Building High-Performance Muscle™

Get Huge in a Hurry
Chad Waterbury Tells You How


You've read the bodybuilding magazines. You know how to train for size: split routines, three sets of 10 reps of every exercise, take each set to failure, grind out your reps to increase your time under tension. It's a familiar playbook, and you've got it memorized.

So, is it working for you? Are you big and ripped yet? Are you satisfied? No? Well, have you made any significant, noticeable gains in the last couple of years?

If you have, great.

If you haven't, it's time for some straight talk. No matter how closely you adhere to the Weider Principles, or how strongly you believe in The Gospel According to Joe, your eyeballs are the best arbiters of success. Take off your shirt, stand in front of the mirror, and ask yourself this question: "Is my training style working for me?"

If the answer is "no," or "maybe," or anything short of a clear "hell yes," Chad Waterbury wants you to try a new approach, one that aggressively violates most of your current beliefs about how to build a bigger, stronger body.

Fat Loss and Double Trouble for Your Back

Chad is no stranger to Testosterone Muscle readers. He's been one of our most popular authors for the past seven years. (His first article was this one, published in November 2001.) In those seven years, he's turned the model for hypertrophy training upside down, arguing that most lifters will get better results from total-body workouts and low-rep sets. The bodybuilding playbook tells you to lower weights slowly, but Waterbury wants you to do everything fast.

His newest book, Huge in a Hurry, will bring his revolutionary — and sometimes controversial — ideas about training to a bigger audience.

But is that mainstream audience ready for them?

We recently tracked Chad down in Santa Monica and asked him about the new book, his evolved philosophy of training, and whether or not he thought his ideas were going to scare the piss out of the average "fitness enthusiast."


Testosterone Muscle:
Sum up the philosophy behind Huge in a Hurry in just one sentence.

Fat Loss and Double Trouble for Your Back

TM: Speed is a big theme in the new book. You have one line in there that goes something like, "It's time to think less about the weight on the bar and more about the speed in which you move it." Explain.

TM: So just telling someone to lift fast isn't enough.

TM: When it comes to training, fast lifting is sort of the final frontier. It's the one thing almost no one talks about.

TM: So what do changes in speed tell us?

TM: Wait. That sounds like two different concepts. How do you lift fast when you're lifting heavy?

Waterbury:

TM: The most weight you could lift once.

Fat Loss and Double Trouble for Your Back

TM: What do you do when your speed changes?

TM: But how do you measure speed? It's not like a guy's going to bring a radar gun to the gym.

Waterbury:

TM: Makes sense. Let's get back to the heavy weights. I think it's fair to say that you helped bring about a real paradigm shift in the way T-Muscle readers think about load in relation to hypertrophy. You didn't just say it's possible to build size with three to five reps per set. You said it's the best way to do it.

Waterbury:

Fat Loss and Double Trouble for Your Back

TM: But you can't lift heavy all the time.

Waterbury:

TM: Just to be clear — and avoid getting sued for running this — we aren't talking about flinging weights around, right?

Waterbury:

TM: In Huge in a Hurry, you talk about sets lasting 15 seconds, sometimes less. But a couple of minutes ago, you said that fatigue is essential for hypertrophy. How do you square those two ideas? Doesn't fatigue include some amount of time under tension?

TM: Because it doesn't work?

TM: The number of repetitions.

Waterbury:

TM: Sure.

Waterbury:

TM: In the book you say, "Count the reps and let the sets take care of themselves." But in all the examples you gave, there's a prescribed number of sets. You don't just get to 24 or 25 reps randomly.

Waterbury:

TM: And it's an imperfect rep when your speed slows down.

TM: So walk me through my workout. I'm doing dumbbell bench presses, I'm lifting heavy, and I'm going for 25 reps.

TM: What about my other sets?

Waterbury:

TM: What happens after the first set? I mean, what if you only get three or four reps on the second set?

TM: How does that work with Olympic lifts? I notice you have the snatch in some of your workouts.

Waterbury:

TM: Speaking of familiar turf, let's say you have a guy who trains his muscles the traditional way — split routines, slow tempos, 3 x 12 or 4 x 10 on every exercise, three or four exercises for each muscle group. He beats the shit out of himself, his muscles are shaking and pumped up like parade floats, he's really sore the next day, and the day after that he's really, really sore. According to you, everything he's doing is wrong.

TM: One thing guys typically do is train for the pump, then use that pump to evaluate whether or not they had a good workout. But you say ...

TM: Heresy!

TM: Arnold being the guy who famously compared the pump to an orgasm.

Waterbury:

TM: Sure.

TM: Yep.

Fat Loss and Double Trouble for Your Back

TM: You brought up Arthur Jones. He's a guy who came along, looked at what bodybuilders were doing, and said, "No, no, that ain't right." Aren't you doing the same thing? I mean, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the most successful bodybuilders do the opposite of what you tell them to do, you're still saying, "Don't do it that way."

Obviously, the split routines, training to failure and beyond, slower lifting speeds, isolation exercises, machine training, moderate reps, getting sore, going for the pump — that's all worked, hasn't it? It's not like pro bodybuilders aren't getting big.

Waterbury:

TM: Life refuses to imitate Kill Bill.

TM: Do you think the mainstream audience is going to accept the ideas in your book? I mean, the gang here at T-Muscle has been watching your ideas evolve for seven years. But now, with this book, you're taking the end product of that evolution and saying to the general gym crowd, "Do something completely different."

Waterbury:

TM: Shameless book-pimping time: Where can we go to pick up a copy?

Fat Loss and Double Trouble for Your Back

TM: We've previewed the book here at T-Muscle, and it's definitely a game-changer. Good luck with it, Chad!

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