I am on my second week of HCT-12 which seems to be working very well. I am currently following this version of the regimen.
Monday - Workout A
- Weighted Chin-Ups
- Bent Over Barbell Rows
- Flat Barbell Bench Press
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Close-Grip Bench Press
Tuesday - Workout B
- Standing Smith Machine Calve Raises
- Barbell Curls
- Decline Crunches
With Thursday being workout A, and Friday being workout B.
I am currently 193lbs with an unknown bf%, I estimate it to be fairly lower than when it was tested using a bod pod at 198lbs(this was after cutting from 207lbs) and 19.7% bf. So maybe around 16-17% or so. My diet has been a daily 4.2k calorie diet from the end of August to the beginning of April to which it went to 3.7k. But some issues have happened in the past week and I haven't been able to keep a steady diet, days ranging from 2.5k-2.7k calories to even less than 1k and this seems to be having detrimental effects of my energy and mental state.
I ran the EC stack for about a month before turning it into an ECY stack...for a day. After having a bad experience with that stack, I decided to toss out all OTC drug fat-loss stacks in place of clean dieting and cardio.
So my plan was to concentrate on getting to a nice sub-10% bodyfat level which would have been around ~180lbs if calculated right from 198lbs 20% bf; and slowly clean bulk from that onwards. I would classify myself as a ecto-meso, because its not difficult for me to gain weight but not really difficult for me to lose weight, but losing weight is much easier.
Overall the plan of cutting on a diet of 2.5k to 2.7k isn't working very well. One reason is that time management isn't top key and sometimes find myself surviving off <1000 calories for the better part of the day which in turn tends to lead to massive fatigue and just overall sick feeling. That could be fixed but then I read your article, "To bulk or to cut..." and it interested me, but something didn't seem right.
My end goal is around 225lbs at ~8%, of course the article seemed to be based on goals in a six to year long time frame; which stated in the article to be around 15-30lbs of LBM increased and 30-60lbs of fat loss. But for my sake I'm going to just go for the six month period, based on the 198lbs 20% actual tested proof, I calculated what would be the most reasonable six month goal for not only low body fat% but also overall increase in lean body mass. So it came out to 188lbs, 8% bf, which is considerably lower, weight-wise then 198lbs, 20% bf, but would most-likely larger. Then six months from that, 204-205lbs at 8% would be a good goal and so forth with minor 250kcal changes to help increase or decrease the margin to reach said goals.
So 188lbs at 8% bf doesn't sound too terrible. How would I go about eating for that? Let say I work out 4hrs a week, stack on 3x 30min sessions of low intensity cardio(3mile runs), and perhaps even some boxing, brazillian jiujitsu classes on top of that, possibly. We'll go ahead and say it would be:
188x16 = 3008kcal vs. my current BMR which would be 3088. So I would be eating pretty much 3000 calories to reach that goal. If I wanted to eat my year goal weight of 204-205lbs at 8%, I would have to eat 3280 calories a day. The problem is, body composition, so we know that taking the target bodyweight and multiplying it by the activity level adds up to the BMR rate, how does the bodyfat % affect that number?
How exactly is 8% bf achieved, does it just automatically drop as you continue eat at the target bw's BMR?
So if I was going to go from 193lbs, ?% bf to 188lbs 8% bf. I would have to eat 3000kcal a day until I was 188lbs bf%, but what if I wasn't 8% bf, what factors in the calories change to change the bf% goal? Same with eating 3280 calories a day to get to 205lbs, what keeps me from becoming 205lbs 25% bf and just staying at 25% bf?
Basically I want the diet to be based around a reasonable six month or year weight and body composition goal and to also focus on gaining strength and size overall but also losing fat, it doesn't matter if it happens at the same time or fat loss begins and then lean body mass increase starts or vice versa as long as the goal is met in the end.
Also would cardio been an issue for the routine? I find that cardio tends to keep my endurance and cardiovascular system in check, if not improves it. My main goal in "bodybuilding" is to build a body that is both functionally large(muscle aids in activities outside of the gym) and physically large.
I have a few pet peeves and issues that have plagued me since I started lifting, one is the size/strength of my chest, most people are absolutely chest-driven and excel on the bench press, this is one area that I seem to lack greatly in comparison to most people. My compound lifts altogether aren't the greatest with a 300lb 1RM squat, 255lbs 1RM bench press, and 405lb 1RM deadlift.
My other pet peeve is my arm size, which started at 10"'s, they seem to have seen alot of growth but still they aren't very large due to such a low starting point, fore-arms included, an even bigger problem is that they differ in strength and size, an issue I have constantly tried to solve my focusing on dumbbell lifts, isolation lifts, putting more volume on the lacking arm. Nothing seems to even them out, not sure how I could change this program up to address that issue unless I switched some exercises over to dumbbells where my arms act as a main accessory muscle.
On the side, as an athlete I tend to want to focus on improving more performance aspects such as sprint speed, vertical jump, broad jump and other pylo movements. Would side-projects/workouts based on improving the above as well as unorthodox-ed MMA training methods cut into the recovery and effectiveness of the program? If so, are there ways to work around it?
Anyway, that should be it for now, hopefully. Thanks in advance and I am enjoying this new program.