_tim's HST experiment


Well-Known Member
Week 1, Day 1

OK. So I woke up late this morning and told myself "Missed it again, idiot." I looked at myself in the mirror, got in credibly mad at the present situation, reversed course and got into the gym thinking I'd hit what I could because it just NEEDED TO HAPPEN.

What follows is embarrassing, but it's a start. I lost a ton of strength with this last break.

This is inspiration in the form of humility.

Deep Squats: 175, 2 sets at 10 reps each (hips below parallel);
Dumbell Shrugs: 45, 2 sets of 10 reps each;
Incline Bench: 115, 2 sets of 10 reps each;
Chins: bodyweight, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 6 (I experimented a bit with my pullups and chinups that sorta contributed to the 6er);
Straight Legged Deads: 90, 2 sets of 10 reps each

I don't think supersetting is the correct term, but for the first 4 exercises, I grouped them in twos and didn't take a break between sets. The SLDL's were my first ever, and knowing just how weak my lower back is at the moment, I chose to start wicked light. I LOVED THE STRETCH! Man, those SLDL's are GREAT!

This is a subset of my overall workout; I laid it all out such that I'd hit each muscle group 16 times each week. In my former workout, I was doing more than that, albeit with a much different arrangement altogether. I don't think I need to get into it as it was my former workout.

Tomorrow is day 2.
If you go directly from one exercise to the next, with no or very little rest in between, that's a "superset". Granted, squats to shrugs isn't a common one
, as most are generally lifts that hit the same muscle group or opposing ones such as chest/back, like your incline bench and chins. If I totally misunderstood what you were saying that completely disregard that lol.

As for straight-legs... I love those for the stretch too. I've always had a really tight lower back and hams, and those really made them feel a bit looser, especially if I went nice and light at the end of a workout.
Yeah, the squat-shrug set was out of convenience. I like to do squats-roman chairs as a set but the decline bench was taken and time was at a premium. I don't like to describe these sets as supersets - just sets. A "superset" to me says "to failure". I dunno - that was just something ingrained in me in college.

Thanks Gator.
Week 1, Day 2

I have learned my lesson: DON'T MISS MONDAYS.

It was evident in my warmups this morning that I was gonna have a rough go. By the end of the workout, I wanted to puke BAD. I am crazy out of shape. Regardless, I advanced the weight. These whole body workouts see to be great for endurance.

Pretty much same deal as yesterday - exercises were grouped in two, and one "set" is defined as one round trip between exercises.

Here we go:

Squats: 190 x 10, 190 x 8 (hit a wall hard - my last rep was insanely hard. Fatigue anyone?)
Roman Chairs (Straight Arm): 25 x 10 x 2

Weighted Pulls: Chins: BW+5 x 6; Close Hammer Grip: BW+5 x 6 (more walls hit - my bi's are WEAK)
Weighted Dips: BW+35 x 10 x 2

SLDLs: 100 x 10 x 2 (with a nice pause at my feet - MAN I LOVE THESE!)
Dumbell Shrugs: 55 x 10 x 2
**Incidentally, I grouped these two to blitz my grip strength

Standing Calf Raise: 200 x 10 x 2
Incline Bench: 120 x 10, 120 x 8 (I was wasted at this point)

I have a question for anyone who might be reading this: in my experience, my calf muscles really only have responded to a heavy weight, lots of sets kind of workout. They adapt. I have a feeling that 2 sets of raises and the little bit they get hit on SLDLs really won't be enough to either induce hypertrophy, or even really gain strength. Thoughts?

Tomorrow will be yoga at home. I need to recover for Friday.
(DanOz @ Jun. 06 2007,10:45)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">My calves like high reps - 8-10 reps on calves is as little as I go, 15-20 works better for me.</div>
DanOz -

How many sets do you typically do?
Currently only one set, I alternate between standing and seated and 3 times per week. With the HST progression I start at 20 reps &amp; work down to 10 reps for the end. Everyone is different though, and I guess the trick is to find what works for you. Good luck!
Week 1, Off Day

Yoga, yo-yo-yo yoga.......

Yoga, yo-yo-yo yoga.
(sung a-la Weird Al's &quot;Yoda&quot;)

I did a 20 minute - I dunno - session(?). Seems like it'll be good for stretching and a bit of core development, which should help my squats among other things.
Week 1 Day 3: A Fitting End to Week 1

I messed up some of the weights today because I went to a different gym and didn't realize the bars I was using were all 10 pounds heavier than I'm used to. This was a weird one.

Squats: 210 x 8, 210 x 6
Roman Chairs: 25 x 10 x 2

Close Grip Chins: BW + 7.5 x 10, BW+7.5 x 5, + 1 BW only out of frustration
Incline Bench: 135 x 10, 135 x 9

SLDL's: 115 x 10 x 2
Dumbell Shrugs: 60 x 10 x 2
(my grip is gonna be a real problem here - I was almost unable to finish the sets due to my poor grip strength)

Wide, Neutral Grip Pull: BW x 5, BW x 4
Close Grip Bench: 95 x 10, 115 x 9.75

My biceps are a real concern as far as my lat development goes. I dunno - it's too early to get discouraged, so we'll see what next week brings.

I'm also concerned about my forearms. We'll see how Monday goes - either there will be improvement, or I'll have to tweak what I'm doing so I don't compromise my SLDL advances.

Yoga tomorrow and Sunday - maybe that will help too?
Week 2 Day 4

I was pretty happy with myself that I got up on time today - only to be delayed by almost 45 minutes by my wife. Ain't marriage grand?

In any case, for a Monday and being late, I did OK.

Squats: 215 x 9, 215 x 7 - maybe a bit too much weight, but I'm going to continue to push the envelope; my legs are definitely getting stronger.
Dumbell Shrugs: 65 x 10 x 2 - good and steady.

Wt. Chin (Close): BW+10 x 9, BW+10 x 4 - better, but my biceps are still way too weak for where I need them to be.
Incline Bench: 135 x 10 x 2 - getting there, but bench has never been good for me.

SLDL: 135 x 10 x 2 - loving these!
Calves: 220 x 10 x 2 - the extra beating on my calves felt good - and I think may be the key to their development, partnering with the SLDLs.

Wide Neutral Grip Pull: BW x 6, BW x 3.5 - I'm really hoping for some improvement here.
Close Grip Bench: 135 x 10, 135 x 7 - maybe I got a bit too aggressive with my weight progression here, but my tri's need the beating.
(_tim @ Jun. 06 2007,10:06)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I have a question for anyone who might be reading this: in my experience, my calf muscles really only have responded to a heavy weight, lots of sets kind of workout. They adapt. I have a feeling that 2 sets of raises and the little bit they get hit on SLDLs really won't be enough to either induce hypertrophy, or even really gain strength. Thoughts?</div>
Do conventional deadlifts. I've also had good growth from olympic lifting. even if you're not interested in learning the lifts, you may consider doing clean pulls. You can use more weight than with cleans and they are not as technically difficult to learn. Here's one of the best training video sites.

Watch the clean pull, it's fast but you'll see the lifter coming up on his toes during the second pull.
Week 2, Off Day 1

40 minutes of yoga gave way to some great stretching in my lower back, hammys and deltoids.

I'm starting to see some change here, folks - hypertrophy has begun. I likey! My legs are growing quickly, my chest has some noticeable changes, my delts are showing very nice change all around, and even my arms seem to be perking up a bit. My biceps seem wider today, and the trough in my triceps is coming back.

I've started eating differently - but the main changes there won't be in place until I finish off the supplements I have as they are a big part of my diet. That is changing - a very much overdue change for the better. drpierredebs has an incredible thing going over in the Nutritional Forum that I've borrowed from. Read up here.

On the workout side, one huge change I'm going to make starting tomorrow is something I should have done from the beginning but didn't really understand: rep clustering. I've had some down time at work lately, so I've been scouring the boards here and have read a bunch of suggestions from all of you cronies out there about rep clustering. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get my reps in AND continue to progress the loads, simply by clustering. Makes sense. In any case - I only have two more days of 10's then I start my 5's on Monday of next week.


Have a great day, all.
(colby2152 @ Jun. 12 2007,12:59)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Congrats on what sounds like a great start to an HST cycle Tim. Keep it up!</div>
Thanks Colby! I'm loving it thus far!
Week 2, Day 5 - Hell Yeah!

OK. Probably the best workout I've had in three years, and in parts, I didn't even hit my goals. HOWEVER - I'm seeing massive improvement in some problem areas.

Squats: 135 x 6 x 2 WU, 225 x 6, 225 x 4, 215 x 6 (DS) - go figure on that one; how did I get 6?
Low Lat Raise (learned it in therapy for my neck): 8 x 7 x 2 - pain defined, people.

Cable Cross (WU): 75 x 6 x 2
Incline Bench: 145 x 10, 145 x 8, 145 x 2 - got scared on the 8 and had no spotter, so I took a three-breath break before I finished the set.
Wtd. Wide, Neutral Grip Pull: BW x 8.5, BW x 2, BW x 5, BW x 3, BW x 2 - MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT

SLDL: 145 x 10 x 2 - grip is a big problem here still; my second set almost didn't get finished as I was holding onto that barbell with my fingertips for the last 3 reps. I FINISHED, THOUGH.
Standing Calf Raises: 240 x 10 x 4 - the last set felt good and hard. Finally. I'm nowhere near my 10-rep max, and that concerns me for my 5's. I'm not sure what happened with my max - seemed right in the beginning.

Wtd. Chin: BW + 12.5 x 7, BW + 12.5 x 3, BW + 12.5 x 4, BW + 12.5 x 1, BW x 1 (DS) - my body started to tell me something...
Wtd Dips: BW + 35 x 10, BW + 35 x 1, BW x 1 (DS) - ...it was DONE

I figured I'd end things with my abs and do a couple sets of roman chairs and superset them with leg raises.

I did a 1 rep roman chair set with a 35-pound plate, and knew the workout was done.

I was soaked, out of breath, and starting to feel the fruits of the previous hour.

Hell yeah. I'll take it.
Week 2, Off Day
I did nothing today but REST and think about tomorrow, after almost doing damage to my back last night. I have this crazy spot in the middle of my back that gets pulled on a whim, and when it does, I'm down for two weeks. Stems from both my car accident and being a gymnast for 9 years - with a bad accident at the end of my career there as well that probably contributes to the back thing. Luckily, I know how to prevent the pull when I feel it starting - but so I didn't tempt fate, I skipped my yoga session this morning to rest instead.

I am getting a bunch more concerned with grip strength, and am going to try to implement some grip ISO stuff after my workout, per lol's suggestion here, starting with tomorrow's workout.
tim, also check the 'grip test' thread I started for more ideas on how to make weak grip a thing of the past: Grip Test

It really works!
Thanks Lol! I just read the whole thread - there's some great ideas there! I've never done the over-over static holds. That's one thing I'll absolutely do. I have done static dumbell holds in the past with good results - but I haven't done 'em in a while. The CoC grippers and the countering Ivanko product both look good. I'll look to pick one of 'em up in the near future.

Also - just out of curiosity, I'll try the grip test after my workout tomorrow. We'll see where I really am...

I appreciate the input!
Week 2, Day 6 - Another Lesson Learned

Well folks, today was to be the grand finale of my 10's. Instead, I woke up with a horrific pain in my lower back that seemed to deflate me. I got it to settle a bit with some stretching, so I attempted a bit at the gym with mostly dismal results - but made the decision early on to skip my SLDLs outright.

Squats: 135 x 6 x 2 WU; 235 x 1, 195 x 8, 195 x 5 - the 235 was just stupid (and I knew better but still I tried it), and the fatigue on an already sore back set firmly in place and persisted everywhere else, it seemed.
Low Traps: 8 x 10 x 2

Incline Bench : 145 x 10 x 2 - WAY too hard. I know 145 isn't my top end, but today it was.
Wide, Neut. Grip Pull: BW x 9.5, BW x 1, BW x 6, BW x 2, BW x 2 - Still improving, and this was the highlight of the morning.

I cut my losses and decided just to move on to my grip training - I had so little energy it was pathetic.

So - I did lol's grip test. See the thread here.

Left: 6 seconds
Right: 8 seconds

I then loaded up a 235 barbell and did over-over static holds, three times, until I couldn't hold the bar anymore. I figure a better way to train my grip is to just do it by feel, not by time. So, I pushed 'em - just like I do my calves. This will be a permanent addition to my routine ongoing, and hopefully in the near future I'll pick up something to train my grip at home.

OK - so the lesson. I've been sorta going between two gyms, and they're very different. I think my past two Fridays have been off because they've lacked the consistency all around of my Mondays and Wednesdays - besides the fact that I flat out HATE the gym I went to. So - as I head into my 5's next week, I'm gonna stick to one gym.

I'm hoping that my 5RM's are correct. I suppose I'll find out really quick if they're not, right?

I hope all you dads out there have a great Father's Day. I know I will!