In December of 2011, Animal and Bodybuilding.com began a 12-week contest for only the bravest lifters. Two training partners had to fight their way through 12 weeks of intense Hellraiser Training (HRT). Ross Bowman and Steve Sherer stuck through the pain of Hellcentrics to win "12 Weeks in Hell." In their own words, here are those stories.
Initially, I was skeptical of the program. It is low volume, which I had never done before. I've always been pretty closed-minded about my training techniques. I always stuck to old-school training principles, and that's all I ever did.
I was stuck at 150 pounds for most of my lifting career. I hit that plateau and was never able to break through it. HRT helped me bust through. I lifted at an intensity I had never done before. I was also easting six meals per day and following the diet laid out for me by Tom. There were a lot of tips on the article page. It taught me the importance of diet, which was important in this program, where you otherwise might pass out while you're benching.
I reached 165 pounds, even though 160 was my goal. My back is one of my strongest body parts and that's where I see the most change, but everything increased. From the beginning of HRT to the end, all of my lifts were noticeably higher than when I started the program.
Ross' Weight Tracking:
Started: 150 pounds
Finished: 165 pounds
Hellcentrics were ego-deflating. The first time was embarrassing. Right off the bat, I was doing a lot less weight than before. HRT pointed out when you were doing form incorrectly, because it was difficult on the stabilizer muscles when you work with partner-assisted resistance.
I recommend this to people who are starting to take bodybuilding seriously. It is a very painful program, so if you're not committed to it, you're not going to do it. You need to be someone who has already seen some benefits and knows that bodybuilding is working, who really has a goal in mind and wants to meet that goal. Use HRT to reach that goal.
Ross and I got in the gym and we were machines. We were in and out of there. We were getting help from all sorts of sources. It took a lot of our weightlifting to another level. Before I started the program, I couldn't even do a dip with body weight. That was embarrassing. At the end of the program, I was able to do eight dip reps with bodyweight, plus 45 pounds.
Steve's Weight Tracking:
Started: 230 pounds
Finished: 213 pounds