T Nation

The Frequency Experiment

[quote]Aopocetx wrote:
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?[/quote]

Yes to both… I’ve never NOT tried to get stronger, always kept a log book and tried to beat it. I listed my history of training in my first posts so you can look there for what programs I’ve done.

Diet had essentially been tracked to the calorie for probably 8 years, maybe 10. I started at around 150 pounds before training, and have been up to 240 on two separate occasions (dieted down after the first time, then tried to bulk up again to make it “all muscle this time!!”… Fail). I’ve done slow bulk… Pound-a-week gains… High Carb… Low carb… Everything.

Through the years his articles have received mixed reception, but generally the forums tear him up because he advocates a method that no Pro bodybuilder uses (high frequency)

People are very, very resistant to change. “Body building training” can ONLY be training a body part once a week, with a medium-to-high rep range. I used to feel this same way so I know where they were coming from.

One of Waterbury’s first articles was “Anti Bodybuilding Hypertrophy” which many took to mean that he was “anti bodybuilding” … but all it meant was that he was breaking some of the dogma of body building training (train it TWICE a week, and gasp with low reps for one of the sessions)

I grow more on board with his stuff as the years go by myself, and this experiment here is a way for me to dip my toes into the water and see which of my body parts like HFT the most.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Through the years his articles have received mixed reception, but generally the forums tear him up because he advocates a method that no Pro bodybuilder uses (high frequency)

People are very, very resistant to change. “Body building training” can ONLY be training a body part once a week, with a medium-to-high rep range. I used to feel this same way so I know where they were coming from.

One of Waterbury’s first articles was “Anti Bodybuilding Hypertrophy” which many took to mean that he was “anti bodybuilding” … but all it meant was that he was breaking some of the dogma of body building training (train it TWICE a week, and gasp with low reps for one of the sessions)

I grow more on board with his stuff as the years go by myself, and this experiment here is a way for me to dip my toes into the water and see which of my body parts like HFT the most.[/quote]

Oh okay, I understand. The way it worked for me personally is that when I first started, I would feel as if I wasn’t training enough if I didn’t hit everything twice a week. And then magically the gains stopped. Once I switched to once a week, I’ve been getting good gains ever since.

So I understand people’s problems with him, in a way.

However he has some good ideas. Like instead of doing straight sets, you work up to a weight you can lift for 5 reps and use a kind of ‘rest-pause’ to hit 15 or 25 total reps rather than 3x5 or 5x5.

Anyway I’m sure I’ll be coming back to this thread. Good luck to you.

Good stuff my man. You’ve been on this site longer than I have. I understand the plight of lifting for so long and making mediocre progress, it really is unfortunate when it’s such a passion. In the end it does seem like it’s less about the routine and more about genetics, though of course some routines work better than others.

I’ve done some Waterbury stuff before for calves with no results but it’s calves…the most genetically determined muscle growth and my worst body part, so it’s not surprising. Interested to see how this pans out for you.

I’ll be doing the Bulgarian Method (well, a variation) in a few months when my diet is over and the frequency there is 4+ times per week but on the big 3 rather than a single body part like you’re doing.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]Aopocetx wrote:

Diet had essentially been tracked to the calorie for probably 8 years, maybe 10. I started at around 150 pounds before training, and have been up to 240 on two separate occasions (dieted down after the first time, then tried to bulk up again to make it “all muscle this time!!”… Fail). I’ve done slow bulk… Pound-a-week gains… High Carb… Low carb… Everything.
[/quote]

Ugh man this resonates with me so much. Always thinking “yes THIS is the plan that will do it”…then continue to be disappointed. It took me about 6 years to realize that this is about all I’ve got and while I’ll lift for as long as possible I can’t expect any crazy noticeable changes anymore, despite what all of the proponents of each various method want to claim.

I checked out your log briefly to see what your current strength levels were. What were your main lifts at when you were 240lb? Did you maintain any new muscle from those huge bulks?

This isn’t too much help but maybe could be related:

I’ve never tried a Chad Waterbury program. My thoughts have been pretty much as you described, “Sounds interesting but I’ll let someone else…”

Actually that may not be quite right, I did buy one of his books and may have briefly tried it. But if so not enough to have any fair basis to say anything at all. Besides, I don’t remember if I even did try.

What could be related is some unintentional high frequency work and effect on the two personally-worst bodyparts:

I broke my left fibula recently, chose not to get a cast, and did a lot of hopping on the other foot. My calves have always been at best an inch behind the arms and usually worse, and weren’t good going into the injury. Without any weight training (as circulation/swelling problems prevented allowing the other foot down for long at all at a time) my other calf quickly got very near to the previous best, that size being on considerable amounts of pharmaceutical assistance whereas this being on absolutely nothing. Something to be said for frequency and volume there.

My other always-lagging bodypart is front delts. No matter what I did with weights, I always had much more medial delts than front, which is odd.

Pretty brutal, frequent high volume exercise (paddling ocean outrigger canoes, with a paddle I now know was too long, a couple thousand reps total per shoulder per session) while hurting like hell built the fronts in a way weights never did, at any at-all conventional approach. And I’d tried lots.

So those are personal examples that daily training, at really high volume, can sometimes give growth that standard weight training does not. For an individual, in a given situation, sometimes.

Overall, I’m absolutely dead convinced that more conventional training is the more conventional because it’s generally superior. But I think not always, at least for short periods.

Give Chad’s approach a try I’d say! What is there to lose, you’ve been doing a lot of other things, and something will be learned either way. Looking forward to learning your results!

Pumped - Thanks for stopping in and I can definitely agree with you on it being a tough pill to swallow that maybe this is as far as my body will take me naturally :-/ It is what it is though… I love the work more than the results honestly. While I train for a goal still, the MAIN focus of my workouts is just busting ass, building grit, and getting all the mental and physical benefits weight training provides.

Strength at 240 honestly is hard to say, because honestly it was quite a while ago, and the numbers I remember putting up (315 squat, ~265 bench) were probably done with less than perfect form. I guess the bench is the bench, but I would probably cringe if I saw my squat from back then. I imagine it would look terrible and be quite a bit higher than I do now, which is below parallel.

Bill - The man himself! Amazing that you stopped in, thanks for your stories. I think many people confuse his actual methods with what they perceive to be his methods (for example, train chest 3x a week… Okay, I’ll bench heavy 3x a week. Wrong!)

Waterbury’s latest works, his HFT and HFT2 books, are influenced heavily by the idea “Which people who don’t even care about having big muscles have the biggest body parts?” and then he reverse engineered what they do and applied to to the weight lifting population. As you mentioned he focuses on one body part, maybe 2 small ones, for a brief period of hyper frequency (up to 8x a week), then you drop back down to let it recover.

Similar to the Calves in your example, he actually uses one legged “calf jumps” as part of his programming.

Overall my shoulders are actually starting to feel pretty “worked” … Not pain or anything but I can definitely tell I’ve been training them A LOT over the last month. To the point where I’m very glad Saturday is the last day of phase 1.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Pumped - Thanks for stopping in and I can definitely agree with you on it being a tough pill to swallow that maybe this is as far as my body will take me naturally :-/ It is what it is though… I love the work more than the results honestly. While I train for a goal still, the MAIN focus of my workouts is just busting ass, building grit, and getting all the mental and physical benefits weight training provides.

Strength at 240 honestly is hard to say, because honestly it was quite a while ago, and the numbers I remember putting up (315 squat, ~265 bench) were probably done with less than perfect form. I guess the bench is the bench, but I would probably cringe if I saw my squat from back then. I imagine it would look terrible and be quite a bit higher than I do now, which is below parallel.

Bill - The man himself! Amazing that you stopped in, thanks for your stories. I think many people confuse his actual methods with what they perceive to be his methods (for example, train chest 3x a week… Okay, I’ll bench heavy 3x a week. Wrong!)

Waterbury’s latest works, his HFT and HFT2 books, are influenced heavily by the idea “Which people who don’t even care about having big muscles have the biggest body parts?” and then he reverse engineered what they do and applied to to the weight lifting population. As you mentioned he focuses on one body part, maybe 2 small ones, for a brief period of hyper frequency (up to 8x a week), then you drop back down to let it recover.

Similar to the Calves in your example, he actually uses one legged “calf jumps” as part of his programming.

Overall my shoulders are actually starting to feel pretty “worked” … Not pain or anything but I can definitely tell I’ve been training them A LOT over the last month. To the point where I’m very glad Saturday is the last day of phase 1.[/quote]

Given you can now bench 5x5x195, I’d guess your 1RM is ~245…crazy that you can do that at 185ish now but at 240 it was only 265. You did mention it being awhile ago though.

I find Bills anecdotes interesting too. I did TC’s week long bicep specialization at the start of my last bulk and they gained back 1/4in that I lose while dieting but then within 1-2 weeks I lost all of that, so once that crazy high frequency was gone the gains were gone too. Unfortunately, my experience is that my muscles only ever get bigger when they get stronger and I have yet to find a personal exception to that.

Unlike Bill, my calves didn’t grow at all when I tried Waterbury’s method for them. Was doing something like 100 single leg raises per day but 3-4 heavy sessions per week (followed one of his articles but can’t remember exactly which one as this was a few years ago)…gained 0.0 inches lol. But my calves really have horrible genetics. I hope you have better luck and actually keep any size you add :slight_smile:

I actually just hit a moderately easy 225 bench today, at a weight of 170 so 132% of my body weight. It was the first time I had hit 225 for a while in fact… Probably had 235, but def not 245.

Waterbury actually has a “how do I keep the High Frequency gains?” Section in his book. In short it’s a 4 week taper where, after your week off, it’s to train it 4x a week, then 3x, then 2x. Then just resume training with likely higher poundage due to the increased mass following one of his full body plans which will train it 2-4x a week anyway. I’ll be doing that "overlapping " my next body part, which is why I only started with one body part… Eventually I’ll be doing the main HFT body part, and tapering off the last one.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
I actually just hit a moderately easy 225 bench today, at a weight of 170 so 132% of my body weight. It was the first time I had hit 225 for a while in fact… Probably had 235, but def not 245.

Waterbury actually has a “how do I keep the High Frequency gains?” Section in his book. In short it’s a 4 week taper where, after your week off, it’s to train it 4x a week, then 3x, then 2x. Then just resume training with likely higher poundage due to the increased mass following one of his full body plans which will train it 2-4x a week anyway. I’ll be doing that "overlapping " my next body part, which is why I only started with one body part… Eventually I’ll be doing the main HFT body part, and tapering off the last one. [/quote]

I was assuming your weight was ~185 but if you can bench 235 at 170lb then that makes it even more mind boggling that you could only bench 265lb at 240, how is that even possible…lol

Hopefully that plan works out for you. At the end of the day I think total volume load is going to be the most important for muscle growth, but such a high frequency allows you to achieve a higher one and still recover. Looking forward to updates.


4 weeks in results. I gained about .5 inches around my shoulders in the last 5 weeks (4 week training, 1 week deload).

Pictures are slightly different poses so its tough to say exactly, but I do feel like there is a bit more shape and roundedness to the delts, what does everyone think?

HFT2 Delts are a unique protocol mixing isometrics, “count down reps” and standard lateral raises. Instead of 6 days a week, you train twice a day 3 days a week.

Unless there are any Q’s, I’ll see ya’ll in about 5 weeks with another half inch on the delts hopefully.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
4 weeks in results. I gained about .5 inches around my shoulders in the last 5 weeks (4 week training, 1 week deload).

Pictures are slightly different poses so its tough to say exactly, but I do feel like there is a bit more shape and roundedness to the delts, what does everyone think?[/quote]

I’m very objective when it comes to results, particularly with people who have been at it for awhile, and I will say your delts have quite noticeable improved and become more capped. The fact that you can verify this with an additional 0.5in is even better.

What was your weight in the before pics and the after pics?

Most important thing will be to see if you retain these gains over a long period. If so then I will have to try this out as well :slight_smile:

[quote]pumped340 wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
4 weeks in results. I gained about .5 inches around my shoulders in the last 5 weeks (4 week training, 1 week deload).

Pictures are slightly different poses so its tough to say exactly, but I do feel like there is a bit more shape and roundedness to the delts, what does everyone think?[/quote]

I’m very objective when it comes to results, particularly with people who have been at it for awhile, and I will say your delts have quite noticeable improved and become more capped. The fact that you can verify this with an additional 0.5in is even better.

What was your weight in the before pics and the after pics?

Most important thing will be to see if you retain these gains over a long period. If so then I will have to try this out as well :)[/quote]

Thanks, glad to see it isnt just my eyes.

Weight is about the same really, maybe I’m up a pound or two. I had a particularly large carb up 3 days before these pics and I think I was still a little “blurry” from that.

I think if I can add another half inch it will be really noticeable, but not bad for 4 weeks, huh?

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]pumped340 wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
4 weeks in results. I gained about .5 inches around my shoulders in the last 5 weeks (4 week training, 1 week deload).

Pictures are slightly different poses so its tough to say exactly, but I do feel like there is a bit more shape and roundedness to the delts, what does everyone think?[/quote]

I’m very objective when it comes to results, particularly with people who have been at it for awhile, and I will say your delts have quite noticeable improved and become more capped. The fact that you can verify this with an additional 0.5in is even better.

What was your weight in the before pics and the after pics?

Most important thing will be to see if you retain these gains over a long period. If so then I will have to try this out as well :)[/quote]

Thanks, glad to see it isnt just my eyes.

Weight is about the same really, maybe I’m up a pound or two. I had a particularly large carb up 3 days before these pics and I think I was still a little “blurry” from that.

I think if I can add another half inch it will be really noticeable, but not bad for 4 weeks, huh?
[/quote]

Solid. Out of curiosity what do your flexed arms measure? Cold / no pump.

FYI I did this routine last year https://www.T-Nation.com/training/7-day-biceps-cure and gained 1/4in from but lost it entirely over the next 2 weeks even while bulking unfortunately. Maybe it wasn’t enough time but it didn’t improve long term results in the least. One more reason I’m very interested to see how your results are retained.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Solid. Out of curiosity what do your flexed arms measure? Cold / no pump.

FYI I did this routine last year https://www.T-Nation.com/training/7-day-biceps-cure and gained 1/4in from but lost it entirely over the next 2 weeks even while bulking unfortunately. Maybe it wasn’t enough time but it didn’t improve long term results in the least. One more reason I’m very interested to see how your results are retained. [/quote]

Arms are touch over 15in (when I started training they were a whopping 13, and thats probably measuring “generously” back in the day), they’ve always been my worst body part. Maybe I’ll do them next in this experiment.

Interesting about the Biceps Cure. 7 days seems a bit fast to really add any significant mass, I wonder how much of that 1/4 inch is due to local inflammation that subsides when rested. I think, in theory at least, if it was “real” if anything it should have gotten bigger with a week of rest from training.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Solid. Out of curiosity what do your flexed arms measure? Cold / no pump.

FYI I did this routine last year https://www.T-Nation.com/training/7-day-biceps-cure and gained 1/4in from but lost it entirely over the next 2 weeks even while bulking unfortunately. Maybe it wasn’t enough time but it didn’t improve long term results in the least. One more reason I’m very interested to see how your results are retained. [/quote]

Arms are touch over 15in (when I started training they were a whopping 13, and thats probably measuring “generously” back in the day), they’ve always been my worst body part. Maybe I’ll do them next in this experiment.

Interesting about the Biceps Cure. 7 days seems a bit fast to really add any significant mass, I wonder how much of that 1/4 inch is due to local inflammation that subsides when rested. I think, in theory at least, if it was “real” if anything it should have gotten bigger with a week of rest from training.[/quote]

lol I started with 10-10.5’s back when I was 130lb :\

My guess is that it was indeed the inflammation causing the 1/4in increase. My volume load increased daily (still have the notes) but yea it was down 1/8in within a week of that and then another 1/8in the week after that. And like I said even more surprising since I was in a caloric surplus.

This should be interesting. I’ve been toying with high frequency training for my VMO’s.

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but have you ever considered at close to 50 your days of gaining appreciable lean mass naturally may be limited? (maybe this has already been discussed)

This takes nothing away from that fact you’re in better shape than most 20 year old men.

Intresting thread . Another similar strategy by TC that I personally think is better and gives more lasting results…

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1487

Maybe alternate one month gunz, one month delts

TC Also had these guidelines in the comments :wink:

“TC: @RyuuBane, without writing the whole thing down, I used a lot of volume and moderate intensity on two workout days, and a low volume, high intensity on one day. I employed drop sets, extended sets, super sets, and a lot of Mountain Dog protocols. On my high intensity day, I just did straight sets of 3 reps, obviously using heavy weight. On my deadlift day, I did ladders (in addition to keeping my strength up, I also wanted to keep burning some calories.”

“TC: @BigIron77, oh gosh, no. I’m more careful nowadays, so I try to restrict myself to holding only 4 strippers at a time, unless, of course, I do some foam rolling on my spine and gradually warm up. Then I can carry more strippers. Trouble is, they’re an impatient lot and unless you provide a lot of chewing gum or blow, they get mightily bored while you’re doing all that spine rolling.”

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Intresting thread . Another similar strategy by TC that I personally think is better and gives more lasting results…

http://www.T-Nation.com/strength-training-topics/1487

Maybe alternate one month gunz, one month delts[/quote]

Mm, I’m very skeptical. TC wrote this one https://www.T-Nation.com/training/7-day-biceps-cure THREE YEARS LATER and as I said it led to no lasting results for me. Surely he wouldn’t go to a method he found inferior. This is probably the 3rd “arm cure” I’ve seen by TC over the years…it seems he does the experiments, over time loses it but probably chalks it up to whatever random reason (other focuses and the like) and then tries another one.

I’d bet quite a bit his arms haven’t just kept growing over all these years, in fact given that he’s getting fairly old now I imagine when he does these experiments he just gets back some previously lost size. For those of us looking to put on new size and keep it, I don’t think it has as much merit.