Customizing HST

Discussion in 'General Training' started by proteus9, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. skinnyman

    skinnyman New Member

    i got a question too...i've been browsing here but i couldn't find the answer.. do pulses have the same effect as static holds?

    oh and should we incorporate static holds and loaded stretches only in late 10s or in 5s becauses it might let us reach RBE when we used in on the 15s ? thanks in advanced [​IMG]

    oh and there's a question by lance in the page before this.
  2. robefc

    robefc New Member

    Let's see if I've learnt anything from reading this thread...!

    My understanding is that for pressing exercises static holds have a similar function for pulses in that they increase metabolic stress.

    However, for pull or curl exercises static holds are in the stretched position and therefore increase strain...

    Those that are knowledgeable plesae confirm or correct!


  3. Nemesis7884

    Nemesis7884 New Member

    hey vicious
    one more question
    would you use stain/stress techniques just after 5rm or allready during the first 2 weeks (or how long you do) progressive 5s until you reach your 5rm?
    e.g. pulses - you use a 15rm weight to do pulses - do you do a seperate set of pulses after you regular sets or you just add the techniques (like dropsets) right after a set?
    what do you think about something like this:
    do a normel set of 5s
    then immediatly do drop sets 2-3 sets with reduced weight
    then after the dropsets (you use now proably around 15rm weight) do immediatly pulses
    1x5 rm set
    then drop sets or rest/pause
    then pulses or partials
    then static hold or loaded stretch
  4. Nemesis7884

    Nemesis7884 New Member

    one more question

    is the only difference between pulses and partials that with partials you are more far away from lockout?
  5. robefc

    robefc New Member

    It depends on the exercise - pulses for pulling exercises and curls are totally different to partials. For presses exercises and extensions then yes, partials you're looking at around half ROM and pulses you're only looking at a few inches.


  6. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Pulses do what static holds do, but moreso. And just as pulses are generally more effective than static holds, pulse stretches are generally more effective than load stretches. But, also more dangerous.

    A bit of that, but also from the standpoint of conventional wisdom, I just don't think it's a good idea to add in the kitchen sink early on. Think of each microcycle as a part of an installation. During 15s, you want to prime your body for the future abuse and reacquaint yourself with the "foundation" or core of your routine. During 10s, you install the specialization movements. During 5s, you add in the rest of the exercises and start installing the tricks. Then during post-5s, you really go all out until your body cries uncle.


    That's pretty close. To really understand what's going on, you have to understand how the stretch reflex works.

    Loaded stretches activeate mainly the static. Pulse stretches activate the dynamic portion of the reflex. Pulse stretching is similar to PNF stretching. Specifically, it's a tweaked version of the "hold-relax-swing" PNF stretch. Because chins and other pulling movements don't have particularly stretched ROM, they're not bad candidates for pulse stretches. And PS is perhaps the best way to bring up calves. But I feel PS with stretch-point movements is a bit like playing with fire. The option is certainly there, perhaps something to explore if you feel the LS are coming too easily.

  7. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Somewhere between the middle and the end of 5s. Exception are calves, which could benefit from LS during 10s onwards.

    Pulses (for peak contraction movements) are usually done with a mid-15s to 15RM weight. Whatever produces a satisfying burn after 10-15 pulses, really. Pulses are probably the last things you do in your routine, even after your 15-rep burn set.

    I should probably note that most people just opt to do a simple 15-rep set after their work sets, often after a lengthy rest. Then, after that 15-rep set, they may do pulses on bodyparts they want to further bring up. This way, they don't burn out their CNS, while giving themselves a satisfying burn.

    One of the earlier posts goes into various levels of metabolic stress you can apply. For example, you can do the above example you suggested. Or . . .

    If you're doing a pressing movement, you can go straight into half-range, stronge-range partials, then pulses, finally finishing off with a static hold near lock-out. This, including your basic 5-rep set, should total 15-20 reps total, and the burn should be excruciating. It's more effective than drop sets because you never stop to change weights and you always work in the ROM that produces the most metabolic stress. However, it can also produce significant CNS fatigue.
    If you're doing a pulling movement, you can simply lower your training load by 20-30%, then go straight into weak-range (i.e. closest to body) pulses, then finish off with a static hold. This works better than a normal 15-rep set for creating a burn with a pulling movement, but again there's the added price of CNS fatigue.

    Ironically, I'm not that the world's biggest fan of stretches. I use them sometimes, but I'd rather that somebody find ways to do negatives, so that they can go 10 weeks and continue progressing near 120% of 1RM. If you can do that, then everything else -- including the stretches -- gets amplified further.

    What I'm really excited about is a fusion of cluster and density training whereby really low loads seem to magically produce more DOMS. I'm still not sure how it works, but it seems to work pretty well. :)

  8. Bob Evans

    Bob Evans Member

    Are you saying a 10 week total cycle with 4 weeks or so of "post fives"??

    I love it when you get excited. What do you mean by density training.

    Sorry for the dense question

    Bob [​IMG]
  9. Nemesis7884

    Nemesis7884 New Member

    hmm thx a lot vicious

    last question from my side

    you allready mentioned multiple times volume - total volume etc...

    i think you also claimed that you reduce volume of work sets when you incorporate such techniques into your programme...

    can you give me an example how much you decrease volume usually? this probably depends also on techniques used...

    do you have a recommendation? like do at least 1/3 of 15s volume and then additionally pulses, drop sets or whatever?
  10. ttboyy2k

    ttboyy2k New Member

    Vicious, I noticed in one of your earlier posts when you were talking about sd, you said 14-21 days off. Have you or anyone hear taken 21 days off intentionally? If so, how was your next cycle results going coming off a 3 week SD? I am just curious because I was afraid to go more than 16 days off because I didn't want to loose to much ground.
  11. Nemesis7884

    Nemesis7884 New Member

    this really depends who you trained during the cycle (how often, how intense, how many weeks did you do post 5s? etc..)

    i for example never exceed 14 days of sd because i am usally pretty fast deconditionned and if i wait longer then 14 days, the beginning week will allready be pretty sd is usually 9-14 might loose a little bit after 3 weeks but this shouldn't be too extreme...but as i said if you get good results with 2 weeks sd, why to wait any longer???


    one more question from my side to grand-master vicious

    rest-pause sets vs drop sets - who will win the fight?
  12. Not trying to take from Grand Master V (that sounds pretty good), but there are two different aspects to these, if you are talking metabolic signalling or fatique reduction. Rest Pause adds a new dimension to fatique reduction and increasing load, similar to clustering, whereas drops are a way to induce metabolic flux, and actually increase the metabolic fatique byproduct. Who wins depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
  13. Mason22

    Mason22 New Member

    Do you add LS only to the stretch-point movements, or do you also implement this technique on the core exercises as well (during 5s)?
  14. vicious

    vicious New Member

    WHO is da masta? Sho nuff!! Sorry, just had to do that . . .

    Much better, BUT my HST cycles end at a much higher strain level (i.e. negatives, LS, high frequency) than most HSTers. But, generally, I feel most HSTers would benefit from at least a full 2 weeks rather than the aforementioned 9-12.

    It's really about finding a balance. If you feel some light DOMS in general areas after your first 15s session, then you know you've deconditioned long enough.

    LS can be added to pulling movements as well. It would have to be significantly longer (30-90 seconds), though. For somebody starting out, I'd probably limit LS to the stretch-point movements for now, so they get a feel for how it works for them.

    To be honest, I try to move people away from volume-oriented thinking as possible. Volume should be the last variable to consider in your training. It's merely an extension of the belief that you use techniques to amplify strain or metabolic stress . . . THEN, you bump up the volume to bring up the bottom line. Tension and stretch ROM are your principal strain variables. TUT, density, and contraction ROM are your principal metabolic stress variables. Volume is the repetition of these variables to increase overall hypertrophy.

    The basic workout design inherently has progressive elements to it, which compensates for the decreasing total rep count . For example, I don't do stretch-point movements until 10s. I don't do stretch techniques until 5s or later. I don't do metabolic stress techniques until 5s or later. For a specialized bodypart, the effective rep count stays pretty high throughout the entire cycle. Then it's up to the person whether they want to add more work sets for specialized and non-specialized areas during the 10s or 5s.

    Generally, the rule of thumb is that you perform only one metabolic burn set per exercise, and as little as one burn set per bodypart. No more than one set of pulses. You'd probably add pulses to bodyparts where you've already added stretch-point movements. The key is to match your diet and metabolism with stress techniques. If you're eating a low-carb diet, you probably don't want to add a lot of metabolic stress. If you're eating a higher carb bulking diet, you do. If you have a very high metabolism, you probably don't need metabolic stress at all. If you have a low metabolism, you'll want to do more. If you want to carb load or increase insulin sentivity, you do. If you have problems doing a clean bulk, you do. If you have problems with CNS fatigue, you don't. And so on. Diet (and by extension, body) dictates how much you do, if at all.

    Stretch-point movements should be same-or-lower volume than the compound movement. For example, if you do 3 sets of bench, you'll do only one or two work sets for the deep fly. The emphasis with stretch-point movements are heavy, progressive load and accentuating the stretch. Believe me -- if you add loaded stretches, you won't need more than one work set of stretch-point exercise.

    Usually rest-pause by default, because it's hard to perform true drop sets without selectorized equipment or agile workout partners. I like just doing my 15s set, which should be about 20-30% lower than your 5RM anyway. Metabolic stress is more a product of TUT than load, and so you get most of the benefits by simplifying doing a lengthy set than using heavy loads. And this causes much less CNS fatigue. Density training (i.e. rest-pause) is a another way, as DKM points out, to manipulate the flux over a time differential to increase the total metabolic stress.

  15. shakeel

    shakeel New Member

    coming to dc training there is no sd only cruising and blasting.dont you think that if dc trainees incorporate sd they would make much better gains?sd of about 10 -12 days and then start lower when resuming training?
  16. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Absolutely. Plus DC trainers, given the intensity of the program, will enjoy a significant boost in raw strength, which will facilitate their next cycle.

    The corrolary, though, is that they should do a week of light training (i.e. their cruising) before going back into DC proper. This way, they don't experience excessive DOMS, which would hamper their performance. Plus this could help stave off future injury.

    All in all, such a scenario would be 2 week layoff, plus one week of non-failure training at a load befitting 70-80% of 1RM.

  17. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Abs Specialization

    This is sort of a retread of earlier abs posts. But I wanted to collate everything into a proper post, so that people can easily pick this topic out. Everybody has their own spin on abs. If you're interested in this unique approach, continue reading.

    I'm not a big fan of specialized abs training for various reasons:

    1) You probably need to be <12% bodyfat to actually see the fruits of your effort.

    2) Heavy compound movements, particularly pulling and rowing movements, already work the rectus abdominis (6-pack) and transversus abdominal muscles.

    3) Truly effective abdominal training -- the stuff that could actually produce DOMS in the area -- weakens the core. With a weakened core, this makes almost every other exercise an ordeal. Trust me; this really sucks. [​IMG]

    4) Most abdominal crunches are poor at recruiting the abdominals. Only when using significant weights do the abs become serious worked.

    5) Because the ROM of most abdominal crunches is so limited, they're more like peak contraction exercises. That is, they're excellent at generating burn and increasing functional strength, but they don't create a lot of DOMS without a heavier load. This is, practically speaking, a good thing because you want to avoid a significantly weakened core.

    Vacuum and Using the Transversus Abdominus to Enhance your Crunches

    You don't "see" the transversus muscle; it's the girdle that tightens your waistline and keeps you from throwing your lower back on the deadlift and squat. Much of stability training is about developing the strength of this muscle.

    When you perform your core movement, ideally you want to contract your transversus abdominus along with everything else. Not only will this protect your lower back, but it helps to strengthen this muscle and "tighten" your tummy. To do this, you "flex" your belly button into your spine without sucking in your stomach. If you want to work on this muscle (and feel what is your transversus abdominus), you can try out stomach vacuums. Here is just one example of performing said vacuum.

    The other thing is this . . . when you contract the transversus abdominus, you are also contracting your rectus abdominus. That is, the harder you flex your belly into your spine, the harder you are making your entire ab section work in addition to whatever core or abs movement you're already performing. This is the reason why crunches on medicine ball are so effective -- the ball forces you to contract the transversus abdominus muscles harder to stabilize yourself, that in turn significantly increases the intensity of your ab contractions while doing crunches or core movements. This is also an important basis for Pilates's efficacy.

    Thus, by contracting this muscle, you can make your current abs workout much more effective.

    Pulling movements, Pullovers, and Abs

    Pulling movements (especially chins) are pretty good ab exercises in their own right, because the arm-limb movement causes the rib cage/sternum to go up and down. Abdominal muscles -- oblique and rectus abdominus -- are attached to the sternum. When the rib cage gpoes up and down, well that is largely the extent of the ROM of your abs and is your concentric and eccentric motion.

    Because barbell/DB pullovers uses a more exagerated arc with the arms (going backwards of the body), it naturally provides a bigger stretch for the abdominals. And because machine pullovers provide significant resistance and concentric motion through the bottom of the movement , they provide a bigger burn for the abdominals. In general, pullovers -- either baby -- are actually superior exercises to crunches for both reasons. And they're excellent movements for back width and traps as well.

    You may recognize barbell/DB pullovers as stretch-point movements, and machine pullovers as a peak contraction movement. But, generally, both are pretty good for developing the abs.

    The Nelson Situp

    If you're looking for a change of pace in your abs exercise, try this one out. This movement is great and pretty intense. Like the pullovers, it has a very exaggerated arm arc to facilitate proper concentric and eccentric motion. I would add this into 10s, even halfway into the 10s. I think it's the best general purpose abdominal exercise out there. Below is a reprint of a previous post on the Nelson situp.

    A) It takes out the hip flexors and completely isolates the abs section. You don't work anything but the abs with this movement. Completely safe for the lower back.

    B) You can do it in front of the telly! No additional equipment necessary! It's free! Just 30-60 seconds a day on the carpet!

    C) It brings men closer to women, for they too shall know what abdominal cramps feels like! Did I mention you can do it in front of the telly!

    D) Pretty easy to modulate tension. You can perform it on an incline. You can bend your elbow (as if doing an overhead tricep extension) at the end; the contraction can be excruciating. You can hold a weight. Because this completely isolates the abs, you can generate ridiculous amount of tension in just this area. For most people, this will be all they need.
    E) GREAT for pulses. It sets the abs on fire.

    Ab-based stretches

    The key to create mechanical strain on the abdominal muscle (which has relatively average FT/ST composition . . . unlike calves, it has normal growth potential) is to increase the stretch under significant load. And this is done by moving the rib cage/sternum as far above (by raising your arms) and behind the pelvis (by bending backwards) as possible.

    By default, it means to use ab-specific stretches with loads. Ironically, this is how obliques (side bends) are often worked. And people often complain that side bends seem to overdevelop the obliques. Hmm. ;)

    This is one example of such a standard stretch -- the Standing Stretch.

    The combination of bending backwards and raising off the arms creates the effective stretch and ROM of this movement. Preferably, one would do this one kneeling (similar to this: but with arms raised.) It's both safer and more effective this way.

    While kneeling, a person would hold a heavy weight with arms straight, though slightly in front of the heads. They then flex their transversus abdominis. Then, as they bend backwards, their arms move backwards as if this were a pullover movement. When the arms cannot move anymore, then the person can bend their arms as if it were a tricep extension. Then, to move back into position, they unbend their arms, move their arms forward, and reset.

    A more extreme version of this stretch is to perform this movement on a roman chair or hyperextension bench. One would try to "situp" moving from 90 degrees to way below the bench, with arms starting perpendicular, then moving backwards until they are behind the head. The lets you use less weight than the above example and, given that your upper body is pulling downwards, usually produces a much deeper stretch.

    However, this movement can be a little dangerous if you don't have your ankles firmly in place, and if you don't have your lower back firmly supported by the bench. It's ideal that the bench not only supports your buttocks, but your tailbone as well.

    The stretches are not that intense (usually because you're actually much stronger in this ROM), but they can produce significant DOMS. Thus, it may not be a good idea to use these techniques until the 5s, opting to use 10s-ish weights and progress linearly until they match. And these stretch-point movements are excellent for LS. A combination of this movement and some form of pulsing (from pullovers or Nelson situp) for metabolic stress would probably cover all you need for your rectus abdominus.

    Of course, none of this means squat if you're 20% bodyfat. ;)

  18. ttboyy2k

    ttboyy2k New Member

    Vicious, when you are in your final weeks of an HST cycle, and you are doing all ecentric/negative work on most of your core exercises, do you take the sets to ecentric failure (where on the last rep of the set you are unable to control the lowering rep speed at the magical 3 second rep cadence)? If you do go to ecentric failure, when does this occur in relation to your 1rm max?. Maybe at or around 110-120% or your 1rm max, or what? I would assume you are hopefully injury free, have a strong spotter to assist on lifting portion of the negatives, and you haven't experienced joint pain issues yet. One thing I have personally noticed when doing negative training only, is that the DOMS can be a lot more severe. But I have also heard that there is a lot less chance of CNS burnout durning heavy negative training only when compared to heavy concentric/at or close to failure training.
  19. vicious

    vicious New Member

    No, not really. I cluster my negatives, and I let the rep cadence devolve to 1 second or so when the weight gets extremely, extremely heavy.

    In theory, yes. But, as you approach 110-120% of 1RM (especially on pulling movements), the neural drive is still pretty high. It's just heavy. :)

    This is less of a problem with pressing movements, because you initially start with a significant leverage advantage (near lock-out at the top.) Honestly, you could probably go up to 140-160% of 1RM for pressing movements, and probably 120-140% of 1RM for pulling movements if done as negative partials. Whether you want to is another story. Your joints will probably flip you off before you actually get there. ;)

  20. Moving this here

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