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Thread: HST vs. lower frequency w/ higher volume

  1. #1
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    Default HST vs. lower frequency w/ higher volume

    Hi there. Some folks that seem to know what they're doing keep saying that the relatively lower per-session volume of HST isn't as good for stimulating hypertrophy in practical terms as higher volume done less frequently. Like, 2 sets of 5's three time a week (assuming this is all you can do and still keep going) are worse than 3 same sets but done twice a week to allow for more recovery after more work. Total weekly volume is 6 sets of 5's in both. What's your take? Does it somehow make a set "worse" if done 5 minutes later, 30 minutes later, 1 hour later, 8 hours later, or 2-3 days later? I personally would like that this not be true, but this at least deserves a question...
    Incline bench 72kg/158lb x 2 (Mar'14), Rack pulls (from 1 inch above kneecaps) 202kg/445lb x 10 (Mar'14) @BW 64kg/141lb @171cm/5'7"
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    Here a guy talks about using his variation of HST on his trainees and achieving remarkable strength gains even at advanced levels. The text is originally in Russian, although Google has done a great job translating it. The author goes on noting very little to no muscle gains and dropping a little weight at the same time. Admittedly his variation totally lacks SD, and only does a single set even at lesser weights, which are both crucial for successful HST training naturally.
    Last edited by HST_Rihad; 07-07-2012 at 10:39 AM.
    Incline bench 72kg/158lb x 2 (Mar'14), Rack pulls (from 1 inch above kneecaps) 202kg/445lb x 10 (Mar'14) @BW 64kg/141lb @171cm/5'7"
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    Hi,

    The best way to answer your question is to refer you to the FAQ section of this forum, as for any indepth response would take a lot of typing - time, which I dont really have unfortunately.
    I will summarise very briefly, in that Bryan's research has shown that the muscle can be trained before it has fully recovered. So this system allows more training sessions a week - training being the primary stimulus of growth. Most other training routines wait for the muscle to fully recover before they work them again - though they tend to train to failure, or close to, each time, whereas one of the principles of HST is progressive load (ie; increasing the load each workout)

    See I'm typing more than I intended already!

    Anyway, see the FAQ. Read it all, and you will find your answers.

    From a personal point of view, I made my best gains with HST by training the same bodypart (albeit different exercises) twice a day - am/pm.
    For example, the 'am' workout would be squats, flat bench, rows, etc.. and the 'pm' workout would be leg press, chest dips, chin ups, etc...
    I had been training for well over 10yrs at that time too (and was early 30's)

    Diet, age, test levels are all factors, and everyone is different.

    Stick with it, and if you can try am/pm, I really recommend it. Just remember to EAT....!

    Brix
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    Thanks, Brixtonian. I've read the FAQ all throughout a few times long before. It's just that some guys claim to have had better results doing more volume per session twice a week, as opposed to less volume done 3 times/week as per HST, that's it. Twice a week is also what Lyle McDonald (www.bodyrecomposition.com/) seems to prefer in his bulking routine.

    Regarding your suggestion of an am/pm split, that's definitely an option, but don't you think it's a bit early for me to be thinking about it. Probably when I'm close to benching 265lbs, and squatting/DL 330-350 lbs should I start think of increasing the volume. Now I seem to be making progress (mostly strength) doing the "beginner's" HST setup.
    Incline bench 72kg/158lb x 2 (Mar'14), Rack pulls (from 1 inch above kneecaps) 202kg/445lb x 10 (Mar'14) @BW 64kg/141lb @171cm/5'7"
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    Before HST I trained, very intensely, using Superslow and HIT methods. Both advocate once or twice a week training.
    Volume is important, and you should still try and get in as much volume as you can handle without fatiguing (and note the difference between volume and intensity) yourself, even with HST. Hence the am/pm split.

    Results are always going to be dependant on a variety of factors, other than just the specific routine; as I said before, diet, primarily, also age, recovery ability, genetics, etc etc...

    Give the 'vanilla' HST routine a few cycles, and then try an am/pm split, if you can (I was lucky in that I managed to train before and after my work, and then spent most of my working day eating!)
    I still use a 'vanilla' routine now, and I have been training using HST principles since 2002.
    Part of the 'fun', if you like, is experimenting. Try increasing sets, and decreasing exercises. Its all about the principles, rather than any set routine, dont forget.

    Using HST principles, you could train 6 days a week, am/pm - (have you heard of Charles Polquin? He has had some fantastic results training his clients this way)

    Also, as a side note, once you start lifting really heavy, only increase the volume if you can handle it. Part of the techniques of HST is to avoid overtraining.

    Hope this helps

    Brix
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    Borge Fagerli (Blade), who once contributed to HST greatly, has stopped using HST's frequency exclusively for purposes of mass gains. He might start with 3-4 times a week, then lower it to 2/week, all the way down to 1/week, increasing session volume with it.
    http://www.predatornutrition.com/An-...erli-aka-Blade


    Some people go for an am/pm split, effectively doing 6 workouts per week and doubling their volume. Others like Blade prefer 2/wk or even 1/wk. This difference really makes no sense to me. If frequency is important, why did Blade choose less frequent workouts?
    Last edited by HST_Rihad; 07-08-2012 at 07:20 AM.
    Incline bench 72kg/158lb x 2 (Mar'14), Rack pulls (from 1 inch above kneecaps) 202kg/445lb x 10 (Mar'14) @BW 64kg/141lb @171cm/5'7"
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    If frequency is important, why did Blade choose less frequent workouts?[/QUOTE]


    Because Blade is (almost certainly) at his genetic potential limit, and (no offence Blade) getting older so his recovery ability is far less than a relative youngster (anyone under 30 for sure)

    Bryan has also recommended to me reducing my workouts to 2 X per week, as I have passed 40, and been training for 25+ years.

    You cant fight nature....

    Assuming you are still reasonably young, you should be able to train as effectively 3 X week, as suggested in the vanilla routine.

    Brix
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brixtonian View Post
    If frequency is important, why did Blade choose less frequent workouts?

    Because Blade is (almost certainly) at his genetic potential limit, and (no offence Blade) getting older so his recovery ability is far less than a relative youngster (anyone under 30 for sure)

    Bryan has also recommended to me reducing my workouts to 2 X per week, as I have passed 40, and been training for 25+ years.

    You cant fight nature....

    Assuming you are still reasonably young, you should be able to train as effectively 3 X week, as suggested in the vanilla routine.

    Brix
    I'm 31. I mean, Blade trains his clients that way, probably irrespective of their gym age.
    Yeah, this is my first "vanilla" HST cycle, although I've been doing HST for almost 3 years. Let's see how it goes.
    Thanks for your time.
    Last edited by HST_Rihad; 07-08-2012 at 11:54 AM.
    Incline bench 72kg/158lb x 2 (Mar'14), Rack pulls (from 1 inch above kneecaps) 202kg/445lb x 10 (Mar'14) @BW 64kg/141lb @171cm/5'7"
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  9. #9
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    No, Blade trains SOME of his clients that way. Obviously since he is a trainer, he is going to tailor it to his clients specific needs. Just because he does one thing with a certain client does not mean that everyone should do it that way. Do you know the reasons why he chose that frequency with his client? Do you know the client's age, height, weight, training experience, drug usage, etc? There are so many factors that effect this that there is no way anyone should ever look at what one person does with only some of his clients.

    You should already know why higher frequency works better. How long does protein synthesis last after after a training session? What happens to the central nervous system if you push volume too high?
    PRs:

    Squat - 485 lbs
    Bench - 315 lbs
    Deadlift - 635 lbs
    Total - 1435 lbs
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  10. #10
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    Yeah, I like HST, because its explanations make perfect sense to me. It's just that I've grown very little for the last year of doing it, both in terms of strength and mass. I may be getting old. Or not doing enough of it. Or... doing one heavy set to failure at 3-5 reps. Maybe doing heavy squats and DLs 3 times a week was too much. I don't know. That's why I've now decided to try its vanilla program, which not only doesn't have both DL and squats, but also alternates squats with leg press, and bench with dips. This may allow for some additional recovery. The first thing I've noticed though, is that I can no longer cope up with weights increasing during the cycle. Probably 3 times squats was better than 2. Same for bench press. 3 made better progress than alternating bench/dips.
    Incline bench 72kg/158lb x 2 (Mar'14), Rack pulls (from 1 inch above kneecaps) 202kg/445lb x 10 (Mar'14) @BW 64kg/141lb @171cm/5'7"
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