Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Randy, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Maybe I'm missing something that's fundamental to this program that may account for the very poor results for my first cycle. I'd very much appreciate it if some experienced folks can give me some feedback.

    The negatives:

    1)  Lost a whopping 3 inches on my chest
    2)  Lost 1/2 inch on upper arms
    3)  Lost 2 inches on thighs
    4)  Lost ½ inch on calves
    5)  Waist remained the same
    6)  Unable to do my 5RM on flat bench, incline
    bench, squats, seated row, and incline leg press at
    the end of the 5s.
    7)  Had to drop forearm work because of sore wrist
    tendons. Before dropping these, I was behind my
    preset weights.
    8)  Lost cardio conditioning because I backed off
    running in an attempt to turn around strength/mass
    loss that was occurring.
    9)  Gained fat around waist during ensuing SD

    The positives:

    1)  Gained slight strength in weighted chins
    2)  Gained slight strength in weighted dips
    3)  Slight mass gain in upper traps

    Lost 6 lbs during the cycle...that obviously came mostly from muscle.

    The negatives far outweighed the positives. My wife even commented on my loss (unsolicited by me, I might add) and told me to go back to what I was doing before. I'm going to try another cycle before doing so...I've invested too much time in setting this up and trying to "learn the ways" to abandon it now.

    Maybe I'm missing something that's fundamental to this program that may account for the poor results but I don't know what that might be. I've focused much more on the specifics of this program than I have for any other and came away worse. When I came across inconsistencies and differences of opinions in the forum, I used the HST methods written by Bryan as the ruling body and proceeded based on that.

    I have never (and will never) count calories but I eat very clean and ensure that I get 200 gms of protein, EFAs and plenty of low glycemic carbs each day. Following is a typical non-workout day regimen, current weight 180 lbs, 6ft, medium frame, 47 yrs young:

    0700 - 2 cups of wheat bran or oatmeal cereal w/skim milk
    protein shake
    1tbs flax oil
    multivitamin & vitamin c

    1000 - protein shake
    2 fish oil tabs

    1300 - 8-10 oz fish or chicken or turkey
    serving of veggies (various)
    serving of beans or yams, etc
    2 fish oil tabs

    1600 - ditto 1300

    1930 - MetRx Mrp w/berries & nuts or apple

    2200 - protein shake w/glutamine
    vitamin C

    Typical workout day:

    0700 - 2 cups of wheat bran or oatmeal cereal w/skim milk
    protein shake
    1tbs flax oil
    multivitamin & vitamin C

    0900 - protein shake


    1100 - post workout shake (40gm protein,40gm maltodextrin,
    40gm dextrose). I usually take this over an hour.

    1300 - 8-10oz fish or chicken or turkey
    serving of veggies (various)
    serving of beans or yams, etc
    2 fish oil tabs

    1600 - ditto 1300

    1930 - Metrx Mrp w/berries & nuts or apple
    2 fish oil tabs

    2200 - protein shake w/glutamine
    vitamin C

    I spoil myself with 1-2 large cups of coffee/day with skim milk and white sugar! Give me 50 lashes. I ensure that I get atleast a gallon of fluids each day...about half from straight water and the other half coming from the above.

    I see quite a few posts about keeping the workout time to an hour or less. I have not been able to...could be a contributor??? I simply don't see how you can do a good, full-body workout in HST fashion so quickly. My routine is long but not a lot different from what Bryan has documented as an example. I do 2 work sets (mostly) with some warm-ups and dropsets in the 5s and negatives. Even if there was nobody in the gym I'd be pressed to come in under an hour with condensed intervals. How can you unload the weights from one station, scurry to the next, load up it's weights, catch your breath, possibly do warm up sets, do the work sets with appropriate rest times, possibly do drop sets, possibly do 3-0-1 cadences...

    Today was the first day of 15s on cycle 2. It was an unusually good day in terms of not having to wait long for an exercise station...I had only a couple of short waits. I finished in an hour and 15 mins. I alternate routines A and B and favor repeating a weight over zig-zagging but do some of the latter also:

    A    B
    Squat       Leg Press
    SLDL     Leg Curl
    Leg Extension    Leg Extension
    Incline Bench    Flat Bench
    Chins       Lat Pull
    Dips       DB Press
    Seat Row       Seat Row
    Incline Calf Press    Incline Calf Press
    Skull Crusher     Skull Crusher
    Preacher BB Curl    DB Curl
    BB Shrug       DB Shrug
    Seated Calf    Seated Calf
    Reverse Wrist Curl  Reverse Wrist Curl
    Wrist Curl     Wrist Curl

    At the beginning of the 1st cycle, I kept the cardio sessions about the same as I've always done...about 30 mins after weightlifting, but this is 1 fewer days than my previous 4-day split workout. 2 days I did HIIT jog/sprints (with total 10mins of warmup and cool down time) and the other I'd do steady-state running but at multiple intensity levels. At some point late in the 10s I realized the cycle wasn't going well so I dramatically reduced the cardio to very low intensity, light jogging for 10 mins followed by brisk walking for another 10, in hopes of turning things around.

  2. Calkid

    Calkid New Member

    If you're not counting calories, you're hurting your progress. Would you go to the gym and not count reps?

    I'd say maybe you were eating too little, but if you're not counting it's hard to say.

    Just use fitday, man...don't make it a point of pride.
  3. Randy

    Randy New Member

    If I was eating too little my waist measurement wouldn't have stayed the should have come down atleast a little.

  4. Baoh

    Baoh New Member

    I would, were it me, reduce the number of exercises and not do two workouts per day.
  5. micmic

    micmic New Member

    I find it impossible for you to have lost everywhere else but waist. Girth measurements are bad. They are no way of following progress. My arms may easily be 1cm bigger or smaller during the same day. GI tract contents, level of hydration etc. affect them very much. You seem to have a very disciplined way of eating and training, why don't use a worthy system of body composition monitoring ? You don't have to make it complicated, just buy a set of calipers (Slimguide < 20$ ) and take only one measurement: Abdominal skinfold. Much better than girths. It's 2-3 mm up ? You're getting fatter. It's 2-3 mm down ? You're getting leaner. You could also weigh yourself each morning and average a week's results. That's all, and it's much more reliable than girths.

    Did you eat the same stuff the days before you took your measurements ? Was the salt roughly the same ? Your water intake ? Your workouts ? Glycogen depletion ? How can you be sure that the results are compareable ?

    How many total sets do you do per workout ? How long do you wait between sets ? Do you use supersetting ?

    You may be taking EFAs in good quantities (with these tablets I can't tell), but in any case your fat intake seems to be very low, especially if you eat chicken and turkey without the skin. Maybe under 15gr daily. Too little fat may affect testosterone. I would be ready to bet you're undereating.
  6. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Administrator Staff Member

    Randy, from your results you either weren't eating near enough and lost a great deal of bodyfat, or you have an undiagnosed medical problem. What you describe is like saying, the more water I dump on my head, the dryer my hair gets.

    Now for one, a 6 pound loss doesn't take into account the purported massive loss of girth. The amount of size that you claim to have lost would account for at least 20lbs of muscle loss. For example, if I told you I put 3 inches on my chest, and 2 inches on my thighs, and a ½ inch on both my arms and calves, how much weight would you say I must have gained? 6 pounds? I’m afraid not. I would have to put on at least 20 pounds to make that kind of growth in terms of muscle. On the other hand, because fat weighs considerably less than muscle, it is clear you lost a great deal of body fat. What was your percent bodyfat when you started? What was it when you finished?

    I would suggest you try counting calories in order to put together a diet that is sufficient for weight gain, if that is your goal.

    In addition, I find it nearly impossible not to put on about 3-4 pounds by the second week of 15's after an appropriate period of SD. Did you decondition before you started?
  7. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Believe it. My waist remained at 33 inches. I did the girth measurements in the evening of 3 consecutive days at about the same time of day following my last workout of the cycle...there was very little variance. The reference measurements came a few days after my last workout of my old 4-day split routine (I measured multiple times then, too). Maybe girth measurements aren't as scientific but they are what I (and others) see and, in the end, what really matters. I didn't need to make the measurements to know that I had lost mass but needed to make the measurements to quantify them for others (this forum). I may get skin calipers some day but how I look and feel is how I measure success and I believe that 8 weeks of dedicated training should have produced noticeable, positive results.
    My diet has been pretty consistent for a few years now, but moving to a full-body workout 3 times per week I figured I'd need a few more carbs so I've increased the serving sizes of the appropriate foods a bit. I don't do binge eating (bulking cycles?). There was no variance of my eating in the time leading up to the measurements.
    14 excersises x 2 sets = 28 total sets. That's alot but 7 of the exercises are isolation and not too taxing, especially the forearm work. Rest time between sets is done by feel as recommneded but generally about 1 min for 15s and 10s and up to 2 mins for 5s. I go quicker on isolation exercises. Supersetting is not an option at my busy gym.
    1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil and qty (6) 1000mg fish oils tablets per day. I've always thought there was enough GOOD fats in the food I eat. Saturated fats I avoid.
  8. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Well, I posted my diet above, do you not think it's sufficient? Doesn't the fact that my waistline stayed the same atleast provide some indication that significant fat loss didn't occur? It sounds as if you think I'm full of baloney (not literally :)). Why would I want to mislead people I'm asking for help from? I'm generally healthy aside from a few joint aches when intensity and/or duration gets up there.
    I don't know my bodyfat percentages because I've never had the need to know. I guess I'll have to get some calipers for troubleshooting's sake. I will say that my BF% appears to be lower than most pictures posted here but I know that's of little use.
    Weight gain isn't a goal of mine. I don't really care how much I weigh. Increased muscle mass and decreased fat is what I'm after...probably pretty typical of 47 yr old men. If that equates to weight gain, then yeah. My priority is definitely keeping the fat off and I'll take whatever muscle mass gains I can get but I certainly don't want to lose any. I guess I feel that anything I can do to my already solid diet would fall into the category of fine tuning. My fear is I'm missing something fundamental here.
    Indeed I did. I hit a plateau on my old 4-day split and was on a break when I came across HST. I did the setup work and took another 10 days off before beginning.
    Thanks for your support,
  9. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Can you see abs normally?

    Because Im suspecting you didnt eat enough, and your body is holding onto your abdominal fat, especially visceral to the extreme (the joys of being an older male).

    Its hard to tell much from the girths, as there are too many variables involved in them. BF percentage, or photos would be much handier.
    Or you lost fat and muscle from doing a tad too much
  10. Randy

    Randy New Member

    When I flex, the upper 4 abs are clearly visible...there's that little roll around the naval I'd like to rid myself of. Fat comes off VERY slowly at my age which is why I am soooo leary of adding more carbs and fats. A few weeks of extra eating might mean a few months of extra cardio and dieting if it does go to fat.

  11. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    let me think for a while. i just got the flu, so my brains closed down
  12. micmic

    micmic New Member

    The reason I said "I find it impossible" is that I can't think of many ways to lose muscle without losing fat, even if I wanted to, HST or no-HST. This could happen if:

    - You are an already very lean overmuscled guy
    - You stop lifting (HST or otherwise)
    - Your testosterone fell too low

    I assume you were hypocaloric as your diet suggests.

    Your fat intake does indeed seem to be too low.
  13. The good news is, that if you DID increase calories enough in the short term to pick up some muscles and a little fat, that fat would probably be spread out in visceral and a few subcutaneous areas. . . and most or all of it will come off fairly easily.

    The bad news is, after gaining and losing, you'd still be back where you are with that hard-to-lose belly roll.

    My point is that you may be overly cautious about something that's not that bad; the fat you've got is very tough fat to lose, and it's making you falesly assume that any fat you gain will be as miserable.
  14. nofear88

    nofear88 New Member

    Had you done a cycle of AAS or Pro-hormones prior to your HST cycle? Good luck!

  15. Lil Popa Pump

    Lil Popa Pump New Member

    What about overtraining?

    What about stress in other areas of his life?

    (which I guess may be related to low T)
  16. Kama45

    Kama45 New Member

    Your fat intake seems extremely low. To the point of unhealthy levels for an athlete.
  17. Kama45

    Kama45 New Member

    How were your increments set up?
  18. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Since low fat intake and overtraining seem to be the top suspects I've made the following tweeks:

    1) increased daily flaxseed oil from 1 tbs to 1-1/2 tbs
    2) increased daily fish oil sups from 6 gms to 9 gms
    3) added 1/2 cup walnuts daily
    4) cardio limited to 20 mins, thrice weekly
    5) reduced workout routine by 1 exercise
    6) staying further away from failure on reps

    Regarding 5), I used to do a seated row machine (cybex) each WO and alternated chinups with lat pulldowns every other WO. Now, I dropped lat pulldowns and the cybex row completely and alternate chinups with a low-cable row machine.

    Regarding 6), stopping immediately after a noticeable slowdown on 2nd set...I used to give it one more rep.

    Personal/professional life is in good order, btw.

    Increments are 5% of 5rm.

  19. restless

    restless New Member


    Is there any saturated fat in your diet?
  20. Randy

    Randy New Member

    Virtually none. Isn't that a good thing?


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