Hey guys, been doing HCT-12 for about 2 months now, got quite a few PRs on the routine but I was looking to maybe adjust the rep scheme to be more strength-oriented instead of size/physique. I eventually want to get into powerlifting and don't care much for bodybuilding. Of course I'd like to look better but I'd much rather train for strength and have physique be a byproduct from my strength gains.
I'm posting the routine I did today compared to the routine I did as HCT-12 on Monday. Can someone help me out with maybe changing the reps to be a strength routine or comment on how I have it set up now to point me in the right direction? Or, if the HCT-12 would work better as written for what I'm trying to do then that's fine too. Or if even maybe I should be doing like a 5/3/1 or something similar.
This was todays workout, modding it to be more lower rep range with higher weights instead of wearing myself out with the 6 reps.
1x0 220 - Rep was going great but just stalled about 3/4 of the way up and needed a light spot.
1x2 125 - New PR
1x1 135 - New PR
1x1 140 - New PR
1x1 175 - New PR
1x1 185 - New PR
1x6 +5 lbs
1x5 +10 lbs
1x4 +25 lbs
1x3 +30 lbs
1x2 +35 lbs
1x1 +45 lbs - New PR
1x1 +50 lbs - New PR
1x1 +55 lbs - New PR
This is Monday's workout, compared to my workout today. This is basically the rep scheme i've been doing for about 2 months before changing it up today (above).
1x5 190 (missed 6th rep)
Last edited by SplitQuick; 07-22-2010 at 01:56 PM.
So your proposed rep scheme is working up to hitting a triple then ramping doubles or singles for 3 sets? What's the rest period between doubles/singles?
Only problem I see is trying to fit loads of approx 90% 1RM into very short rest periods. The idea of the clusters in HCT-12 is to increase the number of reps peformed through metabolic fatigue without decreasing the load. We can do this because with the loads we're using metabolic fatigue will be the larger contributor to failing a rep than neural fatigue.
With your proposed loads the biggest contributor to fatigue may well be neural, and this takes a little longer to recover from than metabolic fatigue - one reason why the accepted wisdom is low reps long rest for strength.
So just be aware that at those loads you may well need to extend the rest periods especially if you're close to failure on each double/single. You'll need to balance it because you might end up using lighter weights than you should have because your rest periods were too short so the strength effect will be compromised and you'll be missing out on the volume required for size.
In 5/3/1 you get an accumulation phase each cycle, where you're working with sub-maximal weights and building up to hitting it hard with new PR's at the end of the cycle.
If you attempt what you're proposing with HCT-12 you'll theoretically be hitting it hard week in week out; this might be too much for you to handle.
I can't tell you which way to go but given the loads you're using I'd either stick to HCT-12 as is, it will transfer to your 1RM or try 5/3/1. I don't think at your stage it much matters which way you do it, you just need to be consistent with your training and diet and re-evaluate in 6-12 months time.
Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 07-23-2010 at 04:01 AM.
Daniel - Thanks for taking the time to reply and I appreciate the detailed response!
I was taking about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes rest between sets when I hit my triple, little less on the warmups. I was really just wanting to use heavier weights to try to break some of my stalling. Honestly when I tried the low rep scheme, the double@195 felt really light, and the 215 for my single the bar speed was actually really good and it didn't feel "heavy" at all. The 220 didn't "feel" heavy either, just stalled 3/4 of the way up.
I really was just wondering if using heavier weights with less reps would keep my strength progressing more/faster than using less weight for a higher rep scheme. I've been looking at the 5/3/1 program for awhile but I've really been enjoying the exercise selection and 4days/week cycle with HCT-12. By my 5th exercise I'm already whooped and can't wait to take a cold shower.
I think I'll do heavy weight again today to test some more of my maxes then I'll switch back to HCT-12 as it is written until I'm ready to move on to another program.
Thanks for your advice.
There's no problem replacing a few sessions with trying to beat previous 1RM PR's. I encourage it. Why not? Who doesn't when things are going well want to try their luck on a previous best?
If that's all you were doing then carry on. If you plan on incorporating heavier weights/lower reps then just be mindful of the points made above and good luck!!