HST For Dummies

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by EctoSquat, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    I posted this on another forum in response to all of the HST questions being popped (mainly 'What is HST?). This is all stuff that can be found on the main page, but I summed it up, and it helped a lot of people, so I hope it will do the same here.
    Ok, so a lot of people are talking and asking questions about <span style='color:blue'>HST (Hypertrophy Specific Training)</span>, so I'm going to try to wrap it up as short and as quick as possible, so everyone can get going with their routines. We'll do this in steps.

    First off, <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> is not just for size, but it's not a strength program from a muscle mag that will add 50lbs to your bench in 8 weeks (did add 10lbs to mine in 4 weeks though). You will gain both size and strength, but with the principles of the program, the size will outweigh the strength. A lot of this also depends on you, and how you respond.

    Second off, you need to have a good diet, <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> won't add inches to you if you follow a crappy diet, everyone knows this. You would obviously add more size if you were bulking, but some people want to take the fat off, and <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> is great for cutting also.

    Now, for the do-it-yourself routine creating. Follow these steps:

    1) Choose what rep range you want to do. For your first HST cycle I would suggest just the standard 15, 10, and 5 (you'll know what I'm talking about later).

    2) Choose 8-12 exercises for your full body that you would like to perform. I myself use only 8, which makes for a nice compact routine. Here is an example of my <span style='color:red'>exercises:</span>

    Bench Press
    Stiff Legged Deadlift
    Bent Over BB Rows
    Seated Shoulder Press
    EZ Bar Curls
    Lying Tricep Extensions
    Standing Calf Raise

    3) We'll just assume that you are using 15, 10, and 5 rep weight &quot;blocks&quot;. You would take a week to find each of your maxes for every exercise and every rep range. For example, on Monday you would find your 15 rep max for every exercise, Wednesday you would do the 10s, and Friday the 5s.
    4) After you figure out your maxes, take 9-14 days off from any training. This is called Strategic Deconditioning (SD). This is taken from the <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> website:
    &quot;At this point, it is necessary to either increase the load (Progressive load), or decrease the degree of conditioning to the load (Strategic Deconditioning). The muscle is sensitive not only to the absolute load, but also to the change in load (up or down). Therefore, you can get a hypertrophic effect from increasing the load from a previous load, even if the absolute load is not maximum, assuming conditioning (resistance to exercise induced micro-damage) is not to extensive. There is a limit to the number of increments you can add to increase the load. You simply reach your maximum voluntary strength eventually. This is why Strategic Deconditioning is required for continued growth once growth has stopped (all things remaining equal). &quot;
    Okay, so you've figured out all of your maxes and are ready to start working out this Monday. Now here's a sum-up of how the routine will go. Each rep range (block) (15, 10, and 5) will each be given 2 weeks of training. It doesn't have to be 2 weeks, but we'll assume this is your first <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> &quot;experience&quot; and you are just going to do the standard. Training will be 3 times a week, once a day (we'll use M/W/F for this cycle). Again, some people train 6 days a week or some people do an AM and PM split. Each rep range will get 6 workouts over 2 weeks. Now here's where the weird part comes in (well, against what you probably normally do), you will only train to failure once every 2 weeks (until weeks 7+8, which I'll get to later). Workout #6 will be your routine with all of your maxes.
    So what do you do with workouts 1-5? You take your max, and gradually decrease it over the 6 workouts. The amount you increase each workout could be varied, generally 5-20lbs, with bigger bodyparts and compound movements having the bigger increment. I'm not a real strong guy, so for the Squat, Bench Press, and SLDL I increase the weight 10lbs, and for everything else I increase it by 5lbs. This can also be done percent wise (5-10% increments) So, for example, we'll say your 15 rep max for bench press is 100lbs, and you are using increments of 10lbs. This would be what your weights would look like for bench press:

    Workout 1 (Week 1, Monday)-50lbs
    Workout 2 (Week 1, Wednesday)-60lbs
    Workout 3 (Week 1, Friday)-70lbs
    Workout 4 (Week 2, Monday)-80lbs
    Workout 5 (Week 2, Wednesday)-90lbs
    Workout 6 (Week 2, Friday)- 100lbs
    *Set up your <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> routine here:HST Calculator*
    Ok, so now (hopefully) you know what to do for 6 weeks. Now your at your last workout of the 5s (your maxes for everything). Now it's time for weeks 7 + 8. There are a few ways you can do these weeks. One way is to do negatives with your 2RM for 2 weeks (need a training partner). Another way is to use drop sets. And another way (the way I am using, and probably the simplest), is to repeat workout #6 of the 5s for 2 weeks (M/W/F). Now your cycle will have looked like this

    Weeks 1-2: 15s
    Weeks 3-4: 10s
    Weeks 5-6: 5s
    Weeks 7-8: continuation of 5RM
    Sets: The amount of sets you use for each workout, like everything else, can be vaired. You can fix you sets, so say you do 2 sets of squats and 1 set of curls, you would do that many sets the whole routine. Another way to do this is to progress the sets. The going trend to do this is 1x15, 2x10, and 3x5. So for the 15s, every exercise would be done with one set, for the 10s everything would be done for 2 sets, and so on. This does NOT include warming up, which should also be a BIG part of your workouts.
    *See the warming up FAQ:FAQ
    Now you have completed your <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> cycle right? <span style='color:red'>Wrong.</span> Time for some more SD for 9-14 days. After that you can either:

    1) Do whatever kind of training you want or

    2) Start another <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> cycle because it has worked so well for you. You would generally increase all of your weights 5-10%, depending on the excercise, or you can just re-test your maxes.
    You can change the rep ranges, exercises, workouts, and scheduling however you want. Use your first cycle to figure out what you can do better for the next cycle.
    *Another note: Some people think that they must do all they can to prevent zig-zagging (repeating the same weights in different rep ranges). I zig-zagged plenty in my first cycle and had great results, so you don't have to worry about it*
    Well thats <span style='color:blue'>HST</span>, as short as I can sum it up. I hope this helps a lot of people, and convinces them to start the best training method I have ever used. Feel free to add things or change things, or ask questions.
  2. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    nicely done, I'd suggest making this sticky.
  3. Robert N Currie

    Robert N Currie New Member

    Sir, I complement you on a very precise and accurate discription of HST. Regards Rob.
  4. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Thanks guys.
  5. Matador1

    Matador1 New Member

    Great information. Couple of questions.
    One, Bryan mentions emphasizing work for the rear delts, I didn't notice any in your workout. Is it beacause you personally don't need them or are you hitting them in some of the other exercise.
    Next Bryan suggest squats not every workout, mixing in leg extensions. What do you think.

    I'm not questioning your methods, I actually like how simple it is.
  6. budec

    budec New Member

    good job!

  7. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Well that was how I designed the program, simple. I was coming off reading Beyond Brawn and following an abbreviated program, so the only thing I had on my mind was overtraining.

    I'm not really concentrating on isolating any muscles right now, I wanted to add just overall mass, and military press and bent rows took care off the delt/upper back area. Plus I think I remember in Beyond Brawn, McRobert recommends not doing lateral raises because it's easy to injure yourself on them.

    Where does he suggest not squatting every workout? If he did, he would probably recommend it if the person couldn't handle squatting that much. But the weights are light most of the time, so it wasn't a problem for me.

    I'm glad I stuck with the program I designed, in my first cycle I added almost 4&quot; to my chest, 3/4&quot; to my arms, and 2.5&quot; to my shoulders, plus great gains everywhere else.
  8. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Nice summary AND nice gains.

  9. Matador1

    Matador1 New Member

    Thanks for the answer. Man 4 inches to your chest. I'd love to add that in one cycle, chest is hard to train for me. I've discovered that I've made several rookie mistakes this first cycle. Can't wait to finish it so I can regroup and do another.
  10. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    Chest was always my worst bodypart I thought, I had no chest at all (kind of sounds weird [​IMG]), but HST changed that.
  11. centris

    centris New Member

    bump - this really should be a sticky in this forum -
  12. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    how can you add 4 inches to your chest but only 2.5 to your shoulders?
  13. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    How can I not?

    My chest got bigger, like stuck out more, it's hard to explain.
  14. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    you don't understand... the shoulder measurement goes around your chest, so if the chest went up 4 inches, how could the shoulders go up only 2.5?
  15. EctoSquat

    EctoSquat New Member

    I measured them in different spots. I measured chest at the nipple, and I measured shoulders about 2 inches above that. And they were both flexed measurements.
  16. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    got ya
  17. here's something to think about. you were saying do 1 set 15's, 2 sets 10s, 3 sets 5s. Now the relationship btwn intensity and volume is pretty simple, the more you have of one, the less you can have of the other, assuming frequency is fixed.

    Note: I'm defining intensity as a % of 1RM and volume as the total number of reps done in a workout.

    Everyone has a threshold for how much volume/intensity they can handle. If you go above it, its overtraining.

    Now look at your cycle. You are starting in the 15s w/ a total of 15 reps per exercise, jumping to 20 in the 10s, and dropping back to 15 for the 5s/ Intensity is steadily increasing (zigzag aside.)

    If you can handle 15 reps at a high intensity level (especially weeks 7+8) then you should be able to do much more in the 15s. either 2-3 sets. The only reason i'm pointing this out is that while HST isn't a &quot;volume&quot; routine, you should do as much as you can handle for max growth. most of us can probly handle more than we do.
  18. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    very good point
  19. kirik

    kirik New Member

    Just look at another review of HST written by Charles T. Ridgely - the part about volume of training in HST. Hopefully, it will help.
  20. Eh, I both like and dislike Ridgely's write up on HST volume. As was stated before, as intensity increases, volume should have to drop. If it doesn't have to, then you should have been doing *more* earlier in the cycle. However, his idea about doing say an extra set of 5s in the 10s to increase volume seems to have some merit.

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