The Waterbury Method, How Does it Hold Up Today?

Ill be the first to admit im new to training and want to loose some weight and gain some mass over time, i found this article by Chad Waterbury The Waterbury Method. its a fullbody 3 x a week from 2004. im wondering what are peoples thoughts about it, Will it produce results/is it any good?. I do like rep scheme but how do you keep progressing on a program like this continually? eventually ull stall, what do you do in that case if you want to run this program over a prolonged period of time? but being new to lifting id like to get some advice from the more experienced lifters here. Thanks

It’s just like any other workout program. It’s success is largely dependent on what YOU do with it.

Consistency, intensity…

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As a rule of thumb, any program on this site is good and will work if followed consistently. Some are better suited to more experienced lifters, but they usually specify it and I do not believe this is one of them.

There are two factors that govern how well a program will work: your commitment to it and the consistency of your effort. If a program excites you, you are more likely to commit to it, so if you get a buzz from this one that’s a great option. Do it exactly as written, trust the process and hit those three days per week hard for three months or so.

Make sure your food intake is decent. This article has some great principles in terms of macro breakdown. If you’re lean or lean-ish, just have a higher calorie intake but keep that breakdown.

Waterbury knows his shit and his programs are good, but they do have several things to consider:

  • they will probably not be the BEST choice for purely aesthetic lifters looking for the end goal of a body builder physique. They WILL build muscle, athleticism, etc… but there doesn’t seem to be many people who can attain a body builders physique on these types of programs

  • as you noticed they are generally quite short, 4-6 weeks…

  • and this is because they generally fit into a bigger picture of his overall ideology, and you can look on this site and others for outlines of how to run his programs. The general idea is to increase your training frequency so he has programs that start training everything 2x/week (think upper lower split) all the way up to 8x (which you don’t need to do, but he does have them)

But overall yes, for someone looking to train with the end goal of looking good(like you lift, but maybe not to body builder proportions), feeling good, and performing well his programs are great.

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Short answer. Yes

Long answer. Yes, if done consistently.

I’ll never understand the true meaning of those types of questions…

It’s great for a beginner.

Yeah they hold up, really good for leaning you out also. Waterbury recommends you run through different templates as opposed to stay on one idefinitely. He posted a list was Something like
Big boy basics
Waterbury method etc

12 weeks Waterbury templates, then 4 weeks arm/shoulder specialization. Repeat,works well

It’s high frequency training plan that uses a lower rep work followed by moderate-rep work each workout. That’s a template that, time and time again, produces results.

Like the guys said, Waterbury had a bunch of different programs that tweak the set/rep scheme, load, and sometimes the frequency to coordinate with each other. Instead of running one program indefinitely, rotate between several or stick to the suggested timeline (4 weeks in this case) and then go to a different routine.


Or, get the book.

It explains 4-12 months cycles.

For what ever goals you might have.

In the last 10 years of training, I have been in the shape of my life (by that I mean a beach-ready, circa 7% BF) twice. That includes last summer, when I trialled Indigo for the first time. I ran Waterbury programmes at that time and have nothing but positive things to say. The caveat is that I had not done TBT for years, so this was a fresh stimulus and gains followed in almost linear fashion despite a kcal deficit. Like everything, sometimes I think you need to change things up to move forward and for that reason I moved away from TBT after almost 6 months. Would I do it again? Damn right. I don’t agree with everything Waterbury comes out with but you can’t go too far wrong. After all, back in the day, the majority of classic bodybuilders trained that way and looked great.

A good program is a good program. It does not matter if the training methodology is 10 years old or 50 years old. My favorite Waterbury program is Quatro Dynamo:

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