Dialing up HST for a cut

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

  1. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Depends on what you mean by 3 day split. If you are hitting the whole body at least 2 x a week then that would be fine. Obviously HST as outlined in this thread would probably be better, and lifting more frequently will increase the amount of calories burned. With this layout, you'll be keeping protein synthesis raised for a longer period in all muscle groups than you would on a typical split. That means that more of the weight you lose will be fat, rather than losing more lean mass.

    For your routine, if your goal is to cut and maintain muscle, you need to simplify it a bit to focus on multi joint exercises that will provide as much overlap as possible. So drop the curls and pushdowns, arms get plenty of stimulus from back and chest exercises when on a cut. Add in some kind of rowing movement or rack pulls to get better back coverage. You need something for ham strings as well. You don't need to do calves on a cut either, they aren't going to grow anyway and they get enough stimulus from quad exercises, cardio and daily walking to maintain.

    Flat Bench
    Rack pull or some kind of row (bentover or cable)
    Lat Pulldown
    Military Press
    Leg Press or Squat

    That should be plenty to maintain. Don't worry, arms and calves won't shrink aside from what's normal from less glycogen storage, etc. If you do this routine three or four times a week, then do cardio only 2-3 times a week. You'll need to manage leg volume for lifts around cardio. If cardio is compromising your leg exercises, then you would want to cut back cardio first. Cardio won't maintain quad/ham mass as well as doing leg press and sldl will.
  2. Sguzbk7624

    Sguzbk7624 New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply, great info.

    I will go with HST routine starting with the 2x10 then 3x5. 2-3 times a week cardio sounds good I will mix up jogging/cycling and perhaps light cardio after a workout as well. Chest/Back/Back/Shoulders/Legs is the order you listed, should I follow it just like that or mix it up and maybe start with Legs? also was wondering if its alright to substitute seated shoulder press for military press.
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Seated shoulder press is fine, and you can do the order however works best for you. I find doing legs last works best for me on a cut because I'm worn out after that, but there is no best order and the order won't matter when it comes to maintaining muscle mass.
  4. Sguzbk7624

    Sguzbk7624 New Member

    Sounds good man thanks for the info. Last question how about abs? just hit them on off days or incorporate them into the HST routine towards the end? not going for the 6 pack look unless I lose a gang of weight but just want to have strong abs.
  5. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You don't need to do abs while cutting. They aren't going to grow or anything on a calorie deficit, and it doesn't help get rid of the fat over them, so it's a waste of time unless you are just looking to strengthen your core. If so, then do weighted situps or crunches, you can do them on a decline if you want, and do them as part of HST along with everything else. This means find RMs and progress the load over the cycle.
    Old and Grey likes this.
  6. Sguzbk7624

    Sguzbk7624 New Member

    yeah just want to strengthen the core a bit so def will apply this info, thanks again.
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Strengthening up the core is fine, but I would probably recommend doing rack pulls instead of rows if you want a strong core. Also, don't do weighted ab work when you start bulking eventually unless you want bigger abs. Bigger abs is not always better.
  8. Sguzbk7624

    Sguzbk7624 New Member

    Understood. As far as the routine is concerned whether the rack pulls or row's I should def do lat pull down as well correct? Reason I'm asking is usually with these HST routine's theres usually only 1 back exercise but from what I understand rows and lat pull down work different muscles in the back so it should be fine plus hitting the biceps on both as well.
  9. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, always include something more specifically for lats when you are laying out your routine, that is correct. There is significant overlap between a rowing motion and a pulldown, check exrx some time if you need more details on it. But since the back is such a large complex group of muscles in comparison to a minor muscle group like the pecs (which most people give a ton of exercises to for some reason) it needs special attention.
  10. Sguzbk7624

    Sguzbk7624 New Member

    Agreed on the pecs perspective, I feel like flat bench hits the chest the best way and always felt and saw results.
  11. mara

    mara New Member

    I'm a newly 37 y/o woman trying to lose body fat permanently...is cutting for temporary loss or can I adjust my rep scheme to the above protocol?
    I've been carb cycling for a while now, should I eliminate my 15's as well? That said, according to your ebook, most people don't have difficulty with their 15's because of low weights, some of my 15's get pretty heavy...for me anyway!

  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    There is no such thing as permanent fat loss unless you have certain diseases such as HIV, which when treated with specific drugs can cause permanent fat loss. You can lose body fat but if you do not maintain your leaner state through appropriate diet management and adequate exercise, you will gain the fat back. The goal is to diet until you are as lean as you would like, then slowly shift to a more moderate diet with the right amount of calories to allow you to maintain your weight.

    For your purposes, doing the 15s while cutting is probably fine. But what lifts and how many sets of each are you doing?
  13. mara

    mara New Member

    Thank you for your response and thank you for the clarification on fat loss! lol

    Days 1,3,5 Days 2,4,6

    Sumo 2x15 leg press 2x15
    rdl 2x15 dl 2x15
    calves single leg bw calves single leg
    lunges 2x15 leg curl 2x15
    bench 2x15 decline 2x15
    lat pull 2x15 seated row 2x15
    delts 2x15 press 2x15
    shrugs 2x15 scarecrows 2x15
    hammer curls 2x15 bi's 2x15
    skull crusher 2x 15 tri's 2x15
    ring row 2x15 ring row 2x15
    abs 2x15 abs 2x15
  14. mara

    mara New Member

    That list did not come out correctly, let me know if it is too difficult to read, I will resend it.
  15. mara

    mara New Member

    This is a little better

    Days 1,3,5
    Sumo 2x15
    rdl 2x15
    calves single leg bw
    lunges 2x15
    bench 2x15
    lat pull 2x15
    delts 2x15
    shrugs 2x15
    hammer curls 2x15
    skull crusher 2x 15
    ring row 2x15
    abs 2x15

    Days 2,4,6
    leg press 2x15
    dl 2x15
    calves single leg
    leg curl 2x15
    decline 2x15
    seated row 2x15
    press 2x15
    scarecrows 2x15
    bi's 2x15
    tri's 2x15
    ring row 2x15
    abs 2x15
  16. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    That's a lot of exercises per workout
  17. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You would benefit more from a simplified routine. You don't need all that fluff if your goal is simply to lean out. I don't know what your knowledge level is on all of this so I'll start rather simple just to be safe.

    When your goal is to lose bodyfat, you must lose body weight. If you adjust your diet to where you are eating less than your body needs to maintain weight, you will begin losing weight. This loss will be both from stored bodyfat and from lean mass. Applying adequate tension to your muscles reduces the amount of lean mass you lose, which essentially means that more of the weight you are losing will be fat. The main goal of lifting during a diet is not to burn calories but to stimulate your muscles. The easiest way to do this is with a full body routine that uses compound exercises without adding in fluff that will unnecessarily sap your energy levels when you are already eating less than your body needs.
    The pattern in which your body will lose fat cannot be altered by lifting. By this, I mean that you cannot "firm up" certain areas of your body by working the muscles in that area. That idea is known as "spot reduction" and it does not work. Typically, you'll find people believing that working their abs while on a diet will give them a six-pack but in reality, it won't. Everyone loses fat differently. Some people lose it from their stomach last, some from their legs and butt last, etc etc. You will lose fat in whatever pattern your genetics and hormones determine you will. Therefore, working arms, abs and any other minor muscle groups is a waste of effort and energy. You would be better off cutting out those lifts and instead doing cardio on your off days or after lifting in order to burn more calories. That extra cardio will do more to get the fat off your arms and stomach than doing curls or crunches.

    You also will not be growing muscle while on a diet. Therefore doing calves is pretty much a waste of time as well. More is not necessarily better. Keep it simple and focus on consistency. Since I would require you to do cardio if I were working with you, you also want to keep volume for legs relatively low. I would recommend you do something more like this:

    Day 1,3,5

    Cardio: 10 minutes of a fairly rapid walk on a treadmill to warm up (don't run or jog)
    Leg Press 2x15 (drop the sumo deads because you are doing rows and pulldowns, the goal here is not to hammer the crap out of your lower back)
    Leg Curl or RDL 1x15 (I would prefer leg curl during a diet)
    Bench Press 2x15
    Seated or Bentover Rows 2x15
    Pulldown 1x15
    Overhead Press 2x15
    Optional: 15-20 minutes steady state cardio low intensity (think just a brisk jog) - you don't actually need to do this but many people feel like they haven't worked hard enough after the workout I just listed, even though how you feel is irrelevant, the body doesn't care how you feel and your muscles don't magically avoid experiencing tension just because you feel like you didn't work hard enough.
    Stick with the same amount of sets for each exercise as you move into the 10s and 5s.

    Day 2,4,6

    Cardio: 45-60 minutes steady state on treadmill, eliptical or whatever, with your effort being equal to jogging but not running. Don't lean on the machine to cheat or anything, just moderate intensity for as close to an hour as you can manage. Or you can do 20 minutes or so of intervals, whichever you prefer, doesn't really matter that much. People like to debate whether steady state or high intensity intervals are superior but what trumps that issue is just doing the cardio in the first place and doing it consistently. So do whichever one you like most, stick to it or switch between them if you want too. Just do the cardio.

    All week long:

    Stick to your diet
    Get more sleep than you would if you weren't dieting
    Take fish oil, a decent multi vitamin, a good calcium/vitamin d3 supplement if you've cut out milk from your diet
    Make sure you are adequately hydrated - water, calorie free drinks, doesn't really matter as long as you can stick to your diet. Yes, studies show that normal people who drink diet drinks tend to over-consume calories but if you are controlling your calories and drinking a diet soda helps sate your need for something that tastes sweet, then that's fine

    Closing bit:
    You might be thinking that this seems like not enough exercise to be doing while on a diet. Believe it or not, I have had women who I've advised through weight loss who have lost significant bodyfat doing less work than that. As long as your diet is on point, you don't need to work yourself to death in the gym to get lean. You just need to do the right kind of work. I would be interested to see the specifics of your diet, total calories you are consuming, current bodyweight and what your macros are. If you aren't consuming at least 120 grams of protein a day right now, you will want to do that. More protein consumption decreases the amount of lean mass you lose on a diet independent of weight lifting. Protein also helps keep you feeling more sated so you aren't as hungry and if you aren't hungry most of the time on a diet, then you aren't cutting calories hard enough, so you need that extra protein to help curb hunger so you can avoid accidental binges.
    Luke matthews likes this.
  18. mara

    mara New Member

    I can't thank you enough for the time that you have put into your reply; I will implement the change changes!

    As far as my diet goes, I've been following a combination of Carb Nite Solution, by John Kiefer and Cyclical Ketogenic diet, by Lyle McDonald since approximately September 2014. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I have had great success with the diet as I may have been consuming too much fat. I know that on a keto/ultra low carb diet, fat is your friend, I think I did not reduce my intake enough, although I was in ketosis many days of the week. (I have a blood ketone monitor to measure, if you were curious!)

    That said, I have recently adjusted and my macros are 70 protein, 25 carbs, 126 fat, those are grams not percentage, totaling approximately 1500. As you already mentioned to increase protein, which I am willing to do. I will also adjust my fat as well to make up for the increased protein.

    Just a clarification to my previous post: When I indicated days 1,3,5 and days 2,4,6, that was over a two cycle.
    So, it looked like
    Monday cardio
    Tuesday day 1
    Wednesday cardio
    Thursday day 2
    Friday cardio
    Saturday day 3
    Sunday rest
    Monday cardio
    Tuesday day 4
    Wednesday cardio
    Thursday day 5
    Friday cardio
    Saturday day 6
    Sunday reat

    Monday New Two week cycle begins

    Of course life gets in the way sometimes and I'll miss a cardio day...
    I also see that you eliminated many other lifts, is alternating lifts like i did not recommended?

    Once again, I thank you very much for your time.


    PS- Not sure if I'm allowed to say 'sincerely' on a lifting thread! lol
  19. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    There is no need to alternate lifts when dieting. You will get everything covered if you only do the lifts I described.

    While being in ketosis will aid somewhat in losing fat predominantly over lean mass, when you are consuming such a large percentage of calories from fat, those are getting used first before your body goes after the stored fat. I would increase protein to 100 grams a day minimum, ideally 125 grams. I would cut fat back to around 75 grams a day and keep the carbs the same. This will be a drop in calories to about 1300 but since you've reported that you aren't getting the weight loss you want on 1500 calories a day, I think dropping down is the way to go. Start with that and see how it works for you, and just do that each day, no need to cycle carbs while dieting unless you absolutely have to in order to maintain performance for your job or something like that.

    If that diet doesn't work, what I would do - and honestly, this is what I would recommend you do now either way - is to cut calories a lot harder and just power through the diet. Increase protein to 150 grams a day, drop carbs to 10-15 grams a day only consuming the carbs that come from your protein sources (i.e the few grams in fat free cheese, etc) and cut fat down to 10-20 grams a day just like with the carbs. This would put you under 1000 calories a day and you would likely feel miserable, but you'll drop the fat a lot faster which translates to getting the diet finished quicker.
  20. Sguzbk7624

    Sguzbk7624 New Member

    Hey totentanz I'm towards the end of this HST cycle and a bit confused about the negatives at the end. My thinking is that during negatives I take the max for each workout do 1 set to failure for each body part or am I completely off here?


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