The HFT2 System is the newly revised High Frequency Training program by Chad Waterbury, a muscle-building plan that rewrites the rules of natural muscle building by advocating a higher frequency through a reduction of workout volume and the use of high-intensity techniques.
Despite the high-frequency workouts, or because of it, HFT2 works particularly well for natural lifters and hard gainers, since the high frequency is balanced by a carefully managed volume and the addition of special, enhancing techniques.
The high frequency was chosen as the best strategy to comply with the natural protein synthesis cycle and to make the most of the short anabolic state that follows a workout, the muscle-building window of opportunity that can only last for up to 24 hours for natural trainees.
In short, the training regimen advocated by Chad in this program is exactly the opposite of the high volume, split body part routines with tons of sets for each muscle group once or twice a week as performed by most chemically enhanced pro-bodybuilders.
Stay tuned to find out how this program works and whether it could be a good choice for you, or not.
The Fitting Candidate For This Program
Despite the counter-intuitive prerequisite of the high-frequency workouts, this program works well for natural bodybuilders, including hard gainers or ectomorphs or anyone stuck in a plateau.
While perplexing at first glance, the high-frequency strategy is probably the most natural method for muscle building that has been used since the dawn of times by all kinds of athletes before the advent of the modern-day muscle building industry and steroids.
It is only in the last few decades that the concept of muscle building has been turned upside down and twisted into a grotesque affair of monster split routines with crazy workloads for each muscle group.
Before that, or in sport disciplines other than bodybuilding, high-frequency training had always been and is the norm.
Think of Olympic gymnasts, fighters, boxers, and many other strong athletes who train their muscles every single day but, far from getting overtrained, all display impressive physiques and strength.
The HFT2 System History
There, Chad found himself mesmerized and impressed by the performance and physical prowess of the Alexis Brothers, who displayed incredible athleticism, muscularity, leanness, and bodyweight to power ratio.
Even more impressively, the two athletes used to train every single day using all of their muscles and performed flawlessly with no sign of overtraining at all, day after day.
Anyone can observe the same pattern in Olympic gymnasts who leave the audience gawking at their performance and physiques every 4 years.
All these athletes use a high-frequency training protocol with no ill effects, quite the opposite, achieving outstanding performance and bodies that most of us can only dream of. What gives?
How Does The HFT2 System And The High-Frequency Strategy Work?
HFT2 System works by distributing the total workload through the week and using 3 different muscle building tricks to make the most of the short workouts.
In essence, it promotes time efficient daily workouts that are also effective for eliciting muscle gains in natural athletes.
There are actually two 12-week full-body blueprints in the programs, one for targeted training and one where three high-intensity training methods are employed in order to trigger muscle growth.
These techniques are nothing new, but when combined together along with very few sets per muscle group help trigger anabolic response for up to 24 hours, which is then followed by proper rest and nutrition until the next, very short but intense workout.
The HFT2 System itself is a digital product comprising 3 parts: a 131-page PDF manual, a 38 HD-video library, and the training logs. You can scroll down to the components section for a full description of these.
The frequent workouts along with the low volume and the intense techniques do work very well for muscle gaining in natural guys simply because they are optimized around the natural cycle of protein synthesis and their small anabolic time-frame.
On the contrary, infrequent workouts with high volume and no high-intensity techniques (or too much of it) overload the muscle group trained, overshooting the 24/hour cycle of protein synthesis until the next workout, many days later.
The result is wasted time and effort in the gym, no gains, and plateaus. The high volume, low-frequency training can only work for chemically enhanced trainees or maybe a few genetically gifted freaks.
These guys are in an anabolic state 24/7 and can synthesize protein round-the-clock. They can do whatever they want, they do not have to contend with small time-frames.
However, because the bodybuilding industry revolves around alluring glossy mags and fascinating pro-bodybuilders routines, natural guys are often led astray by this kind of misinformation without even being aware of it, spinning their wheels in vain as a result.
For a natural guy, a high-volume workout hitting the same body part with tons of sets will result in a huge protein breakdown that his body will have a hard time replenishing within his limited 24/hour protein synthesis window.
After 24 hours, protein synthesis goes back to baseline as the anabolic response can only be triggered by a new workout for which the muscle groups are far from having recovered from, making long workouts a waste of time and full muscle gains impossible.
Having said this, the good old-fashioned 3 times a week, full bodyweight workouts also work well for natural bodybuilders with job and family commitments and many have made remarkable gains with this tested regimen.
The 3-time a week is a step in the right direction toward high-frequency training. Though not as effective as a full HFT for eliciting full muscle gain potential, it is still a much better option than one workout per body part once a week with tons of sets (but with workout volumes reduced, of course).
The HFT2 System in particular is not just about fractioning the total volume into even smaller workouts for the sake of it, but optimizing it around the 24/hour protein synthesis which is activated after the short workout.
Then, because the volume used for stimulating the muscle in any given workout is low, the body will not have a problem replenishing the little proteins lost within the 24/hour anabolic time frame that follows. Simple and clever.
Furthermore, the high frequency forces the muscles to work through incomplete recovery, a mild fatigue component that has been proven to trigger muscle growth.
Any Negative Points?
The HFT2 System is well thought of and designed. It was created by a very top authority in the muscle building, training, and fitness world. Chad Waterbury is a living encyclopedia (more on him later) and one of the very best in the industry.
However, while the program is safe and sound for all-natural lifters, there are three caveats that you should aware of, one practical, one goal-oriented, and one health-related.
Practical Reason – Time
The practical caveat is that, while the frequent workouts are short, to the point, and effective, they may still not be the best option for some people simply because of time restrictions.
Frequent training still implies a minimum of daily commitment that for some people maybe just a bit too much to juggle between their job, family, social outings, and so on.
In that case, a 3 time a week time frame still works as a time-tested good compromise between frequency, volume, results, and life.
Technical Reasons – Maximal Strength
The second consideration is more technical. High-frequency training is well suited for muscle gains for natural lifters. You can have improvements both in hypertrophy and the resulting strength that comes with it.
However, the closer you get to high loads or high % of 1RM, the more difficult it becomes to keep up with a high-frequency training regimen.
This is because when you enter the sub-maximal zone in the region of 5 repetitions or less, the central nervous system becomes heavily involved in the task and it takes longer than 24 hours for it to recover.
Maximal strength training and high frequency do not go well hand in hand. You’ll burn out quickly. If you are thinking of using this program as a fast track to pure strength gains, it is not ideal. Neither is it meant to be.
This program is doable with more moderate weights which allow no less than 6/8 reps range or more, as lighter loads are not excessively taxing on the CNS and offer a good combination of hypertrophy and strength gains.
You can switch to pure maximal strength training later on when you have developed your muscles to their full potential, as strength training is very narrow-focused and specific, it heavily involves the CNS, motor unit recruitment, and movement path learning.
It’s a skill, not muscle building. Any additional gain you make in strength is related to your neurons rather than your muscle fibers, and for it to develop you need more recovery time between sessions.
Health Reason – Joints
The health-related caveat is that this program may not be the best option if you suffer from joint pain or have tendonitis or any kind of inflammation.
If you do, then it is better to get rid of the problem first, as high-frequency training is likely to exacerbate the problem even further.
What About Testimonials?
The program has been around for years since its first inception. Not only has it accrued in this time a vast following of satisfied customers, but also praise from other top names in the fitness industry like Eric Cressey, Pavel Tsatsouline, Bret Contreras, and Prof. Stuart McGill.
These are results that do not come easy and can only be achieved through high standards and delivered results.
About Chad Waterbury
Chances are that if you have been searching online for topics related to muscle building, strength and workouts you may have come across one or more of Chad Waterbury’s articles.
He is the author of muscle-building programs and deals with all kinds of athletes, bodybuilders, regular gym warriors of all ages, and from all walks of life.
Formally, he holds a master’s degree in physiology from the University of Arizona, with a focus on the neurophysiology of human movement and performance.
He also graduated from the #1 ranked Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Southern California.
His knowledge and expertise are reflected in his unique training methods that typically result in shorter workouts with shorter recovery times but produce superior strength and muscular development with less fatigue.
The bottom line is Chad Waterbury is super-qualified in coaching people in the art of muscle building and strength.
HFT2 System Components – What’s In It?
HFT2 System is a digital program with 3 components as described below. All materials are delivered online immediately and not shipped to the door. The videos, charts, and the PDF manual can be viewed on any device, smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac.
- HFT2 System Manual – A 131-page PDF ebook with all the theory parts and the training laid out. The manual describes two different 12-week full-body programs, one for targeted training and another for muscle building.
- Video Library – 38 HD videos that work both on PC or Mac or any mobile device. The instructional videos are showcased by Chad himself with the help of his clients to fully understand the exercises and replicate them correctly.
- Training Logs – Unlike the first HFT program, this second edition features printable workout logs to keep track of your progression whatever you are doing, either specific muscles or the full 12-week muscle-building program.
The HFT2 System is a simple and effective protocol for optimal muscle gains to their full potential. It is based on the scientific principle of the protein synthesis short cycle and the workout-triggered anabolic response of the body.
For natural bodybuilders, hard gainers, or anyone in a plateau, the short but high-frequency workouts result in the most effective physiological response from protein breakdown to protein synthesis, eliciting slow but uninterrupted gains.
The video components and the quality manual make this program very easy to follow and to convert to if you are coming from a diet of high volume, low-frequency protocols with no much to show for.
However, while the HFT2 system is ideal for hypertrophy and strength gains for natural lifters, it is not a maximal strength training protocol, which requires less frequency due to the high demands on the CNS. It is also not ideal if you have any joint or tendon inflammation.
Providing that you are pain-free and you are not after powerlifting world records, in which case you need to have developed a solid frame first, HFT2 is a very effective plan for natural lifters who want to break through stagnation and experience muscle gains to their full potential.
Jay always had a passion for fitness. A former skinny guy, he built himself 35 lb of lean muscle over the years using different training strategies, going through failures and eventually succeeding, and now wants to share his knowledge with those who value fitness as a way of life (See all posts by Jay Fielding).