Am I Doing Hst Wrong? New To It And Could Use Some Help!

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Godzillamax, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    After coming across an article on T-Nation about HST I was intrigued by the premise of the program, and a little Googling lead me to Brian Haycock's Official HST site.

    The preceding year I was doing a reverse pyramid push/pull routine. Each main muscle group got three exercises comprised of three sets each (4-5 reps set 1, 6-7 set 2, and 7-10 set 3). By the end of a workout (typically 60 mins) my muscles were thoroughly pumped and I would have that good soreness feeling for 2-4 days post workout. I was hitting the gym 12-14 days per month and did chest/tris day 1, lats/bis day 2, shoulders/traps/abs day 3, and legs on day 4. But I had plateaued, and was no longer getting any real gains in size/muscle growth towards the end of the year.

    After reading the HST eBook and associated articles, plus perusing this forum, I crafted a program based on the HST model and started. So far I'm 4 weeks in having just finished my two weeks of 15s and two weeks of 10s, After establishing my 5/10/15 rep maxes I set up my routine to increase weight for larger muscle groups (quads, pecs, etc.) by 10 lbs each workout, and smaller muscles (biceps, triceps, etc.) by 5 lbs each workout building up to my max reps on the final workout of each cycle.

    With the HST program since muscle groups only get 1, maybe 2 at most, sets per workout session I never get a good pump (heck, I don't even get a pump at all). And I'm never sore the day after a workout. Other than the last two days of each cycle, the preceding days the weight just isn't a challenge and feels like a light weight warm-up set.

    This has me wondering if I'm doing something wrong or if I will see any gains from this program. I'm making sure I'm doing really good form, and only resting 30-45 seconds between sets (at least for the 15s and 10s, will rest longer during the 5s).

    Here are the exercises and number of sets I'm doing:
    Day 1
    Squat x 2
    Bench press x 2
    Leg curl x 1
    Chin ups x 2
    Seated Military Press x 2
    Decline sit ups x 1
    Wide EZ bar curl x 1
    Calf Presses x 2
    Skull Crushers x 1

    Day 2
    Leg Press x 2
    Decline Press x 2
    Leg curl x 1
    Bent Over Rows x 2
    Shoulder Shrugs x 2
    Decline sit ups x 1
    Wide EZ bar curl x 1
    Calf Presses x 2
    Skull Crushers x 1

    Am I just not supposed to get a pump during a workout, or soreness a day after a workout, with HST? Am I doing this wrong? Any advice/feedback/tips are appreciated.
     
  2. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

  3. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    Thank you for the quick reply!

    I've read the book (before I started the HST program four weeks ago). I'm following the recommended workout frequency of 3 times per week (workout Monday (Day 1 routine), Wednesday (Day 2 routine), and Friday (Day 1 routine), and rest Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and Sunday). Over a two week cycle that gives me six workouts (Day 1 routine three times and my Day 2 routine three times).

    As far as volume, I designed my routine based on the samples in the book which call for low number of sets (only 1-2) per exercise in the gym. Here is one sample routine from the eBook (16 sets):
    • Squat 2 sets
    • Romanian Deadlift 1 set
    • Standing Calf Raises 2 sets
    • Flat Bench 2 sets
    • Weighted Dips 1 set
    • Bent over Rows 2 sets
    • Weighted Chins 1 set
    • Military Press 2 sets
    • BB Shrug 1 set
    • BB Curl 1 set
    • Tricep Extensions 1 set

    And here is the alternating sample from the eBook (which is what I based my Day 1 and Day 2 routine on):
    A Routine (14 sets)
    • Squat 2 sets
    • Romanian Deadlift 1 set
    • Standing Calf Raises 2 sets
    • Flat Bench 2 sets
    • Bent over Rows 2 sets
    • Military Press 2 sets
    • BB Curl 1 set
    • Close grip bench 2 set

    B Routine (14 sets)
    • Deadlift 2 sets
    • Leg curl 1 set
    • Seated Calf Raises 2 sets
    • Weighted Dips 2 sets
    • Weighted Chins 2 sets
    • Military Press 2 sets
    • DB Curls 1 set
    • Tricep Extensions 2 sets

    With my routine I'm doing 14 sets per workout. So is the eBook wrong on the volume? Should I be doing a lot more sets than the samples in the book? And should my frequency (3 days per week) be higher than what is recommended in the eBook?
     
  4. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry. I interpreted your post to mean yo only performed two workouts per week. Personally, I would make the following changes:

    • Squat 3 sets
    • Incline Bench 3 sets
    • Bent over Rows 3 sets
    • Military Press 3 sets
    • BB Curl 1 set
    • Tricep Extensions or Push Downs 3 sets


    • Deadlift 3 sets
    • Weighted Dips 3 sets
    • Weighted Chins 3 sets
    • Face Pulls 3 sets
    • DB Curls 1 set
    • Close Grip Bench press 3 sets

    Unless you are very advanced, working smaller muscles will expend calories but not provide much visual growth. I also tried to balance out the push/pull exercises a bit more.

    You should feel pumped after a workout but soreness is not a prerequisite to growth.
     
  5. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    Thanks! I like the idea of upping the volume. Unfortunately I can't do incline bench, weighted dips, or close grip bench press. I have arthritis and bone spurs in my shoulders and those three exercises just hurt too much. Also, when it comes to pull ups I'm not good at them. Meaning, I can do them with good form but the most I can do unassisted is 10 at my own body weight. No matter how much I work on it, I just can't seem to get more done. I can do 4-5, though, weighted chins with 25 lbs. Also, i was doing deadlifts before starting my HST program. I was going to incorporate it later on if I stuck with this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  6. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    I am having bone spurs removed from my shoulder March 15 because I cannot do those exercises either. Choose an exercise you can do. Use bands to increase pull ups if you have to. Neutral grip is the safest. It is too valuable a mass builder to miss out on if you don't have to. With bone spurs, choose pull over push most of the time. Face pulls should help rehab your shoulder too.
     
  7. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    What % loads are you using to progress on the alternating routines?
     
  8. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    Sorry, not understanding your question. Are you asking how much weight (as a percent of my rep max) I'm increasing each day leading up to my max rep for the 15s, 10s, and 5? For example, if my 5 rep max for squat is 225 lbs then I'm doing 185 x 5, 205 x 5, and finally 225 x 5. So increasing the weight by 20 lbs per day, and as a percent of my max reps I'm increasing the weight by 8.8% each day. For bicep curls if my 5 rep max is 95 lbs, I'm increasing the weight by 5 lbs each day, or 5% per day.

    If this wasn't what you were asking, can you please elaborate?
     
  9. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    That is what I was asking, just wanted to make sure loads weren't too light initially
     
  10. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    Best of luck on your procedure. When I was doing my 15s for chin ups I did them on the assisted pull-up/dip machine, but for my 10s since I can do 10 unassisted (at body weight) pull ups I've just been doing 10 unassisted pull ups at body weight each day, versus building up to it. So for my 10s should I just do three days of 10 unassisted body weight pull ups, or should the final day (max rep day) be 10 unassisted at body weight, and the days prior assisted?

    Also, I guess this brings me back to my original question - even though I've substituted some exercises in my alternating routine compared to the sample routine(s) in the eBook, I'm hitting the recommended 3 days per week in the gym and I'm hitting the target number of sets range (14-16 sets) per workout, but I get little to no pump with my 15s and 10s. The volume per muscle group just isn't there in a workout.

    For comparison with my push/pull reverse pyramid workout on a lat/bicep day it might look something like this:
    Lats
    Pull ups x 3 sets (set one 4-5 reps + 25 lbs, set two 6-7 reps + 10 lbs, set three 10 reps @ body weight)
    Bent over rows x 3 sets (set one 4-5 reps @ 165 lbs, set two 6-7 reps @ 145 lbs, set three 10 reps @ 125 lbs)
    Lat cable pull-downs x 3 sets (set one 4-5 reps @ 145 lbs, set two 6-7 reps @ 135 lbs, set three 10 reps @ 125 lbs)

    Biceps
    EZ bar curls x 3 sets (set one 4-5 reps @ 95 lbs, set two 6-7 reps @ 85 lbs, set three 10 reps @ 75 lbs)
    Incline bench alternating DB curls x 3 sets (set one 4-5 reps @ 40 lbs, set two 6-7 reps @ 35 lbs, set three 10 reps @ 30 lbs)
    Hammer DB curls x 3 sets (set one 4-5 reps @ 45 lbs, set two 6-7 reps @ 40 lbs, set three 10 reps @ 35 lbs)

    After this workout, which would take about an hour, my lats and biceps would be thoroughly pumped and I would need at least 3-4 days to recover before I could do lats/biceps again. I would typically do each muscle group 3-4 times per month, so over a given four week period my lats and biceps would each get 27-36 sets, and 540-792 reps, or an average of 6.75-9 sets and 135-198 reps per week. Conversely, with HST over a six week period I'm going to get 24 sets for lats (2 sets of pull ups per day in the gym on routine A, and 2 sets of bent over rows per day in the gym on routine B) and 12 sets for biceps (1 set of EZ BB curls per day in the gym). This produces a total of 180 reps for lats and 90 reps for biceps over a six week period, or an average of 6 sets and 30 reps per week for lats, and 3 sets and 15 reps per week for biceps.

    I started looking for a new program because with the reverse pyramid routine I was beginning to see little annoying injuries creep up and felt I was over training. HST on paper is ideal for me. I thoroughly enjoy doing a full body workout each time (versus a push/pull type workout), and I really like the concept of the building up to max weights so you give your body time to heal. I just don't know if I'm doing it right since I never get a pump due to the very low volume per muscle group per workout. Bear in mind, I've still to start on my 5s, so maybe that will be different than the 15s and 10s.
     
  11. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    They feel too light. Until the final two days of a two week cycle (e.g. day # 5 & 6), everything else just feels like a light warm-up set that takes little effort.
     
  12. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    You can always slow your tempo down to compensate. Also, since you seem to be using decent weights, I would like into "Myo Reps". I use them and it really intensifies the workout. Somewhat similar to your reverse pyramid workout but incorporated with HST.
     
  13. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    As Bob said look into Myo reps, it certainly increases intensity. I have just started doing a 25 rep activation set and it's brutal on front squats!!
     
    _Simon_ likes this.
  14. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    Thanks for the feedback, and I will keep the Myo Reps in mind. Since I've just started HST, and am only 4 weeks in (having just completed my 15s and 10s), I think I'm going to stick with it [at least] through my 5s and reassess. If after this if I feel like it's just not enough volume what do you think about just adding more sets to the HST program in my original post? So for example where I'm doing 2 sets up it to 3, and where I'm doing 1 set up it to 2? Concern though is stressing the CNS, which is what I felt like was happening with my old routine that never had a de-load or period of lighter weights to give my body time to heal.
     
  15. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Generally Myo Reps is not advised during the 5 rep block, they tend to work much better in the higher rep block.
     
  16. Godzillamax

    Godzillamax New Member

    Good to know. One more thing struck me while I was thinking more about this...and that is I just completed my fourth week of HST (my 10 reps), and for many/most of my exercises I could have done more reps or weight, which tells me I've already exceeded some of the 10 rep maxes I established before starting HST. For example, my 10 rep max squat was 185. I did 2 sets at 185 and could easily have done 5 more reps, or more weight. So either I've gained strength in the four weeks since starting the program, or when I established my rep maxes before starting it was just an off day and I wasn't feeling as strong. Will be interested to see how things go with the 5s.
     
  17. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like an off day, could well be the reason why it seems easy, why not spend another week retesting your 10 rep maxes then adjust the 5s accordingly
     
  18. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Active Member

    Maaaaaaad respect that's gotta be rough...
     
  19. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

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