T Nation

Giving TBT a Try


So, I hate to do this. But...

I've never really tried a 3 Day TBT plan before. I'm coming off about a month of sporadic training and thought it could be a good time to give it a try. I posted this in my log today:

I could really use some input on what I have planned. Hopefully everyone can read the attachment (I know it's a bit small).

My main goal(s) is to re-focus getting back to being consistent week in and week out as well as trim down a bit.

I really appreciate the input!


Edit 1: Dropped Deficit Deads on Day 1 weeks 1, 3, & 5 in favor of Power Cleans.
Edit 2: Dropped Romanian Deads on Day 3 weeks 1, 3, & 5 in favor of Power Snatch
Edit 3: Dropped OHP on Day 1 weeks 2, 4, & 6 in favor of Push Press.
Edit 4: Dropped Calf Raises on Day 1 weeks 1, 3, & 5 for overhead bicep band curls.
Edit 5: Dropped Bench Dips on Day 1 & 3 weeks 2, 4, & 6 for Overhead Band Extensions.


I'll be the first to say that's a lot of squatting and deadlifting...


I would either squat 3 times and deadlift once or squat and deadlift twice each per week, definitely not more than that. Also, drop bench dips. Parallel dips are fine but bench dips carry far more risk to the shoulder than you will ever get out of them in size and strength.


It is, but part of Waterbury's genius (and I'm not using the term loosely) lies in manipulating the rep ranges through the week. That's entirely intentional and is pretty key to the whole plan. It'll be tough, but not as bad as you think because of the light/medium/heavy days.

Follow the program exactly laid out for the full 8 weeks and then assess where you are, how you feel, etc.

I did a ton of programs from the site last year, and his SOB Training was by far the one I felt best on.
Similar setup in that it's a press, a pull, a lower body movement, and other stuff every session, but the set/rep scheme was anywhere from 12x2 to 1x50 depending on the day.


Thanks for the input.

My issue is my equipment is limited. So the program calls for 4 compound and 2 isolated movements a workout. Waterbury's list of acceptable exercises is pretty short, which is why there's a lot of repeating.

I'll think on it though, thanks!


Hey Chris,

Thanks for the link. I didn't see this one when I set this up yesterday. I'll give it a look over.

The rep manipulation was the main point I took from his other article so I'm glad you reiterated that.

Really appreciate it!



Funny.. I was just looking up some CW stuff yesterday.... but the Waterbury method and 10 x 3 is what caught my eye.


That is funny.


One thing I got form reading on the other stuff, and I don't know if TBT is the same, but shorter rest periods are important to develop the appropriate level of "chronic fatigue." In fact, one of the forms of progression is just to reduce rest... one thing to look out for w/ a CW program.

What I'm doing now (not CW) is working, so I'm going to stick with it, but I'm interested to hear how your experience goes.


Yes, but as mentioned above, it is different squats and deads with different reps and sets.

just do it as is. You should enjoy it. I did.

After 8 weeks, I did a burner set (a la v-diet workout) on Saturdays. That was my favourite.


I'll do it as written. I tried the first workout yesterday and it was definitely refreshing. We'll see how that carries over in the coming weeks/months.


Hey Ecchastang,

I'm curious what risks you're talking about? I assume it's a shoulder issue. The reason I ask is I've done bench dips in the past for highish reps (25+) and never had any issues.



For shoulder impingement, bench dips are about the worst position you can put your shoulder in. Even though it is less bodyweight used compared to parallel dips, it is way more dangerous. If you have perfect shoulders, then you can probably get away with it, but most lifters don't.


Interesting, I figured it was something along those lines. Thanks for the input!


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Quick report in:

Day's 1 & 2 went pretty well. Day 1 I was a little too conservative on all the exercises. Day 2 was the opposite. I probably pushed the deadlifts a bit too hard having never done 3x8 on deads before. I ended up going lighter on the remaining exercises (pussed out and skipped squats) due to the unexpected fatigue. I've made some notes to adjust next week, although, I think I'll be fine to use the same weight on deads next week.

I'm logging my progress if anyone wants to follow:



There's definitely a feeling out stage to get your bearings in terms of how hard to go in each session, but you'll sort that out quick enough. It also gets a little tricky guesstimating the high rep stuff if you haven't worked in that range recently.

With full body training (or really any kind of high frequency work), recovery is key and workout nutrition is a big part of that. Since you're hitting a bodypart/movement and then hitting it again 48 hours later, you want to make sure you're doing everything you can to minimize DOMS (like you experienced firsthand) and perform optimally in each workout.

I took a quick look at your log and even if you want to drop some fat, make sure you're definitely still using some kind of peri-workout nutrition to get the most out of the training.


I have just recently quit TBT training. Going to try a PPL split for a month or two. I learned very quickly that, whether mental or physical, squats at the end of the session were a no go for me. I had to be mentally fresh or I would fail miserably. The inverse did not hold true for my presses, rows or deads after squats. I understand the logic, discussed a lot in GSLP, but it just did not work for me. Just something to think about.


Second thought: I got basically nothing out of Overhead squats. I didn't like them for TBT because they fatigue to many extra muscles that you will need later and you end up unable to push those movements as thoroughly as you would like. Beyond light work for mobility/warmup, I don't think that OHS have any real usefulness that isn't better served by Front or Olympic squats.


Thanks Chris.

I have some Plazma I can work back in and will probably move to SWF now that it's back in stock.