Hello everyone, I am currently finishing a bulking cycle using HST principles (will be done in about a week), and I plan on cutting up for the summer after that; again, using HST to ward off muscle loss. I was thinking of doing a strength cycle after that, though, starting sometime during the summer. Now, I have never done strength specific training, and my workout regimen doesn't include deadlifts of any kind (my back is still developing nicely, so I haven't had much need to incorporate them), which I understand is a staple lift of any strength cycle. A couple of questions: is there a strength program that is simple, muscle preserving (or even muscle building), and easy to grasp? Also, I work out at home: I have all the necessary equipment, but no fancy gym machines, so the program should not require the use of any gym machinery. Also, what kind of diet do people usually follow when training for strength? I'd imagine you keep the calories at maintenance level? One last question: are deadlifts ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY? Since I've never done them and built a well balanced physique without, I'm always hesitant to add new lifts. You know the old saying, "if it ain't broke...". -EDIT- My lifts have been improving steadily so far (at least most of them), even though I've done nothing but HST for the past year or so. I just want to avoid getting plateued in my strength gains, hence the reason why I want to try something different for a change. I don't do negatives, eccentrics or drop sets, either: I just repeat my 6s with higher weights for the lifts I feel I can improve (yes, I do 6's in place of 5's... always have).