A staggering 97.8% of men want to be absolutely jacked!… Okay, so that was a lie to get your attention, but the truth is we could all do with a bit more lean tissue, as it is incredibly healthy.
But what happens when you push it to the max? Kris Gethin is the man who might be able to get you in better shape than ever. Or is he?
About the Author – Kris Gethin
If you know Kris, the very first thing you expect to read about him is his direct approach to anything and everything. Kris doesn’t really concern himself with hurting your feelings or sugar-coating anything – you can expect this mannerism to spill over into his training plans.
Once you hear Kris speak, you will hear he actually has a bit of an accent. The reason for this is that even though he lives in the States, he is from Wales originally.
Growing up in the UK also means that developing a passion for fitness and bodybuilding came somewhat naturally, seeing as both of these are much more accepted over the Atlantic.
Kris soon developed a massive passion for helping others, which led him to develop his coaching and personal training skills. He was also a famous bodybuilder and model himself and has trained with legends like Dorian Yates – a former Mr. Olympia.
Kris’s hardcore and couldn’t-care-less attitude soon caught the attention of others, and he eventually became a mini-legend in the fitness world.
He started rolling out programs left and right and, over the years, has increased his portfolio to include things like:
- Author and creator of various programs on BodyFit like the 8-Week Muscle-Building Trainer and 4Weeks2Shred program
- Author of various books like Body by Design, The Adventures of KAGED MUSCLE, and The Transformer
- Co-founder of Gethin Gyms
- CEO of KAGED MUSCLE, a leading supplement company
- Founder of the DTP training method
Kris now also has his own site (named after himself), which includes podcasts, blogs, and various other sources of fitness information.
Hardcore Daily Video Trainer Overview
Kris Gethin’s 12-Week Hardcore Daily Video Trainer is (surprise) hard. How do I know? Well, I’ve done it – but more on that later.
Just like his other plans, Kris will be there by your side, walking you through each day – doing the workouts alongside you (bonus, you get a daily video).
- Fitness level: Advanced
- Duration: 13 weeks
- Workouts per week: 4 – 5 workouts per week
- Average workout duration: 45 – 60 minutes
- Equipment needed: Full gym
- Goal: Build muscle
Right off the bat, there are two things you need to realize about this plan:
- It is not for beginners: The reason why coaches, in general, will say something isn’t designed for beginners isn’t due to the weights used – after all, you pick your own weight. It has to do with the volume and intensity of the training. Newbies can sometimes struggle with a certain amount of intensity, and this plan requires a lot of it.
- It is for a recap: This whole plan has been designed to help you get from skinny-fat to absolutely ripped. This means there will be a ton of lifting, protein, cardio, and – of course – swearing.
Every week’s split will be the same and will be a very typical bodybuilder split – Kris is a bodybuilder, after all:
- Day 1: Legs
- Day 2: Chest, Triceps
- Day 3: Rest
- Day 4: Back, Biceps
- Day 5: Shoulders, calves, and abs
- Day 6: Rest
It is nice to see two rest days per week – and you might scoff at the idea. Well, remember that rest is literally 33% of your fitness journey (training, diet, rest), and without ample rest, you wouldn’t grow at all. You also would not be able to keep up with this plan whatsoever.
Because the frequency of hitting certain body parts is quite low, your volume per session will be huge. Kris will also incorporate some intensity sets throughout the program:
- FST-7: FST stands for “Fascia Stretch Training,” a popular training protocol among bodybuilders, and “7” for the number of sets performed as the final exercise for a muscle group. For those sets, keep rest time minimal – such as 30-45 seconds – and flex the target muscle for 5-10 seconds during the rest period.
- Superset: Perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest. A tri-set is three movements performed in this style.
- Drop set: Take a set to failure, then drop the weight by 20 percent or more and go to failure again. Kris is fond of double and triple drop sets, each of which adds another drop.
These are some pretty intense training sets, so you better make sure you rest enough, eat enough, and pray enough to the god of gains…
12-Week Hardcore Trainer Details
You’ll be surprised that even though the overarching goal here is muscle growth, Kris still wants you to do cardio twice per day.
What else is weird about this plan?!
How Does Hardcore Training Look?
It looks different for everyone, although I’m sure it smells the same no matter who you are… The training Kris has developed for this plan is a proper bodybuilding style of training.
In the very first leg session, you’re going to be doing 13 sets in total – which may not seem like a lot. That said, 8 of those sets are from compound movements, which are definitely going to tax you a lot more than isolation sets.
Sets will be taken close to – or even to – failure. But what does “failure” even mean?
Well, you’re going to be doing a movement until you reach concentric failure. Concentric failure means you cannot complete the concentric part of the rep anymore.
So if week’s 1 leg workout looks this simple, how does week 10 look? Well, a lot more hardcore… You’ll be doing a DTP set, which would look like this:
- Leg Extension: 10 Sets, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 reps [No rest between sets]
This is pretty darn extreme, and you will not be doing any compound movements on these days (thank goodness).
How Do Bodybuilders Eat?
Pretty boring, to be honest.
Let me clarify – bodybuilders do the same stuff over and over again. This means that they will do the same workouts again and again … but also eat the same foods over and over.
When it comes to the nutrition that Kris recommends you to follow on this plan, he summarizes it very easily into a few rules:
Rule 1: Protein Requirements
Kris suggests you eat at least 1.28 grams per pound of lean body weight. Seeing as protein is the only macro that can turn into muscle, this is essential.
Rule 2: Manage Your Carbohydrates
Training days differ from rest days during the 12-Week Hardcore Trainer.
On training days, you eat 0.98 grams of starchy carbohydrates per pound of lean body weight; and on rest days, 0.85 grams of starchy carbohydrates per pound of lean body weight.
Kris also recommends consuming these in the first 3 meals of the day, although there is very little to no scientific explanation as to where this idea comes from.
Rule 3: Don’t Add Fat
Kris says you will get enough fat from your protein sources.
Kris also advocates for keeping your food sources as a whole and as healthy as possible. That means, to hit your macros, he would advise you to stick to these foods:
- Protein: Eye of round steak/roast, beef tenderloin, tilapia, eggs, and turkey/chicken breast
- Carbs: Sweet potatoes/yams, brown rice, and oats
The big omission here is fat.
Kris maintains you will get enough fat from your protein sources… I disagree, respectfully, because if you get all your protein from chicken breasts, you’ll barely crack 25g of fats per day.
Make sure you have ample fats in your diet, especially healthy fats such as polyunsaturated fats. Sure, health isn’t as sexy as building muscle or losing fat, but you only have one health – take care of it.
Lastly, the list of supplements that are “required” for you to take when doing this plan is ridiculous. Not only do some of them have very little science backing them, but it’s simply not affordable to everyone to load up on so many.
Remember, you cannot out-supplement a bad diet. Focus on good quality foods first.
Personal Experience with the 12-Week Hardcore Trainer
As mentioned before, I have actually done this program along with some other advanced routines like Animal Hellraiser. Well, I have done all of Kris’s programs because I like his mentality. That said, for this particular review, I am removing the personal notions I already have.
This is a really hard plan. Not only from a diet perspective but from a training perspective, this plan is going to mess you up. It is hard, the sets are extreme, and the volume will get to you.
To really get great success from this plan:
- Sleep (a lot): We know that failing to sleep adequately will lead to poor recovery, so make sure you spend a lot of time in bed sleeping.
- Eat (a lot): To actually make gains while doing so much volume and cardio, you’re going to have to eat. And I mean eat a lot of good food – especially carbohydrates.
2 12-Week Hardcore Trainer Pros
- It’s hardcore: Some people, myself included, like doing a harder style of training that is more taxing and engaging. It soothes the mind of some and drives anxiety in others. If you are the former, you’re going to love this plan. Kris is pushing you to your edge.
- Basics of everything: While the nutrition and supplement plan could be way more informational, this plan really does give you the basics on everything. You have everything you need to gain muscle mass on a platter; there is very little that is not here.
2 Hardcore Daily Video Trainer Cons
- The nutrition plan is lackluster: While it does give you some guidance, the whole “fats in your protein” and no calorie calculator is quite disappointing. There are plans with a lot more information available.
- The supplements are way too much: I understand some supplements can have a positive effect on muscle gain and fat loss. That said, you simply do not need 8 supplements to find success in this plan – trust me – I didn’t.
12-Week Hardcore Daily Video Trainer – Final Thoughts
Kris has a tendency to create plans that are brutal and take no prisoners. This plan is no different, and you can rest assured that the “two cardio sessions per day” are going to catch up to you by week 8.
This is a carbon copy of how a bodybuilder would approach preparing for a bodybuilding show. You start by establishing a workout program and increasing your cardio as you decrease your calories.
Overall, Kris Gethin’s 12-Week Hardcore Daily Video Trainer is a decent plan. I had great success with this plan years ago, but I do remember it being quite hard to do. Kris’ programs are massively taxing, and if you fail to live like an adult, you’re going to suffer.
This means you will need to sleep enough, eat enough, manage your stress levels, and simply just suck up some of the things you may not want to do, such as those insane DTP sets.
The plan can work but does require a lot of sacrifices.
Rating: 4.0 out of 5