Suggestions needed for an abbreviated 3 week cycle

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by Michel, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Michel

    Michel New Member


    As a person who overtrains extremely easily (=feeling burnt out, tiredness, losing strength and sore joints) I would like to ask the more knowledgeable members of this forum what your suggestion would be for a routine that should:
    a) be abbreviated
    b) consist of only 3 week cycles instead of the usual 6 weeks

    Would you use all three rep ranges in such a brief cycle? Exercises?

    I have searched the forum but couldn't come up with anything that combined these two requisites.

    I should mention that I did try 3 week cycles (not abbreviated) about three years ago with no luck: I still felt overtrained and I ended up with an inflammation in my left pec. I think the problem was that the shorter cycles were offset by going to failure once every week instead of every two weeks. I have also tried HST on a couple of other occasions but with disappointing results, but I attribute that to poor implementation rather than a faulty theory, so for this reason I would like your opinion this time around.

    I really hope you guys can help me with this.
  2. wwewrestlingguy

    wwewrestlingguy New Member

    Shortening your cycle might not necessarily be the answer.. how much volume do you use, what kind of exercises, how much frequency, etc.??
  3. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    Welcome to HST :D

    I will attempt to help you out here, but first I am going to suggest that you follow the HST instructions precisely and then come out and questions us again.

    What seems to be wrong is that you have not followed working out your maximums for each rep scheme.

    Your nutrition could also be below requirements which would influence the way you feel.

    To do what you are asking I would not change much, either than reducing the cycle down to three weeks, however that should only get you tired quicker as you would reach the target weights 7 days earlier. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Your volume and frequency would also be important in order to be able to make a decision to help out here.
  4. Michel

    Michel New Member

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

    Perhaps you are right about sticking to the 6 week cycles. But I still believe in doing a reduced routine. What I had in mind was something like this:

    Day 1:
    dead lift
    incl. bench press
    upright rows

    Day 2:
    military press

    Day 3: same as Day 1

    Day 4: same as Day 2

    The downside to this is that I will always maxout on the same exercises.

    It also means that for each 2 week cycle I will do each exercise (=session) 3 times. I was thinking about overlapping on the first session, with the remaining two being above the previous 2 week cycle, e.g (weights in kg):
    15: 50 - 55 - 65
    10: 60 - 70 - 80
    5: 75 - 85 - 90

    As seen above I would favor rather large increments, hoping to stay well clear of my max weights for any given rep range. I was thinking one set for each exercise, no direct arm work. I would start the cycle after a 12 day SD.

    Does that seem right or is it completely off?

    Regarding my current routine: I have been coming back from an injury that has kept me away from the gym for 9 months. I have problems with my left elbow which is the primary reason for not doing any arm work (biceps are OK, triceps-work tend to produce discomfort). I have been working out for 2 months now, training whole body 3 days/week doing 10x3 reps with quite good result. I have been able to put up with it because of the extremely low weights I have used but I realize that I can't continue like that for much longer, hence the need to go for something different. I understand that HST would give me much less volume than what I am doing right now, but at the end of my first 6 week cycle I would end up doing quite a lot more weight than I am using currently (due to using less volume), and given the fact that load is the primary stimulus I hope it can compensate for the lesser volume.
    Other than that I have always been a HIT style type of trainer: very low volume/frecuency and heavy weights (for me).

    If you need any more info, please let me know.
  5. leegee38

    leegee38 Member

    computer crash! see next post.
  6. leegee38

    leegee38 Member

    Michel, I have had some success with 4 week cycles:

    1 week of 15s

    1 week of 10s

    1 week of 5s

    and 1 week of more advanced stuff (negatives, drop sets, partials, etc.)

    3 weeks seems a little too short to fit everything in for me, but I can work 4 successfully. Good luck!
  7. Michel

    Michel New Member

    Then you reached failure once every week?
  8. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Here's a thread that may help you out:

    Short cycle
  9. Michel

    Michel New Member

    Thanks for the link, I looked through it.

    So the advice is to go heavy. In that case, how about doing weeks 4, 5 and 6 from the regular cycle (10's, 5's and 5's), and doing all 6 exercises on each session instead of doing only three exercises as I had originally planned?

    Also, as I mentioned I the volume will be a lot lower than but I am currently doing, but the weights will also go up. So what do you think is more beneficial: lifting 55kg 10x3, or lifting 65kg 1x10?
  10. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert

    Exactly! I was going to suggest that but felt lazy to write it up! It is better seeing that you are doing reduced volume!

    Option II is better IMO.
  11. Michel

    Michel New Member

    Then that is what I will do:
    week 1: 10's to failure
    week 2: 5's
    week 3: 5's to failure

    I will start next Thursday. I only hope that I won't feel burnt out doing the same exercises 3 times/week. After my first cycle I will let you know about my progress, both size/strength wise and how I feel.

    Thanks for the help :)
  12. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    Only hit failure on the last day of each minicycle, or you may find yourself burn't out!

    This is the reason why you started this thread!

    Avoid failure like the plague and only touch it on the last rep of the last week of each minicylce, that is in short my advice, all esle seems perfectly fine! [​IMG]
  13. Michel

    Michel New Member

    OK, then this is what it will look like:

    Week 1: days 3, 4 and 5 of the normal cycle of 10's (thus avoiding failure)
    Week 2: days 1, 2 and 3 of the normal cycle of 5's
    Week 3: days 4, 5 and 6 of the normal cycle of 5's (reaching failure only on day 6)

    Thanks for the correction Fausto :)
  14. Fausto

    Fausto HST Expert


    We are getting better :D

    But what I really mean is, hit failure on the last day of each week, at the last rep.

    It would be no good hitting failure before you get to your target reps. [​IMG]

    I think that will make it a productive cycle. :)

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