T Nation

Increasing the Load on TBT


Im following Chad's TBT program right now and i have one quick question regarding the increase in weight when lifting.

Im on the second workout day of the first week and i have to perform 3 x 8 sets instead of 3 x 5 sets, no take for example i used 80lb dumbbells for flat bench press on the 3 x 5 set do i now increase the weight for 3 x 8, keep the weight the same, or decrease the weight? Thanks.


I believe he says that the weight should be the amount that puts you very close to failure on the last two reps of the last set.


today i did the second workout of the first week going from doing 3 x 5 sets to 3 x 8 sets and i couldnt do as much weight on some of the exercises due to the more reps so i had to decrease that. i left chest for last today and usually i pop 80lb dumbbells easy but today it was just not happening i had to drop down to 70lb dumbbells i figured it was just that i was worn down from doing everything else.


This statement here makes me think you were trying to do the same amount of weight as the 3x5 sets. If that is what you were doing, you had a bad plan going in. The idea is that you are changing, not only the reps, but, the weights as well.

Go back and read the article again so that you understand what you are supposed to do.


I'm on the same program now, in the second week. From what I gather you're supposed to increase the weight at up to/ around 2.5% for each workout session. So, even though the reps are increased on day 2 from day 1, you still also should increase the weight.

Now, what I've done is that if I have an issue of not being able to increase the weight- limited on how much weight can be added - I simply try to increase the reps. In this case, if I have 8 reps to do, and cannot add weight, I simply do 10 reps. Is that acceptable ? I figured that if I do bench press with 45lb DB's, then after a week of increasing reps it would be then acceptable to start using 55lb DB's going back to starting with recommended reps and increasing them same way as the week before with the same weight. Not sure if this is good enough, but that's what I do.

If you can't do the same weight with higher reps on following workout day, then you probably started with a weight that's too heavy. If my approach is not acceptable, anyone, please advise.


There is no way i can go from doing 3 x 5 sets to 3 x 8 sets with more weight, i chose the 3 x 5 weight to make me burn out by the end of the last set so how could i go from doing less reps with less weight to more reps with more weight.


It's all relative. Your weight for 8 reps will be lighter than for 5 reps. Increase the weight for each independently each week. So if you do 80 and 70, than try 82, 72 (I realize that's harder with dumbells).

Don't try to go from 3x5 to 3x8 with an increase in weight. That's not what was intended, and shouldn't be possible for anyone if your 3x5 weight had you almost failing the last rep which is what Mr. Waterbury prescribes.


Hmm, I guess I misread the article then and did'nt push myself enough to start with a high enough weight. I guess I should correct my approach as much as possible then. Still makes me wonder though, as it does seem like Waterbury says to increase the weight at EVERY workout, not weekly..ohh well, I'm too new to this to know any better.


Right, you increase every workout relative to what you did on the same day the week before. Once you get to the 18s, you'll understand why you couldn't possibly use the same weight for each day, unless you're some sort of mutant.

The first week and fifth week will really be kind of guess weeks where you try to find your proper weights for each rep scheme (since you probably don't have any idea what your 12/8/18 rep max is). You can use a rep calculator to try to guess, but you'll probably have to adjust. Just make a good guess and use that as your benchmark for the following weeks.