Dialing up HST for a cut

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by tdawg_33, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    Personally I'd try to get to the 15 reps total even if you have to do 4 4 4 3 or some times I was doing like 4 4 3 2 2 as long as I wasn't going to failure! That way your not decreasing volume in the final 2 or more important weeks of training. I'm going to try and keep up with my 5RM's as long as I can this time. Unfortunately I had to stop for a break last cycle because of a back injury. I've laid off the bent over rows this cycle and added one arm cable rows which have been more accommodating to my lower back.
  2. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    Well I've pretty much finished cutting now and am going to focus on training for some triathlons, bike rides, runs, etc.

    I completed 2 six week cycles and dropped from 182lbs 20%bf to around 164lbs 12%bf from what my scales say. Unfortunately I still have back problems though, but I'm trying to get that sorted with physio.

    I'm going to try and maintain for a while now still using HST whilst still running, cycling and swimming. I hope not to lose any muslce mass whilst doing this but it would be good to trim a little bit more body fat off over the summer.

    For maintenance I would assume to do the standard vanilla HST routine bearing in mind I will be on higher calories than normal to take account for all the cardio I'm doing, and trying to improve in. There will be a mixture of long low intensity and short high intensity interval stuff so I will have to assess calorie intake over the next few weeks to find a happy medium which keeps me fuelled for the intense training ahead.

    Would I need to SD before I start my next HST routine, although I can't afford to drop my sport training intensity, which is pretty much every day?
  3. T-man

    T-man New Member

    So, I'm in the 5th week of my cut, averaging 1.7 lb loss per week while maintaining, and in some cases increasing the weights. I've been doing 5's for several weeks and no burnout yet. Since I'm maintaining intensity, I've cut volume by 1/3, but I don't feel like I'm doing enough. Would it make sense for the final workout of the week to incorporate 2-3 drop sets after the final normal working set for each lift?
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You can try it if you want, but in general... if something is working, why fix it?

    I'd prefer to add in cardio instead if it were me and I felt like I could do more. You are more than likely doing plenty enough lifting to keep your muscle mass, doing more won't really increase fat loss whereas increasing cardio could.
  5. keldjoran

    keldjoran New Member

    Hi wwazza,

    Did you do an SD before you started a maintenance diet? And are you doing a vanilla HST program starting back at the 15s?
    I'm coming to the end of my cut, I originally set out to end my cut June 1 but wasn't happy with the results so I'm continuing it until the end of next week, then I go on vaca so I will be inadvertently taking an SD break before going to maintenance. At the end of my bulk I was 185lbs ~20%bf and today I came in at 157lbs and I would guess 10% as I can see almost an 8-pack, yay! I used the Livestrong website and their app called MyPlate to keep track of my food and you can enter things like height weight and goal (lose 1 lb a week)), but I think they underestimated the caloric needs because I lost weight very quickly. I worry about how much muscle loss occurred, although I am still able to do all my lifts.
    What Tot said was so right, the hardest part is to not get discouraged when you start losing all that mass, I felt like I was shriveling up like a raisin haha. What about you? Did you see "reinflation" after you went on a maintenance diet?
    Good luck with your triathlon training
  6. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    Well done on that cut mate. I can only dream of seeing abs! It's just never going to work for me as I've been overweight in the past even though I've always stayed relatively fit. I have maintained my weight over the last month but haven't followed my calories and macro split. I haven't been back in the gym since finishing cutting due to the focus on cardio work. What I have noticed both physically and on the bodyfat scales is that my bf% has increased from about 12% back up to 14% which is annoying bearing in mind all the exercise I'm doing, however like I said I'm not counting cals and one piece of cake has often led to 5.
    Endurance training really makes you crave sugar! I am competing this weekend and plan on going back on a cut on Monday. Hopefully this will trim some of the fat off I've gained round the mid section.

    Initially I did see a reinflation of muscle but that has dwindled now with the lack of strength training and creatine. I am looking forward to hitting the weights again next week, and I'll see where it goes from there.
  7. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    Well, hitting the weights HST style has certainly done the trick, and I've recently changed to IF Leangains and reduced the amount of cardio I do.

    The results have been fantastic, increased strength and muscle size but noticeable decrease in fat loss. I'm into my 3rd week of 5RM's and no sign of burn out, so I'm going to stick with them a little longer before going back to the 10's. I really think the reduction of cardio has helped maintain muscle mass in the last couple of weeks coupled with the carb cycling on the leangains plan.

    Any thoughts on this?
  8. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well fat loss well be more difficult the leaner you get, for sure. You could try cutting calories back further. Most lean gains plans don't have a huge weekly calorie deficit so for those looking to trim the most fat, you will likely need to cut calories further. How much cardio are you doing? What kind of cardio?
  9. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    I have cut calories a little further to make up for fact I've cut down on cardio, but only on the guidelines of -10% (2350cals) on workout days and -30% (1850cals) on non workout days. This still gives me the average of about -20% over the week which is what I was cutting at originally. If I do some cardio on non workout days, mainly cycling or running I add the extra calories in the way of carbs. (Originally I was doing way to much cardio on both workout days and none workout days on too low calories and resulted in muscle loss).

    I've dropped 4lbs in just over two weeks from 166 to 162 and definitely look leaner with decent muscle mass as opposed to looking deflated on a regular all day calorie deficit.

    I know I can't go on losing at this rate and don't want to really, so I'm just waiting for the stall then I can re-assess where to go from there. Basically I want some abs then I'm going to try recomp leangains style at +20%/-20% for a slow bulk.

    I'm hoping this fits in with a full HST bulking cycle!
  10. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds like everything is still going good then. A couple pounds a week is about average. Also keep in mind that carb cycling can mess with your water balance which can make your weight fluctuate a bit. That's why I typically go on a combination of bodyweight and caliper readings. I would just keep going the way you are. Have you tried any interval training? Also, have you ever read Lyle's Stubborn Fat Protocol?
  11. wwazza

    wwazza New Member

    Yes, going to plan quite well I think.

    I have a set of them scales that measure bodyfat but they are terribly innaccurate so I too am judging my progress on weight and skin fold around my abdomen. I have tried interval training and I do enjoy it so may throw that into the mix if i need to. I like boxing and cycling HIIT and was thinking about combining the two together for a great all over body workout that would completely deplete glycogen storage. This i would treat like a training day and go high carb low fat as opposed to low carb on a LISS cardio day. I haven't read Lyles stubborn fat guide yet but I intend to do some good quality reading in the near future on the subject of fat loss. However, i think i've still got fat fat to burn off as opposed to stubborn fat :)

    Cheers for the advice, good look on your cut, I see your going very low fat on both training days and none training days, I have tried that and it makes for a relatively easy diet plan but i couldn't see any advantages over just keeping fats relatively lowish.

    The whole training and diet plan really is a constant learning curve!
  12. T-man

    T-man New Member

    For Tot: You mentioned that while trying to drop fat you just repeat the 5's over and over and extend them when possible. What %5RM do you suggest starting at for the cycle and at what increments do you suggest for the progression through the cycle?
  13. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Start at 70% or so, increment slowly. Depending on your strength levels, you could just add 5 to 10 lbs each session after that instead of using a percentage of 5RM for incrementing. Just remain cognizant of fluctuations in your strength levels. On a cut, you will have some days when strength is reduced, and if that is the case then cut volume that session if you have to, or cut the load back a little that session if you have to.
  14. T-man

    T-man New Member

    OK, I get it. The object is to prolong the cycle as long as possible with smaller progression through it. The first couple workouts, since the load is easier, I usually do myos and target 15 reps. Then, after the loads get harder, I do 3 5-rep sets. So, after progression stalls, short SD and repeat or just repeat the cycle and use the first couple workouts as a deload? Thanks.
  15. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah basically you are using the first week or so as a sort of deload. The loads will still enough to keep your muscle but it will feel like a break after doing your 5 RMs. Don't forget that you can also flip your sets around. Instead of 3x5, you can do 5x3, or use max-stim if you need to manage fatigue near the end of the cycle.
  16. Ozzidazza

    Ozzidazza New Member

    Hi HST-ers, I have a dilemma that I hope someone can help with (Totentanz??) I’ve just finished my 10RM on my first cycle of HST, and my arms have shrunk half an inch!
    I fell over myself with excitement when I first read up on HST principles, and immediately left my split routines with umpteen isolations from every angle to do a well-deserved SD, which also helped recover from a shoulder tendon issue. I started on the 15RMs even though Totentanz suggested ignoring them for a cut, but wanted to do the full routine to help tendon recovery in my shoulder. I have just finished my 10RM but now I’m freaking out, and questioning the routine. I have been on a cut for the last 4 months, from a BF of 26% and am currently at 19% (weekly calliper measurements). I understand that some of the size loss could be fat, but doubt it as I seem to have hit a plateau at 19% for the last month.
    It’s Summer in Australia, so have been wearing a lot of short sleeve shirts and shock horror, I have noticed that my sleeves are not as tight lately! Even my wife has commented that my arms aren’t as bulky as they were. It’s noticeable in a mirror, and while sitting at my desk I generally rub my upper arms and can normally feel my triceps all lumpy. However that lumpiness is not there either... so in horror I grabbed a tape measure last night and have confirmed a half inch reduction in size!! So one month ago my BF was 19%, arms 41 cm (approx 16 inches). Today, I’m still at 19% BF but my arms are 40 cm; that is close to a half-inch loss. So in a month, BF has not changed, but my arms have shrunk?? This also seems to have happened rather quickly over the last 2 weeks, which does incidentally coincide with me incorporating an IF diet. It’s only been this week that I’ve been noticing my sleeves aren’t tight.
    I doubt if it is the diet, as my overall weekly calorie deficit on the diet is less that what it was before - IF has me on a calorie deficit of about 18.5% when averaged over the week, whereas prior to IF my deficit was averaged at about 21%.
    My HST routine is as follows: Chins, Rows; Bench (have only just included Dips, so ignore Dips for now); Squats, DL (not on same day); Press, Upright Rows, Shrugs; BB curl, Skullcrushers (2 x supersets); Calves (just BW+10kg, 100 reps). Cardio is minimal if at all, and when done is just steady-state for 45min – 1 hr. Currently aggravated a disc injury from DL last week, so have not done DL or Squat for this last week only. </SPAN>

    I can’t confirm strength gain/loss, because I can’t compare one cycle to another at this point. I have hit my calculated maxes, e.g. my final 2 workouts on the 10RM had me getting the full first set but myo-repping to get the reps out on the second set. I’ve only just started Dips this last week as I didn’t have this available in my home-gym prior to this last week, however to counter that I have kept in 2 sets of isolations for my bi/tris.
    So I am perplexed. I’m glad to be finally heading into the 5RMs, as I am traditionally a low-rep (5 min, 8 max) dude and I will continue the cycle to completion, but I want ideas on why I’m experiencing what seems to me to be a significant degree of muscle loss!
    I am thinking that maybe over the last month, during the early workouts in each xRM level, the weights haven’t been challenging enough until the last 2 workouts. So maybe I need to ‘make’ them more challenging by adjusting tempo? Have I been inadvertently cheating myself because I just bang out 2 sets of bench without raising much of a sweat for 4 of the 6 workouts in each mini-cycle? Traditionally I enjoy grinding reps out to failure on most sets, and beyond with drop sets, so I have found the HST approach to workouts a breeze in comparison.
    Strewth! Half an inch of muscle loss in a MONTH, possibly in as little as 2 weeks! I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the tape doesn’t lie!</SPAN>

    Hey guys, I’m open to suggestions! If I can’t understand what has happened, after this cycle I will revert back to a traditional 2-day split. I’m happy to post up my training log if it will help.</SPAN>

    Kind regards,</SPAN>
  17. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    What loads were you using? You may face to skip the 15s and go right in to the heavier stuff at the start if each HST Cycle. I bet if try this, it will help. Since you are going into the 5s, it should be more challenging now, if not, up the volume, do more sets.
    Good luck, keep us posted on your progress.
  18. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    How is your carb intake? Sounds like it could be glycogen depletion. If strength seems roughly the same, and its only four weeks, its unlikely youve lost that amount of muscle in your arms.
  19. Ozzidazza

    Ozzidazza New Member

    Hi guys, can’t believe the responses! I was expecting to wait at least a week for a reply, not 10 seconds!</SPAN>

    Sci, re loads: I worked out my 10RM loads prior to starting in my last workout week prior to DS, and calculated backwards for 15s, and forwards for 5s. So the 10RMs were pretty accurate. I hit every one of them on my last 10RM workout except arms (BB curls, scullcrushers) and Rows. I changed from BB Rows to DB rows this week to compensate my back injury from DL. Based on this, strength OK across the board, but down on arms. I won’t do the 15s again while on a cut, thanks for confirming.</SPAN>

    Totentanz, I think you can educate me. Prior to IF, I wasn’t concerned about carbs, just kept Protein high (2.5x LBM) and met overall calories. Since IF, I have been more aware of the macros. I find on Rest days, I struggle to keep Protein high and carbs low – so I generally undershoot the protein by about 15% but overshoot on carbs. On Training days, the reverse is true – I overshoot on protein but undershoot on carbs. But the carbs I have calculated for my macro on training days is high, man! I can only get close if I eat pizza! </SPAN>

    Brief stats: BW = 83.5 kg, 19.28% BF (67.4 kg LBM or 148.28 lb), Height: 183 cm (5' 11 3/4!!)</SPAN>

    Macros calculated as follows:</SPAN>
    Protein: 185 g, constant on all days</SPAN>
    Fats: Training day = 60, Rest day = 30 (A target I’ve never hit!)</SPAN>
    Carbs: Makes up the balance of my calories: Training day, 438 g ; Rest day, 56 g.</SPAN>

    However, my actual macros over the last two weeks of IF have averaged:</SPAN>
    Protein: Training = 204, Rest = 153</SPAN>
    Carbs: Training = 283, Rest = 172</SPAN>
    Fats: Training = 86, Rest = 74</SPAN>

    What do you suggest? Do I need to make a real effort to up my carbs on training days more?</SPAN>

    Many thanks for your attention!</SPAN>

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  20. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Try getting some gatorade powder, mix however many extra carbs you need with water and sip that during your workout. You can easily add 100 grams of carbs a day this way

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