Intermediate Looking For Advice On Routine

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by TheWonderBoy, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. TheWonderBoy

    TheWonderBoy New Member

    Some quick stats:

    Goal: build muscle.

    Height: 5'9''
    Weight: 168 lbs
    BF: ~10-11% (skin caliper estimation)

    Bench 1RM: 205
    Squat 1RM: 265
    Deadlift 1RM: 300 (straps)

    Currently cutting at ~2000 cal, 160g grams protein, 160g carbs, 80g fats. I count calories and walk 2 miles five days per week. I'll be returning to a higher calorie base soon.


    I've been lifting seriously for about 3 years. Throughout this time, I've made decent progress using strength programs mostly (Starting Strength, 5/3/1, etc.). After some time, I found that I wasn't able to recover fast enough to lift max weights each workout, and I began to get aching and sore joints/tendons. Mainly, I've suffered from golfer's elbow in both elbows, but I have some discomfort in my shoulders sometimes.

    I tried switching to high volume and less weight routines (push, pull, and leg) routines, and this appeared to be even worse on my body. Through some research and reading the HST e-book, I've decided to run a few cycles of HST. The weight progression, rep range changes, the SD, and not lifting max weights every session really appealed to me. I just don't think my genetic makeup can handle it.

    Using the body part guide in the HST e-book, I've created the following routine (3 days a week - full body):

    Squats (2 sets) - quads
    DB Straight Leg Deadlift (2 sets) - hamstrings
    DB Incline Press (2 sets) - pecs
    DB Row (2 sets) - back
    Chin ups (1 set) - lats
    Tricep push downs (1 set)- tricep
    DB curls (1 set) - bicep
    Calf raises (2 sets) - calves
    BB Press (2 sets) - shoulders

    While I was working my 15 rep maxes, I noticed that even this may be too much volume. I'd prefer to simplify as much as possible, without sacrificing much in terms of muscle gains. Also, health and having a well functioning body is important to me as well.

    For people who have gone through HST cycles and experienced the benefits, could you give your opinion or shed some light on a routine that would best fit my goals.
  2. Renky

    Renky Member

    Here are my opinions;

    1. Don't let anyone tell you that working out with dumbbells is useless. I worked out with a home gym and this was all I had for a number of years. I added size, I can assure you of this.
    2. I used to follow the Max OT training model and it was all about pushing max weight all the time. In the end, it was damaging my body and I had to give it up. I think max weights is a young man's game and even then you need to watch it. Even though Frank Zane probably used anabolics, he has been quoted as saying that if he had his time over again, he would not use such heavy weights.
    3. I think your exercise selection is fine. You need to use exercises that suit you, that you are comfortable with. For example - No use doing dips if your wrists hurt or you just hate the movement.
    4. I believe that if you follow HST and remain consistent, then you will do well. Consistency is the key.
    5. Calories - Personally, I am not convinced we need an excessive surplus to gain muscle. Your body can only put on so much over time and that is it.

    The above are just my opinions. All the best.
  3. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    What was your body weight when you started lifting seriously 3 years ago?
    Jester likes this.
  4. TheWonderBoy

    TheWonderBoy New Member

    I was around 155 pounds and ~14% body fat.
  5. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    You've made some nice progress! I would suspect that one of the reasons the heavy training takes so much out of you is that you are keeping your calories pretty low. Overall you have decreased in body fat and increased in lean mass, which is great but if you were willing to move closer to the 15% bf you would probably find that you recover quicker from the heavy weight. Now that may or may not fit with your overall goals.

    Regardless going back to your original plan I would suspect that your bench and deadlift will go down short term while your squat and overall muscle mass will likely go up. You will likely get a lot of benefit in the short term from increasing the variety in the lifts you do. Just expect the training stimulus from HST to create a different fatigue profile than say something like SS or 531 (not that that's a bad thing).

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