by june and be swole.

*** I’ve experienced great results from applying gems from CW and Thib including rehabbing my shoulders back to 100% in no small part due to the Cosgrove Waterbury article. ***

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Chickenmcnug wrote:
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.

I don’t know. While I agree that there is some truth to your statement, it would also be foolish to say that “pre written” routines are not valuable (even in many cases for advanced trainees).

Just a quick glance at the track records of programs like Starting Strength, 5x5, Westside, DC, to name some of the more popular and successful ones, and it’s pretty obvious that pre written programs can be quite effective.

Yes, sometimes writing your own program is the way to go. But, if you can take advantage of other’s experience and what they have found works best after trying different things on literally thousands (if not tens of thousands) of trainees over decades of training, then why wouldn’t you want to?

Why spend 10 years of your time experimenting with countless different self made programs to find that one that works well, when you can draw on the knowledge of someone who has already done so and found something that works well for 95% of the training population?

I’m all for self knowledge, but sometimes I think it’s good to just humble yourself and follow a proven effective program.

But, hey as long as you are progressing towards you goals, that’s really all that matters.[/quote]

I dont think he is saying “pre written routines wont work” but rather that in order to make any routine, be it just what you feel like doing that day or something that is laid out to the tee, the understanding of your own body is what is most important and that doing exactly what someone else is saying without some personal physiological feedback is a bad idea for anyone beyond the stage of “lift heavier than yesterday”.

This comes into play with Dante’s blasting and cruising and the decision of how much weight/reps to add, in westside with the selection of lifts, rotation, GPP, and loading. 5x5 is the only one that you mentioned that doesnt allow for some sort of personal adaptation, but I think that that entire program is centered around the one aspect that most beginning trainees dont understand (progression) and that is why it has been successful.

Personally, I have made my best gains on three programs- Alwyn Cosgrove’s New Rules Hypertrophy program, DC, (and the absolute best progress Iv made yet-20 lbs in 3 months) doing whatever I felt like my body was ready to do that day, high reps, low reps, machines, dumbbells, whatever, as long as I was getting stronger.

I really think the point of this thread is this:
Dont major in the minors.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
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.

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).[/quote]

In Waterbury’s defense, his programs and principles aren’t all bad for everyone. We can see people like IamMarqaos on this website who has built an incredible back through Waterbury principles like high-frequency training and 10x3.

Another member, rasturai (some of you might remember as the kid everybody thought was a 30 year old man) was I believe using a Waterbury program with success when he first put his progress pictures up in these forums.

And lets not forget Nate Green who said he used “mostly Waterbury programs” when his pictures first showed up on this site.

But like you are saying ProfessorX, none of the results we’ve seen from people using his programs are superior to any other program. But these people had the drive and the experience to go balls out with the programs they do, and that is why they saw results.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
I dont think he is saying “pre written routines wont work” but rather that in order to make any routine, be it just what you feel like doing that day or something that is laid out to the tee, the understanding of your own body is what is most important and that doing exactly what someone else is saying without some personal physiological feedback is a bad idea for anyone beyond the stage of “lift heavier than yesterday”. This comes into play with Dante’s blasting and cruising and the decision of how much weight/reps to add, in westside with the selection of lifts, rotation, GPP, and loading. 5x5 is the only one that you mentioned that doesnt allow for some sort of personal adaptation, but I think that that entire program is centered around the one aspect that most beginning trainees dont understand (progression) and that is why it has been successful.

Personally, I have made my best gains on three programs- Alwyn Cosgrove’s New Rules Hypertrophy program, DC, (and the absolute best progress Iv made yet-20 lbs in 3 months) doing whatever I felt like my body was ready to do that day, high reps, low reps, machines, dumbbells, whatever, as long as I was getting stronger.

I really think the point of this thread is this:
Dont major in the minors.[/quote]

Well, if that’s his point than I agree. I just thought it needed a little clarification. I could very easily see newbies reading his post and taking from it to not follow time tested programs and just add a little bit of this and a little bit of that and make their own programs.

That might not be a bad idea for an intermediate/advanced lifter who as you said, knows their body and has all the foundational elements already in place. But it would be a bad idea for a beginner.

Glad to hear that the “instinctual” route is working well for you.

I agree, focus on the basics.

Der Candy!

I am finally happy that you found out how simple lifting really is. Just keep doing what you are doing and when something stops working change only that and keep the rest.

I think one thing to keep in mind is that some people (READ: not all) do better when every single detail is laid out for them. Some people, when given general concepts and ideas, do an awful job of applying those general concepts and ideas.

I agree whole heartedly with the posts saying that people need to determine what works for their own bodies. One way of doing this is taking a very structured and detailed program to begin with, seeing what works, and make adjustments from there.

This is not an attack on CW or any trainer’s routines. But, this “overcomplication” does need to be clarified. Historically, the person who used to hand out programs was the trainer. People (mostly men) would come to a gym with the intention of either putting on muscular bulk or trimming some fat.

This trainer most of the times was also the owner of the gym or someone who had DECADES lifting. His ideas were tested with the fire of many people and many years. The instructions needed to be personalized and supervised, because of the high injury rate or the probability of failure.

The biggest problem with that setup was that it wasn’t very profitable and took a long time to learn the “basic” principles before you could develop your own best programs for your own goals. No excess profits, no investment in mirrors, extra paint for walls, shiny barbells and all other stuff we now take for granted.

At that time most of the workouts were done in a whole-body type of fashion, for convenience only. And many of the “methods” were hit or miss. Everything was in it’s infancy.

In one seemingly uneventful event,Arthur Jones saw the oportunity to create a new market invention of machines to do 1 movement in a particular plane, thus making the movements relatively safer.

But most importantly, IDIOTPROOF! Selling the idea of having circuits where people could be processed like in a factory the profit bottleneck between training and enrollment was made. This was the start of the “health club”.

Later, in order to increase enrollment, women were brought along with senior citizens and the rest is,pretty much, what we are left with…people who go to the gym for the latest “Bosu” class, spend hundreds of hours in a threadmill and go set after set after set of machines.

Health club members don’t really know the principles and just follow certain “methods” without understanding that they haven’t learned anything for themselves.

I won’t even talk about supplementation, as it is a touchy subject.

Now to fill this void left by the “health clubs” personal trainers came to the scene…the rest is pretty much what is happening now. We have gone full circle.

Places like Testosterone do a service by helping the younger generation of lifters understand the many “methods” to implement the few “principles” that are needed. Why? Because no person is the same and no method will work 100% of the time.

The confusion comes when we take anyone’s word as the only way. Like Der Candy said, there are few principles, but the methods are many.

Take what’s useful, get it from wherever you can and discard the rest. (From BL)

I really dont understand why someone has to classified as doing Waterbury style training, or any other style of training… Couldnt you simply read his articles and aply whatever you found useful to your training?

For example i found that TBT, varying rep ranges, focusing on high speed works well for me… but i prefer to use less sets than Waterbury usually recomends and dont stop a set when it slows down, going to failure often. You dont have to agree with everything an author says, its like the “absorb what is useful…” Bruce Lee thing.

On the pre-written programs, i never follow one but it often gives me some good ideas on workout design, splits, etc… I think seeing the whole program helps to understand the aplication of the ideas.

[quote]sawadeekrob wrote:
Der Candy!

I am finally happy that you found out how simple lifting really is. Just keep doing what you are doing and when something stops working change only that and keep the rest.

[/quote]

Hey man!

I have been trying to reach you by PM but for some reason I cant get to you.

[quote]Der Candy wrote:
mtd25 wrote:
Go back and read everything Chad ever wrote, don’t blame him for putting more fat on in a year. He lays it out pretty simple, if you can’t pick it up read it again, all of it!

If you looked worse a year later you were probably not eating optimally or as dedicated as you need to be to reach your goals. This has absolutely nothing to do with Chad Waterbury, his older programs are 6-8 weeks anyways.

Chad provides great writing and programs, what you do from there is up to you. If you get injured doing one of his programs, is it his fault?

Why don’t you:

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

Do this for a year and see what happens. In the meantime I will continue to get ripped doing Chad’s programs.

Good that his stuff has worked for you. Why don’t you go back and read my post and see that I am not hating on Chad, rather, that I feel his ideas confused me and over complicated everything.

I never said that purely following his methods led me to ruin. What I am saying is that I think I wasted a shitload of time doing overly complicated shit with a hoopla of scientific words. Maybe I am a dumb hillbilly but a year ago shit like 3 different rep ranges in a week and doing 10x3 on the bench press (which is totally unncessary IMO for someone starting out) confused the shit out of me and steered me away from the big picture of just adding weight to the bar and training like a maniac.

And why are you talking to me as if I am clueless newbie? I am not a fat emo fag crying in the gym corner about Chad Waterbury ruining my life. By ignoring the information from practically every fancy article I have ever read and instead pounding down the protein and just lifting harder than ever, I have gained more strength and size in the recent 4 months than I have in the previous year.

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

This is exactly what I am doing. This is exactly what I am going to continue to do until it stops working (hint… never).

“If you looked worse a year later you were probably not eating optimally or as dedicated as you need to be to reach your goals.”

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]

If it was your own confusion, then why are you writing an article about it?

I don’t know what the problem is…let me check! I just send you a PM