Mass (Re)Construction

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Driver, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Driver

    Driver New Member

    This is the log of my first HST cycle. Today I have finished my 6th 15-rep workout. I wanted to start tracking my progress from the start of this cycle, but I have been very busy. Starting stats: 86kg/189lbs at 1.90m/6.2-6.3ft. The last three years I have worked out without passion, and at weights FAR below my maxes. Consequently, I am very weak now. As I mentioned in a previous post, my UB in general, and my arms specifically, are lagging behind. I have set up the following HST cycle to stimulate them:

    Dips (52-77kg; 5kg)
    BB Curl (15-27.5kg; 2.5kg)
    Tri extension (12.5-25kg; 2.5kg)
    Pull-ups/Bent over rows (alternate) (52-62kg; 5kg) (30-35kg; 2.5kg)
    Bench press (27.5-40kg; 2.5kg)
    Press (10-20kg; 2kg)
    Squat/Deadlift (alternate) (35-45kg; 5kg) (40-50kg; 5kg)

    The numbers in brackets (x-y; z)indicate the start (x) and end (y) weight I used during the 6 15-rep workouts, and the weight I added each workout (z).

    After the first two weeks my BW is up 1 kg, which is probably a combination of muscle memory and water retention. My goal is to slowly bulk up to 90 kg this summer.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  2. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    My recommendation would be to hit your main compounds hard before any iso stuff. Alternate bench and dips too and really hit them hard each session (maybe do an extra set or two). Your arms will still 'come up' because they play such an important roll in the big upper-body compound lifts. Do the isos afterwards.

    Hitting deadlifts first when you're fresh would help you to focus on pushing your numbers up consistently but I understand if you want to hit them last; they can be very draining and leave you feeling like you want to go home once they are done. :)

    Your pull-up and dip numbers seem disproportionately high when compared to rows and bench. Is that some kind of leverage machine you are using for those exercises so you can record total weight?
  3. Driver

    Driver New Member

    Thanks for the advice! This is stuff I can really use to progress, especially since I am new to HST :)

    I do not understand doing compounds before iso for these reasons:
    (1) Since you work towards your 5/10/15RM with HST, your weights are set for your workouts, and there is no "hitting them hard". Or am I missing something?
    (2) I have always been able to complete the desired reps on compounds after doing iso, but not the other way around. Although this might change during higher intensity.

    Taking into account these points, do you still think I need to do compounds before iso? I highly agree on the need to get my strength on the compounds up! (They used to be a lot higher 3 years ago.)

    Exactly, I am doing assisted dips and pull-ups because I cannot do them for many reps with my BW. So with 86 BW a 56 dip is with 30 contra-weight. I am thinking about just doing the small number of reps I can complete with BW, as assisted dips and pull-ups seem to have little carry-over. Any thoughts on this?
  4. whistledixie

    whistledixie New Member

    "Hitting them hard" is a bit subjective. You could look at it a lot of different ways. Some, when the weights are lighter than max, slow down the tempo to make it harder. Some have trouble with lifts that fall later on in the session, so you could make sure you 'hit' the most important stuff first and save the later, fatigued sets for the less important work. Some rep out - if 15 reps isn't enough to wipe you out, keep going. Repping out is definitely 'hitting it hard'. Some use myo-reps - where they hit the desired reps, rack the bar, wait 10 - 20 seconds, hit 3 more reps, rack it, wait, hit 3 more reps, and so on until you can't do anymore.

    I feel like compounds are more important in general. Anyone with more experience than me who wants to argue otherwise, I'll concede that he might know more about it than I do. But for anyone below intermediate level of strength, compounds will get you stronger overall and more quickly. Putting compounds first means putting them higher up in priority. No matter what happens, I'm doing the big compounds today. That way, you won't sacrifice your major lifts for lack of time or a shoulder pain you got while on the nautilus or whatever.

    Pullups and dips can progress both by steadily lowering assitance over time or gradually increasing the number of unbroken bodyweight reps. As long as their is a progression of some type, you will increase your strength.

    Best of luck to ya, brother - welcome to the forum!
  5. Driver

    Driver New Member

    Thanks for the advice and welcoming me! Hope I can contribute to others as well over time.

    I logged in with the intention to change my original post. I agree that compounds are important, and I think that finishing the desired number of reps on them will become difficult when overall weights start to increase. So my updated program:

    SQ/DL (will do 2x SQ, 1x DL /week)
    BOR/Chin ups
    Tri extension/BB curl

    I think I will go with increasing number of unbroken BW reps on dips and chins/pull-ups, as assisted dips and chins/pull-ups have an unnatural movement pattern.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  6. Driver

    Driver New Member

    Today I finished my 2*10 micro-cycle. After waking up and emptying my bladder/bowels I weighted 3 kg/ 6.6 lbs heavier than 4 weeks ago, so great gains! These were my workouts:

    sq 2*10*40kg
    bor 2*10*37.5kg
    bp 2*10*42.5
    tri-ex 2*10*20

    dl 2*10*40kg
    chins 2*5*bw
    dips 2*5*bw
    press 2*10*20kg
    bb curl 2*10*22.5kg

    sq 2*10*45kg
    bor 2*10*40kg
    bp 2*10*45kg
    tri-ex 2*10*25kg

    sq 2*10*50kg
    chins 2*6*bw
    dips 2*6*bw
    press 2*10*22.5kg
    bb curl 2*10*27.5kg - failed the last two reps

    dl 2*10*60kg
    bor 2*10*42.5kg
    bp 2*10*47.5kg
    tri-ex 2*10*30kg - too lazy to finish the last two reps

    sq 2*10*55kg
    chins 2*7*bw
    dips 2*7*bw
    press 2*10*25kg
    bb curl 2*10*30kg

    Notes: during my last workout my left shoulder/wishbone hurt with the dips. Tri extensions weight is to heavy now to really pump, almost feels like a bench press. Any thoughts on this?

    I am happy to start with the somewhat lighter workload of the start of the 5s cycle. I am thinking about just increasing chins and dips with one rep per workout. Is this a good idea or should I rather add weight?

    A good weekend to you all!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  7. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    It’s a good idea during the 5s and post 5s to do some a metabolic set at the end of your regular sets to get the blood flowing into the muscles you just worked. I usually keep it simple and just do a set of 15-20 with lighter weight of a compound exercise like bench if I’m doing pushing exercises or chins if pulling.

    Zigzagging between micro-cycles is common and many people like it because it gives them a break from just coming of the RM of the previous micro-cycle. So you could even do a little less weight or just keep it the same. Repeating weights or even a small reset is no problem as long as you are adding weight over time. Probably better to take a break now than burn out in another week.
  8. Driver

    Driver New Member

    Thanks for the advice! I think I read something about that metabolic set during the 5s, will try to read some more about it.

    I agree. Is going back to 6*bw for chins and dips, and ending with 8*bw enough of a break? One rep more than I am at now.

    HST is definitely more physically demanding than I had anticipated. During the 15s I thought: is this it? But it is getting tough now!
  9. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Only your body can be the judge of that. During my first two cycles there were a couple time I just flat skipped a whole workout because my body was hammered. Each time I was glad that I did because I came back stronger and more energized. If you’re worried about shortchanging your cycle by cutting back a bit don’t. You can always tack and extra couple workouts or even weeks on the end to make up for it or if you feel strong. There is no rule that says a cycle must end after 6-8 weeks. I say if you are still making gains and your body is handling it then keep going. No reason to stop just because you’ve done “X” number of workouts or weeks, within reason.

    Yeah, I thought that the 15s were pretty lame to start with but then I got taught a lesson around the middle of the 10s during my first cycle.
  10. Driver

    Driver New Member

    I think I injured my collar bone. When I lift my left arm higher than my shoulder the collar bone hurts. No more presses and dips for a while I guess...
  11. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Could be, when I broke my collar bone playing rugby I couldn’t even lift my arm to lock in with the props. No pain at the time it just wouldn’t go any higher which is how I figured out something was wrong. Might want to get it checked out just to be sure so your not wasting time rehabbing the wrong thing.
  12. Driver

    Driver New Member

    According to the fysiotherapist it is overexertion of the pectoralis minor muscle (, probably caused by poor form on the dips. I should give it a week rest and then start to build up my strength on the dips. To be safe, I will not do exercises that involve the pecs this week, so no bp, press, chins. or dips. Yesterday:

    DL 3*5*60kg, 15*30kg
    BOR 3*5*40kg,20*20kg
    Various ab stuff
  13. Driver

    Driver New Member


    Have not been training 3x/week due to public holidays/gym closing, but still regularly (2-3x/week). Have done all my 5 RMs except for press, which I will do next training. Stats now:

    sq 3*5*65 - easy muscle wise, still struggling with technique a little
    dl 3*5*80 - easy
    bp 3*5*55 - easy
    p 3*5*32.5 - still to come, but sure I will manage
    cu 2*8*bw - fail on 9th rep
    bor 3*5*55 - hard, but I like it!
    curl - 2*10*32.5 - still to come, not sure I will manage but don't really care

    As many lifts are still easy for me, and my strength stats used to be better some years ago, I will try to do these 5RMs before my SD:

    sq - 3*5*75
    dl - 3*5*90
    bp 3*5*60
    p 3*5*40
    cu 2*9*bw

    My bodyweight is around 90kg, with highly visible abs and veins, so HST is working well for me :)
    I will start doing CGBP and kickbacks for triceps as I have been neglecting these.
    For abs: hanging crunches, hanging side crunches, side leg raises.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  14. Driver

    Driver New Member

    I am currently 7 days into SD with decreased caloric intake. My BW is stable at 90kgs, which I am very happy with. In general, I am very enthusiastic about HST and think it is an amazing program . However, I ended the program with the following 5RMs:

    SQ 3*5*75 kg (87.5)
    DL 3*5*80 kg (130)
    BP 3*5*55 kg (75)
    OH 3*5*35 kg (50)
    BOR 3*5*55 kg

    with the number in brackets indicating what they used to be years ago after Starting Strength. I would like to get my strength levels up a bit before I continue with HST to beef up to 95 kgs. Therefore, I will do +-3 months of the Starting Strength program, as my numbers are below what I ended the SS program with years ago.

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