I've been reading these forums for years now but this is actually the first time I've taken a step to actually doing anything at the gym. It really is unfortunate I waited this long without doing anything, but it was for medical reasons. It's also for the same medical reasons (ironically enough) that I am deciding to actually return to the gym.
I have ulcerative colitis, a digestive disease that rendered me practically bedridden for most of the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 -- approximately 6 months to a year. The disease affected my ability to eat correctly, which affected my energy, my muscle mass and my confidence.
As of right now, I'm in the process of recovering. I would say I am 70% better. I am currently 6'0 tall, weighing in at 150 lbs (...yeah, I know). My general question is: is this program right for me? Last time my disease kicked in, it was after I got sick and stopped working out. I found that hitting the gym really helped me relieve stress, which really helped keep any symptoms of my disease at bay. I'm not looking for an "easy" program, but I am looking for something that won't tax me immensely or be too intense. My doctor has suggested I start working out to help relieve stress. Would this program be suitable for someone like me? Secondly, is this program viable, even if I cannot eat specifically like was outlined in the Nutritional Guide to the HCT-12?
I would not be able to eat correctly for a bit. I imagine, I will become able to eat better and in larger quantities as I slowly heal, but for the time being, I'm just wondering if there is any point in trying the program if I cannot eat correctly.
Any response would be greatly appreciated. I do realize I need to discuss this with my doctor and I have. He has told me that there would be no negative effect in weight lifting. My only concern is that whether I can progress without eating correctly for a while. If anyone here has any experience with Ulcerative Colitis (or its brother, Crohn's disease) and the HCT-12, your comments would prove invaluable.
Thanks in advance guys,
I would ease into a general training routine (light activity) before beginning any type of intensive program. Since you have a serious medical condition I would also discuss your training with your physician to be sure that there will not be any adverse effects from intense exercise.
If you need help putting together a basic 'starter' program I would be happy to help you with that.
As for a "starter" program, any insight would be much appreciated. What do you suggest are starter exercises? I thought the beauty of HCT-12 was auto-regulation, meaning that I could balance how my body was feeling that day with how intense I let my training be.
Thanks for your quick response though!
This program can be anywhere from 2-6 weeks depending on your current level of fitness and how quickly your body adapts to training. You could start out with higher rep ranges (8-12) and then gradually work down to where you are performing a 6RM for each movement in the HCT-12 program, but not performing the 'cluster sets'. I would recommend the 'Option One' protocol which is an Upper/Lower rotation training M/W/F. Once you are comfortable with performing a 6RM for 3-6 movements in a given workout you could then add in the Cluster Sets and go to a full HCT-12 protocol.
The few weeks of light training will keep you from getting discouraged by any extreme soreness, while also building up your strength endurance for the 'cluster sets'.
Hopefully this makes sense; I would not recommend that someone go from sedentary to a fairly demanding program without some type of 'transition phase'.
I appreciate the advice. I'll let you know how it goes.