T Nation

Quads Consistently Ache, Using Chad Waterbury Total Body Training

I started using Chad Waterbury’s Total Body Training 8 weeks ago. I think it’s been very effective, but over the last 4 weeks my quad heads (closest to top of knee) have consistently ached. When I squat, the soreness pain spikes. Part of the issue may be recruiting too much of that section for squats as well as adding front squats to the mix. I’ve been performing quad and running stretches, but the tightness/pain is still there. Should I take a break from squats for a few weeks?


You could try box squat ala Westside BB. There’s tons of technique videos out there. Even if all you have is a bench to sit on, if you don’t allow your knees to travel forward at all it’s still a very P-chain dominant squat.

You could also try low bar wide stance sitting back a lot free squats like some PLers do if you don’t wanna take it to that extreme.

It’ll be a P-chain dominant exercise, but your still training the squat movement pattern and still getting a little quad stimulation.

You might wanna take it easier on other P-chain exercises if you do this at least to start out with so there’s not a new thread in a few weeks about your hips and hip flexors being constantly sore :wink:

If you really are quad dominant, I suggest taking vids of your squats when you try it this new way b/c it’ll be very likely that what you think sitting back far isn’t sitting back far at all. Don’t be surprised if you have to at least initially drop the weights back at first.

1 Like

Make sure your strength is not dropping.

Try a little silly move to “pump up” that area before you squat. Any kind of really short
(maybe 6-8 inch) step up move like

Peterson Step Ups
Box Step Downs
VMO Dips
Terminal Knee Extensions

or even a few moderate sets of Leg Extensions can get the meat above your knees ready for action.

Also consider massaging or foam rolling all over your upper calf, just under your knee. And your lower thigh, just above your knee.

Squatting is pretty stupid so box squats or dropping squats all together are also OK.

1 Like

Thanks all. I’ll try box squatting.

If it persists, would substituting with Leg Extension (machines) for a couple weeks help?

Stretch quads and hips hard immediately after the session.

If really beat up try this guys stuff…

Could also move on to one of his upper/lower templates like ‘Anti-bodybuilding Hypertrophy’ or BIg boy basics. If want to stick with full body go for Waterbury Method


What kind of soft tissue work are you doing for the area?

Are you using squats as your only HF exercise or just on one session/week?

I haven’t been doing any soft tissue work (foam rolling) on that area.

I’m using squats as my quad exercise a couple times per week. Deadlift and Power cleans for hips/hams.

If the pain is in your quad tendons then cut back/ take some time off or you’ll end up with ruptured tendons. I’ve been down that road and it really sucked.

If I take some time off quad/ham muscle work, could I replace it with running/biking or should I do full rest and focus on other muscle groups.

Wait, there’s hamstring issues too?

Sorry! No hamstring issues, I assumed a break meant from hams too :). Did deadlifts this morning, no issues.

Would you say that you’re a young dude, new to squatting and using inconsistent, sloppy technique?

Or are you all older, experienced dude who’s knees have accumulated some mileage, and you just can’t recover as quickly as you once could?

leave the running, light biking can help
…and then stretch after!

I’m 34, so I guess in-between young and older in weight lifter terms. I was in martial arts for years, so my knees probably have some issues from that.

Nice. Maybe I’ll replace QUAD work with 15 mins on bike then.

1 Like

Are we talking about knee or IT band issues or tendons or are we talking about the quads getting hit harder than they can recover from?

No IT band pain, quads just won’t seem to fully recover from pain. Especially quad heads.

You really need to start if you want to be in this game long term. This sounds like text book quad tendonitis.