Just starting off with HST- how do I know what weight to start off

Discussion in 'General Training' started by supermanbanana, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. supermanbanana

    supermanbanana New Member


    I've been working out regularly for about 5 months now and and am eager to start HST to change up my routine and just give it a shot. The philosophy behind it makes sense! After reading the articles I am still not quite sure how to figure out the best weight to start off with in the 15 rep phase. I don't want to start too low and I'm under the impression I'm not going for muscle failure in this stage so not too high either.

    Any ideas? Thanks!!
  2. dempsey

    dempsey Member

    Go to the gym and find your 15 rep max for each lift you will use for the cycle.

    Write these down as they will be the loads you use on the last day of the 15 rep two week block.
    Then just deduct 2.5kg or 5kg (depending on how much you can lift) working back to get the starting weights.

    i.e. 15 rep max found in the gym for bench press = 50kg

    Mon 1x15 reps 37.5kg
    Wed 1x15 reps 40kg
    Fri 1x15 reps 42.5kg
    Mon 1x15 reps 45kg
    Wed 1x15 reps 47.5kg
    Fri 1x15 reps 50kg

    You do the same for the 10's and the 5's.

    Find out all your maxes first then take your SD then start the cycle.
  3. hmart

    hmart New Member

    Try to make your starting weight for the 2 weeks at least 70% of your MAX.

    i.e. if you lift a 100 pounds, start with 70, 80, 80, 90, 90, 100 could be a progression.
  4. supermanbanana

    supermanbanana New Member

    Thanks for the replies guys!

    The only thing that doesn't make sense is its seems if I'm starting off at 70% of my max ( after its determined) then I'm spending the following workouts working up to a max that I can already do!
  5. hmart

    hmart New Member

    Yes, but this is by design. You don't work with your maxes everyday, just the last day of each 2 week block. It works and you don't get "burned" like other routines or programs.
  6. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    When you start your cycle with 70% 15RM (I like to start with 75% 15RM and work up in 5% increments) you should be in a 'deconditioned' state, i.e. you won't have been lifting for 9-14 days prior to starting your cycle (what HST'ers call 'Strategic Deconditiong' or 'SD'). I'm not sure what your program of exercises is but I like to do 2 x 15 for a handful of movements. You may be surprised how tough 15 reps with 75% of your 15RM is after a period of SD.

    Also, don't forget that although you are working up to a known RM each mesocycle, the goal is to get bigger and stronger by the end of the cycle. Don't be surprised if you can do 3 x 5 sets across with what was your 5RM when you started your cycle. At the end of a cycle, it's fun to try for new 5RMs in your chosen lifts and then plan for your subsequent cycles. Instead of negatives for post-5s, you might want to try triples or doubles with loads that are above your 5RMs. Just be careful to keep your form solid; you don't want any silly injuries. Then enjoy your SD and work out your load scheme for your next cycle; rinse and repeat!

    Oh, and don't forget to eat, eat, eat! Aim to add a pound a week over the course of your cycle.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  7. supermanbanana

    supermanbanana New Member

    Very helpful. Thanks!

    Ok, so I have been working out for several months. I've got my 15 max figured out. Next plan is to stop working out for 2 weeks. I was just about to start loading creatine. Should I holding off on that until the workouts resume?

    After deconditioning- I'll start on15x max for two weeks. 10x max for two weeks. Then 5 x max for two weeks. Then decondition again?

    Thanks- this approach is new to me, but it makes sense!!
  8. supermanbanana

    supermanbanana New Member

    Oh one more thing, also I'm 35 y/o 182lb. Before trying HST anything over 2000 calories seemed to turn into fat. (I was working out and doing cardio 5 -6 days a week.)

    Any recommendations on calorie intake with HST?
  9. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you add bodyweight, some will be fat and some will be muscle, according to your own P-ratio. You can skew this ratio towards muscle to some extent, through effective training, but you can't expect not to add some fat. Drugs can obviously change this but I'm assuming that is not where you're at.

    2000 cals seems very low to me. Check this out:

    Eating for Size

    There's a lot of useful info in the FAQ's too:

    Diet and nutrition

    All the best.
  10. supermanbanana

    supermanbanana New Member

    Thanks again! and happy holidays!

    So I figured out my 15 rep max, then I did strategic deconditioning, then I did my 15 rep workouts. NEXT is 10 rep workouts but I haven't figured out my 10 rep max ahead of time- what's the best way to approach this?

  11. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Figure out all your maxes ahead of time. So obviously the solution is for you to travel back in time to prior to your cycle, instruct your past self to find your maxes for all three rep ranges, then return to the present and continue your cycle.

    If that isn't an option for you (not sure what technology you have) then just use a rep max calculator this time to estimate your 10RM and 5RM from your 15RM, then kick yourself in the ass as hard as you can for not finding them beforehand.

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