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Thread: Starting HST next week - how does my routine look?

  1. #1
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    Default Starting HST next week - how does my routine look?

    I've done 6 months of Doug McGuff's Big Five workout (1 workout/week, training to failure) but when I looked up his reasons for training only 1 time per week he misread some literature that he referenced, so maybe it's time for a little more science-based approach. I've read parts of the large FAQ PDF, the article series, and all the stickies on this forum, so maybe I know enough to start. The exercises will be:



    • Barbell flat bench press
    • Chinups (machine assisted in the beginning, with a dumbbell later on)
    • Machine rows (broad grip)
    • Machine curls (same amount of tension at all times)
    • Leg press machine
    • Machine calf raises, 1 leg at a time to avoid dragging too many plates


    Each week I'll be adding 5% of my 15RM. Triceps should be covered by BP, abs by chinups, I'm not doing OHP because I hurt my shoulder doing them, and squats make my lower back hurt for a week even though I have correct form.
    Thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by plumpie View Post
    I've done 6 months of Doug McGuff's Big Five workout (1 workout/week, training to failure) but when I looked up his reasons for training only 1 time per week he misread some literature that he referenced, so maybe it's time for a little more science-based approach.
    What literature did he misread?
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    Quote Originally Posted by misev View Post
    What literature did he misread?
    I thought I had written down what he misread - but I can't find the notes of that. From looking at the references now, I think I downloaded an article that McGuff didn't reference, probably because all these articles have names like '
    Once-weekly resistance exercise improves muscle strength and neuromuscular performance in older adults.'
    So from reading Body by Science I kind of lean towards once a week HIT, but then I look at the HST articles:

    "In a study performed at the University of Alabama4, two groups of subjects performed the same periodized resistance training routine either once per week or three times per week. The results showed that muscle mass increases were greater in the three workout per week group, compared to the one workout per week group. In addition, the strength increases in this group were on average 40% greater!"
    It's also that I'd like to try something that will give me bigger strength gains - I went from chest pressing 30 kg to 50 kg, adding 5 kgs a month, then I deloaded to 40 KG and switched to bench press, where I'm now stuck for 3 weeks at ~6 reps with 50 kgs.
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    HST and the Body by Science in essence are very, very similar, there's just subtle differences like going to failure and accordingly adjusting frequency to one workout per week or so in the later. I doubt that McGuff has misread any research.

    I've done Body by Science with very good results, but that one workout of 15 minutes was a suicide.. a few times I had to lie down on the road as I was going back home from the gym, in order to not pass out.

    Today I just finished my first cycle of HST, with similarly great results. The three times a week frequency is a lot better though.

    Your exercises seem fine, that's essentially what I do, plus shoulder press with dumbbells and triceps extension.
    You could do lateral raises with dumbbells for the shoulders, these don't require so much shoulder flexibility as the press and it's a lot less weight.
    Last edited by misev; 07-20-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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    misev: thanks for the feedback. Rolling down on the road never happened to me, but I did almost have to puke one time
    Went to the gym yesterday and tried out my estimated RM15's. Should I really estimate my RM10 and RM5 (should take 2 days, 1 day per RM), then do a SD of at least 9 days? It's only my first cycle, seems like a good way to letting your muscles atrophy. Then again, if it's needed I'll commit to it ;_;
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    Yeah hitting absolute failure 5-6 times in 10 minutes is really insane.
    I didn't do any measurements, just started with some estimates, and then adjusted along the cycle; in general you will have a good feel about whether to increase more or less for the next workout based on how you performed this workout.
    As you finish the first cycle you'll get a very accurate idea of the 15/10/5RM, so then you can plan the second cycle more strictly.
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    Your muscles cannot atrophy in 9 days. Look at the studies. It takes literally months to lose all the training adaptations that come from weightlifting.

    This is assuming, of course, that you do not do anything obviously dumb with your diet. Eat at maintenance and you will be fine. The most you will get is some temporary strength loss from your central nervous system losing adaptations that will return quickly once you resume lifting.
    PRs:

    Squat - 485 lbs
    Bench - 315 lbs
    Deadlift - 635 lbs
    Total - 1435 lbs
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    So you're saying I should take a SD of at least 9 days just for measuring my 15RM? I've got some DOMS from it, but is it really necessary?
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    You should measure your 15, 10 and 5 RM. The 5 RM is the most important of the three. The 5 RM is the one that you should never estimate. Estimating a 15 or 10 RM is ok, but 5 RMs must be found through testing. This can take more than one session in some cases. But you want the most accurate 5 RMs possible to build your cycle.
    As for SD... If you have been doing a different routine up until this point and have not taken at least a 9 day break, then you must SD to get the best results from HST. Remember that a 9 day SD not only deconditions your muscles so they will be more responsive to the loads you will be applying - very important since you will be starting with submaximal loads and progressing over time up to your maxes - but also a 9 day SD causes several favorable changes such as an increase in satellite cells which can help you grow better than you would without the break,
    PRs:

    Squat - 485 lbs
    Bench - 315 lbs
    Deadlift - 635 lbs
    Total - 1435 lbs
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for all your advice! I took 2 solid weeks off, and my first cycle went great, I added squat back and by eating 3000 kcals I gained 3 kgs as evidenced by weighing myself every day first thing in the morning and plotting a weighted average of the data.
    Anyway, I have a question for my second cycle: you're supposed to get a real lactic acid-burn in your 15's week. If I don't reach this with 15 reps on the first few workouts, should I do more then 15 reps until I do feel the burn?
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