I have completed one full cycle of Hard Body for Women program and am almost completed on my second cycle. I went straight from the first cycle to the second cycle with no break. The first cycle I followed “as written”, but on the second I added in bench press on squat days, substituted a strict press for push press and substituted sumo dead lifts for the hang cleans.
It is definitely a challenging program, and I was considering doing something else-probably Wendler 5/3/1 at the gym, but when I took my before and afters this morning, I’m reconsidering. I’ve lost about 8 lbs. thru 2 cycles (with a very good diet) but the pictures surprised me in terms of how much my body changed. I still have a lot of fat to lose, but for only a loss of 8 lbs it’s a significant improvement in my appearance.
In terms of strength, my squat has improved (all of the lifts have), not super dramatically but enough to let me know I am not losing strength/muscle.
Overall, my goal is fat loss and body recomposition, with strength gains secondary. I have felt a little rundown/very fatigued this cycle at times, but I think it is due to some work stress and then a little junk food eating over the holidays. I feel better this week with the return of the clean diet.
I guess my question is Can I continue to use this program for additional cycles and expect to see continued good results if I keep my diet consistent? And are my modifications- adding the bench press, subbing strict press for push press, and subbing the sumo deadlifts for cleans a good choice? The subs were because I had a bench press goal I wanted to meet, push presses aggravate an old shoulder injuries, and I missed deadlifting.
Thank you for your thoughts.