A Few beginner questions about HST, advice needed!

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by guitarevan07, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    Hey everyone!

    New user here, my name is Evan. I'm 20 years old, 6'1" and 190 lbs.

    I've worked out on and off for the past two years but my routine has always been sketchy(picking very random exercises that are way too muscle-specific, and also not working ALL muscles that need to be worked, for instance, I slacked a lot on my back and legs and pecs, and...everything haha) and I have never looked up anything about programs/routines. I guess I've just used "common sense".

    Anyways, the past few hours I've been sitting at my computer researching programs and found HST and thought it would be appropriate for me. I've just gotten a little confused along the way and wanted some advice for my program.

    First off, This is what I'm trying to improve from:

    I'm trying to bulk up quite a bit in everything, and have much larger and defined abs. same thing with pecs biceps and triceps. Not to be mistaken though, I want a pretty well rounded workout. I really don't know how to describe it but I don't want to be as skinny in biceps and triceps as a abercrombie model but not as thick as a body builder. I'm sure you get the idea. I was pretty much just going to copy a standard HST program and see how it works for me, like:

    Bench Press
    Stiff Legged Deadlift
    Bent Over BB Rows
    Seated Shoulder Press
    EZ Bar Curls
    Lying Tricep Extensions
    Standing Calf Raise

    So here are my questions:

    1) are the above exercises appropriate for me, and is there anything you recommend more for me specifically (or for anyone, for all I know)?

    2) I saw that it was pretty standard to do a 15x1, 10x2, then 5x3. My question is, how do you split these up between exercises and days? Do you do your 15x1's for each of the 8 workouts, then move on to the 10x2's? For example, do you bench press 10 reps, take a 45 second break then bench another 10 reps, then go STRAIGHT to your 5x3's?
    Do you do 10x2's for bench, then go do your SLDL's 10x2s, etc etc till you get around to your 3x5's?

    4) Am I completely wrong about the setup of days/exercise switching? I was under the impression that you do 15x1's, 10x2's, and 5x3's for EACH exercise, EACH day. The HST calculator chart is a little confusing.

    5) are all of these sets good for a beginner like me to this HST program? Or should I maybe go 15x1, 10x1, 5x2, or some variation?

    Thank you so much for any help this community can provide me. I know my post is very scattered and confused, I hope you can understand it. I'm just trying to get things sorted out in my brain here haha. I'm very excited to get started figuring out my maxes as soon as I have a set workout list :)

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  2. T-man

    T-man New Member


    Your choice of lifts looks good and they hit all the major muscle groups. A complete HST cycle is made up of mini cycles, or 6 training days each @ 15 reps (1 set each), 10 reps (2 sets each), and 5 reps (3 sets each), with a rest day between each session. After the 5's you would do negatives for 6 training days. If those are not possible, you would continue 6 days of the 5's, trying to continue progressing the weight, or you could do 6 days of 3's. Then you would SD for about 9 days after completion of the cycle.

    Here's an example of a mini cycle for bench press. Say you can get 15 reps at a max weight of 150lb. This would be your target weight for the 6th training day. So, Day 1 would be 75% of 150 or 112.5lb (or 115 to round up) for 15 reps.
    Day 2 would be 80% of 150 or 120lb for 15 reps.
    Day 3 would be 85% of 150 or 127.5lb (or round up to 130) for 15 reps.
    Day 4 would be 90% of 150 or 135lb for 15 reps.
    Day 5 would be 95% of 150 or 142.5lb (145) for 15 reps.
    Day 6 would be your 150lb max. for 15 reps and completes the 15's minicycle for bench press. You would do the same thing for each lift on your list. Your next training session would be Day 1 of the 10's minicycle and follow the same pattern, i.e., Day 1 (75% of 10RM for each lift), Day 2 (80% of 10RM) and so on. After the completion of the 10's minicycle, you do the 5's minicycle, and then negatives or 3's minicycle. Then you can take 3 more training days and check your RM's for the 15's, 10's, & 5's again, or just add 5-10lb to each lift for your next cycle. If you do M-W-F training, you would SD Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, & Sun and then start your next HST cycle on Monday.

    As far as the order of lifts for the 10's & 5's, you can do a set, rest, next set, rest, do the next lift, rest, and so on. If you want to save some time (you should try to limit the session to 60 minutes), you can group the lifts by opposing muscle groups or motions (push & pull). For example, this cycle I pair incline bench (push) with rows (pull), so I do a set of bench, and then a set of rows without rest. Rest after the rows and repeat. Right now, my pairs are incline bench/rows, overhead press/pullups, dips/chins, shrugs/squats.

    Hope this clears everything up. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  3. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    Thank you so much Tom, that really clears a lot of stuff up. I can't wait to get started.
  4. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    Awesome, started my first day finding maxes for 15's yesterday!

    I have a few questions for Wednesday's workout.

    1) As far as finding maxes for 10's go, is that the max weight that I can lift doing 10 reps ONCE or doing the normal 2x10? I imagine they would be around the same regardless.

    2) I felt like nothing really worked my abs or chest as much as I used to work them out by doing situps, leg lifts, etc. Am I doing a certain exercise wrong, or should I add something in? I have seen that a lot of people have multiple workouts for each muscle group.

    3) For the Lying tricep extensions, is it better to use dumbbells, or barbells?

    4) I couldn't find a machine to do standing calf raises on. Is there a simple common substitute?

    5) Is it preferable to do seated shoulder presses with dumbells?

    Thank you SO much for any help.
  5. Luigi04

    Luigi04 New Member

    Hi Evan,

    1) As far as finding maxes for 10's go, is that the max weight that I can lift doing 10 reps ONCE or doing the normal 2x10? I imagine they would be around the same regardless.

    There shouldn't be any difference beetween the weight you can lift for one set and the weight you can lift for two sets. Two minutes should be enough to regain strength beetween sets, especially if you only use 70 percent or 80.

    2) I felt like nothing really worked my abs or chest as much as I used to work them out by doing situps, leg lifts, etc. Am I doing a certain exercise wrong, or should I add something in? I have seen that a lot of people have multiple workouts for each muscle group.

    Concentrate on the compund movements and add a couple of isolation exercises. For abs I recommend doing cable crunches (They are perfect for the hst program because you can easily adjust the weight).

    3) For the Lying tricep extensions, is it better to use dumbbells, or barbells?

    I don't do them, I prefer dips. Dumbbells allow you to work both sides evenly, with barbells you can lift heavier.

    4) I couldn't find a machine to do standing calf raises on. Is there a simple common substitute?

    Yes, use a box that allows you to do the full range of motion, grab a dumbbell and do the movement on the box.

    5) Is it preferable to do seated shoulder presses with dumbells?

    Same as with 3). I use the dumbbells on one cycle and a barbell on the next.

    Sry for my english
    Hope this helps

  6. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    Thanks for this man.
    Helped me a lot! Your english is great by the way.

    I have a few more questions now that I'm finishing my first 2 week cycle and I am about to start by 10x2 set :)

    I know mos tpeople start at 75% weight. How do yall control getting exactly 75 then 80 and so on? I feel like the weight increments on some machines don't allow for being precise. do you just sorta try to get as close as you can to the desired weight?
    I know on a couple things like the tricept extenstion I reached my max on day 5 rather than day 6 on the 15x1 set because of weight increment issues.

    Also, do you'all think it's a bad idea to do a seperate set of weightless inclines situps? I feel like my abs aren't being worked enough. And on that note, what's another great chest workout besides the flys?(they hurt my left shoulder...had surgery on it). Right now I'm just doing bench press.

    Thanks guys!
  7. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    Regarding the weight increments, don't be to concerned about exact percentages, as long as you are increasing the weight over the entire 8 week cycle that is all that matters. You can even afford to repeat the same weights on consecutive sessions if you need to or drop the weight when starting a new micro cycle (zig zagging). However, always get your total number of reps in even if you have to cluster e.g on last session of 10's you might have to do 1x10 1x8 1x2 to avoid going to failure, but you'll have your 20 rep total in.

    Regarding the chest workout, I would definately add weighted dips and possibly drop the tricep extensions, as you will also be bringing in a bit of extra shoulder and tricep work.

    I would also drop the ez bar curls and add weighted chins as you will still be hitting those biceps but bringing in a bit more back work.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  8. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    Sooooo I've been consistent on this HST program and I feel like I'm either doing something wrong or it's not for me. I'm on the last week of this cycle and I don't really feel or see any results. I feel like I only go home sore about twice every two weeks(like, the days I'm close to my max).I'm so used to maxing out or coming close to it. Do you recommend any other programs, where maxing out is an every day thing?I feel like HST is more for the already built body type. Is there some standard program that many people do before considering HST? I guess I'm getting myself down because I felt like my muscles were more built when I was maxing out every day.Thanks for any help, guys!
  9. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Have you gained any weight at all?
  10. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    Yes have. about 5 pounds so far
  11. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    No offense intended here, but 5 lbs is nothing. That could simply be water weight. You should have gained 5 lbs of water just during the 15s alone as the higher reps should cause your muscles to store more glycogen and hence you should get a very quick 5 lb increase in weight during those first two weeks. That increase in weight should be kept at minimum through the first week of 10s and you should have been adding on another 2 lbs a week through the rest of the cycle. You weren't eating enough.
    You're not going to see results regardless of what program you are using if all you've gained over the course of your entire cycle is 5 lbs. That's not good enough. At minimum, you need to be gaining approximately 2 lbs a week. That means that if you are on week 8 (last week of the cycle) then you should be close to being 16 lbs up from your beginning weight. If you only did a 6 week cycle then you should be up about 10-12 lbs.
    You can't gain significant strength or muscle without adding on significant weight. If you aren't gaining a (hopefully small) layer of fat during a cycle, then you are not eating enough to maximize your muscle gains. You also need to ensure you are getting enough protein, which is definitely a critical part of the diet. I'm not sure if you tried to "slow bulk" in order to minimize fat gain, but trying to minimize fat gain is the biggest reason most people get lack luster results.

    As for lack of soreness... soreness is not necessarily an indicator of growth. However, if you rarely ever feel sore, then that is usually a sign that you need to increase your volume. The HST rule of thumb with regards to volume, straight from Bryan is as follows:

    So, after reading over your posts, your lack of results comes down to two things - you need to eat a lot more and you need to increase your volume at least a little. You should post up your next proposed cycle or if you want, we can come up with a second cycle for you that should push you harder. As far diet... can you count calories yet? If not, you should learn how. I can help you easily figure out how many calories a day you need and what your macros should look like but it is up to you to fill in what foods and meals will satisfy those numbers.
    I'm sorry you had a bad cycle but we can definitely fix you up for your next cycle as long as you are willing to put in the hard work for it. We've all had bad cycles where we didn't gain much, the thing is that you have to learn from it. Don't drop HST over it and move on to a different program, that would be a fatal mistake. Instead, fix what was wrong and see if you can't make better gains next cycle.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's been a couple days and you haven't come back to the thread yet... I'm wondering, are you serious about making progress or not? I'm willing to help you design a better routine and figure out your diet, but you've got to show me you care enough to actually do it or else I don't see a reason to give away my services to help you out.

    So... are you serious? Show me you are serious, Evan.
  13. guitarevan07

    guitarevan07 New Member

    I am I am! Sorry guys been away for a while because I had a forearm complication. See, I study the classical guitar at FSU and the tendons in my forearm started giving me trouble so I needed to slow down on the workouts to not overstress them.
    But issues have been resolved and I'm ready to start again! Refind my maxes again I guess?
  14. naildirt

    naildirt New Member

    Evan, listen up dude. Complete one full cycle of HST and then discard it if you don't see any results. And I am pretty sure you will see some. Trust the research, trust Bryan. This program works!
    What I reckon from your previous posts is that you do not understand the basics of HST. Do some reading regarding this routine. Open this link
    And if you still have any questions feel free bro we are here. I won't gain anything by helping you but it is just an altruistic advice for my fellow iron junkie:D.

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