T Nation

Total Body Training

Hey everyone,

After almost a year of being kept out of the gym due to Post Concussion Syndrome, I’m wanting to head back into the game. I came across Chad Waterbury’s Total-Body Training program, and decided to do it. Only a few questions:

I noticed no direct core work in the program. Should I add my own core work to it, or can I rest assured that my core will be brought up to scratch due to all the other stuff I’ll be doing?

It says to choose four compound exercises and two isolation exercises. Would five compound and one isolation be ok?

Point four in the explanation says to constantly rotate exercises, constantly changing which order you place the different body parts in in your workout. Should that change for each workout, or each week, or what?

Lastly, I was also originally planning on doing HIIT (squat thrusters combined with stationary bike) to reduce my levels of fat. Basically, my goal is to increase muscle and lose fat, preferably all at once. Oh and of course to gain functional strength and increase cardiovascular capacity. Would doing HIIT twice a week on my ‘rest’ days from the Total-Body program work?

I think that’s all my questions for now, thanks in advance for any feedback.

-Faenon

Well the First thing you should do is make up your mind. You cant “increase muscle and lose fat, preferably all at once. Oh and of course to gain functional strength”

By trying to do all 3 you would just be “chasing your own tell” Im no expert and dont clame to be but It is really hard to gain strength and loose fat at the same time. Same goes for increasing muscle and loosing fat. Can it be done? Sure. But you would be better off picking the one that is most important to you and focusing on that.

Personally I think strength is the most important. Get your strength up and youll gain muscle. Then focus on muscle development, then loose the fat.

As far as what you should be lifting. Just do whats comfortable and then make adjustments as you feel you need them. Right now anything would work. Just getting back in the gym will make you feel better.

Good luck and good lifting

Yeah I’d thought I might be a little ambitious by wanting to lose fat and gain muscle. I guess given a choice of the two I’d go for muscle/strength gains.

So then without worrying about fat loss, it is presumably possible to increase both strength and cardiovascular fitness, at least. In which case, would my HIIT combined with my Total-Body Training work? Or should I pick a different cardio plan?

Again it all depends on what your going for. Size? Muscular/lean look? HIIT would work fine but I would also add some endurance cardio to start with. Maybe twice a week for 8 weeks

If you decide that losing fat is most important, you need to go about it right. You must strength train while you do it. Otherwise the fat just comes back with a vengance when you’re done. Read Bernardi or Venuto, there are articles in the stickies. Make it a lifestyle change. Whatever you decide for diet and exercise, do something that you will continue for life.

To your questions,

Core work is not needed directly if you chose compound exercises as the core is involved in all the major exercises, especially squats and deadlift. It is helpful to add them into your warmup or as a finisher if you feel that it is a weakness.

You can do all compound if you want, consider 4 compounds to be a minimum. Most people seem to want to do flys and curls at the expense of compounds. If want to do chins instead of curls or presses instead of flys I think you will be better off.

For rotating exercises, you want to keep doing it long enough to see some improvment so you know you are making progress. Once you start to stall, it’s time to change it up. Usually every 4 weeks is enough to avoid gaps in your training.

There are different opinions on HIIT. Some say that doing it on your off days will affect your recovery and limit growth, some see no issue with it. One option might be to do it in an evening workout the day you weight train. Twice a week is enough to start with. That way you get a longer recovery. You would limit your off days to low intensity cardio like walking, swimming, etc. I’m not recommending one over the other. I’m sure either way is fine.

Stu

[quote]Faenon wrote:
Yeah I’d thought I might be a little ambitious by wanting to lose fat and gain muscle. I guess given a choice of the two I’d go for muscle/strength gains.

So then without worrying about fat loss, it is presumably possible to increase both strength and cardiovascular fitness, at least. In which case, would my HIIT combined with my Total-Body Training work? Or should I pick a different cardio plan?[/quote]

Starting out you can expect improvements in strength, muscle size, fat loss and cardio all at once due to beginner gains. The latter 3 fitness attributes will all come as a side effect of the first. After a few months you will need to cycle your training to focus of each. In the short term you are wise to focus on strength.

[quote]Himora22 wrote:
Again it all depends on what your going for. Size? Muscular/lean look? HIIT would work fine but I would also add some endurance cardio to start with. Maybe twice a week for 8 weeks [/quote]

HIIT is harder than it sounds. You may want to experiment with both HIIT and endurance. Be careful to progress gradually. Pushing beyond a reasonable level too fast could lead to injury, or reduced motivation to train again.

You want to do something sustainable and progressive.

Thanks for the answers, guys.

Yeah Stu, I’ve done HIIT before and I know it can be a real bitch, but I typically have difficulty working at what someone would consider a ‘moderate’ intensity level, so that’s why I like it. I used to tell my friends that if they can think while in the gym, they’re not working hard enough (which is only true to a certain extent, of course). So I think that if I take it slow enough at first that my body can keep up, my motivation should keep up as well. Besides, I don’t have the attention span for endurance work, hahah.

What I’m going for is, I suppose, a muscular/lean look. I want to get rid of enough fat to be able to look ‘lean’, ‘cut’, or whatever else you want to call it, while gaining enough muscle to avoid looking small or scrawny once I get rid of said fat.

I think I’m going to do this Total-Body Training thing, doing it three times a week, and doing HIIT twice a week in between (ie. weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with HIIT on Tuesday and Thursday).

If there’s any particularly obvious fallacies in this plan, that’d be cool to know.

Thanks,
-Faenon

Looks good.

[quote]Faenon wrote:
Yeah I’d thought I might be a little ambitious by wanting to lose fat and gain muscle. I guess given a choice of the two I’d go for muscle/strength gains.

So then without worrying about fat loss, it is presumably possible to increase both strength and cardiovascular fitness, at least. In which case, would my HIIT combined with my Total-Body Training work? Or should I pick a different cardio plan?[/quote]

Do HIIT on a seperate day

Hi guys,
I am going to start Total-Body training on Monday, doing 3 days per week. I have been doing a mostly Max-OT training for 6 months with occasional 2 weeks of HST or something with higher reps, but I am definitely due to change it up, as I am having a little joint pain from always trying to go heavy.
Does anyone have any experience with this program?
Thanks.

[quote]Faenon wrote:
Thanks for the answers, guys.

Yeah Stu, I’ve done HIIT before and I know it can be a real bitch, but I typically have difficulty working at what someone would consider a ‘moderate’ intensity level, so that’s why I like it. I used to tell my friends that if they can think while in the gym, they’re not working hard enough (which is only true to a certain extent, of course). So I think that if I take it slow enough at first that my body can keep up, my motivation should keep up as well. Besides, I don’t have the attention span for endurance work, hahah.

What I’m going for is, I suppose, a muscular/lean look. I want to get rid of enough fat to be able to look ‘lean’, ‘cut’, or whatever else you want to call it, while gaining enough muscle to avoid looking small or scrawny once I get rid of said fat.

I think I’m going to do this Total-Body Training thing, doing it three times a week, and doing HIIT twice a week in between (ie. weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with HIIT on Tuesday and Thursday).

If there’s any particularly obvious fallacies in this plan, that’d be cool to know.

Thanks,
-Faenon[/quote]

The major fallacy of this program is the constant changing of reps/sets and exercises. Rule #1 when trying to build muscle. lose fat or whatever it is that you want to do is to progress. You cant keep track of progress if you keep changing things. But the set up isn’t all that bad.

I’d suggest a more constant set/rep schedule, and only changing your exercises when you stall. Here’s what Im referring to:

Day1: 4x6
day2: 4x9
day3: 3x12

Eliminate the set/rep changes during the second week and jusy keep things as is.

Dont change the exercises every two weeks, rather when you start to stagnate (usually around the 6 week mark for me)

Cheers

Thanks Faenon, so you aren’t a fan of antagonistic training?

Well, I’m almost at the end of the second week and I have been doing:

Flat Bench
Military Press
Dumbell Rows
Good Mornings
Back Squats
Curls
Skull Crushers

I am definitely seeing some progress, although 3 days of squats is kind of brutal. Anyway, I am thinking of changing next week to:

Incline Bench
Military Press
Pull ups
Good Mornings
Back Squats
Dumbbell Front Lateral Raises
Reverse Pec Deck

Also, I am sticking to the 4x6, 4x9, 3x12 sets/reps recommended by Faenon, which makes a lot of sense to me as it hits strength and both ends of the hypertrophy range.

I will be interested to see if my rows suffer from two weeks off while just doing pull ups for back. Also, I have read where several people skip arm specific exercises for a while and don’t lose strength, as long as they are still doing heavy compound exercises. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Thanks.

[quote]bmitch wrote:

Do HIIT on a seperate day [/quote]

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