Rethinking Hst

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by HST_Rihad, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Burnt-butter pecan?

    This thread contained just about nothing of value to one with a critical thinking approach to applicable exercise science ... once again.
    adpowah likes this.
  2. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    If you feel good spending 65-70% of your calendar time with sub-5RM loads (including SD) not growing, fine. The problem is, you aren't doing it. No one in their right mind would stubbornly follow HST advice. Only I did. For five years.
  3. dempsey

    dempsey Member

    Rihad sounds like you want to do some HIT Arthur Jones style!
  4. leonardopm

    leonardopm Member

    I clearly remember Totentanz saying in his book he owes his condition to HST. Could he possibly be lying??? Gear?? Photoshop?? Don't think so.
  5. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Many studies have proven that sub maximal loads can build as much muscle (or more) as maximal loads and be much safer, allowing you to continue training without down time. If you want to ignore science, you are welcome to it. However, selectively choosing what you want to hear which is not based on scientific evidence is just plain ignorant. However, please come back in a year or two and let us know how you fare. However, during that time you will have changed your thinking 100 times and you will still be at 139 pounds. Good luck to you.
    adpowah likes this.
  6. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    O&G, care to share one such study? I can give you the one proving the contrary: previous loads do their best to recover most of the lost muscle. If there is indeed a study telling me that I've actually been growing lean tissue all this time without having the opportunity to grow much stronger due to the taxing true 5RM loads, it would be very reassuring. Only there's no magic pill. The only way to put on muscle naturally is to lift more, either more load at a minimally sufficient volume, or more volume at a sufficiently heavy load as the guy I mentioned in the first post did. Then what's the point in lifting 1-2 sets per MG sub-maximally for 5 weeks including SD? There is none, really. Too long a recovery. Too much wasted time and effort.
  7. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    How does a study that shows that previous loads recover lost muscle contradict the notion that you can't grow from previous loads? Your study uses a 3 week detraining periods (~21 day SD) and utilizes untrained subjects. Further, they trained solely in the 10 rep max range.

    And in the discussion session:

  8. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Is this not the same study that you stated in your thread 'SD smiles back at us' back in August but you used it to state the complete opposite?
  9. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Depends on how you look at it. Practically, I never experienced growth (bigger measurements) with lower loads. It seems like shorter rest periods (60-90 sec) are critical to enhance metabolic effect on growth. So is higher volume, on the order of 4-5 sets per exercise, 3-4 exercises per MG. Needless to say all this has nothing to do with how HST proposes that we train. And then you start blaming lack of growth on poor genetics, poor nutrition, when it all boils down to poor training.
  10. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Obviously you have never heard of Mathias Wernbom?

    Mick is 100% correct. You cite studies that do not support your position by misinterpreting results of these studies differently each time you change your flavor. I am afraid what you have is incurable.

    We have had some whacks on here before but you just won the award as the very first person I have put on IGNORE. No thanks needed. I won't see your inane comment anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  11. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Wernbom's meta-study was based on studies involving mostly untrained subjects. Trained subjects may need to use loads in the higher range of 65-85% or even beyond for them to be effective.

    Oh, you won't see this anyway, O&G :)
  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Unless you are doing muscle biopsies, it's pretty difficult to gauge what point in your cycle you are actually growing, which is why most of us measure growth over the course of a few cycles rather than over the course of a week or two.

    Regardless, this is why I've always recommended to only SD when necessary, to start closer to 75-80% of your RM for each rep range and to extend 5s as long as possible.
  13. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Assuming you periodically zig-zag loads while extending 5's to recover, HST would not be very different from any other linear periodization routine aimed at getting stronger, such as Madcow's 5x5. Initially the "smart stuff" was very intriguing and appealing: SD re-sensitizing muscle to previous loads, and all that. Good on paper, dubious in reality.
  14. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    And what is wrong with getting stronger? The 'side effect' of this is muscle growth which is surely what you desire, isn't it?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  15. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Nothing wrong with that, only I envisioned HST differently. It seems to me that Bryan himself too believed in the re-sensitizing trickery. As a strength gaining routine HST's 5-7 weeks of suboptimal loading and only 2 weeks of growth falls short of other "primitive" periodization routines. People working around HST protocol's deficiencies achieve growth more quickly, Totentanz with his extending 5's, and Jester with his extended lower rep strength work come to my mind. Because this inevitably slow progression as one's strength levels permit goes totally against HST principles originally outlined by Bryan.

    The feeling turned out to be wrong: you grow quickly only if you lose the muscle first. Yeah, it's magic, muscle memory. But not the kind of magic Bryan hoped for.

    In short, sad as it may sound: if you're growing (new muscle), you aren't using HST principles.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  16. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    HST is not a strength programme so of course strength gains are not going to be as quick as specific strength programmes, as you well know it was set up for hypertrophy it's just that it doesn't 'appear' to have worked for you - why it took you 5 years to realise I do not know.

    Is it the fault of the system or how you train? how hard have you ever pushed for PRs at the end of each and every rep block? do you reduce rest periods between sets during the 1st week of each rep block?

    I would imagine that there is no problem with people modifying HST to suit each individual providing you follow the four principles (mechanical load / frequency / progressive loads / strategic deconditioning) it is still HST, if not then I am not a 'HSTer' and will stand corrected.

    Where is Bryan? It would be good to have his input on this
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  17. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    This is what Bryan wrote/believed, and what I believed. In reality size and strength are interrelated.
    Only folks who broke the HST rules grew. I mentioned a few of them.
  18. Phil.

    Phil. New Member

    Honestly, I'm really, really glad that I clicked on this thread. Lurker of the past couple months here.

    Even if you believe that HST is an effective program (as I do), this is still something to keep in mind. The problem occurs, I think, when you isolate hypertrophy as a goal in itself. Clearly, during the eight weeks of the actual program, you're gaining muscle (hypertrophy). The question is: how much of that "gained" muscle was lost during the deconditioning period? Does recovering lost muscle result in lost time and effort?

    However--and this is what I like about HST--it doesn't mean that the program is flawed. It just means that we need to think about changing the program as more and more research is conducted. This is only one (admittedly large) principle of HST. It doesn't ruin all of the other principles. It's almost impossible to argue that mechanical load, sufficient frequency, and progressive load are universally ineffective. It would be like saying gravity doesn't work for everybody.

    Also, as of yet, this doesn't even show that SD is ineffective. It suggests that, which is interesting to think about. But still: I'm not untrained. Most of us here aren't untrained, either. If another study was conducted using trained subjects and it showed the same results, maybe more people would listen up. As for now, any attempt to apply this study generally is guesswork at best.

    But this brings up a few questions of my own:

    When is a SD period "necessary" (quoting Totentanz)?
    How long should you extend the 5's?
    What percentage range is "optimal" (clearly I want a lot of different opinions on this)?
    leonardopm likes this.
  19. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    I'd say extend 5's for as long as you're progressing. Strength gains are much more important than SD+weeks of submaximal progression. I'm thinking of doing 2 week long micro-cycles, newer 5RM being the 6th workout's target, and ramp up there using 10lb/5kg steps regardless of the final 5RM load.
  20. TangoDown

    TangoDown Member

    The question is, does statistically significant atrophy even occur after the "recommended" deconditioning period? Remember, we're not talking 21 days like Rihad's study discussed. We're talking, at the least, 9 days.

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