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I'm Tom Fuller, known by the Animal Nation as Rage. Welcome to Hellraiser Training! We've been expecting you ...
The next 12 weeks of your life will be pure hell. But you'll build more muscle than ever before. That's because this training program is centered on one hellacious principle, Hellcentrics. In a nutshell, Hellcentrics are extreme forced reps. Don't even bother starting this program unless you have a reliable training partner and at least a good couple years experience in the gym.
You've been warned!
Animal Hellraiser Training
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So What The Hell Is A Hellcentric?!
Every set in Hellraiser Training (HRT) comprises regular eight reps immediately followed by four Hellcentric reps. Those Hellcentric reps have two parts: a partial and a full negative.
A Hellcentric begins when the muscle is fully contracted and your partner begins to apply pressure. He or she applies the same amount of pressure through the partial rep and then all the way down through the full negative. At the bottom of the negative rep, your partner helps bring the weight back up. That ends one Hellcentric rep.
Here's how it works using an overhead press as an example:
Figure out your 1-rep-max
the most you can lift for one repetition. Let's say I set the pin on the weight stack at 100 pounds and can only press it once.
That's my 1RM.
Choose a weight equal to 60-80% of your 1RM
For me, that'd be 60-80 pounds. I'd probably choose to set it right in the middle: 70 pounds. This gives me room to move up or down, depending on how strong my shoulders feel that day. For every single HRT exercise, the reps and the sets stay the same. Two sets of eight reps and four Hellcentric reps never changes.
Perform 8 regular reps, pausing up top on the 8th rep
A. At this point, as you lower bar, resist as your partner gently presses down to slowly increase the tension of the negative. This is the beginning of your 4 Hellcentric reps.
B. Stop halfway down. Power the weight back up to the top position, as your partner resists the upstroke - but not so much that it stalls out the rep and the weight stops moving. The goal isn't to hurt yourself; it's to create just the right amount of torture to accomplish our goal.
C. As you lower the bar this time, resist again as your partner pushes down. However, this time, go all the way down to the start position. Top to bottom should be a 5-count.
D. At this point, you will have completed 1 Hellcentric rep. Repeat this for 3 more Hellcentric reps. The grand total will be 12 reps - 8 "normal" reps and 4 Hellcentric reps.
When you get to the Hellcentrics, you cannot think about anything else. All you're thinking about is surviving, and pushing or pulling through the movement.
Hellraiser, The Program
Here's your split. Repeat for 12 weeks.
Monday: Shoulders and Arms
Thursday: Chest and Triceps
Friday: Back, Traps, Delts, and Calves
It's more important to finish all 12 reps of HRT than to not finish. When you finish the 12 weeks, take 4 weeks off of HRT and then you can start it up again.
The Importance Of A Having A Partner In Crime
You probably don't need to be freakin' Sherlock Holmes to figure out by now that Hellcentrics require an experienced training partner to help you with this technique. By the time I reach the finish of the rep, my spotter is applying less and less pressure. That's because my working muscle is failing. My trusty spotter is continuously monitoring my resistance and providing more or less pressure accordingly. Don't fight your partner. YOUR objective is to make the muscle work extra hard on the Hellcentric portion of the movement but not compete with your spotter. Let him or her do their job.
Do whatever it takes to succeed. If you need an extra spotter in addition to your partner, find one. Ask a fellow gym rat to join the fun and school him or her on what they need to do to help you. Do whatever it takes to apply the right amount of pressure on those Hellcentrics, especially on your strongest body parts, like quads. Your training is all that matters when you're at the gym. This is your time to take it to the next level.
Forewarned: If your training partner spots you like a dumbass, you're gonna get hurt. The best way to avoid this is not have any kind of sudden jerking movements from either person. Make it a slow methodical pull of resistance. You and your partner have to work in unison and know each other's mannerisms. The objective here is to inflict a lot of pain, but not to inflict any sort of injury, so a reliable partner is extremely critical.
As the training partner, you have to continuously monitor the resistance that the person performing the exercise is giving you. This is feedback.
The Benefits Of Hellcentrics
Hellraiser training creates the ultimate mind-body connection. Any experienced bodybuilder or trainer knows that connecting with the muscle is the key to making it grow.
On the partial reps there's no actual measure for how far you descend or ascend. Just try to stay within your power zone on most of these lifts. This is where the two years training experience comes in - you have to know your body, your limits and your power ranges. You should already have a good feel for what your body can do - that's what we rely on here.
You want to avoid the typical burn, but instead completely exhaust the muscles. By overemphasizing and overtaxing the negative portion of the reps in Hellcentrics, you create more micro-tears in the muscles, but you also create more micro-tears in the fascia. This allows your muscles to expand. Size is the target of HRT. And size is what you'll get.
The Science Behind The Hellcentric Insanity
Yes, there is a method to this madness.
The first 8 reps of an HRT set are designed to empty the tank, priming the muscle like a pump pushing the blood into the muscle. The Hellcentric phase of the movement begins to tear the muscle fibers, creating what are called micro-tears, and even small tears in the fascia, the layer surrounding the muscle. HRT is a great way to accomplish sarcoplasmic hypertrophy or increased muscle cell volume and overall size.
Furthermore, during the Hellcentrics phase, HRT works all stabilizing core muscle groups involved with each exercise.
HRT forces the mind-body connection. When you do an HRT set and you reach the Hellcentric part, you better pay attention or else the weight is either going to hit you in the jaw or smash against your chest. You can't think of anything else but the pain that your partner inflicts on you. This can make all the difference in the world when it comes to achieving the results you want.
I developed HRT for one reason: to add muscle. Period. It is based on doing whatever it takes to accomplish adding more mass and bringing up lagging body parts. HRT creates a complete mind-body connection when performed properly.