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Thread: HCT-12, what was your experience

  1. #1
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    HCT-12, what was your experience

    Well I hate being redundant BUT the HCT forum is no longer AND the search on this forum sucks so I'll ask the question.

    I'm thinking about trying HCT-12. My experience is 20 weeks serious lifting. 16 weeks I did:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=4195843

    Than the last 4 have been doing:
    http://forums.lylemcdonald.com/showthread.php?t=1696

    I plan to run the generic bulk to more weeks.

    I have a 24 lb gain, feeling good about that, but my strength seems to still be lacking. For instance my lifts haven't gone up "much" and even though I am putting on size my lifts are stuck. Seriously guys that are around the same weight as me lift A LOT more and some of them are like all fat and crap.

    So thinking about trying HCT.

    What have been your experiences?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    You seem to want to pick routines that aren't meant for you. HCT-12 will be much better than those two. Starting Strength may be even better.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    I did the generic bulking routine for awhile too. Loved it. All my weights went up quite a bit from it. I have also tried HCT-12. Another great program. I mean, both are an upper/lower split with similar rep ranges. I don't think you'll see much difference between the two tbh. But, what are you training for? You're talking about wanting to be stronger..that makes me think your focus is more on strength? Have you considered 5/3/1? That would be a good combination for strength and hypertrophy.

    Either way, if your'e stalling or whatever, there's no harm in HCT-12. Its a well laid out program. But its nothing lyle's generic routine doesn't offer in my opinion.

    Have you done the deloads by chance?
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

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    My goals are 100% physique related. Not that I plan to compete but I am more after a bodybuilder stype physique.

    I always used being small (130 lb male), as an excuse for being weak. Now, that I actually am filling out (154 lbs), I just don't feel like I am lifting as much as my peers at this size. My lifs did go up but not by much.

    I don't know, my lifts and progression are as follows. I don't know my 1 rep maxes but these are what I do for 6 reps on my core lifts (it isn't my 6 rep max, maybe my 7 rep max because Lyle Mcdonald recommend not going to failure with his generic bulk).

    Squat- 175x6
    RDL- 155x6
    Flat Bench- 145x6
    Bent Over Row- 100x6
    Over Head Press- 80x6
    Pulldown- 110x6

    My squat did go up 50 lbs but everything else went up like 10-20 lbs since I started lifting. So does that suck for a 154 lb male? I measure myself to the other guys at my gym and really IDK because most, if not all of them lift with terrible form. One thing I am good at is keeping my form solid and droping the weights if ***** feels too heavy (I'm very injury prone).

    My complete honest reason for avoiding starting off with strength based routines (though yes I am well aware even newbie bodybuilders can benefit from strengh routines), is I simply don't think I would stick to them. SS would bore me to death. It's nothing against the program it just isn't for me.

    Lyle's Generic Bulk is ok. Lyle recommends adding weight whereever possible, I just don't seem to be adding the weight I want.

    One question regarding HCT. Has anyone tried to do it every other day? Like, not exactly ababab mon,wed, fri but mon, wed, fri, sun, tue,thurs etc..?

  5. #5
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Yea, your lifts are probably low for a lot of 150'ers. But then again, they might be higher than some too. How old are you? That can also influence it. Really though, as long as you're improving your lifts, who cares what everyone else is lifting?

    Have you tried 5/3/1?

    Did you deload on lyles?

    I ran HCT-12 as a m/tu th/fri.

    But I doubt you're going to see any different strength gains between the 2 programs. They are just too similar.
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

    Generally, if you read a piece of advice on the internet, assume it's wrong until proven otherwise. This applies especially to "conventional wisdom". -Belial

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    Yea, your lifts are probably low for a lot of 150'ers. But then again, they might be higher than some too. How old are you? That can also influence it. Really though, as long as you're improving your lifts, who cares what everyone else is lifting?

    Have you tried 5/3/1?

    Did you deload on lyles?

    I ran HCT-12 as a m/tu th/fri.

    But I doubt you're going to see any different strength gains between the 2 programs. They are just too similar.
    I didn't deload on Lyle's yet. I'm on my fourth week than I was going to deload and/or switch up programs. I am doing Lyle's on m/t, th/f. With Lyle's though I switch up the lifts. First lower day I start with squats than second lower I start with RDL. The first upper day I do bench and rows for the 6 rep crap and pulldowns and OHP for the 10 rep crap. Than the second upper day I just reverse it hitting OHP and pulldowns heavy and bench and rows light. I think that is the biggest difference with HCT vs Lyle's. With HCT I will just be sticking with core lifts and the 6 rep range and increasing every workout. Plus there is the clusters which would be a new element. I got 95% of my gains doing All pro's routine (posted above), which was sort of like that- just repeating the same 6 lifts over and over and pushing for progression. Lyle's although hits each body part 2x per week, it really doesn't feel that way because you are switching up the exercises and rep ranges. Maybe that's fine IDK, I just don't feel like I have made great progress in the past 4 weeks. During All pro's routine I was making noticable gains weekly.

    Thanks for your insight brotha!!
    Last edited by Yamar; 01-23-2011 at 08:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I believe that HCT-12 is a good program for strength, and if you have been training for less than six months you can make gains with almost any sensible program as long as the intensity is there and you are performing some work in the 4-8 rep range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I believe that HCT-12 is a good program for strength, and if you have been training for less than six months you can make gains with almost any sensible program as long as the intensity is there and you are performing some work in the 4-8 rep range.
    What if you have been training for longer than 6 months? HCT is no good?

  9. #9
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    You can run the same workouts for lyles. i.e the same upper movements and lower movements each day.. thats what I did. But tom is right as well. And I still think they are pretty similar routines. Try HCT-12. Its similar so youll like it. And like you said, theres a new element with the clusters, so maybe it will spark some gains. You cant go wrong man.
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

    Generally, if you read a piece of advice on the internet, assume it's wrong until proven otherwise. This applies especially to "conventional wisdom". -Belial

  10. #10
    LuNa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamar View Post
    What if you have been training for longer than 6 months? HCT is no good?
    That is not what he said.

    HCT is a great program and i have seen increases beyond my expectations.

  11. #11
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    Lyle's routine is trying to strike a balance between tension (6-8 reps) and fatigue (10-12 reps) and his volume and frequency is based on Wernbom's meta-study of around 40-60 reps per muscle per workout for optimal growth.

    Daniel's HCT-12 is achieving the same balance of tension (working sets of 6) and fatigue (clusters) and also based on Werndom/Rhea etc.

    Both are solid programs for muscle gain but HCT-12 should be better for strength as the lower reps and clusters will have a much greater impact on 1RM. That is why Tom said it is a good program for strength as well as hypertrophy. With the built in auto-regulation it is a great program for intermediate through to advanced. Like Off Road hinted at Starting Strength or a good 5x5 would be better suited for the beginner.

    HCT-12 should have you out of the gym a lot quicker too since you saving time with the clusters. Which should translate to more recovery and better gains long term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazza View Post
    Lyle's routine is trying to strike a balance between tension (6-8 reps) and fatigue (10-12 reps) and his volume and frequency is based on Wernbom's meta-study of around 40-60 reps per muscle per workout for optimal growth.

    Daniel's HCT-12 is achieving the same balance of tension (working sets of 6) and fatigue (clusters) and also based on Werndom/Rhea etc.

    Both are solid programs for muscle gain but HCT-12 should be better for strength as the lower reps and clusters will have a much greater impact on 1RM. That is why Tom said it is a good program for strength as well as hypertrophy. With the built in auto-regulation it is a great program for intermediate through to advanced. Like Off Road hinted at Starting Strength or a good 5x5 would be better suited for the beginner.

    HCT-12 should have you out of the gym a lot quicker too since you saving time with the clusters. Which should translate to more recovery and better gains long term.
    Thanks, this really sums it up nice.

    Question, with Lyle's I have been doing it on a 4 day per week. Lower/upper, off, lower/upper and recover is fine BUT as you know the weights are generally lighter than they would be on HCT and the lifts are changed on the second workout.

    HCT recommends a mon, wed, Fri but do think an every other day would work? My gym is open 7 days per week so I was thiking about doing that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamar View Post
    Thanks, this really sums it up nice.

    Question, with Lyle's I have been doing it on a 4 day per week. Lower/upper, off, lower/upper and recover is fine BUT as you know the weights are generally lighter than they would be on HCT and the lifts are changed on the second workout.

    HCT recommends a mon, wed, Fri but do think an every other day would work? My gym is open 7 days per week so I was thiking about doing that.
    HCT has a 4 day/week option too. M-W-F-Sat. It is also OK to do M-Tu-Th-Fr like Lyle's bulk. If you can hit everything twice a week and recover it is the best option. The other two options in the program are hitting everything ~1.5 times a week (every 4-5 days).

    Daniel advises to keep the same exercises at least on the first run through to make strength gains easier to track but he has also said it is ok to change between two different exercises (I think it is in the Q&A article)

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    Cool. Thanks

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    Altight I decided to start this Monday. I'm going to run a deload week first with the exercises I plan to use. Instead of the 3x per week plan I am just going to run it every other day like this- M,W,F,SU, T,TH,Sat,M etc.. I am going to do my cardio the day after leg day and the day after upper will be off. I dunno why but 40 minutes jogging seems to help recovery after leg day.

    I'm going to KILL the calories here, I really want to get some serious weight on the bar for my lifts. I don't care how much I gain, I'll diet in the spring.

    Here is my exercise selection, and I will be switching the order which seems to be ok based on the FAQ. Feedback welcome:

    Upper:
    Flat Bench
    Bent Over BB Row
    Seated Military Press
    Hammer Strength Reverse Grip Pulldowns
    Tricept Pulldowns

    Lower:
    Squat
    RDL
    Seated Calf Raise
    Hammer Strength Bicept Preacher Curl
    Alternate btw cable crunches and woodchops

    Thoughts??

  16. #16
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    Looks good. Don't be too fussed about taking an extra day recovery here and there if you feel beat up from training every other day. Shouldn't be too much problems though if you stick to the 4 week heavy/1 week deload.

    Calves I would do a standing version or at least alternate standing /seated raise as the seated version takes the gastroc (largest calf muscle) out of the movement and primarily works the soleus which is small and lies underneath the gastroc.

    Another thing I had problems with was using isolation triceps exercises which were too hard on my elbows with 6RM loads so I use close grip bench (if I bother working arms at all!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazza View Post
    Looks good. Don't be too fussed about taking an extra day recovery here and there if you feel beat up from training every other day. Shouldn't be too much problems though if you stick to the 4 week heavy/1 week deload.

    Calves I would do a standing version or at least alternate standing /seated raise as the seated version takes the gastroc (largest calf muscle) out of the movement and primarily works the soleus which is small and lies underneath the gastroc.

    Another thing I had problems with was using isolation triceps exercises which were too hard on my elbows with 6RM loads so I use close grip bench (if I bother working arms at all!)
    Excellent advice and I'm going to take all of it. I thought that about the tricept pushdowns. I completely wrote off tricept extensions from my exercise list because of elbow pain and that crossed my mind with this set up. So clos grip benc press it is.

    My gym doesn't have any kind of standing calf raise machine. I once tried them on the leg press and it just felt akward. I had to use a lot of weight and it was real uncomfortable on my lower back. Any idea's how I can work in standing calfs?

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    You can do standing calf raises a few different ways.

    1. Grab a bar at a squat rack and put some weight on it and then put 2-25 lb plates on the floor and step on them and do your calf raises that way.

    2. You could grab some DB's and go to a ledge some where in the gym and do calf raises that way aswell.

    Those are the ways I have done them, and my coaches have had me and my team do. I'm not 100% sure if they are the right way to do them but I hope I helped.

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    Ok, I'm going the deload week now with the exercises I plan to use. I did the close grip bench today for the first time and I dunno if I am doing it right. I felt it more in my shoulders than my tricepts. What am I doing wrong?

  20. #20
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    Make sure the bar lands somewhere around the zyphoid process and dont try to put your hands too close together. Practice trying to pull the bar apart through the concentric phase of the lift.

    and, somewhat controversially, a false grip improves my connection to the triceps in a CGBP immensely. But thats just me, and i dont wanna be blamed for the bar breaking your clavicle so i cant recommend this.

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    Please learn to spell Triceps correctly. THERE IS NO 'T'!!!

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    OP I hope you don't mind this, but instead of me making another HCT-12 thread .. here it goes:

    Would it be fine to do an A and B day in the same day... well more like the same session? Because I wasn't able to make it to the gym today because I had a rehearsal that took up my entire afternoon and the gym is super crowded from 4:30-9:00 every night and I'm still in school so theres no way I'm going to stay up that late to get a workout because I won't be able to get my sleep.

    Thanks for all the advice.. I don't think it would be bad because it would be more like a full body workout day right?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GWilly View Post
    OP I hope you don't mind this, but instead of me making another HCT-12 thread .. here it goes:

    Would it be fine to do an A and B day in the same day... well more like the same session? Because I wasn't able to make it to the gym today because I had a rehearsal that took up my entire afternoon and the gym is super crowded from 4:30-9:00 every night and I'm still in school so theres no way I'm going to stay up that late to get a workout because I won't be able to get my sleep.

    Thanks for all the advice.. I don't think it would be bad because it would be more like a full body workout day right?
    Can you do it tomorrow and then just get back in sync? I'm not sure what version you are using but when I miss a day (FAMILY ) I just do it the next day and continue as usual. Just means having two workouts in a row instead of a rest day in between.

    Any way, can't see a big issue with the full body. Have tried it once and would suggest dropping all the iso's and just hit everything with a few big compounds (Squat, Chin, Bench, Row, Shoulder Press) or you may regret it the next day!

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    I've been thinking about trying this too. Maybe its just me but I don't completely understand the program. So for each exercise do you do 6 sets, with the last set being your 6 rep max, and then a series of 3 sets of 2 reps of the last set? 6 sets for each of 5 exercises all in one day seems like a lot....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjd2121 View Post
    Please learn to spell Triceps correctly. THERE IS NO 'T'!!!

    If that's all you can add to my thread I'm gonna have to give you a big phat "UP YOURS". Grammer police pizz me off more than anything. Now go drink everything under you kitchen sink.

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