Advanced HST Spreadsheet


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Last month I started a thread to tell forum members about a spreadsheet I created to allow HST trainees to set up their cycles here

Based on the feedback I have received and the number of site downloads this has proved to be helpful to quite a few trainees. I would like to now make available a spreadsheet suitable for more advanced HST trainees who are thoroughly familiar with the underlying principles which this training methodology is based upon.

This spreadsheet does not use the standard method of working out HST macrocycles where you reach your 15, 10 and 5 RM. every fortnight. Instead the user sets a percentage rep max for the very first and last sessions of a macrocycle and the spreadsheet works out the weight increments across the entire macrocycle by dividing the difference between the rep max weights by the number of sessions. This eliminates any zig-zagging and ensures a smooth weight progression is applied across the entire duration of a complete cycle. It is capable of running a 15/10/5 cycle by setting the first and last session rep max percentages appropriately.

The user can apply a variety of set clustering methods based on a linear interpolation of the Verkoshansky/Prilepin tables and also training effect zone clustering. The Verkoshansky and Prilepin tables were formulated primarily for elite level powerlifters to improve recovery and prevent overtraining so this should be kept in mind if you do use clustering based on these tables. If you do use the clustering figures to determine the sets and reps for every session then the number of reps for any one exercise will change between sessions. This is not the standard method of calculating repetitions in HST so it should be considered a purely experimental feature. Standard HST uses a fixed number of reps over a 2 week mesocycle based on a multiple of the maximum repetitions possible for the weights used on the final session within the mesocycle so this would be the recommended approach to use.

There are a number of other features not present in the basic spreadsheet. You can specify the minimum weight increment across sessions to apply to any exercise. It also takes into account if an exercise includes the trainee bodyweight as is the case with dips, chins, pull-ups etc. and includes the bodyweight when calculating rep max percentages. It also indicates which training effect zone applies to an exercise based on the weight used on the session. The recognised training effect zones are endurance, hypertophy, power and strength. Based on the training effect zone you are working within you can modify total reps, rep speeds, rest periods, set numbers and set duration to maximise the training effect. By carefully selecting the start and end session percentage rep max weights and the clustering scheme to apply within a mesocycle it is possible to create macrocycles geared to maximising endurance, strength, power or hypertophy, or a combination of these.

Again I will emphasise this spreadsheet is not for use by novices or beginners to HST, only those of you with a good knowledge of HST who have an understanding of their own training and recovery capabilities and who can adapt and configure the information presented in the spreadsheet accordingly. The zipped version may be downloaded here:

The raw file can be downloaded from

If you open the raw version with a browser a personal copy can be made by going to the File menu and choosing Save As. If you do not have Excel installed on your computer or are not using a Windows-based OS then the spreadsheet may also be opened with the free Open Office software suite of which there are both Windows and Linux versions available. Open Office can be downloaded from here:
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A newer version of this spreadsheet is now available to download using the links in the above post. The rep max estimates based on the two test weight results have been made more accurate by allowing the user to specify if the exercise uses a barbell, dumbbell or neither. The bar weight for the barbell and/or dumbbell you use will need to be entered in the Exercises worksheet. If you are currently using V1.0 of the spreadsheet it is recommended that you switch to version 2.0.

Unless I receive any more recommendations for improvements to the spreadsheet then V2.0 will be the final release.
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I tried both links. Says the file is encrypted and will not import into Pages on Mac os x 10.6
FYI, on mac you can also use Excel or Numbers.
iWork does not use the same worksheet/workbook protection system used by Windows for xls files and this is causing the issue. iWork also tends to scramble complex Excel files during the conversion process so even if there was no protection present it may not open correctly anyway.

There are three possible solutions. You could install the Mac version of OpenOffice available here :

Or you could try the Mac version of LibreOffice available here:

Or there is also NeoOffice :

I would recommend OpenOffice as I know it opens and displays the spreadsheet correctly.
I downloaded the file, when I try to change exercises I am prompted for a password. Where do I find the password or do I have to donate/purchase to get one?
You must be trying to change the wrong cells because I can change all the exercises on the main sheet where the instructions say to change them and I never get prompted for a password?
In the Exercises worksheet you need to enter the exercises you are planning to use in Table 1. These will then automatically appear in the green exercise cells in column C downwards.

Since I am posting I would like to tell users that based on an enhancement request the spreadsheet has been updated to allow the user to define their own set/rep clustering scheme. This defaults to 20 total reps per exercise across an entire cycle but it can be modified if you want to use a different method such as Myo-Reps. The number of reps per set is configured to prevent failure in any one set. If the user-defined scheme is not modified and the start and end percentage RM values are configured to 48% and 103% this will set out the first 6 weeks of a 20 rep per exercise HST cycle without zig-zagging if the clustering is defined as 'Personal' in the Cycle1-3 worksheets. Don't do the Cycle4 worksheet if following these settings. Instead continue with the 5s but keep adding weight, do negatives or whatever other technique you use for weeks 7 and 8. The print formatting has been improved slightly with the current version also. If anyone has any further requests for improvements or additional features I would welcome your suggestions.

Pleased to see you have taken a look at the spreadsheet Tot.
Hey guys, i just noticed if the kg you are lifting are low, then the calculations calculate negative numbers, and then instead of progressing on weight many times the number goes less and less,

( and by that i mean instead of going from 5kg on monday to 7 kg wednesday 9kg friday, it goes 9kg monday, 7kg wednesday 5 kg friday etc etc till it gets to negative kg)

I just can't correct this problem because its read only.
Could you give me the figures for the number of reps for the lighter and heavier weights and also the two test weights used for the exercise so I can check this. Could you also tell me the first and last session rep max percentages you have used in the Exercises worksheet when setting-up the cycle.
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Sure, better yet i can give you my spreadsheet so you can see for your self..!

(Also since im new to this, if you have time could you give a quick look on the exercises i use? )

Thank you for your time man.. this spreadsheet is awesome..
I have looked at the spreadsheet and cannot find any instance of the weights decreasing across sessions. Which exercise should I be looking at?

Good exercise choices, 6 of the 7 primary compounds are there. Doing both chins and pullups is unnecessary so perhaps drop the pullups as chins work the arms more. Another suggestion would be to include standing barbell military press and change the exercise order to

Bench Press
Standing Barbell Military Press
Barbell Row
Barbell Shrugs
Abdominal exercises
Thanks for your review, the reason i choose pullups is for my wings to get bigger (back).

Please take a look on Cycle 1: Week 1 - Chin exercise !
it goes from 6 (tuesday) to 4.5 kg (thursday) then to 3kg (saturday).

Also please take a look on cycle 4!

Even though cycle 3 went great gradually increasing the load (5RM), when cycle 4 started (5RM also) it did not keep up from where cycle 3 ended, it restarted , like doing cycle 3 again..!

Check Week 7 : Day 1 .. its the same as Week 5: Day 1.
That's not supposed to happen.

I hope you understood my point.

Also thanks for your time *again :)
When I open the file you provided chins are all bodyweight (i.e. no added weight) up until session 1 of cycle 3 so this must be an issue with the spreadsheet viewer.

I note that the file has the extension xlsx whereas the original is xls. At some point the original file has been imported and converted by your viewer software so the conversion process has messed-up the spreadsheet. I would suggest you download the version of OpenOffice appropriate for the operating system and native language you use from and open the original xls file I made available at with OpenOffice, then set up your cycle over again.

You pointed out that "Even though cycle 3 went great gradually increasing the load (5RM), when cycle 4 started (5RM also) it did not keep up from where cycle 3 ended". Because you have set cycles 3 and 4 to 5 reps they will both have the same weight progressions, so both week 5 and 7 will be identical as will week 6 and 8. Try setting the reps for week 7/8 to 4 in the Exercises worksheet.
I got MS Excel 2010 and I converted the file from xls to xlsx.

I get it, ill dl openoffice to open this.

If i got this right i have to keep doing 2 week cycles of 5's? I can't do 1 cycle of 4 week 5's ? Is that a rule of HST that i didn't know ? Or its just a preset setting for this spreadsheet?
Because i used to have a 3 week 5RM cycle so it started on day 1 and gradually increased load till week 3 day 9. This is wrong?

Edit: Not converting it on Microsoft Office 2010 did not solve the problem.
I opened the document on open office calc and everything worked like a charm !

Thank you spillaert !
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Pleased you solved the issue mordeth.

Yes you are correct, typically you carry on doing 5s in weeks 7 and 8 but keep on increasing the weight across sessions if possible. This is complex to program into the spreadsheet whilst keeping it general purpose so the suggestion I made is a work-around.

By setting cycle 4 so the last session reaches your 4 rep max ensures you maintain an overall weight progression into weeks 7 and 8 but there will be some zig-zagging for the first few sessions. This can be minimised by reducing the weight increment percentages in the cycle 4 worksheet. Stick to the 3 sets of 5 you use for cycle 3 into cycle 4 but dont worry if you cannot complete all the sets, just try to. Since you do 5 RM for 3 weeks it may be even better to set the weeks for cycle 4 to 3 RM in the Exercises worksheet.
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The basic version of the spreadsheet has been updated and made available at

In the Cycle 4 worksheet there is now a selection box where you can make weeks 7 and 8 continue directly from week 6 with each exercise weight increasing by a fixed percentage increment between sessions, so no need for any work-arounds in weeks 7 and 8.

If you do select 'Yes' in the option box it is advised the weight increments for weeks 7 and 8 be reduced to one half or below the value for the same exercise in cycle 3. If you don't do this chances are cycle 4 will get very difficult quickly. You can also set different exercise percentage weight increments for week 7 and 8 if you want to lower the weight increases in week 8 for example.

Thank you mordeth for drawing my attention to this shortcoming in the basic version of the spreadsheet.
When entering a machine assisted exercise with a negative weight the advanced spreadsheet is apparently able to handle it providing the correctly calculated training weight. However, the calculated warm-up weight is wrong.
Does anybody have a weight list in lbs available that are direct conversions of kgs?


2.5kg 5.5lbs
5kg. 11lbs
7.5kg. 16.5lbs
10kg. 22lbs etc