T Nation

The Frequency Experiment


#1

This post got WAY longer than I thought, but maybe some will find it interesting.

tl:dr - Going to try Waterbury style High Frequency Training blocks to spur some new growth. Will train a particular muscle up to 8-10 times per week using his methods to see if it works (2 times directly, 2 indirect, and 6 isolation sessions per week).

Example: 2 direct shoulder pressing sessions, 2 sessions with a bench and a row (indirect front and rear delt work), then 6 added medial delt HFT sessions from his books.

The Background

Going to try something out here, maybe a few others will want to hop on board or just observe. Either way hopefully we can all learn from my experiment here... Win, Lose, or Draw

Long story short, I've been an avid "Body Builder" for about 10-12 years now and quite honestly can say that I've tried nearly EVERYTHING under the sun in the pursuit of being a big, strong sum'bitch. A non-exhaustive list:

-High Volume, low frequency (HST100, Mountain Dog, other standard BB stuff)
-Lowish Volume, Low-Med Frequency, High Intensity (Yates Routine, Max OT, Dogg Crap)
-Moderate Volume and Frequency (Starting Strength, Strong Lifts, Bill Star, 5/3/1 BBB)

Maybe it's "program hopping," but I generally have given these programs all 6-12 months at a time, much longer for some of them (did Max-OT for YEARS for example, did 5/3/1 for a nearly a year twice)

I have two logs on here, my latest being here if anyone cares to see's the full log of my weekly workouts (It links to my prior Contest Prep log as well): http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/lonnies_trainingdiet_thoughts_and_log


The Plan

  • This particular thread will be a bit different than my main log. I will not post here daily as I have my main log for that, but I will pop back in every 4-8 weeks to update everyone as to how this works out... Or doesn't work out.

As mentioned above, even having tried EVERYTHING I quite honestly don't think I am all that impressive... I consider my build respectable, maybe even above average when I'm really lean, but certainly not the physique I thought I'd have 10 years ago

Enter Waterbury. I have always been very, very intrigued with his ideas, but honestly have been afraid to try them because they are quite unorthodox. I was afraid I would lose THE GAINZ! However, my recent foray into his style of full body training has lead to some recent success, So I'm inclined to think maybe he is right about his other methods as well.

  • For the first 4 weeks I will use the method in his HFT1 book, rest a week, then use another 4 week block with the methods in his HFT2 book for the same muscle group. Basically focusing on bringing up one muscle for 2 months at a time.

  • After the delts I will do the Arms, the chest, and the back work he has outlined. If it all works I should have a significantly beefier upper body in about a years time, and will then test run his legs stuff. This could be a LONG ride, folks.

  • Will finally settle once and for all, for myself at least, if Waterbury is a hack or not :wink:

So thats pretty much it. If anyone else wants to join in at any point in this experiment let me know. I would prefer you work the same muscles at the same time as me so we can update everyone at the same time. I'm starting with delts for the next 2 months, beginning today 3-16

See you all in about 2 months with some hopefully added mass on my delts. I Will post both pics and measurements every 8-9 weeks, because I HATE it when people don't do that.


#2

Starting point: Right around 170 and 46.75 inches around the shoulders. Finishing up a 12 week fat loss phase at the end of March which is part of the reason I wanted to do the experiment, the visual difference will be much more noticeable at this leanness.

Poses are Flexed from front, from behind, and then relaxed from front.


#3

Wasn’t too happy about the photos up above… Worst lighting possible, so here is a bit better shot of the deltoid under more favorable lighting.


#4

Great stuff, right up my alley … I’m really intrigued by the range / contrast in training methods & variables that bodybuilders use to achieve their goals … I’ve also played around with different frequencies & volumes ect, albeit for much shorter periods, to try to find what feels optimal… Feel like I’m zeroing in on what works best for me so will be interested to see how you go … particularly as someone who has utilised Max OT going to what looks like a much higher frequency


#5

In.


#6

I hope this doesn’t come across as being a jerk, but (just using your own characterization) when you say that you don’t think you’ve managed to achieve as much as you thought you would over the last decade plus, do you think that’s because you never really built that base of strength that seems to be a part of every successful person on here’s past history? It’s just surprising that after such a long time lifting, you’re still lifting weights that are very near the beginner level.

Again, I don’t want this to be a negative discussion. But there’s a lot of debate on these boards about the importance of building a level of strength relative to size (some say not important, some say important) that I was thinking you might be able to throw your .02 into. Not many people on here have spent a decade on these boards talking shop, so figured I’d solicit your thoughts.

Thanks.


#7

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
I hope this doesn’t come across as being a jerk, but (just using your own characterization) when you say that you don’t think you’ve managed to achieve as much as you thought you would over the last decade plus, do you think that’s because you never really built that base of strength that seems to be a part of every successful person on here’s past history? It’s just surprising that after such a long time lifting, you’re still lifting weights that are very near the beginner level.

Again, I don’t want this to be a negative discussion. But there’s a lot of debate on these boards about the importance of building a level of strength relative to size (some say not important, some say important) that I was thinking you might be able to throw your .02 into. Not many people on here have spent a decade on these boards talking shop, so figured I’d solicit your thoughts.

Thanks.[/quote]

I’ve discussed this before and this isn’t really the place for it again. If you wish to discuss it in any detail pop on over to my log.

I will give it a sentence or two here.

LONG story short is that, as I mentioned, I have tried many, many things and my strength level does not seem to improve much after I get to certain numbers. I’ve banged my head on many walls trying to get passed those numbers, including getting up to 240 pounds twice on the pound-a-week week gain diet, and it just never works.

People seem to think I have avoided trying to get strong, or forgot to get strong for some reason… As if squatting 5 plates for reps never crossed my mind as part of the equation. I assure you this is not the case, nor is it my desire to train so hard and for so long and end up with my mediocre numbers, which is why I focus on conditioning, hypertrophy, and most of all hard effort these days.

As I said I’m happy to discuss my history or whatever else in my main log, but I really would like to keep this thread on track.


#8

always enjoy your posts, Lonnie. Will definitely be following.


#9

having meticulously measured your diet and training and commitment for years and years

how realistic is it that a relatively small change in training style is going to reap significant rewards?

in all honesty why not just use some assistance? your strength levels strongly indicate you dont have stellar genetics

  • ive read this board for about a decade and you are a cool guy, the above is not meant negatively

#10

[quote]TheCB wrote:
having meticulously measured your diet and training and commitment for years and years

how realistic is it that a relatively small change in training style is going to reap significant rewards?[/quote]

I’m not expecting miracles, although I dont know that adding 6 sessions a week for a body part is “relatively small” … As the thread title indicates its more of an experiment than something I feel is the answer to my prayers.

Waterbury has been a controversial figure here for years, and his methods always seem to fall into the “That’s interesting… But I’ll let someone else try it first” and no one ever seems to. So here I am :wink:

[quote]in all honesty why not just use some assistance? your strength levels strongly indicate you dont have stellar genetics

  • ive read this board for about a decade and you are a cool guy, the above is not meant negatively[/quote]

In all honesty I actually bought some stuff about 5 years ago but never pulled the trigger. After I actually had the bottle in my hands I took stock of my situation, realized that if I was pretty mediocre as a natty I’d probably be pretty mediocre as an enhanced lifter as well. Better than my natty self of course… But not threatening the Mr O if you know what I’m getting at. I didn’t want to be the guy that was on gear and STILL wasn’t all that impressive.

Given that, I decided that if I was going take the stuff long enough for it to matter I would probably be ruining my natural hormonal production for the rest of my life, would have to worry about sources, blood work, cycling, etc… and decided that given everything that goes along with being “on” it wasn’t worth it.

Thanks for stopping in and your questions, I take no offense to them at all. Maybe my (likely subpar) results after this can be beneficial to guys who do have great potential and would blow up from these protocols. Or if I don’t get results that will prevent others from wasting time. I think if they work even a little bit on me, they might work good or great on someone who is prone to adding on mass easier than I am.


#11

I have looked around and Chad has essentially outlined his HFT1 delt plan in his free articles online so I feel like I can share it, so here is the plan for next 4 weeks

  • Pick a weight you can do 20-25 times, do 75 total reps with 1 minute breaks in between sets as needed (mine was 25,20,15,15)
  • Add one rep per day
  • 6 days in a row, off on sunday, do it for 4 weeks before taking 5 days off delt training.

In case anyone wanted to get in on the action.


#12

Why delts? To me they look like one of your better bodyparts. Also, what exercise did you choose for HFT1?


#13

[quote]craze9 wrote:
Why delts? To me they look like one of your better bodyparts. Also, what exercise did you choose for HFT1?[/quote]

I think the delts provide the most striking visual impact when they are impressively built. Even A tad bit of width goes a long way in creating “the illusion” that many BBers are after (Broad shouldered, narrow waist), so in terms of Bang For Your Buck, adding an inch or two to the delts is probably as good as you’re going to get.

But, I’m basically going to go through all of them over the next year or so, hopefully it will beef up everything a little bit

The HFT exercise for the next 4 weeks is the lateral raise, as per Waterbury’s instruction. This is added on to my regular workouts, 2 of which directly train the delts with a pressing exercise.


#14

In.


#15

You may find this shocking but not everyone has the potential to move very heavy weights, but there is a sizeable subsection of natural lifters who can gain some extra size by tinkering with the other parameters instead of more weight on the bar. For the average trainee, it depends.

Heck there is a subsection of lifters who gain strength easily as fuck without looking the part (naturally explosive lifters with fast metabolisms or wide hipped big boned specimens with slow metabolisms) who gravitate towards movements they are naturally efficient in. Lonnie isn’t either of these :wink: At this point, Lonnie understands the movements and methods that work for his body so any strength he gains is going to give him several extra ounces of muscle.

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
I hope this doesn’t come across as being a jerk, but (just using your own characterization) when you say that you don’t think you’ve managed to achieve as much as you thought you would over the last decade plus, do you think that’s because you never really built that base of strength that seems to be a part of every successful person on here’s past history? It’s just surprising that after such a long time lifting, you’re still lifting weights that are very near the beginner level.

Again, I don’t want this to be a negative discussion. But there’s a lot of debate on these boards about the importance of building a level of strength relative to size (some say not important, some say important) that I was thinking you might be able to throw your .02 into. Not many people on here have spent a decade on these boards talking shop, so figured I’d solicit your thoughts.

Thanks.[/quote]


#16

Hmmmm…I am in. I want to see what happens.

(How do you subscribe to a thread?)


#17

[quote]TheStrongestMan wrote:
Hmmmm…I am in. I want to see what happens.

(How do you subscribe to a thread?)[/quote]

I want to see too :wink:

To subscribe: At the very, very top of the thread (Right underneath the thread title) it says Subscribe right in the middle of the header… Although honestly I have no idea what that does or what it means to be subscribed.


#18

dude you have a good build i think i overdid the poor genetics comments lol

this experiment is going to work

everything ive read and done myself suggest training as often as possible (in general/ and specific bodyparts/exercises) is the best method for everyone especially naturals

also having looked at your later post detailing Waterbury’s methods I’ve followed some of these before unknowingly (just tinkering myself) and again, they work

my only advice would be to just watch for joint/tendon pain

i tend to be quite robust but having gotten a bit reckless with adding more and more and more pullups per week (multiple hundreds) i now often get some bicep tendon pain in my left arm which fucks me off no end lol

if you’re doing this with shoulders, watch that shoulder joint it can be a real bitch to fix once injured


#19

Thanks CB… Although my genetics do suck :wink: My work ethic knows no bounds though, so I’ve got that going for me.

Day 3 is in the books. 78 reps today. I feel like I’m already getting better at contracting the portion of the muscle I’m trying to work on, and getting a better “line” to raise the weight up in.

I’m working on a bit more Constant Tension as well, so I dont quite bring the weight all the way to my side, and I contract hard for ~1 second up top.

Plan is to take pics every Sunday, and at the end of week 5 and 10 I will post pics/measurement results of the delts, and then move on to the arms.


#20

Hey buddy. This is something I’m wondering and other people probably are too. Would you say that, over the years, your diet was on par? For example, while bulking, do you know for sure you were getting enough calories for a good portion of the time? And as far as your training, you HAVE consistently tried to progress on the main lifts, right?

As for Waterbury, what is the problem people have with his methods? His book Big in a Hurry was one of the first books I read when I first started lifting and the ideas in it significantly contributed to my philosophies (and gains) in lifting.