The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Thread: New to HCT-12

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    New to HCT-12

    Hi Guys

    I have been looking into this due to a plateu phase of my training. I never have done a program where you only to one exercise per muscle group. What is the reason for this with HCT-12?

    For example, my chest workout was:

    Bench 3-4 x 6-8 Reps
    Incline Dumbbell Press 3-4 x 6-8 reps
    Cables 3-4 x 6-8 Reps

    If i use bench as an example for HCT-12, as i am only focusing on this, does it hit all areas of the chest? As i usually do 3 different exrercises in comaprison to the one in this, how does this help promote growth. Like i said, im new to this and have some questions and would like to have them answered before i started this.

    Also, i begin a cut in a few weeks, woudl this program be ideal for that, or more for a building phase?

    Help greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    A flat bench press will hit the whole chest area. You can't isolate different parts of the chest, the chest muscles flex as one large unit. Therefore, one good chest exercise that uses heavy weight and full range of motion will hit the entire muscle group. Thos exercises are; bench press, incline bench press, bar dips, and some various machines. Pick one and stick with it for a couple of cycles. After 2 or 3 cycles, if you feel like it, you can switch to a different exercise for some variety.

    One top set done with enough intensity is all that is required to signal some growth. That top set has you working as hard as you can for that given day. The clusters will then take you beyond that level and increase the intensity even more. You don't want to go too far beyond that because you will run into recovery problems. Don't worry about not having enough volume, that is taken care of by all the ramping sets in your warm-ups.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks for your reply mate. For whatever reason i always thought that incline flys hit the tops, decline the bottom etc.

    Can i ask the purpose of all the warm up sets? I have taken this from the article on this forum:

    Bar x 6 reps (warm-up)
    135lbs x 1 (feel set)
    185lbs x 1 (feel set)
    225lbs x 1 (feel set
    240lbs x 6 (work set)
    270lbs x 6 (work set)
    300lbs x 6 (work set)
    320lbs x 6 (work set)
    340lbs x 6 (work set) This was the previous best but the last rep felt easy, so go for another set
    350lbs x 6 (work set)

    Also, when does the 'cluster' come on board? In the above example, is it after the 350lbs? Is the 6 work sets mandatory or necassary? More or less trying to work if they add benefits, or if you can start at 300lbs for example?

    Also, is this a good training method when cutting?

  5. #4
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    The warm-up/ramping illustrated above is an example - you don't have to/need to follow it, but I did need to put an example down on paper. How many sets you do is up to you, if you can hit a top weight with fewer sets, great, if your max is very high 400lbs for example you may like/need a few more sets to get prepare yourself - your call. If you're benching 150lbs, you really don't need that many sets in preparation.

    The clusters come on the last set, the heaviest 6 you can manage that day.

    Cutting is a time to hold on to strength and size, minimise losses. Unless you've built up a significant base of strength through years of training, expect to lose strength (or at best hold on to it) whilst in a dedicated cutting phase (depends what you mean by cutting though - going from fat to less fat, or lean to ripped).

    If you're a novice then you can do both - get stronger and leaner at the same time to a degree (depending on how much of a novice you are and your bodyfat percentage i.e the higher it is the more likely the scenario above) but for most natural trainees, embarking on a cutting phase is not ideal when looking to increase strength and size.

  6. #5
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    Yer, i understand that when cutting, i wont be able to have many gains, but im not worried about that at all. Its more maintaining all the work ive put into the year over this phase. So was just wondering if a program like this is worth it whilst cutting, or if i should stick to my spplits i have at the moment.
    Last edited by ataglance; 08-12-2010 at 04:35 PM.

  7. #6
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    Personally I would stick with what got you to this point. Unless they're utilising a similar rep range or your current program uses a far higher rep range, in these cases HCT-12 would be fine.
    Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 08-13-2010 at 03:33 AM.

  8. #7
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    Yer, i do 3-4 exercises per muscle, 6-8 reps. Ive seen gains but hit the wall abit hence why i came on this forum. Wasnt sure if this progrm would be great on a cut, which is where im at in 2 weeks.

  9. #8
    ʞǝudopnpǝ LoneJeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    The warm-up/ramping illustrated above is an example - you don't have to/need to follow it, but I did need to put an example down on paper. How many sets you do is up to you, if you can hit a top weight with fewer sets, great, if your max is very high 400lbs for example you may like/need a few more sets to get prepare yourself - your call. If you're benching 150lbs, you really don't need that many sets in preparation.

    The clusters come on the last set, the heaviest 6 you can manage that day.
    I'm still a little confused. In the example:

    Bar x 6 reps (warm-up)
    135lbs x 1 (feel set)
    185lbs x 1 (feel set)
    225lbs x 1 (feel set
    240lbs x 6 (work set)
    270lbs x 6 (work set)
    300lbs x 6 (work set)
    320lbs x 6 (work set)
    340lbs x 6 (work set) This was the previous best but the last rep felt easy, so go for another set
    350lbs x 6 (work set)


    What was the mindset on the 240lb press? Obviously if 340 was the previous best, then 6 at 240 would be no issue.

    I ask because I tried program 1's monday workout yesterday and already had a pretty good idea of what I could do for 6 and not 7 (have been doing texas method), so I did

    bench press:
    bar x 8
    135x 10
    185 x 3
    225 x 3
    255 x 6 +2 +2 +2 +2

    Did I do too little?
    6'3" 270#
    Deadlift 505x2 8/1/2010
    Squat 435x1 7/13/2010
    Bench Press 325x1 8/12/2010

  10. #9
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    Did I do too little?
    Depends. The aim really is to get to your top weight and work at that. The sooner you can get to it the higher it'll be (that's not to say skip everything before it as you'll unlikely hit as high a top weight) and the greater the tension on your muscles in the appropriate rep range and the greater the growth stimulus.

    However, growth has two components/stimuli (that we can manipulate) - tension (the load) and fatigue (how much we tire the muscle with the appropriate load).
    Tension is the greater stimulus but fatigue is still important (the clusters allow you to maintain the load whilst fatigued which is their purpose) but the previous ramping sets provide a stimulus too (both load - when you get close to top set and fatigue).

    So it's a balance between getting to your top weight as quickly as possible to achieve the highest load and getting in enough volume. Personally I prefer your approach (fewer previous sets) when I'm feeling particularly strong and when I'm not feeling money I take a few more ramp-sets a) because going through them sometimes 'wakes' me up and b) if they don't I've got extra volume in when my top weight isn't as high as it could be.

  11. #10
    ʞǝudopnpǝ LoneJeeper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification!
    6'3" 270#
    Deadlift 505x2 8/1/2010
    Squat 435x1 7/13/2010
    Bench Press 325x1 8/12/2010

  12. #11
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    So would you say 'on average' 4-5 sets including the 6+2+2+2 is enough?

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeFurfaro View Post
    So would you say 'on average' 4-5 sets including the 6+2+2+2 is enough?
    Yes.

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