Skip to main content
Ben Nadel
It's not enough; but, not enough is better than nothing.
Ben Nadel at Scotch On The Rocks (SOTR) 2011 (Edinburgh) with: Sally Jenkinson
Ben Nadel at Scotch On The Rocks (SOTR) 2011 (Edinburgh) with: Sally Jenkinson@sjenkinson )

Project HUGE: Get Big, Phase One (Chat Waterbury - Huge In A Hurry)

By Ben Nadel on

This last week concluded the Get Ready phase of Chad Waterbury's, Huge In A Hurry program. "Get Ready," was a three week phase designed to get me used to the new mentality of lifting outlined in "Huge In A Hurry": moving heavy weight fast and lighter weight faster. For me, the most difficult thing about this phase was finding the right balance between speed and weight. When I started, I was definitely over emphasizing speed at a huge sacrifice to weight. During week two, I over emphasized weight and was not able to get the appropriate reps at the chosen load. On the third week and final week, I finally started to get a better handle on the weight/speed balance.

The Get Ready was a good phase. I do feel more powerful and I really like the idea of trying to move heavy weights fast (as possible) rather than choosing some arbitrary tempo. This felt particularly fantastic when trying to explode deadlifts off the ground with everything I had in my back, ass, and hamstrings - it really gives you a sense of power, where you just wanna shout, "Heck Yeah!," when you're done.

But more than that, I felt good that I never felt bad. This might sound like a rather odd comment; but, considering that I seem to be always suffering from some sort of shoulder, wrist, or knee pain, the idea that nothing hurt during these workouts was really awesome. The wrist pain, which was especially acute in the last few months, didn't bother me at all. My shoulders, which have hurt so much in the past that I completely stopped doing direct shoulder exercises of any kind, functioned quite well and did not result in any pain with Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Presses. Even my knees seemed to be doing well on an exercise that I was convinced would hurt not matter how good my form was (Split Squats).

The secret here is that I'm not destroying the body. I'm working out only to the point where I have the most hypertrophic potential and then I'm stopping. Plus, I'm cycling through rep maximums in such a way that I'm stimulating the largest motor units while at the same time giving the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nervous system a chance to recover. Like I said previously, I'm really excited about the science behind this workout.

Now that the, "Get Ready," phase is done, I'm about to start the, "Get Big," phase of development. This 16 week program consists of 3 primary phases (4 weeks) separated by an unloading week and then followed by a final week off before starting another program. As the title demonstrates, this phase of the workout is all about getting big - maximizing my hypertrophic potential.


Arnold Schwarzenegger!  

Because this phase is long, I'm only going to outline the Phase 1 and Phase 1A (unloading) exercises. The following is Phase 1. Each workout should be performed four times (four weeks).

Workout A

Load: Heavy (4-6 RM)
Reps: 25

  1. Chinups
  2. Barbell Decline Close-Grip Bench Press
  3. Deadlifts (Barbell)
  4. Standing Single-Leg Calf Raises

Workout B

Load: Medium (10-12 RM)
Reps: 40

  1. Cable Seated One-Arm Row (Neutral Grip)
  2. Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  3. Bulgarian Split Squat (Dumbbells)
  4. Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extensions

Workout C

Load: Heavy (4-6 RM)
Reps: 25

Note: There is a typo in the book. It is listed as a "Light Load", but it gives heavy rep ranges.

  1. High Pulls
  2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Front Squat
  4. Hammer Curls

The following is Phase lA. Each workout is to be performed once (one week):

Workout A

Load: Light (20-22 RM)
Reps: 50

  1. Cable Standing Face Pull
  2. Cable Standing Chest Press
  3. Romanian Deadlift (Dumbbells)

Workout B

Load: Medium
Reps: 30

  1. Lat Pull
  2. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  3. Side Lunge

Workout C

Load: Medium
Reps: 30

  1. Cable Seated Face Pull
  2. Pushups With Hands On Swiss Ball
  3. Cable Squat

Once Phase 1A is done, I'm supposed to take a week off for total recovery before starting the next phase of development.

So that's what I'm starting tomorrow. The book says that if I move my ass, I can put on 10 lbs of muscle during the 16 week program. I don't know how valid any of those claims are; but, I can say that I'm gonna move my ass and eat big and just put my all into it. I'm thinking about taking some pictures so I can see my progress from start to end of the 16 weeks.

Here's to getting huge in a hurry!

Reader Comments

If you don't get around to taking pics, try and take some measurements if you could.

Here is a handy form for you: :)


Interested to see the results of this phase. But 10 lbs of muscle in 16 wks, au naturale? Sounds magical.


Yeah, 10 lbs does sound magical :) But I like magic! I'm pretty excited. I just need some caffeine before my workout as I'm dragging ass today.


So far so good. Last week (week one), I started to get a tweaking feeling in my left elbow and my right wrist. These are both older injuries that seem to have popped back up! The elbow seems to be holding, but with the wrist, which seems to be most aggravated with an up-hand-shake type of movement, I might have to modify some of the exercises. For example, it was most noticeable on the uni-lateral, neutral grip row as I tended to want to move the weight up as I pulled back.

Other than that, though, I am really liking it. I think my strength is up on a few exercises. It's definitely the most well-rounded routine I have ever been on. I can see that it is already bring out some lagging rear-shoulder development :) I also feel that my hamstrings are getting more powerful.

All in all, it's an exciting workout!

Hey Ben,

I was sent this book as a try before you buy type deal, having only started working out at the gym for a couple of months beforehand I thought I was doing the right thing... and getting results.

So I had very little idea about strength training and took to this book with full enthusiasm.

I've just finished the first phase of Get Big and have started unloading today.

I am consistent when it comes to pre & post workout nutrition.
I down 3g of creatine, 2g of glutatmine & 1g of HMB plus 3g of n acetyl carnitine (starting this week). On the days I do interval training (tues & thur) I don't take anything pre workout.

Post workout down a protein/carb mix along with a multivitamin, Q10 & teaspoon of fish oil.

Lunch and dinner I am not so strict ;)

So far I've seen great results, I've gone from having slight man boobs to pecs, my arms are thicker and the muscle definition around my arms,shoulders, and legs is amazing considering there was almost nothing there before. I have gained usable day to day strength and energy. Oh yeah and my clothes fit much better.

All of this without having to totally wreck myself each week, sure there is slight stiffness by the time u get to Saturday but it doesn't limit my movement.

I'm interested to see if you have similar results!.


Sounds like you're making awesome gains! I am a bit jealous :) My diet has been very poor! When I started this workout, I was in the mindset of "Eat big to get big"... that kinds of transmorphed into "Eat anything you want"... which had a negative impact on my waist line.

I've got my eating under control again, mostly, but now I am trying to reverse the effects on my waist.

As far as the workouts, though, I am just starting week 4 of the Get Big program (phase one) - the last week in phase 1 before unload. I am definitely feeling like my strength has gone up. My deadlifts especially have been really powerful. I think that my hamstrings are getting thicker, which I am all for! I have been told that my shoulders have also gotten a bigger, rounder look, but it's hard for me to see.

Over all, I am really loving the workouts. I love the full-body approach; I have so many more opportunities to get huge :D I'll keep you all updated.

Interesting you say that about your diet, I also went through the same phase, telling myself that I'm working out so I can eat whatever I want.

Fortunately my gym is directly opposite a pizza place, a great reminder of what a poor diet produces!.

I'm also interested in the exercise you've found the hardest of Phase 1, I found the chin ups brutal for the first couple of weeks, after the initial 4 reps I could only do 1-2 rep sets.

Chin ups always looks so easy on TV and when others do them!.


Yeah, the chin-ups are definitely hard! I am having trouble making any real progress on them. I found a weight that I can eek out 3-6 reps and have not really progressed too much past that. My dead lifts on the other hand have been going really well with some good progress. I'm sad that I'm in the last week of the first phase. I wish I had more time to improve some of my lifts. But, I am sure next phase will rock out.

I found the Bulgarian split squats to be better than anticipated.

All the exercises were new to me having never used free weights before.

I was a little intimated when I saw pictures of dead lifts & squats, and thought to myself is my back going to cope with the dead lift as I always tought to bend my knees not my back when picking something up and that is a lot of strain. It turns out your back is amazingly strong after all.

As for the squats, I was worried that I would somehow loose my balance or drop the weight. The Bulgarian splits were really hard the first two weeks and I dreaded them!, something happened in the last couple and I was able to balance much better and the movement seemed much more natural.

What I love about these workouts is there is the variety of exercises and a clearly defined progression path, the goal posts maybe months away but the road is already mapped out.


Yeah, the back is incredibly strong, so long as you keep a neutral back. What's weak are the disks in your spine :) So, as long as you protect them from asymmetrical compression, your back can do a tremendous amount of work.

I have found that if I take my non-leg arm and let it hang down in the front during the Bulgarian squat (rather than off to side), it helps balance a bit. I have better balance on one leg than the other, though.

Agreed - the variety is really nice!


So far, so good. I'm really loving the program. I have some injuries that are slowing me down - stopping me from hitting it as hard as I'd like to. But, other than that, I love the full body workout several times a week - I think it gives me the most possibility for progress.

the chin-ups are definitely hard! I am having trouble making any real progress on them. I found a weight that I can eek out 3-6 reps and have not really progressed too much past that

I know exactly what you are talking about, brutally hard. But, look at it this way: you are gaining wight right? So just by doing same reps you are progressing :-)
But the most amazing progress I had with the pull-ups was a few years ago when I tried a program which had me doing one set to failure every morning and every evening. I went from about 4-6 reps to 19-20 and I didn't even follow the program to the letter (there were days I just didn't feel like it). This worked because I had one of those Door pull-up bars on my bedroom door at the time.

I've just finished the 3rd week of phase 3, and have to agree that the overhead squats are hard. I think this is most due to the wide grip on which places more pressure on your upper back.

Only this week I've started to put decent weight on the bar.

Great job on the video, I can understand the weird exercises comment. The first time people see me doing push ups with rotations, cat / camels or side lunges they look at me like I'm loony!.

I'm still seeing good results, just have to remember to keep upping the weight each week.

Looking forward to the Get Strong program!, keep posting your results it's great to follow :)


Yeah, the wide grip is definitely new. But, I think the balance is the hardest part for me. I've never really had to think about swaying to-and-fro before and now, I have to concentrate on my arms as much as I do no my legs. So much to keep in mind!

Looking forward to getting to a point where I can put up some good weight.

You say that in Workout C it's light load.
So it must be lighter than medium load, obviously. Hov can that give heavy rep ranges?
I can't understand.
Im also danish, so not used to english.. maybe thats also part of my problem :)

But please try to explain.


I am not sure what you are referring to? In the outline, Workout C is either Heavy or Medium. It's been a while, so perhaps I lost the context of the conversation.

Keep in mind that that the reps (25) is for total reps, not per-set reps.

Okay got it. Thanks :)
I know this thread is not so active anymore, but I was just wondering about something. Where is the progression. Don't you add reps, sæts, weight in these workouts to ad more work from time to time. What is Chad Waterbury suggesting?


There is a general rep scheme for each workout (you work towards a target total number of reps per-exercise). When that is too easy, you can up the weight - I think Chad recommended a 2% increase in weight, but not exactly sure.

Hey Ben - I am looking into the Huge in a Hurry plan. Did you stop the program. I see a significant jump in dates with no additional posts.

How fare did you get? I saw a video of phase 2.

Workout C of Phase I is Light in my book, and works along with Waterburys philosophy of heavy-medium-light progression. Why do you think it's heavy? Just because total reps is 25? Look at the weights in the pictures for C, they are clearly lighter looking. Love the workouts btw, halfway through phase I.


I've been off it for a while, but have been dying to get back on. Due to some shoulder / wrist / knee pain (uggg, I'm an old man), I have been off of any consistent workout routine. I've been taking steps to try and correct this - going to get my knee MRI'd in the next few weeks to make sure there's nothing structurally wrong with it.

Once I'm back in working condition, I'll definitely be hitting this Huge In A Hurry program again, you better believe it!


I know there are some misprints on a few of the exercises. I believe, in doubt, go with the rep scheme, not with the label (I believe the rep scheme is always accurate). I don't have the book in front of me at the moment though.

Glad you're loving the program - I can't wait to get back on the wagon.

I had to come back and find Ben's blog after my last comment. I went to the HiaHurry site on, and Waterbury himself notes the typo on pg. 106. Go Heavy, not light with Phase 1-C. Ben was right! I'm on Phase 1A workout C. Love it so far, it's hard as hell, and the overhead squats are going to be almost as hard as the Bulgarian Split Squats!


Yeah, the overhead squats are just bananas. I tried them a few times and they were the one thing that seemed to actually get *harder* over time. Glad you're having a good time with it :)

Hi Ben,

what about your results with Huge in a hurry now? Could you say it was worth it and better than any other average workout for people looking to build mass?



Hi Ben,

what about your results with Huge in a hurry now? Could you say it was worth it and better than any other average workout for people looking to build mass?