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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  1. #1
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    HCT-12 setup advice

    I'm trying to add as much mass as possible over the summer and have decided that HCT-12 will be a great program for me! I've set out all the exercises and just want to check if you guys think its a good all round program, and that i have set it up ok!

    General stats.. 190lb 16-19% BF lifted for a year.

    My choice. (note i swapped vertical and hip dominant around because i thought it would be too much to include bench then shoulders - and squat then deads. I didnt want to exclude these exercises from my program because they are such effective exercises)

    Note, i do one bar warmup, then 2 ramping warmups (this is listed as two warm ups in the program below)

    Program System: ABA

    Workout Program A

    Barbell Bent-Over Row - 5 sets of 6
    2 Warm up. 2 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 6+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Barbell Bench Press - 5 sets of 6
    2 Warm up. 2 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 6+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Deadlift - 4 sets of 5
    1 Warm up. 2 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 5+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Close Grip Bench Press - 3 sets of 6
    1 Warm up. 1 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 6+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Triceps Dips - 5 sets of 6
    Superset with..
    Pull Ups - 5 sets of 6

    Workout Program B

    Barbell Squat - 5 sets of 6
    2 Warm up. 2 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 6+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Bar Military Press - 5 sets of 6
    2 Warm up. 2 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 6+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Machine Leg Press - 5 sets of 12
    Standard Lift

    Chinup - 5 sets of 8
    Standard Lift

    Standing Bar Curl - 4 sets of 6
    3 Working. 1 Cluster (Either same weight as working or increase) 6+2+2+2. 30 seconds rest between clusters.

    Spider Curls - 3 sets of 10
    Standard lift

    Hanging Leg Raise - 4 sets of Failure
    Standard Lift


    Thanks in advance for all help, every comment is valuable! - If you think anything is stupid PLEASE just say instead of posting annoying comments, i 'm NOT an expert at this and i want your advice!

    If you have used this program feel free to let me know what you thought/ results! - Also feel free to ask any questions.

    Thanks again for reading!

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  3. #2
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    That's not HCT-12 at all......

    Just do the program as written and don't worry about specific amounts of working sets or ramping sets. It's meant to be unstructured like that.

  4. #3
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    HCT-12? I don't think that looks like HCT-12.
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  5. #4
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    hct-12 works do it as its written out
    Eat Big Lift Big

  6. #5
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    Ok so same sets ect just ramping upto last and it will be fine?? didnt think 1 working set is nearly enough.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Ok so same sets ect just ramping upto last and it will be fine?? didnt think 1 working set is nearly enough.
    Its not one working set, it is actually 4. 6 + 2 + 2 + 2. You take the first set to almost failure, one rep shy...the next 6 reps will be very difficult.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Its not one working set, it is actually 4. 6 + 2 + 2 + 2. You take the first set to almost failure, one rep shy...the next 6 reps will be very difficult.
    Ohh ok! so for example... I dead 160 for 5-6ish reps. So i'd go something like.. 20kg, 60kg, 100kg, 120kg, for warmups without keeping to any range.. then go all out on one set to as close to failure as possible so 160 for 6, then push 2 2 2 after?

    Think i just misunderstood it.. just thought that more working sets = more ripped muscle = more growth.

    Thanks for clarifying dude

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Ohh ok! so for example... I dead 160 for 5-6ish reps. So i'd go something like.. 20kg, 60kg, 100kg, 120kg, for warmups without keeping to any range.. then go all out on one set to as close to failure as possible so 160 for 6, then push 2 2 2 after?

    Think i just misunderstood it.. just thought that more working sets = more ripped muscle = more growth.

    Thanks for clarifying dude
    Oh and should i keep the same clusters on dips/chins/ any arm work too?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Ohh ok! so for example... I dead 160 for 5-6ish reps. So i'd go something like.. 20kg, 60kg, 100kg, 120kg, for warmups without keeping to any range.. then go all out on one set to as close to failure as possible so 160 for 6, then push 2 2 2 after?

    Think i just misunderstood it.. just thought that more working sets = more ripped muscle = more growth.

    Thanks for clarifying dude
    Yes, that is all it is. Do whatever warm ups you want, doesn't have to be 6 reps. It can be reps of 3, reps of 10 with lighter weight, whatever you need to do to get ready for your ONE work set. Then you hit that work set for 6 reps...rest 30 seconds, do 2 more, rest 30 seconds, do 2 more, rest 30 seconds do 2 more. The reason you should leave 1 rep in the tank is because you won't be able to get the clusters if you go to failure on the first set of 6. So basically your first set is really a 7 rep max, but you just do 6 reps. Some days you will only be able to get 5 or maybe even 4, that is fine...still do the clusters...just keep the weight the same until you get 6, then move up 5-10 pounds.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Oh and should i keep the same clusters on dips/chins/ any arm work too?
    My advice here is run the routine as written...get at least a couple workouts in. If you find you get pain from certain movements because the rep range is too low, double the reps on the first set, but leave the clusters alone. When I ran the program, I used 12 reps for movements that hurt my joints like skullcrushers or other tricep movements...but still did the +2+2+2. The clusters remain constant...just because you double the reps on the first set, doesn't mean you double the reps on the clusters. Your body doesn't know what rep range caused you to go to failure, so the clusters will still be difficult no matter what rep range you used on the first set.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Yes, that is all it is. Do whatever warm ups you want, doesn't have to be 6 reps. It can be reps of 3, reps of 10 with lighter weight, whatever you need to do to get ready for your ONE work set. Then you hit that work set for 6 reps...rest 30 seconds, do 2 more, rest 30 seconds, do 2 more, rest 30 seconds do 2 more. The reason you should leave 1 rep in the tank is because you won't be able to get the clusters if you go to failure on the first set of 6. So basically your first set is really a 7 rep max, but you just do 6 reps. Some days you will only be able to get 5 or maybe even 4, that is fine...still do the clusters...just keep the weight the same until you get 6, then move up 5-10 pounds.
    Thanks that clears loads up!!!!

    Do you think this is the best program to go for if i want to add overall thickness? i havent been lifting that long, and only properly for 8 months. I need to just add overall size really.
    Thanks again dude

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Thanks that clears loads up!!!!

    Do you think this is the best program to go for if i want to add overall thickness? i havent been lifting that long, and only properly for 8 months. I need to just add overall size really.
    Thanks again dude
    Mass/thickness is mainly dictated by diet...but this program is a great combination of strength/hypertrophy to set you up for great gains in growth, you just have to put the time in the kitchen to realize the potential.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    I'm trying to add as much mass as possible over the summer and have decided that HCT-12 will be a great program for me! I've set out all the exercises and just want to check if you guys think its a good all round program, and that i have set it up ok!

    General stats.. 190lb 16-19% BF lifted for a year.

    !
    JT, if you are trying to do a nice clean bulk to get thicker all around starting out at 16-19% bodyfat is not the way to go IMO. Even if you eat 'clean'. No disrespect intended of course. If you bulk for 6 months or so, say, that's a long way down from 22-23% bodyfat (which you very well may end up at) to 10-12%, depending on how low you want to go.

    I am a skinny fuck however and always prefer to stay lean instead of be 'bigger' with an unnecessary amount of bodyfat so YMMV JMHO.

    I would try and get your bodyfat down to 12% or so, lower if desired, before attempting another bulk. That's IMO.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevelle2291 View Post
    JT, if you are trying to do a nice clean bulk to get thicker all around starting out at 16-19% bodyfat is not the way to go IMO. Even if you eat 'clean'. No disrespect intended of course. If you bulk for 6 months or so, say, that's a long way down from 22-23% bodyfat (which you very well may end up at) to 10-12%, depending on how low you want to go.

    I am a skinny fuck however and always prefer to stay lean instead of be 'bigger' with an unnecessary amount of bodyfat so YMMV JMHO.

    I would try and get your bodyfat down to 12% or so, lower if desired, before attempting another bulk. That's IMO.
    Agree on this...

    I started my bulk at about 14%...I put on tremendous amount of size compared to when I started (about 70 pounds in 3 years). The result was a lot of fat gain though...I was probably over 20% a couple months ago. Now I have to spend a lot of time cutting back down so I can bulk the right way. Rory, in the keeping it real article, stated that one of his best decisions was to cut down before he bulked.

    You can still make strength gains while cutting, so don't let that stop you.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Agree on this...

    I started my bulk at about 14%...I put on tremendous amount of size compared to when I started (about 70 pounds in 3 years). The result was a lot of fat gain though...I was probably over 20% a couple months ago. Now I have to spend a lot of time cutting back down so I can bulk the right way. Rory, in the keeping it real article, stated that one of his best decisions was to cut down before he bulked.

    You can still make strength gains while cutting, so don't let that stop you.
    ok sure, how long would it take me to get to 12% and how will i know if i have reached it? Is this just because i'll get 'too big' in a fat sense if i bulk up now?

    Thanks guys! really helpful shit

  17. #16
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    I would dont worry about a specific number...just get to the point where when relaxed, there is no visible gut and lower back fat is in check. If you can see some abs when relaxed, that is a good start. Then when you actually bulk, just go slightly over maintenance and aim to gain .5 to 1 pound per week...monitor progress and adjust calories as necessary.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    I would dont worry about a specific number...just get to the point where when relaxed, there is no visible gut and lower back fat is in check. If you can see some abs when relaxed, that is a good start. Then when you actually bulk, just go slightly over maintenance and aim to gain .5 to 1 pound per week...monitor progress and adjust calories as necessary.
    Ok sure, what sort of post workout nutrition would be best? just pure protein? also is HCT suitable? would you say 1-2 months would be a reasonable amount of time to drop from 16-18 down to 12?

    Also what are the reasons again for cutting first, i couldnt quite gasp what you guys meant in the last post, sorry!

    Thanks alot for your help and time!

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Ok sure, what sort of post workout nutrition would be best? just pure protein? also is HCT suitable? would you say 1-2 months would be a reasonable amount of time to drop from 16-18 down to 12?

    Also what are the reasons again for cutting first, i couldnt quite gasp what you guys meant in the last post, sorry!

    Thanks alot for your help and time!
    I would ask in the diet section tbh.

    2 months maybe, perhaps more.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Ok sure, what sort of post workout nutrition would be best? just pure protein? also is HCT suitable? would you say 1-2 months would be a reasonable amount of time to drop from 16-18 down to 12?

    Also what are the reasons again for cutting first, i couldnt quite gasp what you guys meant in the last post, sorry!

    Thanks alot for your help and time!
    I dont know on the amount of time...I am only on my first cut ever and I am dieting down very slowly on purpose so I don't lose any muscle.

    As for post workout....best bet is a protein shake mixed with a simple carb..like dextrose. I personally use 60g dex and 40g protein post workout. Waxy maize is another alternative......a banana would also work.....hell, could drink a non diet soda if you want.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    I dont know on the amount of time...I am only on my first cut ever and I am dieting down very slowly on purpose so I don't lose any muscle.

    As for post workout....best bet is a protein shake mixed with a simple carb..like dextrose. I personally use 60g dex and 40g protein post workout. Waxy maize is another alternative......a banana would also work.....hell, could drink a non diet soda if you want.
    Awesome thanks alot guys!! The only problem is that i am a student and will be living at home off my mothers food.. which is anything but good for dieting! plenty of protein but also alot of simple carbs!

    Do you think i could make up for this with say 5 days down the gym 3 lifting 2 cardio?

    also do you think HCT-12 is the way to go on a cut?

    Thanks alot!

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Awesome thanks alot guys!! The only problem is that i am a student and will be living at home off my mothers food.. which is anything but good for dieting! plenty of protein but also alot of simple carbs!

    Do you think i could make up for this with say 5 days down the gym 3 lifting 2 cardio?

    also do you think HCT-12 is the way to go on a cut?

    Thanks alot!
    Workout doesn't change just because you are cutting...the program is already low volume, so it is perfect for a cut. You can certainly add low intensity cardio on off days...5 days a week should be just fine.

  23. #22
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    Awesome thanks alot for the advice, just measured at 16.3 % with body callipers. Just to clarify its best to start leanish before a bulk why? so it doesnt get out of hand / or you get better results?? thanks again guys!

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Awesome thanks alot for the advice, just measured at 16.3 % with body callipers. Just to clarify its best to start leanish before a bulk why? so it doesnt get out of hand / or you get better results?? thanks again guys!
    Possibly both...

    So you remain presentable through the course of the bulk...a successful bulk takes way more time than a successful cut, so you may as well remain presentable. You can cut down to a decent BF% in a few short months but how long does it take to put on muscle? A LONG ASS TIME. My last "bulk" was 3 years to put it into perspective.

    Also, competitive BBers make their best gains when they are coming out of a contest (very lean). I don't know the reason why, I am sure some of the smarter diet guys will chime in as to the reason.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT111 View Post
    Awesome thanks alot for the advice, just measured at 16.3 % with body callipers. Just to clarify its best to start leanish before a bulk why? so it doesnt get out of hand / or you get better results?? thanks again guys!
    Your body also is more likely to partion extra Calories towards muscle instead of fat assuming you werent starving yourself. On top of this, at some point, your fat cells can multiply through hyperplasia and they will never go away. This makes it harder to stay leaner and easier to gain fat. Its possible to completely alter your 'set point' in a negative way. Its not really known at what point your body does this, but my guess is its probably somewhat genetic and at higher body fat %'s. This is why youre better off listening to a monkey rather than someone who says"duude gain 50 lbs!!11!". Without steroids, you can only put on so much muscle at a time - and cramming more food down your throat is not going to bypass your hormonal allowance. Food is good, but dont be stupid about it.

    I would also get to a low body fat%. You should be able to get to 10-12% by simply lowering your portion sizes. Aiming for protein grams is good, but it wont be the end of the world if you miss them sometimes. (not getting to this bodyfat % anyways). You'd need to worry more about the details the lower you go but 10-12 is fairly modest.
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

    Generally, if you read a piece of advice on the internet, assume it's wrong until proven otherwise. This applies especially to "conventional wisdom". -Belial

  26. #25
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    Thanks alot for your post rich, really helpful! - Aiming for around 150-200 grams but i wont be too strict about anything, just not over eat as such, and keep clean especially with carbs!

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