T Nation

CW Frequency ?


from Mr. Waterbury's 10 tips:

"The more often you can train a set of muscles, the more hypertrophy you?ll achieve. As a rule of thumb, you should train all of the major muscle groups at least twice each week. But, you?d be much better off training every major muscle group three or four times each week!"

Okay from my (limited) understanding, the muscle groups are hit by:

1.horizontal pushing
2.vertical+horizontal pulling
3.vertical pushing
4.quad-dominant exercises
5.hip-dominant exercises

So a four day split like so:

M - horizontal pushes/pulls
W - Quad-dominant stuff
F - Vertical Pushes/Pulls
Sun- Hip-dominant stuff

Would only hit each muscle group once a week (With the exception of back). Unless of course vertical pushes and horizontal pushes both hit the same muscle group?

Anyways, I'm just at a loss on how to use this tip to create a program that would hit every major muscle group 2-4 times a week.


I've got three words for you...Full Body, Baby.

By doing full body workouts, you can easily get multiple sessions each week. Granted, the set/rep parameters and exercises for each session would be different, but that's fine. So, we could have something like:

Monday: Hip Dom. (Deadlift), Horiz. Push (Flat bench), Horiz. Pull (BB row), Quad Dom. (Step-up), Vert. Push (Military Press), Vert. Pull (pull-up)

Wednesday: Quad Dom. (Squat), Vert. Push (push press), Vert. Pull (Chin-up), Hip Dom. (Good Morning), Horiz. Pull (Cable Row), Horiz. Push (Low Incline BB Press)

Friday: Same as Monday, different reps/sets/weight.

Sunday: Same as Wednesday, different reps/sets/weight.

Hope that helped a bit.


a few ideas:

#1 Pick one of Waterbury's programs and do it!

2- could do a full body program

3- could do an upper/lower split 4 or more days a week


I just started using one of CW's workouts from the big boy basics article.
Anyway it meets all of the requirements and so far it has been a great workout.


Did you just type that all off the top of your head? Sounds like a full blown program to me, much better than anything I could possibly come up with.

I'm currently doing this:

(i was on ABBH but then I realized I could only go to the gym 3x a week)

the a's are done in supersets

sun (weight includes barbell)
a.1.Barbell Bench Press 5x9 (110 lbs)
a.2.Barbell Bent-Over Row 5x9 (85 lbs)
b.1.Squat 5x10 (135 lbs)

a.1.Chin-up 5x7 (body-weight)
a.2.Standing Military Press 5x7 (75 lbs)
b.1.Good Morning 5x10 (120 lbs)

a.1.Barbell Bicep Curl 5x10 (50 lbs) <-have trouble in the last set
a.2.Weighted Dips 5x10 (10 lb dumbbell held between feet)
b.1.Deadlift 6x4 (155 lbs)

(my biceps and posterior chain is wayyyy weak)

What do you think? (I'm 5'8.5, 140ish lbs)


Thanks for the huge compliment bro, but, take a look at the workout I outlined, then the workout you outlined. All I did was combine your whole week into one day (basically). Not groundbreaking by any means, it's just how I choose to put the puzzle together.

Once you get a grasp of the basic "philosophy" behind a method of training (Waterbury's ideas, in this case), you can weave them into whatever suits your needs. It's the dictionary analogy: the more words you know (exercises, training theories, whatever), the more interesting "speeches" you can make in the gym.

I don't want to sound presumptuous (but I will anyway), but I don't think Chad Waterbury would throw a 45-pound plate at me for suggesting the routine like I did. It certainly seems to fall in line with his training theories, and that seems to be what you're looking to do.

And you're on the right track too. Like I said, you're weekly outline is basically my 1 day, spread out a bit. So, you could leave it that way...that's fine. Or you could smoosh your 3 days together, and come up with an alternative workout to do another day or 2 during the week. It's totally your call (and I think that's the coolest part about working out anyway.)


Is this overkill?
Tue 12x3
Thurs 8x6
Fri 9x4
Sun 5x10

Total reps on individual days are
maximum limits on set/rep bible.

i guess that is surely too much. If so, how should volume be adjusted to accomodate 4x per week training? Should there be a more or less fixed total number of reps to be performed per week regardless of training frequency?


GOOD lord 12x3 for full body not with the plans you have laid out unless you have 4 hours to spend in the Gym . LOL

Other than that it could work. I would limit it to one excersize for each Push, pull, and legs. then maybe a set or two to hit areas briefly that you didnt hit as hard.

something like Squats, Flat bench, and bent over rows. super set the Bench and rows, ad an ab movement to superset with the squats. maybe add on a set or two for calves, traps, etc.. This will get you out in a reasonable time.

The main thing is you will hit all the areas each day by using three big movements. Sure not all areas will be hit as hard each day but they are hit. Example being deads and squats on different days. They will both hit your total legs and core. The squats however are more quad dominant than the Dl's but they still use a large amount of glute as well.

The Dl's use mainly lowerback, hams glutes, upperback, but the quads and hips etc. do get hit, just not as hard.At the end of the week however each and every part will have been fully stimulated AT LEAST one time with numerous other stimulus of lesser content.

I hope that is a clear explaination. You could easily use CW's excersize parameters in his TBT program and the adjust from there. Or just follow his program.



another idea: recovery workouts...

I trained with weights 9 times last week, about 10 the week before. I do 4 main westside type sessions plus 5 or so 15-20 min recovery workouts, using light weights, (say 40%) high reps but stopping WAY before failure. I find this seems to lessen the soreness I get from the 4 main workouts.


Thanks Phil for your post. And juninho i have incoporated CW's 100 rep training on off days.

Another question is progession. The total max reps per week according to the bible that one can do is 172 (2x 50 high reps, 2x 36 low reps) and min is 60 (1x 36 high reps, 1x 24 low reps). I understand that you should slowly add volume and up frequency from 2 to 4. But how do you progress from there? When you reached 4x per week 172 total reps do you back off ie reduce frequency or maintain?

Also if i wanna do a chest specialisation can i train chest 4x and the rest 3x per week? Would that work? Thanks.


Regarding my current 3-day routine: I read the importance of varying the set/reps. However, I'm a bit confused on how to properly implement this.

Christian Thibaudeu's article, "Locked and Loaded" recommends a beginner to stick in the 10-14 RM range per set to achieve Total Hypertrophy (which I think is around 8-12 reps?).. combining this with Chad's "Set/Rep Bible" means I ought to be doing 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise. This is similar to what I am currently doing.

Now my question is how should I go about varying the repetitions? Should I vary the reps every 2 weeks? And how should I change it?

Thanks for all the feedback so far.


Hey Phil, would you mind posting a 4 day routine using the above guidelines you posted above? I just need to get a basic idea on how to structure it. I am a little confused on the ideal amount of overhead pressing vs horizontal pressing and on what assistance exercises to do.



Sure just a quick one off the top of my head here.

Really you can do about any combo. run it for a 3-6 weeks and change it up a Little even swapping reps, hand palcement etc. It can be a simple change like such as long as you are hitting all body parts and not leaving something out.

Anyhow.Lets See

day 1, 8-10x3 depending on your time rest 60 secs between each
A2)abs something you can bring to the rack. weighted crunches, heavy DB side bends, etc.

B1)Flat bench DB or BB
B2)Bent over rows DB or BB

c1)Calf Raises
C2)Tricept something, push down skull crusher etc.

day 2 2-3x15
A1)Step ups or lunges
A2)Ab movement

B2)Upright rows

C1)arm, curl something DB BB etc.
C2)something legs whatever you feel is lacking Stiff DL's, leg curls,leg press, leg extension, etc.

Day 3 4-5 x 8
A2)Ab movement

B1)Standing overhead press DB or BB

C1)Peck deck or flies
C2)Shoulders or Back. Like front or Lateral raises, or reverse fly. maybe hyperextension.

Now that should really hit just about any and everything. If wanted you could add a set or two of areas you feel didnt get hit good enough at the end just keep the same rep scheme as that day.

If wanted add a fourth day maybe 2x20
go with horizontal pushing on it maybe slight incline or Decline if you went BB earlier then now go with BB. Pair it with a row, Leg movement and abs again. then two to make up what was missed.

do this for several weeks then switch the reps to different days. Progress by adding weight or reps weight to the high rep stuff and reps to the low rep stuff. That or cut rest times and do the same loads.

Honestly it cant be explained much better than CW did in the TBT plan. But hope that helps. Man their are some many varieties I say just pick one and go.

I even have one on here somewhere that I rotated the reps and sets for the body part. say day 1leg would be 10x3, push was 4-5 x 8, and pull was 3-20. Day 2 legs3x20, push 10x3, pull 4-5x8, day 3 legs 4-5x8 push 3x20, pull 10x3. Add in some abs and maybe an isolation or two and walla. I like this due to I can get bored as hell doing all high rep stuff the same day. This allowed me to mix it up. But I am not sure CW and the other coaches would suggest this type as it would Screw with your CNS mixing the stimulus like that.

anyhow Hope you can get something out of this,



Great stuff Phill!

2 Questions though (I hope you don't mind)

  1. About pairing dips with upright rows. I assume the upright row is the 'pull', however its described as a push from all the articles I've read. Anyways, I always thought it felt like a pull.. guess its one of those exercises that people have mixed descriptions over.

  2. CW recommendeds changing the parameters if one performs exercises that target the same muscle group each session. However, if one hits diff muscle groups per session can you repeat parameters?

For example:

Day1: 5x6
Upper Body Vertical Pulls
Upper Body Vertical Pushes

Day2: 5x6
Upper Body Horizontal Pushes
Upper Body Horizontal Pulls

Day3: 4x12
Upper Body Vertical Pulls
Upper Body Vertical Pushes

Day4: 4x12
Upper Body Horizontal Pushes
Upper Body Horizontal Pulls

Is this okay?


No problem glad to help.

1) you are pulling a weight up from an extended reach. You are not pushing in anyway so yes its a pull. Also a note I personally use DBS for this move as to not lock the shoulders in what can be a compromised position.

2)Yes CW knows his stuff and that is pretty much what I laid out in the above post. with the overhead press, verilc, flat bench, horizontal, dips vertical. It can also be varied as slightly as a slight incline or decline.

Yes that looks good and is much the same as above. Just pick the movements and go. Let us know hope it works.


Just a little clarificaiton, when you say 'that looks good' are you only referring to the exercise selections? What do you think of my chosen parameters (Set/reps)?

I really appreciate the replies. Thanks a lot.


I would say the excersise choices though not specific in saying "vertcile push" etc are sound. I would vary the rep scheme a bit more with get into the lower rep Heavy load stuff and the the more mid rep 10-=12 range. Say like 8x3-4 and 3-4x10-12

that clear???


Yup, thanks. So it'll end up looking like so:

Sun 8x4
a.1. Bench Press
a.2. Bent Over Row
b.1. Deadlifts
b.2. Weighted Crunches

Mon 4x10
a.1. Chins
a.2. Weighted Dips (torso straight)
b. Lunges
c.1. Lateral Raises
c.2. Calf Raises

Wed 4x10
a.1. Incline Dumbbell Press
a.2. Dumbbell Rows
b. Good Morning
c.1. incline Reverse Crunch
c.2. Biceps Curl

Fri 8x4
a.1. Pull-ups
a.2. Standing Military Press
b.1. Squats
b.2. Weighted Leg Raises

So basically, its okay to repeat parameters as long as you don't repeat parameters when you work out the same muscle groups.


You have repeated parameters for the same muscle gropus already-both chest and back with 4x10 on 2 consecutive workouts.

I think you'll be better off doing this :
sun 8x4
mon 4x10
wed 7x5
fri 3x12


hmm.. you're right. However, I meant to structure it so that Monday and Wednesday would work out different movements (mon - verticals, wed - horizontals), which is why I repeated parameters.