I just finished ATOW last week and I have to say it was very rewarding. Thank you for such a great piece of reading material. As I've written on here before, I had struggled with consistency in the gym the last 1 1/2 years due to my finding excuses not to train (work being a big one here).
I also think years of training "bodybuilding style" did some damage to my CNS and I finally crashed and burned. After doing a lot of reading on T-Nation, I've finally realized that doing mainly compound exercises and training each major muscle group 2-4 times a week (directly or indirectly) is the way to go. Of course my father had been preaching that to me for years, but in my great stubborness, I ignored his wisdom even though he continued to put on mass despite being twice my age (Maybe because when I did lift with him, he had me running for the bathroom after a few sets of squats).
Well, I've now gotten on board with the plan and boy am I feeling great. A few months ago I did your Total Body Training and experienced great results. I then tried Art of Waterbury and again, experienced great results. The other day I maxed out on bench and deadlift to get an idea for what weights to use for your ABBH I program and I've gained 30 pounds on my max bench (255) and 40 pounds on my max deadlift (315) since I began using your programs.
It's funny, I kind of scoffed when I first began reading your articles and noticed that there was little direct arm work (again, the results of reading M&F and training BB style), thinking my arms wouldn't grow. Well, wouldn't you know it, my arms are bigger and more vascular, and in ATOW I think there are two direct arm exercises (skull crushers and hammer curls).
Chad, I can't thank you enough for writing "real" programs for "real" people. I'm now looking forward to going to the gym each day and am excited by the continued progress I'm making. I wake up early in the morning, get my workout in, head to work, take a nap (when applicable), go back to work (as a reporter I have to work some split shifts, office work in A.M. covering games in P.M.) and eat everything (healthy of course) in sight.
I'll keep you updated on my progress as I make my way through your other programs.