T Nation

Waterbury PT 9/12 & 9/14


Let's get to the bottom of things!


I am currently participating in Cross Fit. Cross Fit produces free workouts in a three days on, one day off split. The philosophy is to develop a well-rounded individual capable of being successful at many tasks, but not specializing in any one are of fitness. It combines aspects of novice level gymnastics, middle distance running, and weight lifting (Olympic and power) in pretty random workouts. One day we might max on dead lifts, a couple of workouts later we do high rep super sets of handstand push-ups and pull-ups. Most workouts are based on how quickly they can be completed and will generally last about 20 minutes not counting the warm up (there?s a specific warm up) and cool down or extra exercises.

What do you think of this? I have 13 years of hard weight training experience, is it possible to grow and get strong from this workout? I am 6'5" and 210 and happy with my build, but I deffinitely don't want to lose musle mass. I?m concerned with the running and bodyweight and light weight/high rep lifting. One or two times per month we will max on either squat, dead lift, clean, push press, or jerks. Mostly the reps are in the 15 to 20 range or are stripped down 20, 19, 18... and the weight is lightish or body weight only. At Cross Fit they say that the short high intensity workouts (very intense) produces a neuroendocrine response which leads to muscle gains.

Sample workouts:

50-40-30-20 and10 rep rounds of:
Double-unders (jumping rope, the rope passes twice under the feet on one jump)

Back squat, bodyweight, 21 reps
Run 200 meters
Front squat, 2/3 bodyweight, 21 reps
Run 400 meters
Overhead squat, ? bodyweight, 21 reps
Run 800 meters

Three rounds for time of:
55 pound Dumbbell (Kettlebell) Snatch, 20 reps, alternating arms
20 Pull-ups
Run 400 meters

21-15-9 reps of:
Clean 135 pounds
Ring dips

Run 5K

Overhead squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Front squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps
Back squat 1-1-1-1-1 reps

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats (no weight)


Hey CW, just wanted to say I think your articles are some of the best here at T-Nation. Anyways, I was curious about that one article "Frequency: The Key to Success" (think that's the name of it). Will there be a second part to that article? It really got me thinking (more than some of the other indepth and lengthy articles here on T-Nation).

And a completely unrelated question, how long do you think it'd take to recover from hernia surgery at the age of 16, and how long do you think it'd be till I could get back to lifting again (got my first 4 weeks of EDT planned out for after surgery, then maybe a little 10x3 for 3 weeks until returning to EDT if I like the results).


Is it possible to grow and get strong from such a workout? Grow? No. Get strong? Well, there are many different strength qualities that can be strengthened. Will you build maximal strength? But you'll build endurance strength.

This type of program was adequately titled. Notice, there's no mention of the words "hypertrophy" or "strength." Therefore, I respect that.

Since you're trying to build mass/strength, I suggest you cease the program immediately. Go for my TBT, WM, or AofW programs. But this Crossfit thing does look sufficient for building overall fitness.


You must've missed my Perfect 10 article. That's what you're looking for.

Hernia? The recovery depends on the severity, location, etc. This is a question your doctor must answer, not me.


I'm wrapping up the Waterbury Method and I all I can say is W O W. I modified it just a bit to fit my needs and my strength is goin through the roof. Thank you.
I was wondering what you feel would be a logical next program, or sequence of programs that would work along the same lines [strength and size at a 1:1 rate]. Thank you for your contributions.


Thanks for the reply.
I like the total body training workout. What would happen if I combined Cross Fit and TBT? Like TBT first and a revised Cross Fit workout following? What about a TBT, CFit, day off, TBT, etc. rotation? I have read that Ian King is against "the shrinking man exercise" (running), are you? Will the TBT and 10 minutes of inclined treadmill walking provide sufficient cardio? What is your view on cardio and stretching/flexibility?
That's a lot of questions, answer what you can, thanks.


Gotcha. Saw the perfect 10 article, didn't make the connection to the frequency article....oops!:smiley: I'll definitely talk to the doc bout when I can lift again, this is killing me not being able to lift.....AH!


Hey Chad,

Two things:
First of all, I want to say that your programs are great, and that I have seen more results in using your programs in the past 6 months than I have in my previous two years of training!
Secondly, I wanted to ask you what schools/programs you recommend for pursuing a career as a strength coach. Right now I am considering a degree in exercise science, but would kinesiology be a better degree? Also, what schools would you recommend? Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work!


Hey Chad, I just got done with ABBH2, and made some great gains. Now though I am starting to get back into mixed martial arts training, and hope to get into competetion soon... what program/programs would you suggest to use... or should I simply modify some of your current ones and add days of extremly high reps of say 20 and 30? Just curious as to what you suggest, I have never lifted and done training at the same time... any suggestions would be great... thankyou.


Thanks for the compliment!

Your next best choice would be the Art of Waterbury, Hybrid Hypertrophy or Primed for Muscle program. Any will work, just choose the one that most appeals to your schedule.


hey CW, i just wanna first say that your programs rule :).

Iam on my last week of AoW, and was wondering wheather i should try TBT next (which i have heard so many great things about) or something else that you may suggest. TBT looks good, but i would like to incorperate some O lifts. (super sets are also kinda tough for me since my gym is a VERY busy commercial gym - i just happend to get lucky with AoW since those exercises happend to be very close to each other)

thanks for the help chad



Chad, doing ABBH I. I've never done dead lifts for as high of reps as layed out in the program (5x10). Do you reset after every rep and do full deads?



CW, I just wanted to thank you for answering ALL my questions last week.

Here are a few more questions for you: What type of clients do you enjoy working with most and least? Do you ever turn down a client?


Here's a good question that was posed to me by kobra.

The Question: CW, You're a proponent of instinctive training for experienced trainees. But how much or what parts of training should be planned beforehand? Is your suggestion to plan a workout beforehand and make necessary changes to it on a daily basis or could one even go the gym without having a plan and do everything based on how he feels the state of his body is at the moment, assuming he has enough knoweledge and understanding about training and physiology and is enough experienced with his own body? Thanks!

My Answer: Yes, I am a fan of instinctive training. Why? Because it keeps trainees motivated. After all, how many times have you gotten to the gym and thought, "Man, I wish I could perform some more squats instead of these deadlifts." Therefore, if you're always given what you want, you'll be much more likely to hit the gym.

Second, our body never lies. If you feel like you'd do best with a higher-rep, lower-load workout, you're probably right.

But some structure should be present within your plan. If it isn't, you'll be likely to build up strength imbalances since you'll probably just train the muscles you seek to improve. As you should know by now, you must train all muscle groups for the best results. If you don't, your body will limit your size/strength potential since it doesn't want any part of your system dramatically stronger/longer than its neighbors.

Even though I've never written an instinctive training article, I've written many programs that involve dramatic swings in rep/set/load parameters in an effort to keep you motivated. I think that's precisely the reason why my TBT program has had something like 90K hits - it's constantly changing.

So, to directly answer your question. I suggest you plan a program that involves training various set/rep/load ranges throughout the week. Whenever you get to the gym and feel like training an unplanned movement or set/rep/load prescription, do it. But always revert back to your original plan so you don't get out of balance.

This isn't to say that a purely instinctive plan wouldn't be beneficial. But you must keep your ego at the door. For example, feel free to train the legs for 4 sessions/week, but don't neglect your upper body.


I, too, am against running while seeking hypertrophy. For more info, refer to my "Skinny Leg Syndrome" article.

I wouldn't recommend combining the two programs. If you do, you won't improve much of anything.

The TBT is very cardiovascularly demanding when the exercises are intelligently chosen (big, compound lifts). In addition to the uphill walking, that's all you'll need.

Cardio should be minimized when you seek the fastest size/strength gains.

Flexibility training? That's a whole nutha issue. Generally, just stick to 30s static stretches after your workout for all major muscle groups. Perform 3-4 sets of 30s holds. Unless you're an athlete that demands huge levels of flexibility, that's all you'll need.


I'm interested in a workout geared to developing general fitness and maintaining muscle or gaining a little. Got any recomendations?


First, it depends on who you want to work with (athletes, lay people, rehab, etc). With that in mind, either program will be sufficient. But I'd probably choose ES over Kin. The reason? More of your required information is directly related to the effects of exercise on the body.

What school do I recommend? The best one you can get in to. Start with Harvard and work your way down from there.


Waterbury Method would be a good choice. Just don't start the program and martial arts at the same time. You should perform the program for 1-2 weeks, first.


Quattro Dynamo or Strength Focused Mesocycle would be good choices.