Training – HP Mass Reflections
Things really started falling into place for me training wise with Christian’s HP Mass program. I tried I- Bodybuilder but there was too much exercise variety in that program for any real consistency or progress to be achieved. I found that when I started another cycle of the program and went back to bench press for example, I hadn’t put on any strength. ”Mixing things up often” as it was often advocated by the expert’s articles resulted in a merry-go-round lack of progress.
The HP Mass program focused on getting really good at a few basic exercises and doing them often. Staying away from failure and remaining fresh after the workout was an awesome feeling. Learning and applying Neural Charge workouts eccentric-less training has been invaluable.
In six months of doing this program in back to back cycles my log book shows the following improvements. (All sets are for 3 reps)
Front Squat – December 2010 = 213.5lbs ——> July 2011 = 297lbs
Deadlift – December 2010 = 345.5lbs ——-> July 2011 = 434.5lbs
Seated Barbell Press – December 2010 = 160.5lbs ——–> July 2011 = 193.5lbs
Incline Bench – December 2010 = 193.5lbs ——–> July 2011 = 224.5lbs ***
Dips – December 2010 = BW + 66lbs ———> July 2011 = BW + 132lbs
Even though these numbers are still very modest compared to what most people can put up, I’ve had some great strength boosts over this time. This is also where I think the program starts to run into some glitches.
1) I think the amount and frequency of pressing is problematic. I was doing flat bench along with inclines for a while and eventually tore my pec. I had to drop all chest work for 2 months and even today I find bench movements challenging. These days, I have to do neutral grip presses and stick with dips.
2) The workouts are a huge investment of time for the average working Joe. After finishing work at 5 and training for 2 hours and doing sled work after that, some nights I wouldn’t get my first meal in until 8:30. I found myself finding excuses to duck off out of work earlier and earlier to be able to train/eat at a sane hour.
3) Once I started to get stronger on my exercises, the workouts naturally became more challenging. It took a large psychological toll having to squat/deadlift and press the same weights every week and work up to huge amounts of volume. I hesitate to say that the program got boring (because who cares if its yielding results), but when I switched it up and gave a higher rep and less volume approach a try, the mental release and physical pump I felt was tremendous. Higher reps on the quads definitely helped boost the size in that area too.
I know for most of these gripes, it’s me and not the program that’s at fault. CT talks about auto-regulation and not ”living life by the program”, but I realise that auto-regulation is almost interchangeable with the phrase ”learning from your mistakes”. You can’t auto-regulate without training experience and learning to hit that sweet spot.