Customizing HST

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

  1. boggy

    boggy New Member

    ...just tell us when your tractation is complete so that i can religiously collect all the infos in a single doc. [​IMG]
  2. Bob Evans

    Bob Evans Member


    Are you in traction? Also judging from you posts with Cal Kid -- did you go to Berkley?

    Not to get personal or any thing,

  3. vicious

    vicious New Member

    I'm not sick or hurt. I'm a Berkeley alumni, however, which is pretty much the same thing. :D
  4. BoSox

    BoSox New Member


  5. Bob Evans

    Bob Evans Member

    I thought you were a Brit.
  6. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Adjusting your Max-OT routine minimally

    This isn't a thread about comparing different programs, and this isn't a post specifically about tweaking your HST routine. But a lot of people do Max-OT and secretly wish they could dump their HST routine in order to go heavy (or avoid 15s forever, same thing no? ;) ) all the time. Here's one systematic approach to get your mind jogging.

    1) Instead of waiting until you surpass your rep range to add weight, progressively load week to week. This is similar advice to DC training. This requires some experience with Max-OT and/or training heavy in order to figure how much increments are foreseeable. While ideally you'll want to make 5-10% increments, look at making 2.5% increments if need be. The big assumption here is that you'll gain enough muscle week-to-week in order to compensate for residual CNS fatigue. Whatever the case, you want the weight to go up every week. If you feel unusually strong (especially in the beginning), go for 10-15%. If you feel kinda iffy, go for 2.5-5% There's a bit of trial and error, sure, and so look at your journal for guidance.

    2) Start with a 5-7 or 6-8 rep range. Choose a weight that approaches the high end of your rep range. As you add weight per week, don't worry if your reps go down. Just try your best to keep it within the range. This will give you a good idea how big your load increments should be week-to week.

    3) When the strength plateaus, then switch down to the 3-5 rep range. Make sure you warm up plenty before trying this. Use the irradiation technique and be well-rested in order to work at this range. With pulling movements, adjust ROM so that you're pulling less toward your body. With dips and presses, adjust so that your rotator cuff doesn't get irritated. With squats and such, don't go quite as deep.

    4) Do a carb refeed during weekends. This will help prime your energy stores for next week's new PR. Get a lot of sleep. Make some love. Enjoy life, etc.

    5) SD for 9-14 days. If everything is working well, you should have at least 6-8 week of progressive load before you plateau. The layoff is a little longer than Max-OT's, so that you can decondition yourself. When you start again, start at a load about 15% lower than your last "3RM" (i.e. the last weight you worked with) and restart at the 5-7/6-8 rep range.

    6) Suggestion: Consider pre-empting your Max-OT cycle with one week of 15s using low-volume, full-body workouts. If you plan to do one week of 15s, consider a full 2-week SD before you do 15s and the Max-OT cycle. Yeah, yeah, 15s is the devil, blah blah blah. But consider that -->

    a) This will provide some protection for your joints.

    b) This light training will lessen the DOMS (and thus initial drop in strength) between SD and the beginning of the proper Max-OT cycle

    c) It will facilitate glycogen storage, which is necessary to handle strength. Thus, during this period, you would combine this with a high-carb regimen

    d) This will mentally prep you to go heavy again.

    By doing the above relatively simple changes, you can more or less use the same Max-OT routine you're using -- same schedule, # of sets, and everything -- but enhance its hypertrophy productivity. If, however, you're looking for something along similar lines but more progressive, look below . . .

    "Progressive" variation of Cluster HST

    1) Plan out your typical full-body routine or 2-way split.

    2) For the first session of that week for your bodypart (in other words, if you were using a split, this would apply to your first two workouts), perform as stated in the above section. However, work only one or two sets per exercise, with that optional 2nd set self-terminated. Preferably just stick with one.

    3) For the rest of the week (hitting a bodypart 3x-a-week), stay with the same weight, but switch to cluster training. Here's how:

    3a) Work with the # of sets you usually prefer, but in this case, instead of doing proper sets, you work up to a "total rep" count. For example, if you managed 6 reps for the bench press, and normally you prefer 3 sets for bench press, you may shoot for 18 reps. If you were to able to perform 10 reps before hitting failure, you may choose to cap off the # of reps to 7 per set, and then perform 3 * 7 = 21 reps.

    3b) Use clusters of 1 or 2 reps (use 1 rep when you're working with loads befitting the 3-5 rep range) and take as much rest as needed between clusters in order to hit the quota. If you're currently working in the 5-7 rep range and calculate some thing like 15 total reps, then you may do something like 5x2 with 1-2 minute rests, then 5x1 with 45 second rest periods. The idea is to hit your rep quota without overfatiguing yourself. This will create much less CNS fatigue than typical Max-OT, but provide all of the sarcomere hypertrophy benefits.

    3c) Keep that in mind that depending on the # of exercises, your gym situation, and # of total reps, your workout may be rather long, easily into the 1.5-2 hour range. You may need to superset. You may need to cut down on total reps. But make sure you're not overfatiguing yourself and that your post-WO nutrition is generous.

    4) Follow the other guidelines as stated in the previous Max-OT section. In other words, every Monday, you train to failure and test out the new weight. Then, Wednesday and Friday, you switch to cluster training to use that weight without frying your CNS. The next Monday, you test out a new load again. You'd follow the same points on 5-7/6-8 vs. 3-5, refeeds, SD and other guidelines as stated above.

    The big advantage to this variation is that you'll elevate protein synthesis levels more frequently and evenly per bodypart than true Max-OT, but you'll get to push your strength gains to a much higher degree and more methodically than classic HST.

  7. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Yes, but I'm still your daddy! Cubs in 2005! ;)

    Sorry mate. Just lived around many while at Hillside housing. We all talk like this. :)

  8. Bob Evans

    Bob Evans Member

    Love the intrigue. You answered a few questions and managed to raise new ones. Gotta like it.
  9. Lance

    Lance New Member


    Can you comment on your post in the "To Spice things up" thread?

    It was something along the lines of 3 weeks 5's, 4 weeks progressive negs.

    I took that as an HST tweak towards the heavier end. I don't know how you'd progress the weights with 3 weeks of 5's though.

    Here i pulled it up:
    "I actually agree that an optimal application of HST would probably jettison 15 and 10s altogether. After your 2-week SD, you would go into 3 week period of 5s (longer because there has been no conditioning up to that point), followed by a 4-week period of progressive negatives. In addition, we'd throw in load stretches from the get-go, then rachet up to "pulse-stretches" during the negatives. You decondition 14+ days, and start again."

    Optimal application? Make's me feel very good about it. =)

    So i'm thinking something like this:

    Basic HST
    Cut off the 15's and 10's and start at the first workout (light weight) of your 5's
    Progress through it in 3 weeks instead of 2
    Start 5rm/negatives training for 4 weeks while increasing the weights
    Throw in metabolic work during the whole thing
    Of course your stretching stuff, which i don't know much about

    Nothing i'm saying is very clear b/c i'm rambling, but i don't have a clear picture of how i'd put something like you said together. I'd have to know how effective it would be though, you said optimal so i'm thinking good compared to Basic HST. Also, farther down in that post you said it would be used for immediate results, but not long term success?
  10. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Because you're jumping straight to 5s out of SD, you don't get a lot of protection with the joints. Many movements just can't be done as negatives, thus you'll hit the ceiling with them a lot sooner. To compensate, you could use a combination of load cycling and cluster (such as the above example) in order to keep pushing the 5RM ceiling -- and that is great if you want to balance strength gains with hypertrophy -- but you're then still limited by that ceiling. Finally, 10s and most of 15s is still useful for growth. If you could do 8 weeks of 5s and post-5s, you could do 10-11 weeks if you throw in 10s and 15s as well.

    It's a judgement call, then. If you prefer the low-rep training, have no connective tissue issues, and can find enough negative-friendly movements, then it's a very attractive alternative to traditional HST.

    You'd make your increments more linear and progress less often. The reason you can do that is because, straight of SD, you're going to make a huge jump to about 70-75% of 1RM. That is well, well above your muscle's initial conditioned state, meaning that your muscles will play catch up with you during the 1st week. Thus, during that first week, you can start at a load slightly lower (2 increments at most) than you starting 5s, and then use a linear load increment toward the end of 5s. For the first week and a half, you really don't have to change the weight often. That works out to be roughly 3 weeks.

    There are various choices you make with this; a lot of it will be related to exercise selection. Because you're starting straight into 5s, I wouldn't implement loaded stretching until the last week of 5s at the earliest. If you don't have stretch-point movements (the easiest to implement loaded stretching), then you would look into pulse-stretches with the compound movements. Also, you would look into the DC stretches, fascia stretches, and so on. Examples of such are listed earlier in this thread.

  11. Lance

    Lance New Member

    Okay Vicious i've rearead your post many times and read the customizing thread trying to peice together a routine like this. Here's what i've come up with so far.

    3 weeks of 5's
    4 weeks of post 5's --
    -- neg's for what you can, cluster reps for others

    Not sure where and why the stretches. From what i read, they're for specializing??

    Metabolic work should be thrown in. I found alot of different stuff for that. Does it really matter what one? Just doing sets of 15? Or partials? Pulses? Rest-pause? Jesus, there are so many, and they all seem to have the same end goal.

    If you want me to PM you instead of using the thread Vicious, i'm all open for that. Or even another thread if need be. I have so many more questions, but i'm trying to lay down a basic routine/plan first and go from there.

    Thanks alot,
  12. semajes

    semajes New Member

    There doesn't seem to be much one can do for shoulders -- in particular the medial delt. You mentioned incline lateral raises, though. How would that work, and do you have any other suggestions for getting the most growth out of this (personally) lagging area?

    With all of us suddenly hitting you with questions, I wonder if you are yet regretting having started this thread? [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance. [​IMG] Soon your face will be carved into the mountain beside bryan, blade, and DKM.
  13. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Nah. I regret Proteus. [​IMG]

    You could try doing strong-range partials with upright rows. That is, behind your back. This is considered a loaded stretch manouvre (works very well), but you can implement it as a partial technique with very limited ROM. Most people find the movement rather clumsy, and so they stick with the static hold variation of it.

    Actually I think this technique is more effective than incline lateral raise, but I just find incline bench lateral raise easier to do. If you're already doing upright rows, than take that same weight and hold it behind your back.

  14. semajes

    semajes New Member

    I think I've seen them done, although they were suggested as an exercise for the posterior delts. Is that not right?

    Also, I'm not sure that I understand why incline lateral raises will work better than regular lateral raises. Can you elucidate? Would you lower the dumbells sort of behind you, ala the behind-the-back upright rows, to get a better stretch?
  15. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Considered a lateral and posterior delt exercise.

    Oh no, wrong kind of lateral raises. No, these are lying lateral raises where you lie on your side (on a bench) and raise them one arm at a time across your body. You could just do cable laterals across your body as well. Important thing is to go all the way across the body in order to emphasize the stretch.

    Both this and the behind-the-back row are most effective when treated as partials.

  16. semajes

    semajes New Member

    Ohhhhh. Are you still on an incline?? Sorry, if I'm being really dense -- I'm not that bright. :) But I do smile a lot. (Many of us who are not that bright use this technique. :) )
  17. vicious

    vicious New Member

  18. Dood

    Dood New Member

    The movement you linked to, as you described it, seems as if it would hit the posterior more than the medial. Wouldn't it be better to keep the arm close to your body and move it in an arc parallel to the body, from vertical, (ground), to parallel, instead of out and away from the body?
  19. vicious

    vicious New Member

    Not really. Most row movements regardless of angle, will hit both medial and posterior delts. There may be order of preference, but it is mostly mitigated once you add on the load. However, when you do them behind your back, you're increasing the stretch on both heads.

  20. My face isn't in a mountain [​IMG]

    There are several people in here that are a hell of lot more knowledgeable than me. Besides the two you metioned there's Biz, Our man Vicious here, Micmic, Ilfacell, Kate, Mikeynov, Aaron and Manic(I miss Manic, I wonder what he is up to ?) among others, I just post alot :D

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