Yet another question about zigzagging

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by DutchVince, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. DutchVince

    DutchVince New Member

    The whole idea of HST is progressing the load each workout.
    After reading some posts about zigzagging it appears that the zigzagging does no harm.

    But no scientific explanation was offered.

    So my question is:

    why does lowering the load at the beginning of a new meso-cycle do no harm? After all there is no load progression at that point.
    A constant progression throughout the first 6 weeks would seem more logical.

    Thanks in advance!

    (BTW: I gained 1,5 kg in the first two weeks! )
  2. faz

    faz Active Member

    (quote)from blade

    Zig-zagging is fine as long as the general trend over time is upwards. If not, the conditioning of the muscle (which is to say, the resistance of the tissue to the mechanical strain of a given weight load) will catch up with you, and your growth will plateau. Growth with a given load will probably only produce gains for about 4-6 weeks. The lighter the load, the shorter the amount of time it will be able to induce muscle growth.

    You can go about 7-14 days before you begin to lose some of the adaptation to previous higher loads. So one week will not cause you to lose ground. But by the end of two weeks with lighter loads, your muscles will begin to adapt to those lighter loads.

    Keep in mind that these time frames are "soft" meaning that there are many variables that can effect things. But in general, 7-14 days of lighter than previous loads will not allow that much un-adaptive response. Utilizing changes in rep speeds and modes of contraction will also make the lighter loads more effective.

    Do not sacrifice the size of the increments to reduce the overlap/zig-zag - it is better (to some extent) to repeat two (or even three) workouts at the same loads. Some people's RMs are so close together that this is needed.

    The reason HST works even though sometimes the weight zig-zags is because of the frequency. HST dictates that you train the same muscle every 48 hours, or at least 3 times per week. Most other training programs dictate that you allow what they call “full recovery” before training the muscle again, which is usually 6-7 days rest for that muscle.

    If you were to zig-zag your weights on a traditional routine the way HST allows, you would have to decrease your weights for at least 3 weeks just to accommodate the weight increments. While using HST, zig-zagging your weights only requires 1 week to get back to your previous weight loads. If using a traditional routine you wouldn’t train at all during this period! A little CNS recovery during the zag doesn’t hurt anybody either.

    If you are uncomfortable with the beginning weights for small muscle groups such as shoulders biceps triceps etc, simply decrease the number of increments and use each weight load twice. An example of this:

    Mon - using 35 lbs
    Wed - using 35 lbs
    Fri - using 40 lbs
    Mon - using 40 lbs
    Wed - using 45 lbs
    Fri - using 45 lbs

    hope this helps :D
  3. DutchVince

    DutchVince New Member

    OK, got it. Thanks !

Share This Page