Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by G T, Feb 21, 2006.
Can adjusting the rate of increase of weight increments over a HST cycle produce any benefits?
Welcome to HST.
How do you mean? Adjust up or down?
This would only mean you either take longer or shorter time to reach your rep max
I have said this maybe a thousand times, but I guess I'll have to keep saying it!
Try the normal HST cycle before attempting your own changes.
How long have you been lifting?
What type of protiocol did you use most of the time?
What is your ultimate goal?
I've done a few cycles of standard HST with good results, but I tend to stop gaining once I reach the 5s.
By "rate of increase" I mean add a different amount of weight for each workout. For example near the start of the cycle, add 10kg each workout, and by the end only add about 5kg each workout, in which case the rate of increase of increments is declining. You'd still reach your max at the same time. The logic behind this would be that the larger increments near the start of the cycle take advantage of the deconditioned state of the muscles, while smaller increments at the end with heavier weights would improve strength.
Would this be true?
<div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I've done a few cycles of standard HST with good results, but I tend to stop gaining once I reach the 5s.</div>
GT, have you been doing any extra metabolic work when in the 5s? (eg. set of 15s for main exercises, drop sets, pulses with peak contraction exercises etc).
I think it is unlikely that the RBE will catch up with you at the early stages of the cycle. I suppose it would make some sense if you could increase the increments more as you get to your heavier lifts in the 5s. So you could work out a weight increment based on a %age increase rather than a fixed weight increase. As the weights get heavier in the 5s, a 10lb increase is a much smaller %age increase than it is at the start of the cycle in the 15s.
It's funny though. When I did deads the other day (in my post 5s) I upped the weight from 315lb for my first set to 335lb for the next two sets and that felt very different! Much harder. Up until then I had been upping the weight 10lbs a session. Still managed 5 reps at 335lb. Got a real deep soreness in my biceps from that which was a nice surprise. Excellent!
It'd be great if you could keep adding more and more but of course strength is limited. I feel that a steady increment seems to work pretty well. If you try anything else let us all know how you get on.
Hey! I can't edit my posts anymore
Anyway, after some warmups I started my deads on 335lbs tonight and they felt ok, so upped the next two sets to 345lbs. Still managed my reps but the extra 10lbs made a very noticeable difference even though it was only about a 3% increase on the 335lbs. I am now working past my previous 5RM (315lbs) so every little bit extra is now going to be pushing me closer to my new limit. Haven't quite got there yet though. ( I am a little worried that my arms are going to come off before the post 5s are over! )
So I suppose what I'm trying to say here is that the linear increment approach to weight progression seems to be good enough and it's easy too. No sense in overcomplicating things but, as I said in the previous post, do let us know how you get on if you try some other way of incrementing. It's all grist for the mill.
Ideally, the increment for each exercise should be a percentage of your 5RM weight. A typical increment is 5% of the 5RM weight. So, if 5% of your 5RM is 10kg, then using 10kg throughout the cycle ought to be fine.
Remember that the purpose of the increment is to raise the weight just enough such that the tension on the muscle exceeds the existing conditioning of the muscle, and thus stimulates more growth.
With that said, I don't really think manipulating the increments across the cycle is going to be all that effective. Using bigger increments during the lighter weights may speed up the conditioning of your muscles, making the heavier weights a bit less effective (a big maybe, here).
As for increasing the potency of the 5s, you could try incorporating some 5x5 techniques to increase the workload of your compound exercises a bit. Here's what I've been playing with: whatever weight you are scheduled to use for your 5-rep set, begin with a 5-rep set using 60% of the weight, then do the same with 70%, then again with 80%, then 90%, and then, finally, use your HST scheduled weight.
As a simple example, suppose on the third day of the 5s you are suppose to use 100 lbs for squats. Thus, you can perform the following sets:
set 1: 60 lbs
set 2: 70 lbs
set 3: 80 lbs
set 4: 90 lbs
set 5: 100 lbs
Not only with this provide you with more workload in the 5s, but you can also use it as a warmup for your HST set. But, please once you reach your 5RM weights, do not use this 5x5 approach for every single workout with ever single exercise. Only do it with the compound movements, such as squats, deads, bench, rows, chins, overhead press, and the like. And, once you reach your HST 5RM weights, you should modulate your volume--do the five sets on Monday (heavy day), then perhaps the first three sets on Wednesday (light day), and then the first four sets on Friday (moderate day).
Again, I must stress that this is an experimental approach that has worked far better for me than drop sets or negatives. But please proceed with caution, lest you burn out or get injured!
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