I'm not trying to step on anyone's toes here, because I know a lot of research and planning went into making this program. However, I'm just not seeing the 'magic' of it.
You have all the basics:
- get stronger (which means you could either lift more weight for the same amount of reps, or vise-versa showing a strength increase)
- Aim for an upward trend in progress, even if not linear
- Be consistent
- Hit every muscle group every 3 - 5 days (72 is about the average)
- don't neglect any muscle groups
- Focus on the basic barbell lifts first, and choose isolations wisely
- Don't do too much every session
- Eat properly
- allow for proper recovery and program deload weeks
The list goes on.....
Anyway, I read all about it, and it seems like a decent program. It follows all the principles that I, and many other sucessful lifters on here have been following for many years now. In fact, the book "The new rules of lifting" basically lists every single "rule" that HCT-12 is based upon (which is why I can tell that it's a good program...and why NROL is such a good book!)
But it seems as if the "6+2+2+2" thing is coming across as some 'groundbreaking, magical rep range'. And we all know that there is no magical set/rep range for any particular goal whether it be hypertrophy, strength, endurance, or a mix of any or all of them.
I guess I'm just kinda playing the devil's advocate here, and questioning what makes this program so great. Is it REALLY that "6+2+2+2" set/rep scheme that does it?
If I wasn't in the middle of cycle 8 of the 5/3/1 (which I plan on sticking with until it no longer works for me), then I'd give it a shot myself....but of all the experience and knowledge that I have about lifting, I can form an intelligent opinion on this program without needing to try it. My opinion is that it looks like a good, solid program, but nothing groundbreaking.
Even research can't really prove if this is program is any better then another solid program, because the test subject's previous level of training experience will have an effect on the results that he gets from this program. The only way to truly test one program vs. another program is to set all variables equal (same person, with the same training background, on the same diet, same rest periods, etc....) But that is impossible, since the test subjects can not be compared to themselves from the same starting point (ex. A person followed 5/3/1 consistently for 2 years, and then switched to HCT-12 and gained x amount of muscle.....how much effect did the 5/3/1 have some effect on it?)
Again, it looks solid, but I'm wondering what makes this program different then any other solid program?