Nativetroutbum's Training Log... comments/critique welcome!!!

I am a 35-year-old male and a HST newbie. I am eager to hear feedback/critiques of my workouts and I hope to be able to provide meaningful comments toward other membertraining logs.

For most of my life I've worked out, always being involved in sports, Wrestling, Baseball, and Rugby. I've never had any real direction in the gym outside of the occassional coach or other fella' recommending this or that. From age 26-30, I didn't pick up a weight with any regularity... I essentially "let myself go." Marriage, kids, and career were convenient excuses... About 3 years ago, my wife and I discovered that we would be having a 3rd child, a boy; my son!! Around this time I made a number of changes in my life recognizing that I needed to be physically fit to both protect my family and to project a positive image of masculinity to my beautiful daughters, to their prospective boyfriends :), and most importantly, to my son.

I've been working out regularly now for about 3 years; reading WAY too many articles; taking WAY too many supplements; and trying WAY too many different workout programs. I've made some gains in strength and muscle size, but I've not gained as much as I feel like I SHOULD have. I've dropped from ~180lbs and 20+% bf to ~165lbs and about 12-13% bf. Current PR's are the following: Squat: 275x5, Deadlift: 295x5, Flat Bench: 225x5.

I only have access to my "office gym," which by "office gym" standards is quite robust; pretty much have all the basics covered.

My first three weeks with HST were an adventure of constant tinkering/tweaking as I tried to get everything "dialed-in."

Tomorrow I go on vacation for a week and a half with the family; so I will begin my "dialed-in" HST routine on Monday 16 July; I look forward to sharing my HST experience here; and I look forward to reading your comments/critiques.

Thank you!

Got my last workout in before going on vacation. Figured I would see if I could push the edge of my 15 RM's and increase the weight slightly.

Squats, 2 sets, 190 x 15 (may be able to add a few lbs here)
Deadlifts ("sumo" style), 2 sets, 205 x15 (2nd set was brutal but I got it)
Standing Shoulder Press, 2 sets, 85 x15... still had a few reps left in the tank so then did 95x12. 90 is probably my 15rm right now. This is definitely a weak spot for me having just started doing shoulder presses this way. I am looking forward to progressing here.
Weighted Chins, 2 sets, +10 pounds x15 (started losing form toward the end of both sets, might place these before deadlifts next time. (thoughts anyone?)
Straight Dips, 2 sets, Bodyweight x15. +10 or 15 lbs is probably my 15rm.
Single Arm DB Bent rows, 2 sets, 50lb DB x 15 (may bump this up to 55 for my 15rm)
BB Flat Bench, 2 sets, 135x15 (will also increase this slightly, 145 is probably my 15rm)
Shrugs, 2 sets, 185x15
Standing Calf Raises, 2 sets, 135x15
Crunches (skipped)

As always, if anyone has any comments about workout composition, exercise order, etc... please reply! and thank you in advance!!
As a general rule for exercise order you want to do one of two things, either start with the hardest exercises and progress to the easiest or if you have a particular weakness you wish to address then start with the weak link or at least put the weak link before any other exercises that target the same muscle groups. Additionally if you are doing a full body workout alternate between muscle-groups to give each a rest again with the exception being if you have a lagging body part you to emphasize.

Overall you have a great exercise selection I would just suggest you reorder them like this unless you have a reason to do otherwise:

Standing Shoulder Press
Weighted Chins
DB Rows
Calf Raises
Flat Bench (personally I would ditch this since you are doing Presses and Dips)
Crunches (I would also ditch this one unless you have a sports specific reason for doing them)

I would add in some sort of medial delt exercise like Lateral Raises or Upright Rows.

Keep in mind that there is no “best HST routine” which IMO is one of the best aspects of implementing the HST principles. Design the program to suit your needs.
As G11 said, there is no "perfect" HST routine, and I agree that you chose great exercises. You may want to consider having an A and a B routine, especially as loads go up. The one concern I have is fatiguing your CNS too quickly by doing all the primary lifts (Deadlift, Squat, Bench) and a host of accessory lifts that essentially hit what will be destroyed fibers in the 10's and 5's. One thing I think everyone new to HST snould read is the Simplify N Win thread here.

What if you had an A routine that looked something like this:
Standing Shoulder Press
DB Rows

And a B routine that looks like this:
Weighted Chins
Flat Bench
Calf Raises

This still allows you to get a full body WO but allows more room for you to progress each lift and - more importantly for hypertrophy - recover. Dunno - just my take on it. No matter what - welcome to the forum, and best of luck as you move forward.
Thank you for the feedback guys, I really appreciate it!! We got back from Disney yesterday and I am beat... I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation :)
That said, I'm ready to get back into the gym after my 9 days of "out of cycle strategic deconditioning"...

For 15's and the first week of 10's I'm tentatively scheduled to do the following:

Sumo DeadliftX2
Standing PressX2
Weighted ChinsX2
Weighted DipsX2
Upright RowsX1
DB RowsX2
Calf RaisesX2
DB Flat BenchX1

For the 2nd week for 10's and all of 5's (5's for me will be 4 weeks as I have no consistent training partner to assist with negatives) I will split into an A/B routine as follows:
A (Monday, Friday, Wednesday)
Sumo DeadliftsX2
Standing PressX2
DB RowsX2
Leg PressX1

B (Wednesday, Monday, Friday)
Upright RowsX1
Weighted ChinsX2
Stiff Leg DeadliftsX1
DB Flat BenchX2
Calf RaisesX2

I'm still a bit confused about the number of sets for each exercise during each phase. For 15's it seems ok to do 2 sets on pretty everything because the weights are relatively low... on the flipside, doing multiple sets (even 3???) during 5's seems ok because the number of reps is low... I just want to ensure that I'm setting myself up correctly.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!!
Last edited:
It looks like you’ve got a very good plan worked out.

As far as exercise selection the only suggestion I would make is when you change to the split routine drop the crunches and do Calf Raises every workout. Calves need a lot of volume to respond even very little since you are constantly using them. Your Abs are going to get a good workout just doing the other exercises and adding in is just going to take up time and net you almost nothing hypertrophy wise. OTOH if you are doing a sport that requires strong Abs like boxing or powerlifting then doing that sort of direct core work is beneficial for the sport. If you want good looking Abs when not wearing a shirt then cutting body fat is the only way that’s going to happen.

As for number of sets there are several ways people have done it. The most basic way is 1x15, 2x10, 3x5 which keeps the volume relatively close between each micro cycle. If you want to do 2x15 (I can sympathize since 1x15 never seemed like it would be enough) then you might consider doing 2x15, 3x10 and at least start out with 5x5. That also keeps the volume relatively constant throughout the cycle. keep in mind that as you approach your 5RM you can drop down to 4x5, 3x5 or even 2x if you find that you can’t recover from the higher volume.

As for going past the 5s you might also consider making the last week or second to last week 3s. If you do 3s the second to last week then you could make the last week a test week and retest your 15, 10 and 5 RMs before starting an SD.

Also there is no absolute rule that a cycle must last 8 weeks, you can always make it longer or shorter to suit your individual needs, however sticking to as close to the basics as you can is probably a good way to start. You can always tweak each new cycle based on what you’ve learned in the previous ones.
Great feedback, Grunt, thank you!

I will indeed take your suggestion regarding abs and calves. I was not genetically blessed with much muscle in my calves, they lag my quads/hams horribly so I really need them to beef up... I currently do not have any athletic need for super-abs, though I'm thinking about getting into Jiu-Jitsu and/or Muay Thai... I suppose if I get into that, I'll change all of my training quite a bit.

I think I will also go with 1, 2 and 3 sets for 15s, 10s and 5s respectively. For my first cycle, I might just go ahead and do 4 weeks of 5's; I'll simply increase the weight every workout over 4 weeks instead of 2. I will then take week 9 for SD, though if I need to really tweak maxes, I'll do that during week 9 and SD during week 10.

I'm sure I will learn a lot during this first cycle, and will do a bit of tweaking for my 2nd cycle.

Again, thank you for your help!
I gotta throw something in here. I love the changes made - but consider moving the crunches from your A to your B routine, and if you really find that it's a time crunch (no pun intended), superset your calf and ab work. If nothing else - it will at times feel very metabolic and you should feel pretty amazing after all is said and done.

G11's spot on with the calf-volume thing. If you really want to jump your development, do the calf raises single leg. I found that rep ranges in the 25-40 work best - but be ready to feel some rather intense lactic acid flows during and after the sets. You can get through 'em - but stretch like it's your job afterward or walking two days later will be not only a challenge - it will hurt like no tomorrow.

The whole core strength thing loses quite a few in the lifting community. Thing is - a strong core, in particular strong abs - will really help you maintain form when your deadlifts get really heavy. And - they will get really heavy. The tendency will be for your hips to rise faster than the rest of you, and one big reason for that is that the front part of the core isn't strong enough to maintain a consistent form throughout the pull. You'll be able to do the reps, but the risk of injury is increased. Something to definitely consider.
Last edited:
Thanks for the feedback, Tim. Will definitely take your advice about crunches.

I did "myo-reps" for my calf raises on Monday and they are aching like crazy tonight... We'll see how they feel tomorrow, might try your recommendation for single leg calf raises, or I'll just continue blasting away like I did on Monday.
Last edited:
Finished up 15's yesterday. I started this program at a BW of 165; I was 169.5 after my workout on Friday. I've been eating like a horse...

Sumo Deadlifts 1x205
Standing Press 1x100
Weighted Chins 1xBW+15
Squats 1x205
Weighted Dips 1xBW+30
Upright Rows 1x85
DB Bent Rows 1x60lb db's (tad too light)
Calf Raises 1x135+myo reps (~10 mini sets of 3) Calves are responding well to the craziness of myo-reps; can see/feel a change already!!
DB Bench (flat) 1x70lb db's
Shrugs 1x190 (tad too light)
Crunches 1x35

Left shoulder is hurting a bit; seems like a rotator cuff issue, so I've been doing re-hab/pre-hab at the end of my workouts; seems to be helping a bit, but it might limit what I can do on standing presses going forward. Seems to be the only exercise that bothers my shoulder, though sometimes when I grab the bar for squats it also hurts a bit... frustrating.

My schedule was 100%. Workouts M, W, F and light cardio T, T and Saturday. My cardio consisted of an up-hill walk on the treadmill. 12% grade at 3.5 speed for 25 minutes. Much harder than I thought it would be at first...

So Monday begins 10's and I have a question, and I think I know the answer:
When I begin 10's, should my weights at least equal my 15 rep max? I think the answer is 'yes,' but wanted to make sure. I'm actually at weights slightly higher than I had expected at the end of 15's, so my "planned" weight progression over the course of the 8 week plan is a little further along... I suppose this is a good "problem" to have :o)

So, I'm planning to start my first day of 10's with 2 sets of 10 at the same weights of my 15 rep maxs.

Oh, one more question: How long do ya'll typically wait between sets at early and late 10's? Any different than at 5's?? Am I overthinking this?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!!
Last edited:
So Monday begins 10's and I have a question, and I think I know the answer:
When I begin 10's, should my weights at least equal my 15 rep max?

Actually you don’t have to start your 10s with where you left off on the 15s which would be straight linear progression. You certainly can but it’s not necessary. If you drop the weights down it’s called zigzagging which some people like especially between the 10s and 5s as a sort of de-load.

If you don’t want to drop the weights back down then you can always repeat the same weights a couple of times if not dropping the weight wouldn’t give you 6 increments for the next micro-cycle.

Oh, one more question: How long do ya'll typically wait between sets at early and late 10's? Any different than at 5's?? Am I overthinking this?
I usually just go by how I feel, starting off with fairly short rests and adding more time if I don’t think I’ll make the next set.

You might consider doing some of your prehab work before you workout. I found that helpful in minimizing some of the discomfort. I also added in extra pre/re-hab work between regular workouts. but what worked the best for me was to stop doing any offending exercises until the pain went away and then limit their use when adding them back in. Doing this I was able to re-hab a shoulder impingement that at one point hurt so back I couldn’t sleep at night. Don’t let yourself get to that point as it took me 6 months to get back to where I could even add +5 lbs. to my 1RM bench.
Good advice, thank you. Before my wife became a stay-at-home mom, she was a physical therapist, she has a doctorate in Physical Therapy... She recommended the same thing.

My thought was that I would try and "gut" through the pain, and keep progressing, but that may be penny wise and pound foolish... I think I may suspend overhead presses for now.

So what exercise could replace overhead presses...? I'm guessing nothing really replaces them, but maybe there is something close?
I’m pretty sure that Totentanz does Upright Rows because Shoulder Presses cause him problems, however it’s the opposite for me.

I’ve found that neutral grip lifts (I only have dumbbells for that now but plan to get a Swiss Bar) don’t hurt my shoulder and didn’t even when I had the impingement. So you could try switching to DBs and keeping your grip parallel. I’ve also found that the closer I keep my arms to my body the less problems it causes for my shoulders. I’ve also seen it recommended too try only pressing up until your upper arms are parallel to the ground or a little higher if you can do it without pain. The main thing is if it hurts while executing the lift, don’t do it until you get rid of the pain.

If the pain is being caused by inflammation you can try various anti-inflammatory measures. Ice right after working out heat later if there’s no pain. I’m pretty sure that taking an Advil once every 4 hours for about a week and a half really helped reduce the inflammation so the area could heal. Lots of stretching and foam rolling also seemed to help. Just keep in mind if your pain is caused by inflammation it’s not going to heal until the inflammation is gone. I was at the point of getting Cortisone injections it hurt so bad but was able to manage to rehab it w/o resorting to that.
Yeah, I'm definitely going to start with laying off the overhead presses, ibuprofen, re-hab exercises, and some ice. I had a similar shoulder/rotator cuff issue last year in my other shoulder and that seemed to work; going from pretty bad pain to pain-free in about two weeks.

Wife did some really good specialized stretches and tests last night; felt great after.

I may mix in some other sort of shoulder work that doesn't hurt. I'm already doing upright rows (they don't hurt), so I'll do those and experiment a little with something else.
First week of 10's went pretty well.

I completely stopped overhead presses due to the left rotator cuff issue. Been taking ibuprofen and working a few re-hab exercises every other day. Shoulder is feeling better, but still not 100%. I've discovered some pretty major tightness in one part of my left rotator cuff which I (and my wife) believe is the genesis of the injury. In short, whatever part in the rotator that allows external rotation is WAY too tight and my internal rotators are likely too weak... so even putting my hands on the bar when doing squats causes some shoulder discomfort. The inflexibility/weakness caused the shoulder capsule to move in an unnatural way when I did overhead presses, which caused strain/inflammation/etc . Thankfully nothing is too serious; also very thankful that my wife is a DPT. Seriously, she's forgotten more about anatomy than I'll ever learn... amazing in-house resource.

Workout was near 100%. My weight training sessions were W/W/F and I did 25 minutes of cardio T/Th: 13% grade uphill walk at 3.5 speed. Heartrate is consistently in the 135 area.

So I'm 1/2 way to my 10 rep max and i discovered that I needed to move the weights up a little on a few exercises. Some exercises I have done a zig-zag approach to the weights between 15's and 10's, others I've just kept on progressing.

Here are the weights I finished with on Friday, everything was 2 sets of 10 reps.
Sumo Deadlift: 225lbs
Standing Press (halted for now... haven't mixed in anything else yet...)
Weighted Chins: BW+20lbs (2nd set I had to stop at 8... pause for 5 seconds, then get 2 more... maybe too much weight too soon here.)
Power Squats: 210lbs (I can definitely feel the increasing weights on deadlifts affecting my energy on squats.)
Weighted Dips: BW+40lbs
Upright Rows: 70lbs
DB Bent Rows: 60lb DB's
Calf Raises: 145lbs, myo reps
DB Bench (flat): 65lb DBs
Shrugs: 205lbs
Weighted Crunches: 30lbs

So my BW after my workout on Friday was 171.6; (6.6 pounds gained thus far) I know that's not all muscle gains, but I'm encouraged that the scale is going in the upward direction. "diet" has been pretty good, still eating like a horse: lots of oats, carrots, and apples :o) Aiming for ~3000 calores daily. with a 40/40/20 Carb/Protein/Fat intake.
Finished my 2nd week of 10's. Decided I would not implement the "split" workout and I'm sorry I didn't... yesterday was brutal, and somewhat counterproductive... "Heavy" DL's definitely compromised "heavy" squats and pretty much threw my entire workout off. That notwithstanding, I'm excited to have a weekend off and i'll be ready to hit my first day of 5's HARD on Monday. I've decided to stagger my 5 weights a bit, so 5's on Monday will be fast/intense and slightly lighter than yesterday's workout.

Here is where I finished 10's
Sumo DL: 240lbs
Standing Press: (still halted... shoulder improving but not 100% yet)
Weighted Chins: BW+25lbs
Power Squats: 225lbs
Weighted Dips: BW+55 (LOVE weighted dips, wow, what an amazing exercise.)
Upright Rows: 90lbs
DB Bent Rows: 75lb DBs
Calf Raises: 155lbs, myo reps
DB bench (flat): 75lb DBs
Shrugs: 205
Weighted Crunches: 35lbs

Question: Anyone have ideas about swapping out shrugs for hang-cleans? I tried hang-cleans one day, just 95lbs and WOW, what an amazing exercise! I'm probably doing shrugs wrong, but my traps have not been what i feel is 'sore enough'... almost as though I'm not activating them enough.

Diet has remained decent in that I'm still gaining. I can definitely tell I'm adding some BF around my lower back/love-handle region but as I stated before, I'm keeping my eyes on the goal: gaining, and worrying about BF later. BW was 172 after my workout yesterday. Still eating like a horse.

I think I'm starting to "see" some changes:
-calves are growing, which is to say they've gone from non-existent to "beginning to be visible"
-quads are a bit bigger toward the top of my leg, around the knee looks about the same.
-pecs are looking a bit more full throughout, but especially lower/outer area. Striations are more visible at the sternum.
-biceps look smaller... maybe they are/maybe no bicep isolation movements is messing with my head. I'm thinking about adding a bicep isolation on my non-chinup days... maybe I should wait until my next HST cycle to add? Thoughts/ideas?

As always, thank you in advance for reading and commenting!!
First week of 5's was pretty good. For 5's I'm splitting my workout. Cardio has remained 3x weekly, 25 minutes, 12% grade at 3.5 speed on the treadmill (missed cardio yesterday... spent all day cleaning carpets in my house...)

Sumo Deads 255
Dips BW+60
Barbell Curls 95
Leg Press 390
DB Bent Rows 75
Lateral raises (pretty much re-hab for now...)
Hang Cleans 95 (new exercise for me, staying light to focus on form)
Calf Raises 155

Power Squats 240
Chins BW+25
Upright Rows 95
SL Deads 185
DB Bench 70
Shrugs 205
Skull Crushers 75
Calf Raises 160
Crunches 30

Definitely getting fatter; not sure how much muscle I'm gaining... my strength seems to be good.

I'm honestly a bit frustrated with my fat gain thus far... Trying to not psych myself out.

As always, any/all feedback is welcome.
Had a horrible day at work on Monday and ended up having to skip my workout... so pushed it to Tuesday and did cardio today.

Tuesday's work sets looked like this:
Power squats: 3 @ 250x5
Chins: 3 @ BW+25x5 (didnt add weight this time, form check... all good)
Upright rows: 3 @ 105x5 (had a little pain... going to back off the weight on this exercise, probably mix in more light lateral raises)
SLDLs: 3 @195 x5
DB Bench: 3 @ 75x5 (emphasized the negative a bit; felt great)
Smith Shrugs: 3 @ 225 x5
Skull Crushers: 3 @ 90x5 (since I was using the "curly bar" I couldn't help but mix in some curls here... 3 @ 90x5)
Calf Raises: 1 @ 165x12 then 6 @165x5 myo reps
Incline Crunches: 3 @ 25 x15

Cardio today -- I didn't have access to a treadmill so I hit the track at the local school... 3 mile jog in about 30 minutes. Haven't jogged in a while, forgot about how much I hate all that impact... :)

Diet has been solid and now that the olympics are over my sleep cycles are getting back to good, so I'm hoping to see a little upward tick on the scale tomorrow. Tomorrow's work sets start with Deadlifts 3 @ 265x5. Looking forward to it already!!
On your question about hang cleans for shrugs.... The two movements are about as diametrically opposed as you can get! One is a strength movement and the other is a power movement. I suppose the question I'd have to give an appropriate answer is this - what are you hoping to do with your deltoids? Grow them? Strengthen them? You're absolutely right that cleans of any form are an amazing exercise - with proper form you can benefit a whole bunch more than just your deltoids. The rest of your work has progressed nicely - enjoy your deadlift sets!
Thanks, Tim. I'm just trying to get bigger and hopefully stronger. After messing around with hang cleans I noticed that I felt the post-workout soreness mostly in my traps and upper back; I figured it would be a good "other" trap exercise when I'm not doing shrugs.

So Thursday this week was great, work sets looked like this:
Deads: 3 @ 265x5
Dips: 3 @ BW+65x5
Barbell Curls: 3 @ 95 x 5
Leg Press: 3 @ 400 x5
DB Bent rows: 3 @ 80 x5
Hang Cleans: 3 @ 105 x5
Calf Raises: Smith Machine 165 x 12 then 6 @165 x 6 (myo)