HST Training

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 08, 2009 4:57 PM GMT
    Hi Guys! Just wondering if there are any members here who are familiar with Hypertrophy Specific Training. If so, I would be willing to share training logs and ideas on using this program. Personally, I have made the best gains with this program and would like to hear from others who have used HST or would like to learn more.
  • red_series

    Posts: 136

    Mar 08, 2009 9:14 PM GMT
    I used the program for a while but I found that I get best results when I switch up HST with a different program. Right now I'm concentrating using a lower weight and lifting with a 3 count up, 1 count down. I'll probably go back to HST in a month or so but I'd wager you'll plateau on it eventually. Lol, or maybe I was doing it wrong!!
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    Mar 08, 2009 10:20 PM GMT
    I don't know. Usually I do plateau after a couple of months, but for me this is usually due more to overtraining than stagnation. With HST, stagnation is avoided by changing the reps every two weeks and taking a week or two off after six weeks of training; and by training no more than 2 1/2 hours and no more than 18 sets per bodypart per week, overtraining is no longer a problem.
  • red_series

    Posts: 136

    Mar 09, 2009 1:01 AM GMT
    I see where you're coming from. For me, It was that HST wasn't intense enough. I don't know if it's all psychological but I just found there were some weeks when I really wanted to push hard and staying within the rep and weight range just wasn't doing it for me. That said, I did make some pretty decent gains.
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    Mar 09, 2009 1:59 AM GMT
    I'm glad to hear that you were making gains. I agree with you that the first week of each two-week macro-cycle was less intense than I would like, but this is what helps prevent overtraining syndrome. Also, I do different things on these easy days, like super-slow reps or going over the required maximum number of reps to increase intensity. You have to be careful because the goal seems to be to increase weight every workout but not necessarily reach muscular failure especially during the first workouts of a macro-cycle. If the intensity is too high, you won't make it to the end of the cycle. Sometimes the goal of a workout is to just get a good pump and not necessarily fully fatigue the muscles.
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    Mar 09, 2009 2:06 AM GMT
    I've been doing it for about three years and constantly recommend it to people. I usually do two weeks of 15 reps, then 2 of 10, then 2 of 8, then 4 of 5. Then two weeks off for "strategic deconditioning."

    At first it does feel like it's not intense enough, but it works. I wrecked my knees doing 5x5 and DC routines.

    It is more flexible than most people seem to realize.
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    Mar 09, 2009 3:29 AM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidI've been doing it for about three years and constantly recommend it to people. I usually do two weeks of 15 reps, then 2 of 10, then 2 of 8, then 4 of 5. Then two weeks off for "strategic deconditioning."

    At first it does feel like it's not intense enough, but it works. I wrecked my knees doing 5x5 and DC routines.

    It is more flexible than most people seem to realize.


    Thanks for posting OW. Looking at your pics I'd say you've made good gains! It's interesting that you do four weeks of "the fives". I'm about to finish up two-weeks doing five reps and feel like if I keep going and try to add any more weight, I won't be able to finish my sets. In fact I won't be adding weight on a few exercises for this last workout. Are you able to increase weights all through those last four weeks? Or are you sandbagging at the beginning? icon_smile.gif
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    Mar 09, 2009 8:57 PM GMT
    The "official" HST program calls for two weeks of 5 followed by two weeks of negatives. If you don't do negatives, the suggestion is that you continue to do two additional weeks of 5s.

    I'm usually surprised that I can add weight on many of these, and if I can't, I usually increase volume. I think you're supposed to just continue with your maximum weight at the end of the two weeks of 5.

  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Mar 09, 2009 9:55 PM GMT
    I got very good results with HST, mostly in strength. I think it is great, especially for a beginner to intermediate trainee. Now I am onto DC training, which is another potent weapon in the training arsenal (and not for beginners). In either system, it is as tough as you want to make it be.
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    Mar 10, 2009 2:02 AM GMT
    Actually, I think HST is better for older lifters because it doesn't require maximum lifts every workout and the first two weeks -- the 15s -- are about conditioning ligaments. Further, it's designed to increase muscle mass. Strength gains are secondary for most people.

    I've done DC training frequently, along with 5x5, and I think they are both really really hard on connective tissue, but they do work well. Whatever you do, take a break from these every few months. Also, the DC routine requires "extreme stretching," which was boring as hell to me but probably necessary to facilitate recovery.

    I also think the science behind HST is more convincing than DC's.

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    Mar 10, 2009 3:13 PM GMT
    Before November, I was beginning to think that my joints were going to keep me from training consistantly or heavily enough to make any gains. I just finished my second HST cycle and no longer feel this way. Before, there would be days when I was in some kind of pain all day long. Now I have some pain first thing in the morning, mostly in my Achilles tendons, and that's about it. I'm certain that the HST routine has made a huge difference. I do have some problems in my shoulders, and this bothers me more as the weights go up. I've been able to work around this by dropping shoulder exercises as I go through each micro-cycle. I will try different exercises for the next training cycle and see if that's better.

    At this point, I've just finished the second week of five-rep sets and don't think I'm going to do negatives. I've already decided on which exercises I'm going to use on the next cycle, and will use my next workout to determine what my ten-rep max's are on those exercises I haven't done in a while. I'll then have a week of Strategic Deconditioning, which will be tough since I'm highly motivated at the moment, then start up again.
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    Mar 10, 2009 7:09 PM GMT
    A week off is really not enough for effective SD, especially for older lifters.

    I have the shoulder stuff too and I keep the weights for them relatively light, depending more on volume than actual weight. Actually, many of the HST workouts I've seen only include a rear-delt exercise since the bench press also works the deltoids.

    Generally and especially if you have shoulder problems, forward raises are better than overhead lifts. I still do the latter now and then, but I never lower the dumbells lower than my ears. That seems to work as well and doesn't cause much pain.

  • red_series

    Posts: 136

    Mar 11, 2009 3:23 AM GMT
    I just re-read the HST guides and OW is right, it is more flexible than it appears at first glance. You pretty much can't go wrong if you stay inside the guidelines of increasing weight and decreasing reps. Like I said before, I switch off and on between HST and other more intense routines. That said, I usually switch back to HST since I can't take a lot of the 'advanced' or 'hardcore' routines. That and I have the body of a 45 yr old, my joints just ain't what they use to be, lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 5:11 AM GMT
    I have a 100-plus-page PDF file of a book about HST that covers most questions about the program. If anyone wants it, send me your email.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 2:42 PM GMT
    It's going to be hard for me to take a full two weeks off for SD, however my last workout was two days ago and I have more soreness now than I have since starting this routine so it is probably necessary. I'll just have to find a way to stay motivated.
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    Mar 12, 2009 2:29 AM GMT
    I always use the SD period to step up my cardio, doing 30 to 45 minutes daily. That makes the "withdrawal" easier to handle.
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    Mar 16, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    Well, it has been 7 days of SD so far. My muscles are still full and hard, and I don't feel like I've lost any but not going to the gym to work out is making me crazy! I've gone hiking a couple times and ran three miles one day, so I'm still getting up and moving. I did sneak in on Saturday and tried out a few new exercises I'll include in my next cycle. Nothing heavy at all, just enough to get a feel for the equipment, seat positions, etc.

    I have two questions.

    1. How long should I take off? The HST website suggests 9-12 days, but I didn't find any advice as to how to determine when I am ready to start up again. I guess I'll see how I feel on Wednesday and take it from there.

    2. I think I already know what my 5/10/15 rep max's are on the exercises I've been doing. Should I have tested my max's on the new exercises already, or should I do that after the SD period? Is this necessary if my educated guess is close enough?
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    Apr 06, 2009 3:24 PM GMT
    In the last month, my training has really begun to pay off. I took some pics over the weekend and think I can see some changes. My bodyweight hasn't changed much, but my chest and arms look bigger and more defined. I hope this isn't just wishful thinking! What do you think?
    progress02.JPG
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Apr 06, 2009 4:05 PM GMT
    Good progress.

    For me, HST was OK. It was a nice change from my usual routines, but I just didn't enjoy them as much as my regular workouts. The gym is like a sanctuary for me, I just wasn't there long enough using HST.
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    Apr 11, 2009 12:07 AM GMT
    Just finishing up my last week on an HST cycle. Chose to do another two weeks of 5's but did drop sets with them.

    I'm honestly not sure how much progress I'm making. I see a little bit of gains, but the measurements aren't showing much improvement. Not sure if it's that HST just doesn't work too well or if it's just my body's limits. But the science behind it seems pretty sound.
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    Apr 14, 2009 3:49 PM GMT
    I suspect that one reason some people give up on HST is that the first cycle or two have steep learning curves, for both your head and your muscles. One thing I've learned is that you can drop the volume of the workout as you progress through each two-week macro-cycle, but weights must be increased every workout. Once you have your weights set right, and this will probably take a couple cycles to nail down, every workout of each macro-cycle will be harder than the last. If all goes to plan the last workout of the macro-cycle will be a ball-buster!

    I just hit the midpoint of my third HST cycle having just finished two weeks of the 10's, and that last workout was awesome! I'm thrilled with my progress so far. I have had muscle growth that I've never seen before and am bigger than ever. Stronger too. The weights I used on my last ten-rep workout of this cycle are only slightly lower than the last five-rep workout of the last cycle. Now I'm off for two days and start up on the 5's for two weeks then on to negatives, where serious muscle growth should occur.
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    Apr 14, 2010 5:01 PM GMT
    I just started off with HST. The first week of 15's were cake and it was a bit disillusioning. Once the weight started increasing, it got much harder and I realized how much muscle endurance I lacked from always doing low reps/height.

    Does anyone know if you are required to do the exercises in the exact order that the HST website shows you? (Squad, Deadlift, bench and so on?) Because usually if all the benches or squat racks are occupied, I will do something else while I wait.

    Also, Ive noticed on the last 3 workouts of 15's, that some days some muscle groups will be easier (even with the increase in weight) and some days they will be much harder. Anyone else notice this and is it normal?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 14, 2010 5:05 PM GMT
    I actually thought this had to do with the new tax in Canada... icon_eek.gif
  • red_series

    Posts: 136

    Apr 14, 2010 5:16 PM GMT
    Howdy,

    You don't have to do the exercises in the exact order shown on the HST site but the two things to keep in mind are: power-lifting/pressing are easier to do when you're fresh and you can perform the exercises in any order you'd like, as long as you do it consistently.

    Don't do shoulders/biceps/legs one day and then legs/shoulders/biceps the next. The reasoning is that when you set your max reps you did the workout in a particular order and that means your 'tiredness' is taken into account when you set your max rep. Going back to the shoulders/biceps/legs example, you can see that once you get to legs, after doing shoulders and biceps, you'd have less energy and wouldn't be able to push as hard on legs as you would if you did them at the start of your routine. Basically, changing the order of the exercises mucks the effectiveness of you max reps.

    Hope that helps.

    As for the strength discrepancy on the last week of 15's, I noticed it too, I don't have a solid explanation for it other than maybe those were weaker muscles?

    And finally, on a side note, Harmonized Sales Tax blows and will be the end of tourism (at least in Vancouver).