adpowah's training logs


Active Member
Cycle 1 & 2

This was my introduction to HST which I started sometime Aug 2013. I had attempted to apply Tote's advice from his eBook. I had some good gains during this time as I was bulking pretty thoroughly. I added 12lbs during these two cycles and clothes stopped fitting (in a good way). I was pretty happy with my deadlift but my squat and pullups were garbage.


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Cycle 3 & 4
I was really happy with my deadlift growth but I wanted to lift heavy more often so I started doing that on 5/3/1 which worked pretty well. At this point I was eating at maintenance and my strength gains were minimal. I switched a lot between pull ups and pull downs because I just couldn't get the volume in pullups I wanted. Also at the end of the 5s I maxxed pretty hard on deadlift and had to take it easy for the rest of the cycle. I don't recall hurting myself but just not feeling great under much weight. Cycle 4 was deleted because of user error. It was pretty embarassing anyways I was learning to cut and made some pretty material mistakes and lost a good amount of strength.


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Cycle 5
I had done some reading about the total number of target reps and I thought it would be brilliant to setup a cycle where I just targeted total reps rather than sets. This worked fine at the onset but it got pretty boring since the weight was considerably lower. While it had some benefits the major downfall (for me) was it was easy to manipulate the fatigue. For instance in week 5 I was at 20 reps @ 185lbs on Bench. Well doing 1 x 20 is fairly challenging, doing 4 x 5 is not. Anyways I had some great growth on my bench numbers regardless and pressed 225 for 3 which was a good new max for me. Additionally my squat form had been pretty terrible, knees caving in, hips and chest rising at different speeds, etc. This format got me under the bar and required a high number of reps under a minimal load and it really helped me improve my form which I feel much better at these days than the earlier cycles even though the strength has remained about the same. Finally my main workout partner had to move to just lifting with me once a week so we made that kind of a go crazy day. He's always had better endurance than me so I thought I would show off a little on the deadlift and pulled 315 x 23. The next workout I felt like garbage and pulled like 1 or two and gave up.
I'd say the biggest take away though was working through how to diet and managing stress/binge eating. I was able to return to some of my previous strength numbers, hit a few PRs and drastically improve my form on squats. Additionally I became noticeably trimmer but my total weight remained about the same at 196lbs.


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Cycle 6: Prilepin's chart
I certainly learned a lot from HST and it moved my workout into a progressive nature rather than just being a gym goer. However I really enjoy lifting heavy too so I decided to do some mixing here and stray the farthest I have from vanilla HST while trying to keep the principles. The highlights here are after my SD I start at 15s to re-acclimate, but in the second week move it to 10s. I am also adding some self regulated trips to my little gym at my complex for extra volume during these two weeks. The equipment is rpetty limited so it's mainly to get the blood moving and whatnot.

Then I am moving to a simple linear progression of 3 x 6 on the 3 big lifts cycling through some assistance lifts. I am going to try and hold onto this as long as possible and then move into a modified 5/3/1 (not yet shown) to finish off the cycle it what will constitute the 5s. Right now I am one week before I start my linear progression phase.

Diet wise, I am on a slight cut about 1-calories below maintenance. I am cutting booze out completely for this cycle and eating a moderately gluten free diet, both of these I am doing to alleviate any chronic inflammation. This may be a dud but I figure decreasing the booze can't hurt.


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Don't go overboard with assistance lifts. You're not advanced enough (most of us aren't), and there's minimal value to trying to add something to make you better at squats that isn't "more squats", and bench that isn't "more pressing" (though OHP/BTN is viable here, for rotator cuff reasons).
Yeah I agree Jester, in the first two week I do them each session but the weight is light and I am recovering pretty quick. Once I get to the linear area I will only be doing 1 assistance exercise per workout and cycling through Lungs, OHP and Pull-ups. Thanks for the feedback.
I like your extremely organized programming, with the charts and such. You should be fine just following the principles and program around those, that what most of us do anyway.
I ended up cutting my linear portion of the cycle short due to some consistency issues. My goal was to hit my squats in 275 and I made it to 285 before I started missing my reps which I was pretty happy with. My bench hit a wall when my shoulder was getting sore from my narrow squat grip. I've adjusted my grip to help that but it really detoured my bench progress. Deadlifts went nice and I finished off doing 320 in my 3 x 6. I went up to 335 and pulled it for one set but it didn't feel right so I called it a day. I really liked adding this linear portion into the cycle. I felt that it really solidified my strength and expanded my work capacity. I would have liked to see strength become the limiting factor rather than consistency but life does it's own thing sometimes.

To finish off this cycle, I moved a homebrew 5/3/1 variant where I will end up maxing before the end of July to measure my first full year of (educated) training. The overall work per day is less than the linear portion but I hit bigger weights (which is always more fun) and add in some volume work on lower intensity days.


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This week marks roughly one year since I found HST and started lifting intelligently/progressively. I maxed out and hit 345 squat, 235 bench and 405 deadlift, so a big thanks to this community.

Well done, Adpowah! Really good consistent progress. Keep it up!

Best lift, IMHO, was your dead. Solid lift, good speed. Not grindy at all and no wobbles.
Bench could definitely be improved upon quite quickly with a few adjustments to your set up and lift off. You looked a tad wobbly to me. You should be like a stone bridge: rock solid.
Squat was harder to tell. Get the spotter to lift the bar (only if necessary) and not you. In my book, if the spotter touches the bar then "the rep don't count"; at least, not as a rep lifted without assistance. It is my experience that when a spotter says that he didn't do anything, he probably did. :)
If you squat in a rack with safety bars, there's no need for a spotter in any case. It is also not a bad idea to learn how to dump a bar outside of a rack. It's a useful skill to have.
Thanks for the feedback Lol!

I agree bench is my weakest lift. My squat has been getting in the way of the progress there. My mobility is garbage so I've been working on it but pulling my shoulders back for the squat makes shoulder super achey and numb. I am doing some prehab/rehab on it and it is getting better but it definitely took my bench off track. Also the video might not show it but my butt came off the bench. Finally, it's my least favorite lift... regardless I agree with your points and they are things I will be working on in the coming cycles.

Squat is a bit of an interesting progress, I had previously just done leg press for quad development and I got pretty good at it. About 6 months ago I realized I wanted to be able to squat and started getting serious. I moved to low-bar squats since it interacted the least number of my mobility issues and started pushing myself on this. I could leg press a good amount but my squats were garbage, you can see that I was just over 245lbs in cycle 5. So breaking into the 300s is really something I've only done a handful of times. So in retrospect I likely didn't need a spotter since I am in a power rack but frankly I was scared. Anyways this built my confidence and I hope to continue my progress.

Deadlift is pretty much my favorite lift but I was going into 405 a bit intimidated. I had attempted 405 twice previously and both times I was completely rejected, like the bar didn't even move. However in my training I had pulled lower weights but at rep ranges that estimated my max in the 430+ range. So I had that working for me but as I was working up my first attempt was 365 which I expected to pull pretty easily. I wasn't setup quite right and I was a bit over confident focusing on 405 rather than my current lift and it rolled out of my hands at the top. So I was like well let me look over the video then my wife was like, "What? I deleted it because you dropped it..." So I was feeling some anxiety going into 405 worrying that if I got rejected that might be the record of my one year progress. Anyways I took some time, made sure I hit my setup and pulled it with some serious determination. Hitting 405 was a huge monkey off my back.

So in conclusion, lots of work to do before I get to the end of year two, including dropping some body fat and maybe getting a tan...oh yeah and cleaning up a lot of my weak points.
I finished my running training and ran my 10k today, I finished with a time of 1hr 7 minutes, nothing great (some awesome terminator-like woman finished in 40 minutes) but but I am happy its done. I lost 16lbs and I was only able to lift a few times during the two months. The two times I lifted I worked up to a 1rm on my deadlift and I hit 355. I imagine the rest of my lifts probably lost about the same so I dropped about 20% off of my maxes. Anyways, I start lifting again tomorrow, I'm really looking forward to it.
15s were really hard, I gassed pretty easy and the weights felt too light (a bit of an ironic combination). On Friday I was kind of tired of doing 15s for deadlifts so I just worked up to a heavy single and called it good at 355 which felt a lot nicer on the body than doing 15 reps at 185lbs. Anyways, I had been kicking around the idea of just doing one week of 15s to start my new cycles and I think that is going to be a permanent new adjustment.

So today I did 2x10 and 10s felt pretty good (still on the light side). For the next week or two it stays pretty tame but then I will be ramping up the intensity. As I progress into weeks 3/4+ I will have to either commit to either strength (and eating accordingly) or move back to something more hypertrophy focused. Right now it's setup for strength.

Next cycle I think I will start with a week of 15s and then do a DUP model with progressive overload.


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Well I made it through the 2x10s. I sabotaged myself a little that day and was really tight by the time I got into the gym (not enough movement throughout the day) and my shoulders hurt pretty bad on squats so I skipped upper body. For squat and deadlift I had to take small (10-15secs) breaks at about rep 7, so I was probably over reaching on the second sets of my true 10rm.

Anyways I was able to keep my body weight pretty low at 189 this morning (only 3lbs up from my lowest weigh in before I started the cycle) so I think I am going to just lose another 10lbs and get myself to 180lbs. I was a little worried because when I started this cycle after the 10k training I was looking pretty un-muscular. In about 3 weeks eating at (relative) maintenance I was able to gain back a good portion of my musculature and a lot of my strength. So I am hoping this cut goes the same.

Since I will be cutting weight and starting the 3x5 phase today I am not sure how deep into the cycle I will get. From the midpoint onward, the cycle is designed for me to fail at some point. I have it working me up to a 2x2 of my previous 1rm. Additionally since I will be cutting I assume it will happen sooner rather than later. Once I fail I will just recalculate my 1rm and mess around with strength stuff until I conclude the 6 weeks and start my SD.
Wrapped up cycle 8, just wanted to post some final numbers. Started RFL and lost 4.6lbs the first week (ok for a first try).
HST cycle 8 - linear- Final.jpg
As noted above, this was a get back my strength cycle. I hit a rep PR at the end on Deadlift of 3x360 which puts my estimated 1RM back real close to 405lbs. I had to take a break from low bar back squats it's creating some numbness in my shoulders. So I am working on that, I did make it to 2x5x275 so I felt I was able to regain most of my strength here too. Bench was a mixed bag and I ended the cycle at a 3x3x185lbs, it wasn't easy or hard and with the shoulder weirdness I figured I wouldn't push it. I had intended to just do dumbell press the whole cycle but due to convenience for weeks 5/6 I did barbell bench. Overall I view this cycle as a success since I regained most of my strength but did it at 187lbs which is 15lbs down from when I maxed in July.

After week 6 I felt I had adequately proven to myself that my strength wasn't lost forever and started RFL. Below is my log:

  • 11/10: Weighed in at 186.9lbs
  • 11/10: Coworker shares some organic treat, definitely had some carbs (2 small bites)
  • 11/10: Visited out of town friends, had 4 pieces of homemade pizza
  • 11/11: Weighed in at 186.9lbs again, pizza probably undid the day
  • 11/11: First work out on RFL, definitely towards the weak side. Lifted beltless doing 2x5’s; front squat 185lbs, bench 165lbs, Deadlift 315lbs. Deads were real hard, had to do singles for the 2nd set. Felt pretty good about half way through the workout and did some arms too.
  • 11/11: Getting the 200g of protein is tough; eating steak for breakfast is cool though
  • 11/11: Forgot to take fishoil, took 9
  • 11/12: Weighed in at 184.9lbs (down 2lbs)
  • 11/12: Easy day, ate London broil. Worked out again, since it was back to back I dropped the deadlift weight to 285lbs
  • 11/13: Weighed in at 183.6lbs (down 1.3lbs)
  • 11/13: Ate a bit of sausage which was likely above the fat content I am looking for
  • 11/13: Felt really dehydrated throughout the day (mild heart pounding), starting focusing more on drinking as much water as possible
  • 11/14: Weighed in at 182.8lbs (down 0.8lbs)
  • 11/14: Did some research on the heart pounding, could be a lack of potassium/magnesium/calcium (shame on me for not taking my supplements)
  • 11/15: Weighed in at 182.8lbs again (down 0.0lbs)
  • 11/15: It was a bit odd to weigh in here at the same weight, the factors that I think could have influenced this; 1) previous improper supplementation being corrected resulting in further water retention, 2) greater green food volume and 3)
  • 11/15: Had a good workout, went a little lighter in deadlifts at 275lbs but otherwise it felt good
  • 11/16: Weighed in at 183lbs, uh? (up 0.2lbs)
  • 11/16: I was really surprised here, I followed my protocols pretty well Saturday so I expected to see the needle move Sunday morning, I just expected it to go the other direction. Sunday is a busy day for me so I put the diet aside but ate "reasonably"
    • Breakfast: Starbucks Bacon Artisan Sandwich 350cals (18f/30c/17p), Double Dry Cappuccino 90cals (3.5f/9c/6p)
    • Late Lunch: Chipotle Burrito, double chicken 965cals (35.5f/85c/81p
    • Had some nice beers before Dinner: Affligem Blonde 221cals, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout 224cals
    • Something came up and didn’t end up eating dinner
    • Total cals 1850 (57f/187c/104p)
  • 11/17: Weighed in at 182.3lbs, yay? (down 0.7lbs)
  • 11/17: I figure I will go back to the protocols until Thursday and then take a break. I’m not sure I will hit my goal of 176 my first try