Is Hst Appropriate For Me?

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Mattonaise, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    I've been training for the past eight months and I'm interested in trying out HST but I want to know some opinions on whether I will benefit from it still as a beginner. My estimated max lifts according to exrx are: 197 squat, 135 bench, 281 deadlift (in pounds). Not very high, so I'm skeptical if the sub maximal loads in HST will truly be enough for me to benefit from them. Thoughts?

    Also say I wanted to improve on strength as much as possible while running this routine, how could I update the program to not only test new strength but develop it as well? For example, would repping out the last set of 5s on the last day be effective for finding new maxes? Should I dedicate a 7th and 8th week to try to progress linearly on the 5s? Should I drop those weeks to 3s? Or should I run another program to get my strength up before hopping on HST?

    I am definitely a man of science, so HST has piqued my interest.
  2. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    If you are really focused on strength then you could consider a more strength-centric beginner strength program like Starting Strength. However, if you're willing to eat, sleep and improve your lifts then you will do just fine. If you are hoping to neglect the basics and still get results 'cuz science then you're in for a bad time.

    Edit: I forgot, don't neglect reading the free eBook Tot wrote, its packed with awesome information
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  3. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

  4. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    Thanks for the input the e-book is certainly comprehensive. So according to it I should continue progressing linearly with the fives as long as I can, then when I plateau I start the SD correct?
  5. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member


    Also, you might want to make a training log, then people can give you some feedback and encouragement too.
  6. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    Will do.
    Do you recommend straight two sets in each exercise or one set in the 15s, two in the 10s, and three in the 5s like some do?
  7. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    I'd follow whatever the ebook advises and then adjust in the next cycle if there were issues.
  8. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    I'll stick with the straight two sets and use one set for any secondary exercises I decide to do.

    Do these exercise choices sound balanced to you? I feel as if there may be too much volume for me.

    High-bar back squat (2 sets)
    SLDL (2 sets) (or should I limit this to one? back fatigue shouldn't be a problem since I'm gonna do seated rows, just in the e-book there is one set of RDLs)
    Flat bench (2 sets)
    Incline Barbell Bench (1 set) (or two since I'm doing two sets for both major pulls? Or should I drop one of the pulls?)
    Neutral Grip Lat Pull-down (2 sets)
    Overhand Grip Seated Row (2 sets)
    Standing Barbell Press (2 sets)
    Upright Row (1 set)
    Curl Variation (1 set)
    CGBP/Skullcrushers/Any tricep isolation (1 set)
    Lateral Raises (1 set) (Even necessary? Should I drop this?)

    I get the feeling I should keep volume lower than this but I'm not experienced with HST.
  9. leonardopm

    leonardopm Member

    I believe you could drop Incline bench, upright rows, lat raises and maybe even the direct arm work.

    About arm work it'll depend on your overall recovery and if you feel comfortable not doing it.

    I don't hear good things about upright rows. If you want to keep a balanced shoulder you could try facepulls with the standing press work.
  10. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    I haven't had a problem with upright rows yet, if you widen your grip and only raise to parallel its safer. I like the lift cause I can hit the rear delts, traps, and lateral delts all in one exercise.

    I'll drop the lateral raises, see how I feel about the arm work over the cycle, but with the incline bench I just feel as if you don't get as much chest work in all pressing compared to the back work in the pulling. Overhead press doesnt really hit the chest much, while both pulls hit the lats and back (three if you include upright rows).
  11. leonardopm

    leonardopm Member

    Well, a lot of experienced lifters and specially the strength-oriented ones claim that you should spend more time and effort pulling than pushing, since pectorals are much simpler than the back. I've been doing it and results are pleasing me.

    Incline benches won't harm I believe but probably won't do much more than a flat bench would do. If you want to hit the chest from different ways you could try dips.

    Just a thought.
  12. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    I will keep more pulling than pushing, it just seems between the back and chest a lot more sets for the back without the incline, since you don't hit chest when doing vertical presses but you still hit your mid-back when doing vertical pulls.
  13. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Back is a lot more complex and contains many more muscles than the pecs, so you naturally need more volume for back than you are getting for chest. Check the muscle anatomy charts on exrx if you want to learn more about it.

    If you think you are good with the volume, do 2 sets for squats, 2 for SLDL. The second set won't be hugely important during the 15s but later on, I would definitely do it. No reason to do incline bench and flat bench though. If you want to pair a second pec exercise, choose dips rather than incline bench. All incline does is reduce how much load goes onto the lower pec, contrary to popular opinion that it increases tension on upper pecs. Incline does shift some load to the delts though, so it can be useful for that. However, flat bench - despite the bad rap it has gotten for destroying shoulders - is a solid choice. Make sure you have proper technique in bench as it is critical.
    Don't do lateral raises for a core lift. You can do it for metabolic work in the 5s but there is no way to maintain form on heavy lateral raises. Make sure you add in some metabolic work during the 5s. I prefer seated dips for pecs, pulldown for back, leg ext for quads, leg curl for hams. Don't really need metabolic work for arms though you could do pushdowns for triceps if you want. I would consider keeping the bicep isolations as 15, 10, and 8s instead of 15, 10, 5 or dropping curls altogether in the 5s. Close grip bench is okay to go heavier on as long as you are careful. Upright rows aren't really necessary. The delts are small muscle groups, they don't need to be hit from every angle when back plus chest exercises paired with military press will hit all three heads. I wouldn't rely on upright rows for upper traps. Deadlifts and rack pulls will give you traps faster. If you really need to focus on traps, add in some barbell shrugs. One set is good enough and less risk of injury as your RMs increase than with upright row.

    So here is what I would suggest:

    15s and 10s
    Squat x 2
    SLDL x 2
    BB Flat bench x 2
    Weighted/Assisted Dips x 1
    Pulldown x 2
    Row x 2
    Military Press x 2
    BB Shrug x 1
    Something for curls x 1
    Close Grip Bench x 1

    During 5s:
    Squat x 2
    *Leg Ext using 15 RM load for one set of 12-15 reps
    SLDL x 2
    Bench x 2
    *Seated Dips or Assisted Dips using 15 RM load for one set of 12-15 reps
    Row x 2
    Pulldown x 2
    *Pulldowns using 15 RM load for one set of 12-15 reps
    Military Press x 2
    *Lateral Raises using 15 RM load for one set of 12-15 reps
    BB Shrug x 1
    CGBP x 1
    Browner likes this.
  14. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    Thanks for the write up, tons of solid advice. I'll follow your routine, what's the basis for metabolic work though? More volume or just a different training effect? Also, I'm assuming there's no metabolic work for the hamstrings since they get worked in both squats and sldl correct? And how do dips hit the chest differently then incline? Just curious to know
  15. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    During the 5s, you aren't getting the high rep stimulation that most people would call "sarcoplasmic hypertrophy" so muscles can tend to look a bit flat. Higher rep work added on will mitigate that and get some erk 1/2 action at the same time. If you want to learn more about it, do some reading on erk 1/2 or p38 signalling.

    I don't include metabolic work for hams just to keep things simpler. If you wanted, you could add some light, higher rep leg curls.

    Dips hit the lower pecs and upper pecs, whereas incline "focuses" on upper pecs by reducing the tension on the lower pecs and shifting some of that to delts, while drastically reducing the load you can use. If you want to get that effect that you would get from incline, simply turn your close grip bench into an incline close grip bench. No sense in wasting a chest exercise on incline when it only puts tension on a small fraction of an already relatively small muscle group.
  16. Mattonaise

    Mattonaise Member

    Thanks for the info, I'll start a training log post today and start monday, already took a week off lifting
  17. a.s.arghmatey

    a.s.arghmatey Member

    (Old thread, but it seems the most relevant)

    Would increased frequency be suitable replacement for metabolic work? Bryan says that 30 reps per body part is ideal. During the 5's, if one could manage two sets per exercise during the workout, and repeat the full workout two more times during the day, would this be as effective as two heavy sets followed by twenty reps of metabolic work?

    Would it even be preferable? In UD2.0, Lyle says that the body isn't good at doing two things at once. IE; replenish glycogen and build muscle. So if we could eliminate the glycogen depletion effects of met work, but still get the 30 reps in by doing more sessions, would we get better gains long term?

    Thanks in advance for any replies
  18. k_dean_curtis

    k_dean_curtis Member

    During the 5s , you don't need 30 reps. 20 will do for most loads. Tot, O&G, Bryan, et al had a thread about this topic a while back.

    At your 5rm, the last workout would probably look like:
    5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2 unless you want to rest 10 minutes plus per set. 30 to 40 reps was for 70 to 75% 1RM loads. Once you are hitting 85 to 90% 1RM, you don't need as many reps. However, in the studies cited recently, 20 reps at 85% leaves you more beat up than 30 reps at 70%. Something to consider for the long haul.
  19. a.s.arghmatey

    a.s.arghmatey Member

    Thanks for the response, I didn't see that discussion. Please link to it if you find it. I am guessing that this discussion happened sometime after the release of the HST Ebook? So does this mean that we no longer need to bother with metabolic work? Also, do the 20 reps need to happen in the same session, or could I do 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening?
  20. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    For me the higher the frequency of training the more beneficial it is, so if you want 60 reps per week (20 reps x 3 times per week) I personally would split in over 6 sessions / days, however I still think that 60 reps per week at 5 rep max loads maybe too much (well at least for me it would be)

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