HST is a great program in its mechanics and it is far more superior than any other programs that promotes muscle size gains "size and size alone". However training strength is much more logical for beginners since it is a critical factor in future size gains which is one of the principle that the HST program promotes namely "progressive load every workout". Now the problem here is that beginners don't have the sufficient strength that will be needed for the specific rep max micro-cycle of HST which are namely the 15s, 10s, and 5s. Speaking of what specific strength program that should be recommended for beginners, it should be Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength:Basic Barbell Training, for it teaches the lifter the correct form in the most effective free-weight exercises, effective and efficient strength gains for the complete beginners through sound and simplistic strategy using the 5 rep range which is really geared for neurological adaptation, and lastly is its gradual linear progression therefore the lifter/bodybuilder is getting stronger every workout until it stops working. The program is outlined as follows: Workout A Squats - 3x5 Bench Press - 3x5 Deadlifts - 3x5 Workout B Squats - 3x5 Press(shoulder) - 3x5 Powercleans - 5x3 Basically, Rippetoe's program has many similarities with HST's principles particularly progressive load from workout to workout yet linear and frequency in which the trainee trains 3x a week on non consecutive days, however alternated every workouts using Workout A and B. So, training with Starting Strength first until it officially stalls on all lifts along with a 9 days SD after the cycle makes the HST program much more effective due to the initial strength gains through training the CNS. So in order for HST to work much more effectively and efficiently, do Starting Strength program first. HST is not a program for beginners but for intermediate to advanced trainees who wanted to continue to gain more muscle due to the stagnation of the most basic program which is Starting Strength. Everybody should start very simple and progress to a training program with more complexity. The point of my statement is, I may sound somehow cruel but as I've ventured through the world of weight training, I realized that the mastery of the core lifts are really that important in any lifters success in his/her training and I see that most people still doesn't know how to properly execute these fundamental and basic barbell lifts which are the squat, bench, press, cleans and deadlifts. After starting strength, proceed to the simplify and win HST program and as the trainee gets more experienced, additional complications can be added such as addressing a weak bodypart and use some isolation exercises or machine work. But still most people are training too complex that they want to do the complicated stuff in the belief that they will have better progress, however making things too complicated early in any bodybuilder/lifter's program can make an early halt to his/her progress and sometimes even can become counter-productive to their goals. Workout Programs need not be complicated, simplicity is the key for continued progress. Rock it on fellaz..