1st HST Cycle - Background Info

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by soflsun, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Hello All,

    I've been working out since March on a pretty routine 4-day split of Back/Chest, Legs, Shoulders, Arms.  Since I previously lifted about 5 years ago, much of my strength and size has been re-gained.  I am 29, 5'10" 190 lbs...12% BF.  Although this workout has been successful for me, I am attempting my first HST cycle, of which this evening will be my 5th workout in the 15's mesocycle.

    3x per week - 1x per day
    All exercise seperated by / are super sets

    Chins/ Incline Bench
    Bent-over rows/ Dips
    Shoulder press/ Calf raise (on a leg press machine)
    BB Curls/ Skulls
    Squats/ Leg Curls
    Shrugs/ Rear delt raises

    I plan on completing 15x2, 10x2, 5x3, Negs/MS.

    Observations/Comments thus far:

    1) Must admit that I did not SD before beginning
    2) It is difficult to 15 reps of any exercise when you are used to doing no more than 8 reps ever
    3) It is difficult to finish the routine in less than 70 min
    4) Wrist and shoulder seem to bother me more from higher reps than heavier weight
    5) Dips hurt my hands (the pressure on my palms)
    6) I have a weak grip
    7) I am trying not to zig-zag by repeating certain weights for 2 workouts or decresing the incremental change
    8) I have a chronic crick in my neck from lifting that never seems to friggin go away (developed before HST)
    9) I am not getting sore at all (this concerns me)
    10) I don't feel like I am getting as good of a workout as when I split my body parts
    11) I am cutting as well...my carbs are largely limited to pre and post workout shakes

    Weights Used 15's:

    Chins - Assisted machine to enable me to complete 15x2...Started at plate 9 decreasing to 6
    Incline Bench BB - 75 lbs to 125 lbs
    Bent-over rows - 85 lbs to 125 lbs
    Dips - BW (no belt)
    Shoulder press DB's - Combined 60 lbs to 90 lbs
    Calf raises - 180 lbs to 260 lbs
    BB curls - 45 lbs to 65 lbs
    Skulls - 30 lbs to 60 lbs (deep stretch behind head)
    Squat - 95 lbs to 175 lbs (first time doing squats without Smith Machine)
    Leg Curls - Every machine is different, but increasing every workout
    Shrugs - 140 lbs to 200 lbs.
    Rear-delt raises (incline bench) - 15 lbs to 20 lbs (not much room for increase here at 15 reps)

    All comments welcome...look forward to contributing all of my experiences to the forum!
  2. BAX67

    BAX67 New Member

    I'm new to the forum too, but have been reading it for the past couple of weeks. Looks like your doing to many exercises. Check out "simplify and win" . Basic compound exercises with big results!
  3. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    <div>
    (BAX67 @ Sep. 05 2007,21:22)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I'm new to the forum too, but have been reading it for the past couple of weeks. Looks like your doing to many exercises. Check out &quot;simplify and win&quot; . Basic compound exercises with big results!</div>
    Hmmm, the Force is strong with this one... [​IMG]
  4. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Simplify and win is geared more toward increasing overall mass. I am interested in more of a complete workout targeting large and small muscle groups, with an increased emphasis on burning calories (cutting) while building and toning. I would consider breaking the routine into 2 parts, morning and evening, as an alternative though. After reading many threads here, simplify and win is definitely not the only path to success. Thanks for your comment though.
  5. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    9/5

    5th Day of 15's Mesocycle   2x15
    Chins (6th plate)/Incline bench 115 lbs
    Bent-over rows 115 lbs/Dips BW
    Shoulder Press 90 lbs combined/Calf 250 lbs
    Curls 60 lbs (13x1, 5x1, 10x1, 5x1)/Skulls 60 lbs
    Squat 165 lbs (winded)/Leg curls 80 lbs
    Shrugs 200 lbs/Rear delt raises 25 lbs (standing)

    The high volume and increased load of the 15's is getting to me!  Looking forward to the 10's.  Very winded from this workout, took 90 minutes to complete...too long.
  6. I would agree that 15's are not the most fun.  I'm sorry to hear that your shoulders and wrists are complaining.

    your exercise selection looks pretty good to me.  I &quot;like&quot; deads...but they're not exactly something that can superset w/ squats!

    how much of an incline is your bench set at?


    edited to ask: what exercises hurt your wrists? BB curls kill mine.
  7. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Thanks fear...I'm pretty happy with the exercise selection.  I use a standard olympic incline bench (the only variable that can be manipulated is the seat height), I believe the incline is 40-45 degrees.  Definitely doesn't feel like it hits my pecs as well as a standard flat bench, but I'm going with the consensus here...so I made the switch.  To be honest, my wrists hurt more after the workout and the next day...when I originally injured my right wrist about 4 months ago I couldn't even wipe my ass without intense pain.  The problem is the joint at the base of the thumb and the part of the wrist directly under it.  Any pressure on that part of my hand (like pressing on a bannister while walking up the stairs) still hurts pretty bad though.  It's my own fault...I was doing cable curls with a really weird handle (It was like a thick roller that spun as you lifted the weight) and it didn't agree with me, but I pushed through the pain of the sets and the rest is history.  I still don't know why I didn't stop...anyway I really never gave it more than a full week to heal so its still bothersome, hopefully not permanent damage.
  8. BAX67

    BAX67 New Member

    soflsun, It was out of line for me to comment on your workout. I'm sorry about that! Good luck, hope your aches heal up soon.
  9. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    No sweat Bax...Thanks.
  10. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Me now...dry:

    [​IMG]
  11. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Last day of 15's Workout #6 2x15

    9/7

    Chins 6th plate/Incline BB press 125 lbs
    Bent-over BB rows 125 lbs/Dips BW
    Seated DB shoulder press 90 lbs combined/Calf 270 lbs
    BB curls 65 lbs/Skulls 60 lbs

    9/8

    Squat 175 lbs/Leg curls 95 lbs
    Shrugs 210 lbs/Rear-delt raises 25 lbs (standing)
    I threw in a set 1x45 of weighted ab curls at the end of the workout for the first time also

    I needed to finish my last 4 exercises on a seperate day, it was just too much on the last day of the 15's.  I did some clustering on the curls and skulls to finish the desired reps: I hope I didn't go too heavy too fast.  There was some definite swinging on the last reps of the rear-delt raises.  Also, my grip was giving out on the the last several reps on both sets of rows.  All of the exercises were difficult to finish the sets, which I was happy with because I estimated my max weights pretty good.  The squats really beat the crap out of me...175 lbs for 2x15 left me sweating profusely and winded for quite some time.  Any suggestions why this is so difficult for me?  I'm nervous about what the heavier weights are going to be like [​IMG]
  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Probably because high rep squats are hard. Heh. Seriously, I'd rather do 3x5 with my 5 RM than do 2x15 with my 15 RM.
  13. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, 15s for squats and deads hit your cardio fitness a bit more than the other rep ranges. It will improve each cycle if you keep it up. (I'm one of those sad individuals who love the challenge of 15s for deads and squats.) However, as you are cutting and because you have trained for a while AND you didn't SD, I would have recommended that you went straight to 10s and skipped 15s altogether. What you are trying to do during a cut is maintain your hard earned muscle as much as possible. Using the lighter loads of the 15s is not the best way to do this if you are on reduced calories.

    Don't be nervous about the heavier stuff, like Totz has said, most prefer the 5s. You will find them difficult but easier metabolically speaking! [​IMG]

    Judging by your pic, you have some really good genetics and some good size already. Plus, your bodyfat doesn't look very high to me. How much are you trying to cut and what are your hypertrophy goals?

    As far as grip strength goes, there are various things you can do to improve it. Check out this thread for lots of tips:
    Grip Strength

    I really used to get frustrated when my grip failed before the end of a set of deads, chins or rows. It is no longer a problem, however, I still use lifting straps for my heaviest deads and shrugs unless I am doing singles. It's just one less thing to worry about.
  14. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Yeah, I probably should have skipped 15's based on what you mentioned, but I really did like (for the most part) doing exercises for higher reps than I ever did before.  The weight was light, but the workout was still good.  I don't think I lost and size or strength from doing 15's, probably just maintained though...and added some endurance maybe.

    I have some really junky calipers, and it says my BF is at about 11-12.7...so difficult to get a consistent reading.  *Any advice on a good device*

    I'd like to get to 9-10% and keep my weight at 190 lbs, so my lean mass would be increasing to make up the difference.  I want more definition, and hypertrohy wise I'm not really sure because I don't know what my current measurements are.  I need to get a tape measure too.

    I read the grip strength thread, and will now start to incorporate some of these exercises on my off days.  I will need to get some grippers and my gym doesn't have that rolling apparatus I don't think.  I'll do some static holds and hangs in the meantime.  I'll report my numbers after tonight's workout.  Don't expect too much from someone who has difficulty with 15 reps of 125 lbs BB rows [​IMG]
  15. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    9/10

    Week 3 Workout #7  2x10

    BB incline bench 135 lbs/Chins 5th plate
    BB Rows 135 lbs/BB flat bench 155 lbs
    Calf raise 290 lbs/DB shoulder press 100 lbs
    BB curls 70 lbs/Skulls 70 lbs

    I need to finish my squats, leg curls, shrugs, and rear-delt raises tomorrow.

    Observations:

    1.  I switched dips for BB flat bench because I think they were irritating my shoulders and since I don't have a weight belt, I cannot do anything more than BW.
    2.  In an effort not to zig-zag, my weights are too heavy on curls, skulls, and BB rows.  These will become impossible to continue in the coming days...what should I do?
    3. Need to start splitting the routine to 3x/week, 2x/day.  Too much for 1 workout.  I'm not sure how I'm going to split it up yet though.
  16. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    9/11

    Contiuation of workout #7 2x10

    Squats 185 lbs/Leg curls 100 lbs
    Shrugs 220 lbs/Rear-delt raises 20 lbs (incline bench)

    Squats felt good, but the weight feels heavy on my traps...I'm not used to free-standing squats so it's a little scary for me.  I did one extra set of 8 after my 2x10.  Dropped the weight on my rear-delt raises back down to 20 lbs because I did them on an incline bech instead of standing (no cheating).
  17. markobenin

    markobenin New Member

    Instead of doing so many exercises and having to result to twice a day for 3x a week, why not just cut down the number of exercises to one compound per body part and then if you want you can up the volume to like 3x10 instead of the current 2x10 to accommodate for the current surplus of exercises. I'm not sure how wise this would be to do in the middle of your current cycle...but definitely something worth thinking about for your next one. You could and should drop the iso's now though if you feel they're getting to be too much, and just stick to the compound lifts.

    Just my opinion...maybe somebody else can chime in as I'm kind of a newbie myself and just a few workouts ahead of you in my 1st HST cycle. I'm just suggesting these modifications as my routine is working wonderfully for me now. Cheers!

    -Marko
  18. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    9/12

    Week 3 Workout #8  2x10

    I think I found a better order of exercises that until I break my routine into 2x/day seems to work better although it is still too long...

    BB incline bench 145 lbs/Chins 5th Plate
    Squats 185 lbs/Leg curls 100 lbs
    BB flat bench 165 lbs/BB rows 135 lbs
    Calf raises 290 lbs/DB seated shoulder press 100 lbs
    BB curls 70 lbs/Skulls 70 lbs
    Shrugs 220 lbs/Rear-delt raises (standing) 25 lbs

    Felt pretty good, shoulders seems to be irritating me a bit less without the dips.  I think I may be increasing weights a a bit to quickly...may need to stay at same weight for several workouts.  It's my first cycle so I'm learning. [​IMG]
  19. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    Marko,

    Good thoughts, good options. I don't feel like making such a significant change in the middle of this cycle, but I think those are great options for my 2nd HST. Thanks for the input. [​IMG]
  20. soflsun

    soflsun New Member

    9/14

    Week 3 Workout #9  2x10

    Chins (4th plate)/BB incline bench 150 lbs
    Squats 205 lbs/Leg curls 105 lbs
    Calf raises 320 lbs/BB flat bench 175 lbs
    BB rows 145 lbs/DB shoulder press 110 lbs
    BB curls 70 lbs/Skulls 70 lbs

    I cut out shrugs and rear-delt raises today, workout was getting too long.  I increased my weight on every exercise this workout except in curls and skulls.  I think since the compounds are getting heavier, I don't hve the extra juice to increase the weight on those isolations. [​IMG]   I nearly went to failure on my last set of flat bench, but it was OK.  The rows are feeling very heavy as well...are Pendelay's easier??  I need to really watch my increases over the last 3 workouts of 10's to make sure I don't reach failure on the exercises.

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