Am i off to a good start?

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by XXAdrenaline, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    Well me and my bro are about to start the hst program, i just want to make sure i have this right. After we figure out our maxes, then take a 1 week break, this is what we figured out.

    Week 1-2 (mon,wed,fri,mon,wed,fri): 1 set of 15, use the calculator to reach your max by the 6th day.

    Week 3-4 (same as above) 1 set of 10s, reach max by 6th day

    Week 5-6: 1 set of 5s. Now this is where i get a lil confused. Am i doing my maxes all 6 days, or am i doing it the same way as week 1-4 where i lift to reach my max on day 6.

    Week 7-8: Negatives? This is also where i am not sure how much, what and how i am supposed to be lifting.

    Also how important is our diet? I know it helps, but is it critical in this training program?

    Some notes: i will have a spotter throughout the whole cycle. I plan on going Mon, Wed, Fri, PM workout only. My workout consists of 10 exercises for the full body.

    Thanks to anyone in advance that can give us some advice and input.
     
  2. Looks good. For the 5s you are going to do the same as the other mesocycles (ramp the weight up to the RM).
    Negatives mean that you use a weight that you cannot lift eccentrically so you use some sort of help (such as a spotter) to raise the weight and lower it under control. For example, in bench press you use a weight you cannot lift, you lift it with help from the spotter and try to lower it yourself (under control, of course). Just be careful with negatives as they are HARD and dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
    If diet is important? Well, 80% of your result depends on your diet. Ok, I am not sure about the percentage, but it is critical.
     
  3. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    For the negative, will i be lifting them mon,wed,fri for 2 weeks, on each exercise?

    For the diet, is there somewhere i can look on what i should eat in the monring, noon, evening, etc?

    Thanks
     
  4. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

    Yes, you are off to a good start and welcome to HST. I am new here as well but have quite a few years under my belt of powerlifting. There are many good members on this board and I am sure that they can get you on your way to new development in short order.

    Warning: Long post

    Sets per workout:

    Many of the routines I have seen including my own are attempting to maintain a fairly even number of lifts between each mesocyle. So during the 15s I am doing only one set. During the 10s I am doing 2 sets. During the 5s I am using 3 sets. The sets are merely an organized way of getting in the reps as the weight progresses. Sure the 10s have slightly more volume in my example but the effort involved in both sets is the same and easier to track than performing a set of 10 followed by a set of 5. It wont hurt to do the extra reps. I have also seen examples of people using cycles of 2 X 15, 3 X 10, and 6 X 5. This is a lot of volume but certainly doable. Those few I have seen that did this used a minimal set of exercises though to accomodate the work.

    Negatives and post week six work:

    Yes, try and do the negatives for weeks 7 - 8 when possible, I would say. Negatives have a tremendous effect and let you work with weights far above what you normally lift concentricly. You want to try and keeping lifting with progressively heavier weights. This is your number one objective to progress.

    Not all lifts lend themselves to negatives. I believe that progression in weight is the most important thing. (Yeah I said this again but I aint kidding, it is that important) Do negatives for what you can and use some other techniques to continue progression for those lifts that do not allow for negative work to be done. Max-Stim style, continue on with sets of three reps instead of five reps, perform power partials to continue the set after concentric failure, etc... There are other techniques as well but believe it or not, I aint writing my book today.

    You could also simply try to continue the 5s out for the remainder of the weeks as well. Try adding the smallest increments you can for each session. If you get in all 5 reps in a set great, you will add more next time and see how far it can go. If you dont, thats ok too. You can cluster sets when you reach a weight you cannot get all five reps for. So the first set goes well and you get all five reps. The second set you cant finish and stop at 4. You then continue to the next set and only get three. Normally you would stop at 3 sets but to get all 15 reps in you continue on and andd another set of two and a final set of one rep.

    Now about diet...

    You could get a very wide ranging response as far as diet goes. The response would certainly vary based upon what your goals are for the cycle. I will tell you what my general rule of thumb is. My method is very simple and easy to live with. There are so many different opinions about this though and many diets out there geared towards weight lifting. Some of which will require a bit of measuring and such to get accurate. You will want to do some more research and learning to find what works best for you. What I will be telling you will certainly work well to bulk you up and help you to recover though. You can use this approach for now while you learn to slow bulk or use some of the variable macro nutrient programs out there if you so choose to have a finer control.

    I assume you want to gain during your cycle this time around and are not wanting to cut. So to bulk you would target eating more than your maintenance levels of calories per day. A quickie way to figure out your maintenance calories is to take your body weight and multiply it by 12. If you are carrying a lot of body fat then you might want to adjust this down by 500 or so calories. So example for me at 325# with a good bit of body fat I would calculate to 3900. I will take off 400 calories and say my maintenance level is roughly 3500.

    For the bulk you want to increase your intake above maintenance anywhere from 250 - 1000 calories per day. This is just a basic rule of thumb for how to start off. I personally use 1000 above my maintenance level but am a large lifter and I use a bit of cardio work on the off days as well. If you choose not to use cardio during your bulk you can get away with less. You can try starting at 250 calories and increase it as you go. The main thing to watch for on the bulk is that you are gaining weight on the scales each and every week. You want to try and gain at least .5 pounds per week and can go as high as 2 pounds per week. Any more than two pounds means you are eating too much. It just isnt possible to gain more than a pound a week in muscle. A .25 - .5 pound gain in muscle is much more realistic for a natural trainer.

    Now that you know how much you should eat. How can you possibly eat all that food? Well the common way to do this is to eat six meals per day, one every three hours or so. Spreading your food consumption out over the course of the day keeps your blood sugar levels very even, keeps your metabolism elevated, and insures that your body has a good supply of nutrients to recover from all day long.

    You can evenly spread the calories out over all six meals or you can follow a more traditional three regular meals with snack meals in between each regular meal. I use this approach and am very pleased with it. I am already a large guy and as such I use a calorie surplus of 1000 above maintenance for my bulks. That would mean a 4500 calorie per day diet for me on a bulk. So I try and eat three meals roughly 1000 calories each and three snack meals around 500 calories each.

    This leads me to macro-nutrients. The macro-nutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fat. You should try and eat meals that fall into a composition of macro-nutrients of 40 - 50% protein, 30 - 40% carbohydrates and 10 - 20% fats. You dont have to eat every meal with this exact split. I personally get most of my carbohydrates in my earliest meals of the day with a moderate carbohydrate meal in the evening an hour or so before I lift. Most of my meals in the latter portion of the day are high protein meals. I do this to replenish my muscle sugar stores early in the day to fuel my evening workouts.

    With the exclusion of my last "meal" of the day, the post workout shake. For this meal I have a whey protein shake with either honey or chocolate syrup added to cause an insulin spike and provide my muscles with a simple sugar to quickly replenish the muscle glycogen stores. You need to get this meal in with an hour after your workouts as this is the time your body is still most receptive to absorption. This will help you greatly with your recovery.

    Along with my post workout shake I will eat a bit of cheese or heavy meat in the evening. I do this because these tend to be slowly digested. This will give my body a protein source to absorb over the course of the night. This will prevent the body from using muscle protein stores to fuel the recovery while I am in a catabolic state due to sleep. It is not uncommon for lifters to even eat a meal in the middle of the night for this same purpose. I could never do that and expect to get enough rest in so I opt for a slow digesting protein source right before bed instead.

    An example meal plan might look something like this:

    Meal One:
    Cup of oat meal mixed with whey protein
    Banana
    three or four scrambled eggs
    glass of milk or fruit juice

    Meal Two:
    Protein bar or whey shake
    Apple

    Meal Three:
    Two chicken breasts
    baked potato
    mixed veggies or salad - olive oil or flax seed oil dressing
    glass of milk

    Meal Four:
    Two boiled eggs
    3 - 4 ounces of lean coldcuts or 3 - 4 ounces of cheese

    Meal Five:
    medium sized steak
    mixed vegetables
    salad olive oil or flax seed oil dressing

    Meal Six:
    Post workout shake
    16 oz 2% milk
    one scoop of whey
    one teaspoon of creatine monohydrate
    two tablespoons of honey or chocolate syrup
    or a half cup of frozen fruit, blueberries or whatever.

    3 - 4 ounces of cheese or cottage cheese
    and or cold cuts

    Adjusting from a bulk to a cut the simple way.

    Reduce your daily intake to at or slightly below your maintenance level. Reduce the number of carbohydrates and increase protein intake first and fats secondly if you need to get more calories in to reach your target. There are several guys on this site that can probably give you better advise than this about how to cut. This has worked for me in the past to drop some of the excess weight gained from my bulks. I have been a powerlifter for many years and honestly did not cut very often. Now that I am older and switching more to a bodybuilding lifestyle I plan to cut down a bit. As a powerlifter I would simply cycle in a strength / bulking session followed by a few weeks of recovery work lifting lighter weights at higher reps with a reduced diet to cut some of the fat gained during the bulk. I would increase my cardio during the recovery weeks as well.
     
  5. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    Wow thank you wildman for the time you put into this.

    So I can do negatives on bench pretty much.  What do i do on squat, bicep curls, etc.  Do i just do the same workout of 5's as in week 5-6, or is there a workout to do negatives for each muscle?

    Your diet and overall summary was probably the best one i've seen so far (for me anyways).  I could never figure out when to eat, what to eat, how much to eat, etc.  I will be following your diet plan as i plan on bulking right now.  Since i am only 18, and 14% body fat, i don't think i need to cut right now.  First i would like to gain more muscle mass.

    Now one more question, while im doing my cyclefor weeks 1-6, should i be changing the workout i do for each muscle?
    Ex: Week 1-2 i do flat bench
         Week 3-4 i do incline
    Or do i do the same workout for all my muscle throughout the whole cycle?

    Once again thanks for the info, i will read it again when i get off work to make sure i understand it perfectly.  I just need to make sure if im going to do something, i do it correctly  [​IMG]

    EDIT: Will i be eating this same diet on my off training days? Some days i will do cardio, but not often.
     
  6. BenReffell

    BenReffell New Member

    Do the same exercises each week, is the normal approach. You can swap them between each full cycle e.g. every 8wks if you want to hit the muscle from a slightly different angle.

    Using your example, your Incl will be less than your flat bench, this can affect your progression, though probably not by much. You might therefore find that you hit failure before the end of your 10's doing incl's if you use a weight you calculated as your Max for 10's from doing flat benches. The Incl is the preferred bench exercise (I believe) as it gives a more even development of the chest, but you can change the angle to suit your goals if you want.

    Some people do sometimes use an alternative exercise for specific reasons, eg. many people will do Squats on Mon & Fri but do Dead Lifts on the Wed, this is normally done to stop the lower back from becoming overtired from DL every 2nd day. However if you are not lifting that heavy a weight on DL's (less than about 1.5x your body weight you will probably find you can DL on Mon, Wed & Fri's, just make sure you use good form & listen to your body to protect yourself from injury as injuries will slow your progress the most!)
     
  7. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    That makes sense, thanks. I think i have it all figured out now, once again thanks for the help [​IMG]
     
  8. BenReffell

    BenReffell New Member

    Thinking about previous post, 1.5x body weight may be a little high (depending upon your lifting experience) 1.2 to 1.3x (+20-30% your body weight is probably a better point to start reducing DL frequency, as a lower back injury is the last thing you want!!)
     
  9. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Two exercises that lend themselves to negatives more than most others are chins and dips. Just use a platform/chair to get yourself back up to the top position of each movement and then lower under control.

    If you haven't read this section of the FAQ yet it would be good to do so:

    Negatives/Eccentrics

    It's a smart idea to have a pre-workout shake esp. if you have not been able to eat for a few hours prior to working out. A whey shake with some carbs and creatine is all you need (if you are taking creatine there are studies that show using it in your pre-workout shake improves uptake). I tend to put three scoops of whey in a little fruit juice, add creatine and a bit of water. I take this about 15 mins before I start my workout.
     
  10. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    <div>
    (BenReffell @ Sep. 30 2008,3:50)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Thinking about previous post, 1.5x body weight may be a little high (depending upon your lifting experience) 1.2 to 1.3x (+20-30% your body weight is probably a better point to start reducing DL frequency, as a lower back injury is the last thing you want!!)</div>
    I am 176 lbs at 14% Body fat. Been lifting for about a year 1/2 now, but I am new to this HST program. I've had a lower back injury before and its not fun, but improper form was what caused that.
     
  11. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

    Sorry I didnt get back to this sooner. Lol and Ben took up the slack nicely though. Dittos to the pre-workout meal or shake. Some can eat just before a workout but I have to wait for about 90 minutes before if I squat of deadlift. Squeezes right out of me like a toothpaste tube otherwise.

    I liked Bens reply about staying the course with your big lifts for the whole cycle. I dont suppose it will kill the process to change it but why not try and progress a single lift over the full routine? Certainly makes it easier to track progress. You can always run another cycle of HST if you like it and use the incline as the primary chest movement for that whole cycle. Then maybe even do decline work for a cycle.

    I have been deciding what to do for my final two weeks on the exercises I do not plan to do negatives on. Squats happens to be one of them. I voted against trying Max-Stim since it takes me a while to get comfy under the bar. The M-Time would be less than my prep time I think. My partner looked at me in horror when I described this to him anyway and we are trying to use the same techniques. I have put him through milk squats before, describing Max-Stim only brought back painful memories for him.

    We decided to use clustered sets instead. So we will add a bit of weight to our 5s weight for each session and push ourselves to get in 5 rep sets. If we fail to get 5 reps in a set we will add a set to the end of the 3X5 to accumulate all the missed reps. If we miss too many we will add as many sets as needed to get all 15 reps in.

    Example:
    Set 1 - 5 reps (We made it and a new PR!)
    Set 2 - 4 reps (Didnt get 5 will add a set to the end.), Set 3 - 3 reps (Now we owe three reps to the end set), Set 4 - 2 reps (This set added to get all reps in but failed)
    Set 5 - 1 rep (Added one more set to get in the last missed rep)

    Squats are a good candidate for power partials as well. You could load the bar with a slightly higher weight than your 5s. Try to get all 5 reps, if you do great, if not then finish the set with half and quarter range reps.

    The way I have done this before is to count a half or quarter rep as just that, half or quarter reps. So if I get 4 full reps in, I owe either two half reps or four quarter reps. I would choose the half reps if I have the energy to do them and save the quarter rep work for when the bar gets really heavy.

    If you are not using an A/B split and squat every day then that is six total progressions. Assuming a five pound increment each time that would be thirty pounds total added to your attempt on the last day. For that you might just need the quarter reps.

    Another good method would be to simply go to a three rep set. Either a 3 X 3 or 5 X 3 setup if you are looking to maintain the volume. I think either is fine. Let your state of being guide you as to which to choose. If you are feeling fatigued go 3 X 3, if not then go 5 X 3. Just progress the weights much like you did for the 15 - 10 and 10 - 5 transition. Start with your 5 rep weight and add from there each time is good.

    Hope this helps. If these dont sound appealing lets us know. There are other ways of keeping the progression going and I am sure we can find one that appeals to you. (Well, they are all painful, torturous and sadistic but one will be to your liking I hope...)
     
  12. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    Yea that definately helps.  Only thing im having trouble with is keeping up with my diet.  I try to eat every 3 hours, but it's not always the healthiest food.  I will post with any questions i might have as i get further into the cycle.
     
  13. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    <div>
    (XXAdrenaline @ Oct. 01 2008,9:46)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"> Only thing im having trouble with is keeping up with my diet.  I try to eat every 3 hours, but it's not always the healthiest food.</div>
    Yet eating is the key to hypertrophy. It is the food that makes you grow. All the lifting in the world is only gonna make you tired if you don't eat enough of the good stuff.

    Get a scale and make sure you're consuming at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Then add in carbs and fat till you've got 15 or 16 calories per pound of body weight.

    Some of the guys find that Fitday is very helpful for tracking diet.
     
  14. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    <div>
    (TunnelRat @ Oct. 02 2008,12:33)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"><div>
    (XXAdrenaline @ Oct. 01 2008,9:46)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"> Only thing im having trouble with is keeping up with my diet.  I try to eat every 3 hours, but it's not always the healthiest food.</div>
    Yet eating is the key to hypertrophy. It is the food that makes you grow. All the lifting in the world is only gonna make you tired if you don't eat enough of the good stuff.

    Get a scale and make sure you're consuming at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Then add in carbs and fat till you've got 15 or 16 calories per pound of body weight.

    Some of the guys find that Fitday is very helpful for tracking diet.</div>
    I'm pretty sure i get enough protein and calories in for the day.  But does it matter if, lets say i have a hotdog or 2 one day, even though i get my protein in for the day? Not over doing the calories either
     
  15. <div>
    (XXAdrenaline @ Oct. 02 2008,2:02)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I'm pretty sure i get enough protein and calories in for the day.  But does it matter if, lets say i have a hotdog or 2 one day, even though i get my protein in for the day?  Not over doing the calories either</div>
    What's the problem with hotdogs? I eat tons of them!
    Truth is, eating healthy is not necessary for hypertrophy. Eat enough protein and cals and lift heavy. Just calculate your calories. I thought that I was consuming enough calories and when I started calculating I found out that I was way of target. Feeling full or eating &quot;a lot&quot; are too subjective and often just wrong gauges for number of calories and grams of protein.
     
  16. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    Sometimes i can't really tell how many calories something has if its a BBQ at my work or something. Maybe www.google.com ?
     
  17. There is some estimation to it but there are many tools out there to help. For example Fitday. Of course it is not always practical to weight the steak and measure the amount of bbq sauce over it but guesstimating beats &quot;enough calories&quot;.
     
  18. XXAdrenaline

    XXAdrenaline New Member

    Well i'm in my second week of the cycle, and i gotta say, my eating healthy or diet (w/e u wanna call it) SUCKS. Hopefully im not wasting my time, but i will try to eat healthier to get enough calories, protein, etc
     

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