# Setting up the HST cycle

Discussion in 'HST FAQ' started by Blade, Jan 21, 2003.

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Get all your max lifts recordedfor each exercise you are going to use BEFORE you begin the program. That means, before you start, you will know your 15 rep max, your 10 rep max, and your 5 rep max. This way you will know exactly how much weight you will use each workout for each exercise for at least the next 6 weeks. Undoubtedly, you will rapidly get stronger, making your previously established max inaccurate. This is NOT important. You will adjust the weights when you start your second cycle.

Do a 9-12 day SD, and start the HST program.

The next time around, rather than finding your maxes all over again, simply add 5-10 pounds to all your lifts. In other words, go back over your previous cycle and add 5 – 10 pounds to each weight that you recorded before for the next cycle. Keep in mind that training at your absolute max weight is not necessary to grow….trust me.

2. ### imported_dkm1987Guest

How to Find your Rep Maxes

Start with a weight slightly lower than you feel you can comfortably lift the prescribed number of times. Do one set with this weight using the same tempo you plan on using for your workouts.

When the concentric rep speed slows down dramatically from the first rep, count this as your failure point. If you were able to achieve your desired reps easily without any slowing of the tempo then add 5%-10% and do a second set. The time between sets should be enough to recover sufficient strength, see the Rest Between Sets FAQ.

By at least the third set you should be able to match your concentric failure point with the desired rep range. This is your Rep Max for that rep count.

A more Theoretical Approach

Charles Ridgely wrote an article for Thinkmuscle that uses a more theoretical approach.
<a href="http://www.thinkmuscle.com/newsletter/026.htm#2" target="_blank">Determination of Repetition Maximums
by Charles T. Ridgely</a>

He also wrote a second article in which he explains how to build your own Excel RM generator based on the formulas in his first article. You can find it here

What if I know one of my RMs but not the others

Then either actually find the other Rep Maxes (recommended), use Charles Ridgely's method above, see the FAQ Estimating RMs, if you insist on guessing, or an online calculator to identify the others.