T Nation

Waterbury Thursday


Think of me as your whippin' post for the next few hours.

Questions anyone?


I've been doing a lot of jiu jitsu sparring and wrestling and I've found my neck strength is severely lacking. What exercises do you suggest?



After reading S2B I've discovered that I have some imbalances, mainly back and legs (posterior chain). I'm not surprised! These are the areas that I paid the least attention to. Anyway, would you recommend the Neandrothal No More routine, the corrective phase in S2B, or something else.

I appreciate your help!!



I have a few questions tonight:

  1. How important do you feel "direct rotator work" is? My program is really balanced and I have no glaring muscle imbalances. For the past 7 weeks I've been on TBT, I've skipped my rotator work. Would I be better off, for insurance purposes to throw in a few sets of rotator work on my off days when I'm doing 100 Reps to Bigger Muscles?

  2. After week 9 of TBT I'm planning on jumping into Quatro Dynamo, do you think that's a safe bet that I'll be ready? I feel good most of the time (first 2 weeks were tough getting used to the full body training) and am getting enough sleep, and my nutrition is in order also.

  3. I'm hovering around 12-14% bodyfat at the moment (222 lbs); is there a recommened bodyfat level you have your clients stay at for optimal muscle gains (ie. I could cut calories mildly (300 a day) and lean out a bit before hitting Quattro Dynamo; or since not "overly fat" just stay where I'm at, seeing how many say this is an optimal level of bodyfat for gaining)?

Looking forward to your new article(s). I'd really like to up the frequency for my upper body eventually; my lower body is actually at a point I'm pretty content with.



First, I just wanted to say your OSC program is great, it made a huge difference.

When a someone is working on gaining strength with out mass, is there a set/rep parameter that is required to maintain your existing mass?

I don't know if that makes sense.


I've read recently that, while high frequency of training is possible, it's not optimal for hypertrophy.

Like 5x5 every five days will get you bigger than 1x5 every day.

I know that isn't a perfect example since your high-frequency program will most likely involve very different rep ranges.

Nonetheless, spreading out your workload as much as possible has been something I've read to be more linked to strength gains rather than hypertrophy.

Wazzup with that?


I suggest you pick up a neck harness from ironmind.com

Perform traditional set/rep schemes such as 5x5 and 4x10 performed 3x/week.


The NNM series has some good info. I suggest you follow their recommendations.


  1. Direct rotator cuff work is important. I suggest you throw in some ER work during 2-3 of your upper body workouts.

  2. Yes, you'll be ready.

  3. That depends on your goal. Are you trying to get more ripped, or are you trying to keep your current body fat? If you're looking to get more ripped, I suggest you diet down to 8-9% before starting another bulking phase. If you're not interested in get ripped, I suggest you drop a few body fat points before bulking (ie, get down to 10-12%).


5x3 works well to maintain mass and increase maximal strength.


Everyone has his/her beliefs, I can't change that. But, I don't care to defend or attack what everyone else thinks. If I did, I'd never be able to leave my computer.

But, I agree that 5x5 every 5 days would probably lead to more hypertrophy than 1x5 every day. 1x5 won't do much of anything. You need more daily volume than that.


Thanks Chad. I'll throw in some rotator work a few times a week. I don't want to get ripped, just drop a bit of fat. I'll drop the fat with a mild approach and then really hit Quattro Dynamo hard. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for taking the time.



Hi Chad,

First off, let me say I love your writing. A few months back I gave TBT a try, but because with a hectic school schedule, i didn't get enough sleep to keep up. I've started getting back into exercising again, and rather than throwing myself into a full program, I've been using the 10 x 3 and 4 x 6 you reccomend, making sure i work each muscle group at least twice a week, just less exercises per session until i work up to being able to do more without burning out.

I'm currently preparing for a local karate competition and trying to look good for summer at the same time. Is sticking with my current exercising a good idea, or is there something better i can do?



I'm finishing up the first week of the Waterbury Method tomorrow morning. The first week has gone great and I love the program. I just wish I would have found it years ago.

Unfortunately, I travel a good amount for work and next week I'll be up in Toronto from Tuesday-Thursday. I'll be in the gym next Monday morning and my next workout will be Friday morning...The travel can really screw with my training schedule at times but I gotta pay the bills.

Anyway, if I can only get to the gym on Monday and Friday of next week...possibly Sunday as well...what type of workout would you suggest so I don't trash my WM schedule? I was thinking of sticking to Day 8 as outlined and maybe doing some type of hybrid workout on Friday consisting of primarily compound movements. Thanks for the help.



I've done 2 rounds of TBT and loved it. I'm currently in my first week of the Waterbury Method. You've chastized my before about my cardio of choice, road cycling, 3X per week. Cardio, in my case, is a necessity since my HDL cholesterol is terribly low, (39 with the prescription medication, Advicor). Is there a middle ground between cardio and weight training? I personally don't feel that my abount of cycling, about an hour (18 miles) 3X per week is too much. Maybe I'm just not looking at it objectively.

A little background, I'm 37, 5'10", 190 lbs, police officer. More than anything I'm concerned with long term health and fitness. I have put on some decent muscle with your programs. I've read your article on the Skinny leg Syndrome, but I'm really concerned with keeping the HDL in check. Tahnks in advance.


What you're doing is perfect. Stick with it until you get into a situation that allows you sufficient: sleep, nutrition, and recovery techniques. At that point, increase the frequency with a program like TBT.


You should add a few days rest into the weekly schedule, but don't change the program outline. In other words, perform Day 1 on Monday, Day 2 on Friday, and Day 3 on Sunday. Then, pick up the program on Tuesday of the following week.


No chastizing whatsoever. If I knew about your HDL issue, I would've wholeheartedly recommended the cardio routine. I suggest you stick with it.

The fact that long-term cardio can slow muscle gains should not be a factor in your case. Every trainee should first seek optimum health, then plan their program accordingly. For you, your HDL issue must be the priority.


hi there Waterbury. thanks for the great advice you gave me a couple of days ago. i started your tbt training program yesterday and took your recommendation about not going to failure since i have only lifted consistently for a year straight. hopefully my routine that i laid out has posted on erics forum. i was hoping you were on but when i looked you had not logged on so i figured i would ask him for another opinion. sorry but the post was original meant for you. thanks again for all your great help. i love total body training


Just wanted to say thanks for the input Chad, and keep up the good work!