Help Before I Begin Hst

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by benben2356, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. benben2356

    benben2356 Member

    Hi everyone ...

    I tried HST a few years ago and didn't really get the best out of it because my diet was lacking, form was shite, and I couldn't grasp the concept of simplifying.

    Now I'm older and somewhat wiser I would like to return to HST and give it a proper go without screwing it up.

    In the last few years I've had great results with wendler 531 and have only been focusing on big compound lifts with pretty much zero isolation.

    My lifts are still not impressive by any means .... But focusing on strength programs over the last few years has really taught me the importance of using perfect form and focus which has improved my training hugely.

    I'm looking to start HST on Monday and would really appreciate some help setting up my routine to make sure I'm off on the right track.

    I have read the ebook again to refresh my memory and have printed it off so I can revise it whenever I need to.

    I want to make sure I am not doing too much in each workout and I'm looking to simplify as much as possible so without cluttering each workout I think it's probably best to use an ABA - BAB type split.

    Here are the exercises I would like to focus on -

    Conventional deadlift
    Incline bench
    Flat bench
    Flat & incline db press
    Weighted chin ups
    T bar rows
    Lat pulldown
    Standing Military press
    Seated DB military press

    These have all become my favourite staple exercises and would love to include them all ... However I realise that it's a big list and to avoid clutter I may have to drop a few :(

    Could anyone suggest a good way of programming these all into a HST routine ? Or am I better off just picking 6 and keeping it ultra simple to minimise fatigue ?

    also is there any benefit from slightly underestimating my maxes for each rep range ?

    I know this sounds odd but It's something that 531 implements and it basically ensures that you don't stall out too early and can hit everything with perfect form on the first few cycles.

    I just wondered if a similar approach would work well with HST ... Purposely starting slightly too light and then increasing the weights each cycle by small increments

    For cycle 2 I will be using the proper testing method at the end of this cycle to establish the maxes ....

    But as this is my first cycle and I'm looking to start Monday I'm going to have to estimate them off my recent workout journals, so I thought it better to underestimate than overestimate

    Anyways I think that's about it ... Sorry for the long post.

    current stats are ..

    Height : 6'2
    Weight : 84kg
    Bodyfat : very lean but dont have an exact percentage.
  2. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hey Benben, on your point about percentage load reduction: if you know your RMs for 15s, 10s and 5s then you will be lifting submaximally for two weeks before you arrive back at your preexisting maxes. There is not really any point in further reducing the loads.
    Doing sets across with a RM load at the end of each mesocycle may seem like a big ask, and there's no denying that the RM sessions are tough, but you don't have to kill yourself trying to get a second or third set with what was previously your RM load. It's always ok to stop once you are close to failure. HST is not about avoiding failure at all costs but it's certainly not about training to failure either. Getting close to failure every couple of weeks should be infrequently enough to keep your CNS happy, which it will need to be if you intend to extend the 5s.
    You may be surprised to find that you are able to manage sets across with what were your previous RMs by the time you arrive at the end of each mesocycle. Then, at the end of the cycle, you can push on to find new 5RMs while extending the 5s.
    All the best!
  3. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Most importantly, you need quality calories and lots of them. Tweaking programs is useless without eating right.
  4. benben2356

    benben2356 Member

    Thanks "LOL"

    Your absolutely on right about the failure thing.

    This used to be my main drawback a few years ago as I used to take literally every set to absolute failure which inevitably lead ugly form and grinded reps.

    I still believe it's important to have that neural drive and I like to test myself now and again by pushing the limits and grinding out the reps.

    In fact just yesterday I grinded out 10 reps with 190 kg on the deadlift for a touch and go set which is a new PR for me ....

    But for the large part this type of grinding / failure training has always done me more harm than good and leads me to regressing if done too often.

    Nowadays the weights I used to lift with ugly sloppy form I can now control with strict form which I credit largely to wendler 531

    I'm looking forward to starting HST on Monday....

    I think I've pretty much got my rep maxes all covered now thanks to my training journals.

    I just need to figure out the best way of putting all my exercises into a suitable 3 day split :)
  5. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member


    Based on your ABA - BAB split I have assumed that your increments will be 80, 90 then 100% (possible 100%+), based on your selection of exercises I would do the following

    A - Squat / Flat Bench Press or Flat DB Press / T Bar rows / Military Press
    B - Deadlift / Incline Bench Press or Incline DB Press / Weighted Chins / Seated DB Press

    How many sets are you proposing for each rep range?

    I personally would not do two chest exercises unless you are going to reduce the volume on both as in real terms the chest is a small muscle say compared to back and legs, so if anything I would add exercises to one or both of those areas - I have noticed no calf work, any reason?
  6. benben2356

    benben2356 Member

    That's a really nice split Mickc1965

    And yes I'll be running 80% , 90% and 100 % increments in the workouts. I was originally going to just increment in 5kg jumps but the percentages are probably a better idea.

    Sets wise I was planning on 2 during the 15s , 2 or 3 during the tens and 3 or 4 during 5s

    Ideally I want to be hitting about 30 reps per body part .... So on the 5s weeks I may add a pump set at the end depending on my energy levels ...

    Sometimes nowadays after hitting a big PR I just bank it and leave it at that lol

    As for calfs and biceps etc ... I was planning to add those at the end of my workouts on days where I feel like it ..

    I'm not a huge fan of ISO work but at least once or twice a week I like to do a few sets of curls, calf raises and dips at the end of my workouts when I have extra energy to spare. But my main focus goes will be on the compounds.

    My calfs could probably use the work though if honest .... Sadly my lower legs are very long so calfs has always been a problem area. So I may program them in.

    I like your set up though .... My only worry is that on the BAB week I'm only squatting once so I may need to add another leg movement on the deadlift day ....

    I actually like squatting after deadlifting as I find the heavy deads seem to prime my nervous system nicely ... so could add them in after deads and work them up in 6 increments.

    But most people lose their s### when you mention squatting and deadlifting on the same day lol
  7. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    You could always just add front or hack squats after deads

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Personally I would just run all exercises 3x per week, full body.

    2 sets a piece.
  9. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    This is something that I do so that when I get to my 100% I am actually at my 90% so that I can do multiple sets. If you don't do this you simply need to adjust as @Lol mentions and just do a single set (or cluster if you are dead set on the volume, but that sounds like torture). For myself I am prioritizing volume but I am sure the overall effect is minuscule.

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