Need help with HST

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    Need help with HST


    I went to the official site of HST and I'm still a little bit confused. It has a calculator on their for the HST program but I don't know how to use it. From my understanding, with HST you change your rep range every two weeks decending along with an increased load. Where do the reps start at, how much do I decrease the reps each week. Do I need to find an approximate 10 rep max for all my lifts?

    If anyone can make this easier for me, that would be great

    -TheShocker

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    The standard routine, cookie cutter basically, is to find your 15, 10 and 5 rep maxes. You then do three microcycles broken into those rep ranges, 1 microcycle where you increae the weight for two weeks until you hit your 15 rep max, then do each other rep range. Say your maxes for bench are as follows, 150 for 15, 195 for 10, 235 for 5, then your weight progression may look like this:

    1 Set of 15: 125, 130, 135, 140, 145, 150
    2 Sets of 10: 155, 160, 165, 175, 185, 195
    3 Sets of 5: 185, 195, 205, 215, 225, 235

    Do that for every exercise, increase the weigh every workout as shown, and that's the general routine. You find the max weights first, then decondition for 2 weeks, then start the routine. As for a couple of things:

    Don't worry about the rep ranges. They aren't too critical, it's really just a structure to allow for what's really crucial which is a consistent weight increase over time. Don't worry too much about zig zagging, such as in the above example where after the tens you drop to a lower weight again. The progression over time is what matters.

    If you look on the HST boards you'll find a variation called clustering, it's a better version of HST. What you do there is just figure out youre five rep max, set your schedule by increasing the weight for six weeks up to that weight and just do a set number of reps no matter how the sets end up breakingout. This sheet has both versions in it, unfortunately the exercises are fixed but if you plug in some rep maxes in the grey fields in the top of each sheet, and then enter a weight increment percentage you'd like to increase by each workout, it'll lay out each workout for you so you get an idea of how the program works. I've also attached the HST FAQ in PDF format for you.
    Last edited by CDB; 08-16-2006 at 11:06 AM.
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    Thank you, that is exactly what I needed.

    Sweet A88 Spreadsheet BTW!
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    What is a good %INC to use in the Spreadsheet. say 5% maybe?
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    Quote Originally Posted by theshocker21
    What is a good %INC to use in the Spreadsheet. say 5% maybe?
    It honestly depends. If you're doing clustering I'd recommend between 2.5 and 5 percent. What it basically boils down to is this: if you're a relatively trained person then starting with submaximal weights becomes less effective. A lower percentage in the clustering method will then ensure you're starting with a heavier weight.

    If you're going to use the traditional version and you're trained, adjust the percentage on the 15s so the weight's don't start too low. And remember the percentage can be 0 as well, which I did a couple of times just to get a reintro to training after a layoff and then hop into the 10s and 5s. Use the percentages within the 10s and 5s to reduce zig zagging if possible. The higher the weights become the lower the percentage increase needs to be to achieve a reasonable weight increase, so it wasn't unusual for me to be using a 2.5 in the 5s and a 5 in the 10s. Because of the design you'll maintain the weight progression no matter what, so just futz with them keeping those two things in mind: generally trained makes lighter weights less effective; you can adjust to eliminate zig zagging and account for heavier weights later in the cycle.
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    Alright, So each time to use HST, its like a full body workout. I do three sets for each exercise 15reps-10reps-5reps with the assigned weights

    OR

    (Traditional HST)

    3x15 for 2 weeks
    3x10 for 2 weeks
    3x5 for 2weeks
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    Quote Originally Posted by theshocker21
    Alright, So each time to use HST, its like a full body workout. I do three sets for each exercise 15reps-10reps-5reps with the assigned weights

    OR

    (Traditional HST)

    3x15 for 2 weeks
    3x10 for 2 weeks
    3x5 for 2weeks
    Not quite, I didn't really cover volume I just realized. The full body part, yes. The weight increase each workout, if possible, yes. As for volume try to keep it consistent or rising if you can. Along those lines the traditional routine would break out like this: One set during the fifteens, two during the tens, three or four sets suring the fives.

    For clustering it's different. There you just pick a rep target and do whatever you need to do to hit that target. So say you pick twenty reps as your target, at the start of the fifteens you may hit that mark in one set. Towards the end of the fifteens it may take you one set of 15 and one of 5. When clustering you basically do as many reps as you can with the weight until you either hit the rep target or get close to failure in which case you rack, rest for a few, then go again and repeat until you hit the target. It's basically just a method to keep the volume constant through the cycle. I do 20 reps when clustering, some people go higher but the volume ended up being too much for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    When clustering you basically do as many reps as you can with the weight until you either hit the rep target or get close to failure in which case you rack, rest for a few, then go again and repeat until you hit the target.
    What do you mean by "rest for a few". Do you mean few seconds like rest pause or 1 to 2 minutes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir.kevin
    What do you mean by "rest for a few". Do you mean few seconds like rest pause or 1 to 2 minutes?
    However long is necessary to get out the next set of however many reps. Clustering is essentially done on the fly. You go until you have one or two more reps left in the tank, break and go again. With the lighter weights the weight between clustered sets can be a few seconds. With the heavier weights you would weight a minute or two, standard between set time.
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    CDB, one more question about HST. You say that you increase weight every workout. On the spreadsheet for each two week period there appears to be 6 workouts. I dont want to train on the weekends.

    Do I just do M-W-F every week?

    Also,

    What do you mean by deconditioning? Is that the beginning period where there is little or no struggle to complete the routine?

    Thanks again man!
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    Quote Originally Posted by theshocker21
    CDB, one more question about HST. You say that you increase weight every workout. On the spreadsheet for each two week period there appears to be 6 workouts. I dont want to train on the weekends.

    Do I just do M-W-F every week?

    Also,

    What do you mean by deconditioning? Is that the beginning period where there is little or no struggle to complete the routine?

    Thanks again man!
    I'm not CDB, but I may be able to answer these 2.

    Yes, HST is usually done M-W-F, every week.

    Deconditioning is done before you start an HST cycle and when you finish. You just take about 9-14 days off where you don't train at all.
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    Hey, CDB, since you've got such an informative thread going already, I've got a couple questions too.

    Have you experimented with switching up exercises throughout the cycle? For example: Rows on Monday, Pull-ups on Wednesday, Rows on Friday, then Pull-ups on Monday, Rows on Wednesday, Pull-ups on Friday. Or Squats & SLDLs on Monday, Deadlifts & Leg Presses on Wednesday, Squats & SLDLs on Friday, etc. I just like to hit muscles from different angles, although it would make things more complicated.

    BTW, that's the clearest explanation of clustering I've seen. Thanks CDB.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    I'm not CDB, but I may be able to answer these 2.

    Yes, HST is usually done M-W-F, every week.

    Deconditioning is done before you start an HST cycle and when you finish. You just take about 9-14 days off where you don't train at all.
    What he said. Generally though you can do it however you want. Some go two times a week with higher volume per workout, some people do 6 times a week. As long as you're at two or more times a week you're generally good, though a higher frequency works better for some. The important thing is the weight progression over time leading to overload. Remember, those spreadsheets are just a guide, you can modify the workout any way you want so long as you keep increasing the weight, maintain a good frequency and volume, and decondition before you start. For advice, I'd say do one or two cycles straight through to get used to it. You also use those cycles to target in on what you need in the program, like maybe you'll notice you can handle a higher volume than normal, and/or that you respond real well to one range of weights which can happen. Then you use those experiences to modify subsequent cycles to be better suited for your needs. It's just principles in the end, a standard 5x5 routine generally follows the same principles, so you have a lot of flexibility.

    Have you experimented with switching up exercises throughout the cycle? For example: Rows on Monday, Pull-ups on Wednesday, Rows on Friday, then Pull-ups on Monday, Rows on Wednesday, Pull-ups on Friday. Or Squats & SLDLs on Monday, Deadlifts & Leg Presses on Wednesday, Squats & SLDLs on Friday, etc. I just like to hit muscles from different angles, although it would make things more complicated.
    I have. It seems complicated but it's actually easy, especially once you lay it out in a spreadsheet, which as you can tell I'm fond of doing. I have a sheet at home, I'll post it when I get home tonight. It's an upper lower split, two times a week frequency for each, with an alternating A and B workout for both upper and lower. The key thing to make it easy to deal with is just cluster so you're not worried about your 15, 10 and 5 rep maxes (or however you want to break them down) for Christ knows how many exercises. You go through one week of finding your 5 rep maxes in each exercise, SD and then start.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    The key thing to make it easy to deal with is just cluster so you're not worried about your 15, 10 and 5 rep maxes (or however you want to break them down) for Christ knows how many exercises. You go through one week of finding your 5 rep maxes in each exercise, superdrol and then start.
    superdrol?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    superdrol?
    Actually I put the letters S and D there, meaning strategic Deconditioning. Must be something in the board that automatically translates those two letters side by side into superdrol.
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    I didnt know what you were talking about. Lets test it out again

    SD

    PP

    SOB
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    That's funny. Must be a new board function.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moyer
    Have you experimented with switching up exercises throughout the cycle? For example: Rows on Monday, Pull-ups on Wednesday, Rows on Friday, then Pull-ups on Monday, Rows on Wednesday, Pull-ups on Friday. Or Squats & SLDLs on Monday, Deadlifts & Leg Presses on Wednesday, Squats & SLDLs on Friday, etc. I just like to hit muscles from different angles, although it would make things more complicated.
    Sorry to interject but I thought I would try and contribute.

    I have done quite a few cycles of HST with great success and have done some that included rotating exercises throughout the week. I didn’t get the best size gains during that time but strength gains were much better than normal cycles (excluding cluster cycles).

    I don’t remember if it was on the HST board or not but there was a discussion about it being difficult to ensure the level of mechanical strain was constantly increasing or going up and down when using variable exercises for a muscle group. I think that the reason that a constant set of exercises is used is twofold (to me).

    1. Usually you have a ‘more effective’ compound exercise (say dips) and thus switching it out for another one (incline bench) isn’t all that beneficial with the exception of, like you had mentioned, hitting a group from different angles.
    2. Its another variable that is difficult to account for in relation to the ‘constantly increasing load’ principle. In other words, does a 200lb stiff legged deadlift give you the same strain, more strain or less strain as a 260 lb full deadlift?

    In general I don’t like to exclusivly rely on one exercise for development in a particular group. This is why I alternate HST and DC over a span of several mesocycles. But inside a single HST cycle, I usually keep the exercises constant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by precious_roy
    1. Usually you have a ‘more effective’ compound exercise (say dips) and thus switching it out for another one (incline bench) isn’t all that beneficial with the exception of, like you had mentioned, hitting a group from different angles.
    2. Its another variable that is difficult to account for in relation to the ‘constantly increasing load’ principle. In other words, does a 200lb stiff legged deadlift give you the same strain, more strain or less strain as a 260 lb full deadlift?

    In general I don’t like to exclusivly rely on one exercise for development in a particular group. This is why I alternate HST and DC over a span of several mesocycles. But inside a single HST cycle, I usually keep the exercises constant.
    You're correct. There's a bit of a learning curve for new exercises which makes them not as effective as one you know for generating the most tension. But, in the end a progressive load is a progressive load. Whatever undulation happens is usually minimal and can even help during the fives by allowing for a little break while still training. The reason I occasionally do such a routine is because HST sucks for strength for the most part, and if you incorporate at least two exercises per muscle group in alternating planes of motion/movement you can get some strength benefits out of the workout, especially towards the end of the cycle when heavier weights are used.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDB
    You're correct. There's a bit of a learning curve for new exercises which makes them not as effective as one you know for generating the most tension. But, in the end a progressive load is a progressive load. Whatever undulation happens is usually minimal and can even help during the fives by allowing for a little break while still training. The reason I occasionally do such a routine is because HST sucks for strength for the most part, and if you incorporate at least two exercises per muscle group in alternating planes of motion/movement you can get some strength benefits out of the workout, especially towards the end of the cycle when heavier weights are used.
    Agreed. I just like to try and keep the progressive load as progressive as possible during the HST cycle to get maximum hypertrophy and get the most strength gains on another cycle all together. Actually what I have been doing recently is more of a constantly falling rep scheme instead of the cookie cutter 15-10-5. It basically allows me to train to cadence/form failure each time I go to the gym, giving me greater strength gains. Unfortunately, I think that I may be able to do this personally only because of my good recovery time and massive calorie consumption. But then again there is no perfect program for everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by precious_roy
    Sorry to interject but I thought I would try and contribute.
    WTF for??? j/k man. That's why we're here. Good post.
  

  
 

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