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Training discussion on Hypertrophy-Specific Training, within the Bodybuilding Forum; Optimising HST A natural trainer can probably put on an additional 30-40 pounds of muscle. Muscle growth requires the proliferation ...


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Old 03-31-2006, 08:11 AM   #31
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Optimising HST

A natural trainer can probably put on an additional 30-40 pounds of muscle. Muscle growth requires the proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells. When this stops, so does muscle growth. Muscles can also grow by increasing the number of cells (hyperplasia). This is greatly enhanced by using testosterone. It also happens in natural trainers depending on their age and training style.

Bone structure and height play no role in muscle "growth". They only play a role in a muscle's appearance. There are other and more important factors involved - such as hormonal milieu, efficiency and levels of various enzymes pertaining to biochemistry (which also determines how your body handles nutrients), length of muscles and attachment of tendons etc etc. just to name a few.

Nutrition (supplements) also plays a role. With HST the same muscularity can be reached in much less time. Under the right conditions, muscle mass can increase dramatically within a few weeks.

Theoretically, with heavy drug use, a human could probably put on 20 pounds in 4 weeks. That same person could probably put on 50-60 pounds in 12 months. I have never personally seen anyone do this though.

Reaching your potential while training natural is still going to take time...years. But you can knock off quite a bit of time with HST and good nutritional and supplementation practices.

Please understand that when people ask me answer questions like, "how big can someone get", I have to be conservative to avoid undue criticism...I couldn't promise anyone 60 lbs of muscle...that’s quite a bit of extra muscle for a natural trainer. I don't really know how much I have "put on" because I began lifting at age 8. So, I don't know how big I would be without lifting. I did get down to 155 however after a severe illness. Since then I have gained about 60 pounds of LBM.

To optimize HST a person should train twice per day. He/she should use 2 routines, and AM program and a PM program. Some exercises could be repeated but most should change from morning to evening. The normal progression of weight increments and reps to be followed. That is twice per day, 3 times per week. So still only train MWF but train twice on those days. I think I get a little more out of it when I do whole body twice. Although, I often split up upper and lower body when something cuts my workout short in the morning. Don't forget we're talking about volume too. The volume doesn't necessarily double. Just the frequency.

There is the possibility that training once per day 6 days per week would be just as effective. But to be on the safe side, a rest day with massage is probably better to avoid injuries.

On days off, you should receive a full body deep tissue sports massage. However, it isn't necessary to get to painful. The massage is simply a way to eliminate spasms, increase blood flow, increase protein uptake, and activate satellite cells. You shouldn't be "sore" after the massage. if it is done properly, your muscles will literally be pumped afterwards. A protein supplement should be taken before and after the massage.

Calories should be high. Take bodyweight and multiply it by 18 or 20 depending on fat gain. This should give you about 500 to 1,000 above maintenance. Protein should be at least 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight. Avoid saturated fat (within reason).

Take a protein supplement before and after training. Use creatine as well. EFAs should be included (Fish oil and CLA).

If you do these things you will grow very quickly. There are other things you can do but then you wouldn't be "natural" anymore.
growth.

Should I modify HST if my goal is fat loss?

HST should not be altered according to caloric intake. Although you will notice decrements in performance when calories and/or carbs are very low, the training stimulus will still be optimized when the program is followed as outlined. While calories are high, the program will optimize the anabolic effects of feeding. While dieting, the program will minimize the catabolic effects of starving (i.e.dieting).

In reality, nutrition should be optimized for the desired goal, then left alone regardless of the training regimen. HST principles optimize the training stimulus. Now, if you go on a fat loss diet and eat too few calories, HST will prevent as much muscle loss as possible because it is optimized for muscle growth. If you are trying to gain weight, HST is still optimized for muscle growth, so HST will ensure the greatest possible gains with a mass building diet.

Here is the only thing I would recommend as far as adjusting the diet:

The purpose of the 15's and early 10's is to flush the tissue with lactic acid and create and accumulation of oxidative byproducts in the cells. In order to optimize this you must be eating a fair amount of carbs. When you eat a lot of carbs the muscle will burn a lot of glycogen, creating lactic acid and producing the desired effect (enhanced tendon strength and functional oxidative capacity). When you get into the heavy 5's and negatives the carbs should come down a bit. Insulin sensitivity declines as muscle damage increases. I would say about 30% carbs during the really heavy weeks is sufficient to support growth.

Tweaking HST

I frequently hear comments both for and against tweaking or personalizing HST on an individual basis. This is to be expected among people who are real enthusiasts of weight training. You also find this irresistible urge to tweak among other enthusiasts such as audiophiles. An audiophile will go out and spend obscene amounts of money on the highest end exotic equipment they can find. But this isn't good enough! They must find some way to "tweak" it, some way to make it their own delectable creation. Anything from placing the turntable on a 3 inch marble slab, putting sand bags on and/or in the speakers, or using speaker wire that cost as much as the car you used to drive to the store. Whenever you find people who are really into what they are doing, they will try to find ways not only to squeeze out the last bit of performance, but also make it their own creation.

I think it comes down to a couple issues which I'll address after a short review for those new to HST.

First let me clarify that HST is based on physiologically sound principles, not numbers. In short, they are:

• Progressive load
• Training volume
• Training frequency
• Conditioning (Repeated Bout effect)/Strategic Deconditioning

So we are dealing with 4 basic issues, Load, Volume, Frequency and Conditioning. Within these basic factors we have reps, sets, and rest. HST differs from previous training methods in many aspects, but particularly in how it incorporates knowledge of how the "cell" physiologically responds to the training stimulus in its methodology. Previous methods focus on effort (A.K.A Intensity), current voluntary strength, and psychological factors such as fatigue and variety (i.e. many different exercises).

• The number of Reps is determined by the minimum effective load (this changes over time based on Conditioning)

• The number of Sets is determined by the minimum effective volume (this changes over time according to current load and Conditioning status.)

• The Rest between sets is determined by the amount of time required to regain sufficient strength to successfully achieve the minimum effective Volume.

• The Frequency (rest between workouts) is determined by the ability of the CNS to recover sufficiently to maintain baseline "health" indicators. It is also determined by the time course of genetic expression resultant from the previous workout.

• The interval of Strategic Deconditioning (SD) is determined by the time course of adaptation to the individuals maximum weight loads. In other words, SD is required to reset growth potential after plateauing. The duration of SD is determined by the level of conditioning attained during the training cycle.

Anyone who argues with these points after understanding them correctly is in error. That is a strong statement but it is true. These are principles that we "know" from research and experience. The data from this research is not theoretically based. It is based on identification, measurements, and direct microscopic observation. All future research will show us is more genetic detail, NOT that we were wrong on some sort of fundamental basis. So, anyone can with confidence apply these principles to their training and successfully induce muscular hypertrophy.

If anyone should attempt to apply these principles and not experience some degree of muscle growth, it is not because the principles are wrong, it is because the application of the principles was flawed. Once again, another strong statement, but it is true. For example, just because you plant a garden and water it does not mean you will successfully grow prize-winning vegetables. Does this mean that your garden acted by some other mysterious agricultural principles other than those based on water, sunlight and soil? Of course not! We "know" the principles of growing plants. Where we fail, is in our application of those known principles.

The application is where the details lie. Issues such as how much, how many, how fast, when and where to name a few.

Whether it be growing plants, or growing muscle, you are dealing with a moving target. Because plants are alive, or put another way, because plants are biological systems, the best application of agricultural principles to grow vegetables will change as conditions change. The same is true for the application of the principles of hypertrophy or muscle growth. The application will change as conditions change. All the while, being careful to stay faithful to the underlying "known" principles.

Why do people tweak and change HST? Well, when done haphazardly it is usually because they have no faith in the underlying principles. This almost never leads to progress, only constant tinkering and frustration. Without adequate knowledge of the principles, and faith in their effectiveness, their expectations will never be realized and their "locus of control" will move ever outwards, blaming everything but themselves for their lack of progress.

In contrast, when people tweak and change their program based on changing conditions, they almost always experience success and they gain valuable experience in the process. Their locus of control will move inwards and they will grow ever more effective at adjusting their training as conditions dictate to keep the gains coming.

If you find yourself lacking faith in your training program, you will most likely fail to reach your goals. You must first prepare yourself. Take it upon yourself to gain the required knowledge of the principles of muscle growth. Only then will you really have faith in your plan. Look up the studies and compare the traditional methods to what the research tells you. Ask questions of people who seem to have faith in what they are doing. Find out whether they are doing it because they were told to do it, or because they know it is the right way to do it. And of course, ponder your own experience and try to make sense of past periods of growth and past periods of stagnation.

How to get in more volume


Having the liberty to train twice per day and/or everyday opens up the possibility to significantly increase training volume.

As long as a "highly conditioned" person stays within his/her limits of exercise tolerance, doing more generally means better gains. I don't mean more fatigue, I mean more reps with a given load... Sounds like one in the same but it isn't really. To understand, consider the "effort" (A.K.A. CNS activation, or even "intensity" by its incorrect HIT terminology) it requires to do the 1st as compared to the last rep of your 10 rep max. The tension produced on the tissue doesn't change from the 1st rep to the last. The only thing that changes is the amount of CNS activiation required to contract the muscle under load.

So, more reps doesn't necessarily mean more fatigue if you can get enough rest in between sets. To get more and more rest, simply do 2 workouts spread out by several hours. Hence, the value of training twice per day.

Another advantage is being able to do more volume per bodypart during one session. You can also split the body up into 2 halves and train half in the AM and the other half in the PM. This essentially allows you to double the amount of volume per session per bodypart.

My comments about training twice per day, 3 times per week as optimal stem from the ability to increase the volume per bodypart, and still having adequate rest between training sessions (e.g. M,W,F).

This also applies to cardio.

It may sound counterproductive but it isn't. Just consuming more food will create a more anabolic environment (more insulin, more leptin, more test, more GH), and the additional exercise also enhances this by increasing IGF-1, and protein synthesis rates in tissues. (yes, cardio increases protein synthesis in those muscle you are using)

The additional exercise will also lower your average glycogen levels and increase your insulin sensitivity at the same time, in addition you will get some upregulation of lipolytic enzymes. All of this makes those additional calories that you are eating less lipogenic.

More on AM/PM splits

Ok, here are a few points to think about.

1) Increasing volume isn't a bad thing. The only time it is contraindicated is when you can't handle any more volume because the current weight loads are sufficiently heavy and are causing sufficient trauma to the tissues with minimal volume and adequate frequency.

There is a false notion that HST is about “low volume”. This notion arose from people erroneously stereotyping HST as a previously existing “muscle beach” method used by guys in “the good ol’ days”. HST prescribes that volume be more evenly distributed over time to create a more constant environment and thus and more consistent stimulus for muscle growth. The volume of training in HST does not differ significantly from previous programs.

2) The only physiological benefit to training twice per day is to increase the amount of loading the muscle is getting. So, if I were to go from once per day training to twice per day training, and not increase the volume, I would not be deriving any particular anabolic benefit from splitting up my workouts into two shorter sessions. You may however benefit from doing this in other ways such as accommodating a tight schedule or getting the most out of limited energy levels.

3) It is ok to either repeat the previous workout, or to use a different group of exercises, as long as the second set of exercises is comparable in effectiveness to the first group. In other words, you can have Workout A and Workout B and simply alternate between them, using workout A in the morning and Workout B in the evening or vice versa.

Different exercises for the same muscle group usually only differ in the number of muscle groups involved, and the degree of stretch experienced by each muscle group during the movement. In the end, when things get really heavy, all primary movers will be activated 100% regardless of the stance, or foot placement, or hand position, etc. So for example, wide stance squats will hit just as much muscle as shoulder width squats. All that differs is the amount of stretch involved for the inner thigh (adductors). However, when a maximal squat is attempted with either stance, all muscle will be equally activated. This can be better understood by considering each joint separately. It is either extending or flexing…regardless of body position.

The point of all this is that you can pick two different compound exercises for each major muscle group, squat/press for legs, high-/mid-pull for back, incline/dip for chest. Then do whatever you want for bis, tris, delts, calves, abs. The reason you can do whatever you want for the smaller muscle groups if because of the limited natural of their function on a single joint.

Another option is to split the body into two halves (e.g. upper/lower or push/pull) and do half in the AM and the other half in the PM. This will allow more time (i.e. sets) to be done per muscle group during a single workout. You can either do more sets per exercise, or simply add exercises and keep the sets per exercise the same.

Now we haven’t touched on the “consequences” of two-a-day training. Briefly, you will be more tired and you will burn more calories. This means that two-a-days will be easier using lighter weight loads such as the 15s, or the first week of any rep range. It also means you will be more likely to experience a caloric deficit. This means you may need to up your carbs while doing two-a-days.

Just as important to realize is that you will be more likely to experience “burn out”. Your motivation to train can really take a hit after several weeks of two-a-days. Keep this in mind! This does not mean that your muscles are experiencing the same mental boredom or fatigue, it simply means that doing something relatively difficult and tiresome twice as often makes you get tired of doing it twice as fast.

Recommendations on AM/PM split during your HST cycle

You won't last long doubling the volume just because you are using am/pm splits.

Here is what I suggest.

1) When using 15s: Go ahead a repeat the am workout in the same day pm workout. Especially when things are very light (1st week of 15s).

2) When using 10s: First week of 10s, assuming some zigg-zagg, go ahead and repeat the am workout in the pm. During the second week of 10s, split the body up into two halves, either push/pull or upper body/lower body. This will allow more sets for each exercise because you are only training half the body at a time.

3) When using 5s: Once again, if you are getting a pretty good zigg-zagg in weight loads (which is just fine), go ahead and do 2 identical workouts, one in the morning and then once in the evening. When things get heavy however, split the body up again into two halves and train have the body in the morning and the remaining half in the evening.

NOTE: training twice per day significantly increases the number of calories you burn in a day. If you are trying to gain weight, take this into account and add additional calories.

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Old 03-31-2006, 08:13 AM   #32
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Submaximal training or not

Submaximal is a term relating strictly to strength. I use the term to describe the act of doing a set with fewer number of reps x

Many have the understanding that linear increments in weight load would always be submaximal as long as you don’t go to failure. This is true, assuming failure always occurs precisely at that number of reps which represents your previously established RM with that specific weight load. But like we said earlier, your 10RM on one day might be your 8RM on another, or even a 12RM yet a different day. It would also be really impractical to try to find your RMs for every conceivable number of reps (and weight increment).

Let’s go back to the idea that there is no “on/off” switch for growth assigned to a given number of reps. 1 long rep (essentially just holding onto a weight for a long time) will make whatever muscles being stretched grow larger (initially). At the same time, making a muscle do 50 consecutive high-force eccentric reps will also make it grow. So it isn’t critical to do a specific number of reps “per set”, although a minimum number of reps per “bout” will be required to achieve the minimum amount of time under tension required to stimulate growth. This "minimum time" changes up (or down as in SD) as your muscle becomes more (or less as in SD) conditioned to the load.

I follow the 15>10>5>eccentric rep progress. I always make sure I hit the target reps on the first set, but I don’t worry about falling short on the second set when I close to my RM. With sufficient rest betweens sets it usually isn’t a problem though.

Simple technique to avoid failure

Since rep speed deteriorates before technical breakdown, end a set when a rep is noticeably slower than the first. So - if you slow down, you STOP. This ensures that you stay at a safe rep number short of failure. The reps decrease as the load increases and fatigue accumulates - you never lower the weight to reach a rep target or to get more sets.

I think it is important to get rid of the notion of the “number” of reps as a principle of muscle growth. Repetitions are not a "principle" of hypertrophy, any more than counting the number of cranks it takes to reel in a fish is necessary to catch fish. You simply crank as many times as is necessary to get the job done. I'm not saying you are doing this, but in order to understand what it is you need to accomplish in the gym, it will help to avoid thinking of the specified number of reps as a restriction or limitation.

Yes, the # of reps a person uses is related to the amount of a weight they’re using as well as their level of strength. However, the # of reps in no way should be used to dictate how much weight they should use. In other words, the only reason we designate a specific number of reps to use is to maintain order in our training. They are used as a guide whereby we can measure our progress. An incorrect usage of reps is to only increase the weight when more reps can be performed at a given weight load. This might be sufficient for an average strength-training program, but it is not a good way to increase hypertrophy.

So if I haven’t completely confused people as to what I am trying to say, let me summarize things this way:

1) There is a certain amount or threshold of weight or tension that must be applied to your muscle tissue in order to get it to grow. That threshold changes up or down depending on your level of conditioning.

2) Active Muscle Contraction (both concentric and eccentric) is facilitative to muscle hypertrophy when tension is applied. Although Passive Stretch is a potent inducer of muscle growth, in most instances we cannot apply the necessary level of passive stretch to each muscle of our body to accomplish real whole body muscle growth. Thus we use muscle contractions to shorten the tissue before stretching it. This way we don’t have to take each muscle to its absolute limit of range of motion before it experiences high levels of stretch.

3) Eccentric contractions are more effective at inducing hypertrophy than concentric contractions using the same relative amount of weight.

4) There is no physiological threshold of repetitions that is necessary for the growth stimulus to be created. It is dependant on the duration and amplitude of stretch relative to the tissues level of conditioning, not the actual number of contractions.

5) Fatigue is not the muscle’s way of indicating that a stimulus for growth has occurred. A growth stimulus can be created without taking a set to failure, and at other times, even taking a set to failure fails to produce an adequate growth stimulus. We have no direct way of knowing how successful we have been at creating a growth stimulus from workout to workout. Direct measurements require a laboratory setting and painful biopsies. The only way to really gauge is to look at what has previously been done to the tissue (i.e. how much weight, how much volume, what level of conditioning are we working with). By continuing to increase the duration and/or amplitude of tension/stretch/load, we can be reasonably sure we are creating an adequate growth stimulus (assuming diet is in order). “Within reason”, it is the total number of reps performed of a given movement during a single exercise bout that is important, not how many are performed each set. You can blame two prominent exercise researchers and their infatuation with minuscule fluctuations in hormone levels for any confusion on this point.

I’m not sure if that clears anything up or not. But it should help to see why the number of reps per set is less important than the overall progression of critical training variables (i.e. load, volume, frequency, diet) over time.

What the “15-10-5-Eccentric” rep scheme does is ensure that we are doing consistent amounts of work each workout. Those who have changed their rep scheme to 15-12-10-8-5 have not experienced any better gains than those using the traditional 15-10-5-etc, in fact, many have reported symptoms of overtraining.

HST's method of using submaximal weights at the beginning of the cycle is based on the fact that the effectiveness of a given load to stimulate growth is dependant on the condition of the tissue at the time the load is applied. This is a very important concept for natural lifters. It is also based on the need to maintain the health (injury free) of the tissues.

You can't really apply the external load based simply on the capacity to do so, and expect to the muscle to respond the way you want it to (growth). Too much weight too soon, even though you can lift it, will not always result in an optimal hypertrophic response. Not only that, but the greater the load, the greater the response to build resistance to it, and/or get injured.

Why not just do as many reps as possible (A.K.A. train at “100% intensity”, or “train to failure”) for every increment/workout instead of changing it only every 2 weeks? Because when using sufficient frequency to stimulate rapid hypertrophy, you tend to get CNS burn out. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to train at “100% intensity” to grow quickly. This is a very unpopular statement to experienced lifters who have prided themselves on torturous workouts. They take pride in their toughness and in their willingness to self inflict nauseating exhaustion workout after workout. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THIS. As long as it is not taught as the correct way to train for “growth”.

HST incorporates ever increasing loads in order to stay ahead of the adaptive curve. This curve is set by the tissues level of conditioning at the time the load is applied. This is as much an art as a science. Because we can't do a biopsy of the muscles every time we train, we have to guess how much, how hard, and how often, based on the available research an the "feeling" of the tissue at the time. Why use submax weights? Because using max weights eventually stops working, and simply increases the risk of injury.

Why not just do as many reps as possible (A.K.A. train at “100% intensity”, or “train to failure”) for every increment/workout instead of changing it only every 2 weeks? Because when using sufficient frequency to stimulate rapid hypertrophy, you tend to get CNS burn out. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to train at “100% intensity” to grow quickly. This is a very unpopular statement to experienced lifters who have prided themselves on torturous workouts. They take pride in their toughness and in their willingness to self inflict nauseating exhaustion workout after workout. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THIS. As long as it is not taught as the correct way to train for “growth”.

So why not train one maximal day only, then utilize "complete rest" thus preserving adaptive energies?

There is no need to preserve "adaptive energies". This is a false notion. These adaptive energies are, in reality, the ability of the CNS to recover voluntary strength. Early "thinkers" noticed the effect of stress on health and compared that to the effects of heavy resistance exercise on strength and came to the conclusion that there was some pool of "adaptive energies" that was limited. Use it all up and you can't recover. What they had not realized was that there are fundamental differences between mechanical loading and Selye's stress model. This caused them to confuse the limitations of the CNS with the resilience of muscle tissue.

Muscle tissue, as indicated earlier, has been shown to recover amidst continued loading. Take for example "synergistic ablation" studies. In these studies the gastrocnemius of an animal is cut so that the standing load is placed almost entirely on the soleus. In these studies the animal’s soleus is subject to a dramatic increase in load during every waking hour. There is no "rest between sets or workouts" or any kind of sets or workouts for that matter. There is no time off to allow "adaptive energies" to do their magic. Nevertheless, the soleus will double in size and weight within days. The muscle literally grows and adapts to the new "environment" while being continually loaded. Now I'm not suggesting that people have this done to get their stubborn calves to grow, but it does illustrate an important point. Which is - the muscle can adapt while it is being loaded, or trained. The tissue does not necessarily need time off. The central nervous system, on the other hand, does need time off. The amount of time off it needs depends on how much "fatigue" was induced.

Please try to avoid "forced reps". During the concentric phase push on the weight but make sure it goes up "quickly". If you are doing an exercise that requires a partner, and he can no longer lift the weight up quickly, you're done.

Fatigue actually "decreases" the damage caused by eccentric reps. The fibers have to be actively contracting while lengthening in order to cause the "right" kind of microtrauma.

Further discussion on fatigue and its relation to a proper hypertrophic stimulus

The 1st set, as with the 2nd set, merely places a given amount of strain on the tissue. As long as you are supporting the weight, the stimulus is present.

You may have heard some discussion about fatiguing fibers becoming disassociated from the rest of the contracting fibers, and thus avoiding the strain. This is true in one sense, and false in another. As a fiber fatigues, it is true that it will stop contracting. When enough fibers fatigue, the tissue as a whole will no longer be able to move against the resistance and you have reached what we call “momentary muscle failure”. Some studies done using eccentric exercise have demonstrated that high resistance eccentric reps produce more microtrauma when done by a fresh muscle, when compared to eccentric reps done after pre-fatiguing the muscle. This would not be wholly unexpected given the above explanation about fatiguing fibers.

However, there is another issue involved that must be taken into account. No fiber is completely isolated from the rest of the tissue, even when it becomes fatigued. So even when one fiber becomes fatigued (sarcomeres by sarcomeres) that fiber will still experience passive stretch by virtue of being attached to adjacent and in-series fibers. So even if a fiber fatigues right away, if the set continues, that fiber will be stretched and strained with the rest of the tissue, the only difference being that the forces will be shifted from the contractile elements of the fiber to the outer structural elements of the fiber. As we know, both passive and active strain/stretch produce hypertrophy.

In short, fatigue is not a critical factor, although it obviously holds importance given the nature of “lifting” weights.

I think where more confusion comes in, is when people begin talking about "intensity". Intensity is generally associated with effort; the greater the effort required, the greater the intensity. This naturally leads to the idea that the last few reps, which require the most effort, are the most effective. If we are strength training, this is often true. However, when training for muscle growth, the fatigue generated by training to failure and beyond (e.g. forced reps) quickly interferes with our ability to train with sufficient frequency.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:15 AM   #33
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Cardio on Off Days

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday are rest days. Light cardio (20-40 min.) may be performed on rest days. Incline treadmill (brisk walk) should be first choice."

Why is incline treadmill the 1st choice?


Its easy enough to be sustained for a long period, yet doesn't interfere with big muscle group movements such as squats or leg press, like bike and stairs do.

Nevertheless, you can certainly do whatever cardio you chose without concern for effectiveness (except swimming). So, if you like biking or jogging better, it will work just fine.

PROPER WAY TO SD

“de·con·di·tion - To cause to decline from a condition of physical fitness, as through a prolonged period of inactivity or, in astronauts, through weightlessness in space.”

The whole point of Strategic Deconditioning is to strategically decondition the muscle tissue. It has nothing to do with rest or strength (that’s for periodization not SD).

The best way to Strategically Decondition is to sit around on your butt all day and ask people to get things for you so you don’t have to get up.

CARDIO DURING SD

Will serious cardio sessions during the SD week hamper your results?

Well, it will have the greatest conditioning effect on those muscle groups used for the cardio.

Exercising has the opposite effect as Deconditioning.

By doing intense exercise you are conditioning the muscle to be resistant for future exercise bouts. Chronic aerobic exercise interferes with strength and size gains on a number of different levels (CNS, MHC expression, etc), none of which have anything to do with deconditioning.

I haven't found brisk walking (on a good incline) to significantly hamper deconditioning.

DIET DURING SD

Eat maintenance during your SD. Keep fat low though.

It's easier to over eat when fat is high. Nothing magical. Avoiding high fat foods just helps a person not exceed their maintenance calorie level.

Now, if you are going to do a LOT of cardio during your SD, it probably won't matter so much.

If you're trying to gain weight, I would suggest eating the same for about 3-4 days into your SD. Then drop the calories a bit as your metabolic rate slows down.

If your calories are really cut, and you don't want to eat maintenance for 2 weeks, don't SD. Move right into the 15s after your 5s. Not only that, but go ahead and extend the 5s as long as your joints are keeping up (i.e. feeling good).

Last edited by _Wolf_; 04-01-2006 at 07:41 AM..
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:16 AM   #34
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this is a link to where you can get a downloadable version for free of HST FAQs

http://www.hypertrophy-specific.info...ST;f=13;t=4624
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:17 AM   #35
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ok now all the above posts are from the HST website....

i thought this might be helpful for anyone wanting to do HST....

also, i read up that u can do full body 6x a week HST style while cutting... dont have much info on it right now, but will tune in later....

hope this helps..
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:08 PM   #36
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ok... so i finally got the 6x per week cutting HST routine....

here it is:

I'm doing 6x a week.

HST training culled from the Vicious Pimp My HST eBook.

weeks 1-2
Squats
OHP
Lat Pulldowns (chin grip)
Bench Press
DL

15 reps for 1 set, M-Sa, starting weights will be around 55% of my 5rm, +/-5% or so.

weeks 3-4
Squats
OHP
Chinups
Bench
DL
incline laterals
incline curls

15 reps done cluster style, the italic exercises are stretch point exercises.

weeks 5-8
Squats
OHP
Chinups
Bench
DL
incline laterals
incline curls

15 reps, might drop down the reps when the weights start to get really heavy and I have to start doing negatives, which hopefully happens once I progress past my 5rm. For weights progression, I will increment every other day (so, two days at the same weight), and faster if I've found I have gotten that much stronger towards the end of the cycle. Which I hope I have, especially on the bench because it's been... years since I've benched for real.

-----x-----

well, i think that answers everything
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Old 04-01-2006, 08:41 PM   #37
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The Mystery of Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy
Richard Joshua Hernandez, B.S. and Len Kravitz, Ph.D.
Introduction

Through exercise, the muscular work done against a progressively challenging overload leads to increases in muscle mass and cross-sectional area, referred to as hypertrophy. But why does a muscle cell grow and how does it grow? Although an intense topic of research, scientists still do not fully understand the complete (and very complex) picture of how muscle adapts to gradually overloading stimuli. In this article, a brief but relevant review of the literature is presented to better understand the multifaceted phenomenon of skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

What is Muscular Hypertrophy?
Muscular hypertrophy is an increase in muscle mass and cross-sectional area (1). The increase in dimension is due to an increase in the size (not length) of individual muscle fibers. Both cardiac (heart) and skeletal muscle adapt to regular, increasing work loads that exceed the preexisting capacity of the muscle fiber. With cardiac muscle, the heart becomes more effective at squeezing blood out of its chambers, whereas skeletal muscle becomes more efficient at transmitting forces through tendonous attachments to bones (1).
Skeletal muscle has two basic functions: to contract to cause body movement and to provide stability for body posture. Each skeletal muscle must be able to contract with different levels of tension to perform these functions. Progressive overload is a means of applying varying and intermittent levels of stress to skeletal muscle, making it adapt by generating comparable amounts of tension. The muscle is able to adapt by increasing the size and amount of contractile proteins, which comprise the myofibrils within each muscle fiber, leading to an increase in the size of the individual muscle fibers and their consequent force production (1).

The Physiology of Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy
The physiology of skeletal muscle hypertrophy will explore the role and interaction of satellite cells, immune system reactions, and growth factor proteins (See Figure 1. for Summary).
Satellite Cells
Satellite cells function to facilitate growth, maintenance and repair of damaged skeletal (not cardiac) muscle tissue (2). These cells are termed satellite cells because they are located on the outer surface of the muscle fiber, in between the sarcolemma and basal lamina (uppermost layer of the basement membrane) of the muscle fiber. Satellite cells have one nucleus, with constitutes most of the cell volume.
Usually these cells are dormant, but they become activated when the muscle fiber receives any form of trauma, damage or injury, such as from resistance training overload. The satellite cells then proliferate or multiply, and the daughter cells are drawn to the damaged muscle site. They then fuse to the existing muscle fiber, donating their nuclei to the fiber, which helps to regenerate the muscle fiber. It is important to emphasize the point that this process is not creating more skeletal muscle fibers (in humans), but increasing the size and number of contractile proteins (actin and myosin) within the muscle fiber (see Table 1. for a summary of changes that occur to muscle fibers as they hypertrophy). This satellite cell activation and proliferation period lasts up to 48 hours after the trauma or shock from the resistance training session stimulus (2).

The amount of satellite cells present within in a muscle depends on the type of muscle. Type I or slow-twitch oxidative fibers, tend to have a five to six times greater satellite cell content than Type II (fast-twitch fibers), due to an increased blood and capillary supply (2). This may be due to the fact that Type 1 muscle fibers are used with greatest frequency, and thus, more satellite cells may be required for ongoing minor injuries to muscle.

Immunology
As described earlier, resistance exercise causes trauma to skeletal muscle. The immune system responds with a complex sequence of immune reactions leading to inflammation (3). The purpose of the inflammation response is to contain the damage, repair the damage, and clean up the injured area of waste products.
The immune system causes a sequence of events in response to the injury of the skeletal muscle. Macrophages, which are involved in phagocytosis (a process by which certain cells engulf and destroy microorganisms and cellular debris) of the damaged cells, move to the injury site and secrete cytokines, growth factors and other substances. Cytokines are proteins which serve as the directors of the immune system. They are responsible for cell-to-cell communication. Cytokines stimulate the arrival of lymphocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and other healer cells to the injury site to repair the injured tissue (4).

The three important cytokines relevant to exercise are Interleukin-1 (IL-1), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These cytokines produce most of the inflammatory response, which is the reason they are called the “inflammatory or proinflammatory cytokines” (5). They are responsible for protein breakdown, removal of damaged muscle cells, and an increased production of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that help to control the inflammation).
Growth Factors
Growth factors are highly specific proteins, which include hormones and cytokines, that are very involved in muscle hypertrophy (6). Growth factors stimulate the division and differentiation (acquisition of one or more characteristics different from the original cell) of a particular type of cell. In regard with skeletal muscle hypertrophy, growth factors of particular interest include insulin-like growth factor (IGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). These growth factors work in conjunction with each other to cause skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

Insulin-Like Growth Factor
IGF is a hormone that is secreted by skeletal muscle. It regulates insulin metabolism and stimulates protein synthesis. There are two forms, IGF-I, which causes proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells, and IGF-II, which is responsible for proliferation of satellite cells. In response to progressive overload resistance exercise, IGF-I levels are substantially elevated, resulting in skeletal muscle hypertrophy (7).

Fibroblast Growth Factor
FGF is stored in skeletal muscle. FGF has nine forms, five of which cause proliferation and differentiation of satellite cells, leading to skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The amount of FGF released by the skeletal muscle is proportional to the degree of muscle trauma or injury (8).

Hepatocyte Growth Factor
HGF is a cytokine with various different cellular functions. Specific to skeletal muscle hypertrophy, HGF activates satellite cells and may be responsible for causing satellite cells to migrate to the injured area (2).
Hormones in Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy
Hormones are chemicals which organs secrete to initiate or regulate the activity of an organ or group of cells in another part of the body. It should be noted that hormone function is decidedly affected by nutritional status, foodstuff intake and lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep, and general health. The following hormones are of special interest in skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

Growth Hormone
Growth hormone (GH) is a peptide hormone that stimulates IGF in skeletal muscle, promoting satellite cell activation, proliferation and differentiation (9). However, the observed hypertrophic effects from the additional administration of GH, investigated in GH-treated groups doing resistance exercise, may be less credited with contractile protein increase and more attributable to fluid retention and accumulation of connective tissue (9).

Cortisol
Cortisol is a steroid hormone (hormones which have a steroid nucleus that can pass through a cell membrane without a receptor) which is produced in the adrenal cortex of the kidney. It is a stress hormone, which stimulates gluconeogenesis, which is the formation of glucose from sources other than glucose, such as amino acids and free fatty acids. Cortisol also inhibits the use of glucose by most body cells. This can initiate protein catabolism (break down), thus freeing amino acids to be used to make different proteins, which may be necessary and critical in times of stress.
In terms of hypertrophy, an increase in cortisol is related to an increased rate of protein catabolism. Therefore, cortisol breaks down muscle proteins, inhibiting skeletal muscle hypertrophy (10).

Testosterone
Testosterone is an androgen, or a male sex hormone. The primary physiological role of androgens are to promote the growth and development of male organs and characteristics. Testosterone affects the nervous system, skeletal muscle, bone marrow, skin, hair and the sex organs.
With skeletal muscle, testosterone, which is produced in significantly greater amounts in males, has an anabolic (muscle building) effect. This contributes to the gender differences observed in body weight and composition between men and women. Testosterone increases protein synthesis, which induces hypertrophy (11).

Fiber Types and Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy
The force generated by a muscle is dependent on its size and the muscle fiber type composition. Skeletal muscle fibers are classified into two major categories; slow-twitch (Type 1) and fast-twitch fibers (Type II). The difference between the two fibers can be distinguished by metabolism, contractile velocity, neuromuscular differences, glycogen stores, capillary density of the muscle, and the actual response to hypertrophy (12).

Type I Fibers
Type I fibers, also known as slow twitch oxidative muscle fibers, are primaritly responsible for maintenance of body posture and skeletal support. The soleus is an example of a predominantly slow-twitch muscle fiber. An increase in capillary density is related to Type I fibers because they are more involved in endurance activities. These fibers are able to generate tension for longer periods of time. Type I fibers require less excitation to cause a contraction, but also generate less force. They utilize fats and carbohydrates better because of the increased reliance on oxidative metabolism (the body’s complex energy system that transforms energy from the breakdown of fuels with the assistance of oxygen) (12).
Type I fibers have been shown to hypertrophy considerably due to progressive overload (13,15). It is interesting to note that there is an increase in Type I fiber area not only with resistance exercise, but also to some degree with aerobic exercise (14).

Type II Fibers
Type II fibers can be found in muscles which require greater amounts of force production for shorter periods of time, such as the gastrocnemius and vastus lateralis. Type II fibers can be further classified as Type IIa and Type IIb muscle fibers.

Type IIa Fibers
Type IIa fibers, also known as fast twitch oxidative glycolytic fibers (FOG), are hybrids between Type I and IIb fibers. Type IIa fibers carry characteristics of both Type I and IIb fibers. They rely on both anaerobic (reactions which produce energy that do not require oxygen), and oxidative metabolism to support contraction (12).
With resistance training as well as endurance training, Type IIb fibers convert into Type IIa fibers, causing an increase in the percentage of Type IIa fibers within a muscle (13). Type IIa fibers also have an increase in cross sectional area resulting in hypertrophy with resistance exercise (13). With disuse and atrophy, the Type IIa fibers convert back to Type IIb fibers.

Type IIb Fibers
Type IIb fibers are fast-twitch glycolytic fibers (FG). These fibers rely solely on anaerobic metabolism for energy for contraction, which is the reason they have high amounts of glycolytic enzymes. These fibers generate the greatest amount of force due to an increase in the size of the nerve body, axon and muscle fiber, a higher conduction velocity of alpha motor nerves, and a higher amount of excitement necessary to start an action potential (12). Although this fiber type is able to generate the greatest amount of force, it is also maintains tension for a shortesst period of time (of all the muscle fiber types).
Type IIb fibers convert into Type IIa fibers with resistance exercise. It is believed that resistance training causes an increase in the oxidative capacity of the strength-trained muscle. Because Type IIa fibers have a greater oxidative capacity than Type IIb fibers, the change is a positive adaptation to the demands of exercise (13).

Conclusion
Muscular hypertrophy is a multidimensional process, with numerous factors involved. It involves a complex interaction of satellite cells, the immune system, growth factors, and hormones with the individual muscle fibers of each muscle. Although our goals as fitness professionals and personal trainers motivates us to learn new and more effective ways of training the human body, the basic understanding of how a muscle fiber adapts to an acute and chronic training stimulus is an important educational foundation of our profession.


Table 1. Structural Changes that Occur as a Result of Muscle Fiber Hypertrophy
Increase in actin filaments
Increase in myosin filaments
Increase in myofibrils
Increase in sarcoplasm
Increase in muscle fiber connective tissue
Source: Wilmore, J.H. and D. L. Costill. Physiology of Sport and Exercise (2nd Edition).Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1999.


References

1. Russell, B., D. Motlagh,, and W. W. Ashley. Form follows functions: how muscle shape is regulated by work. Journal of Applied Physiology 88: 1127-1132, 2000.

2. Hawke, T.J., and D. J. Garry. Myogenic satellite cells: physiology to molecular biology. Journal of Applied Physiology. 91: 534-551, 2001.

3. Shephard, R. J. and P.N. Shek. Immune responses to inflammation and trauma: a physical training model. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 76: 469-472, 1998.

4. Pedersen, B. K. Exercise Immunology. New York: Chapman and Hall; Austin: R. G. Landes, 1997.

5. Pedersen, B. K. and L Hoffman-Goetz. Exercise and the immune system: Regulation, Integration, and Adaptation. Physiology Review 80: 1055-1081, 2000.

6. Adams, G.R., and F. Haddad. The relationships among IGF-1, DNA content, and protein accumulation during skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Journal of Applied Physiology 81(6): 2509-2516, 1996.

7. Fiatarone Singh, M. A., W. Ding, T. J. Manfredi, et al. Insulin-like growth factor I in skeletal muscle after weight-lifting exercise in frail elders. American Journal of Physiology 277 (Endocrinology Metabolism 40): E135-E143, 1999.

8. Yamada, S., N. Buffinger, J. Dimario, et al. Fibroblast Growth Factor is stored in fiber extracellular matrix and plays a role in regulating muscle hypertrophy. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 21(5): S173-180, 1989.

9. Frisch, H. Growth hormone and body composition in athletes. Journal of Endocrinology Investigation 22: 106-109, 1999.

10. Izquierdo, M., K Hakkinen, A. Anton, et al. Maximal strength and power, endurance performance, and serum hormones in middle-aged and elderly men. Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise 33 (9): 1577-1587, 2001.

11. Vermeulen, A., S. Goemaere, and J. M. Kaufman. Testosterone, body composition and aging. Journal of Endocrinology Investigation 22: 110-116, 1999.

12. Robergs, R. A. and S. O. Roberts. Exercise Physiology: Exercise, Performance, and Clinical Applications. Boston: WCB McGraw-Hill, 1997.

13. Kraemer, W. J., S. J. Fleck, and W. J. Evans. Strength and power training: physiological mechanisms of adaptation. Exercise and Sports Science Reviews 24: 363-397, 1996.

14. Carter, S. L., C. D. Rennie, S. J. Hamilton, et al. Changes in skeletal muscle in males and females following endurance training. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 79: 386-392, 2001.

15. Hakkinen, K., W. J. Kraemer, R. U. Newton, et al. Changes in electromyographic activity, muscle fibre and force production characteristics during heavy resistance/power strength training in middle-aged and older men and women. Acta Physiological Scandanavia 171: 51-62, 2001.

16. Schultz, E. Satelite cell behavior during skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 21(5): S181-S186, 1989
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:02 PM   #38
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hey ppl

i got this off the HST board and i think y'all might find this very useful

here we go:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeynov

And old, new approach to HST, Doing all the rep ranges every week

Disclaimer: if you are not already experienced with HST and have many successful conventional cycles under your belt, please do not fool around with variants like what I'm about to describe. Start simple, always.

This is an old idea, and while, strictly speaking, it violates the 'start light and wind up heavy later' principle of HST, I think the overall pattern of progressive overload will still hold just fine. I call it an old idea because this came up years back in discussion amongst the regulars of this board.

In case nobody has seen this method, it would basically go something like this:

Determine 80% of your best effort for your 15, 10, and 5 rep maxes. This will be your starting weights for each. Your increments will be whatever lands you at a target RM on the 6th session, as per usual.

Then, it will go something like this:

Monday - 15s
Wednesday - 10s
Friday - 5s

As you can see, you would be performing every rep range every single week, varying the rep range used each day.

You would use your starting weights for each category the first week, then, the next week, add weight to each lift, incrementing every week thereafter towards your projected RM in each category.

Each week would represent a 'day' in the normal HST progression for each zone. And there are 6 total days in a 2 week block, so you will have 6 weeks total for the whole cycle.

I will again disclaimer that this does, strictly speaking, violate the principle of starting light and raming up weights for a true, tension progressive overload, but what few anecdotal reports I've heard for this variants have been good. Lyle Mcdonald, at one point, said something like this setup was one of the most successful HST runs he's ever had.

There's also research which may imply that this daily undulating pattern of rep variance may actually be superior for performance gains over time vs. a conventional, linear approach (of which HST's two weeks of 15s, 10s, and 5s would fall under).

If you want to take it one step further and are already experienced with HST (I'll reiterate that I wouldn't even consider this version or what I'm about to say otherwise), you could also use some sort of fatigue management or clustering method to squeeze in a decent chunk of volume per lift.

Anyways, I'm just surprised more people haven't tried this approach. If or when I try HST again, I'd probably give it a shot, as it's an interesting variant that I never got around to trying.
he also said some more stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeynov

Another variant using the exact same logic above for increments (i.e. see previous posts concerning how to progress over the 6 week cycle)...

First, I'll pick three rep ranges slightly more conducive to hypertrophy than the default 15/10/5.

So, I'll go with 12, 8, and 5. This will make our RM's for 5 and 8 closer than it normally would be for 10 and 5, but, whatever. Technically, my most successful HST run ever was:

1 week 15s
2 weeks 12s
2 weeks 8s
2 weeks 5s

Anyways, so we'll do 12s, 8s, and 5s, but we're going to do something interesting. We're going to stuff the lightest loads between the two heavier loads.

Monday - 8s
Wednesday - 12s
Friday - 5s

And, even further screwing with things, we're going to adopt two sets of exercises. The first set of exercises will be performed twice per week, Monday (8s) and Friday (5s). The second will be a 'lighter' set, lighter in terms of spinal loading in particular.

I'll illustrate with an example

Main exercises:
Squat
Standing Shoulder Press
Chins (weighted)
Bench
Chest Supported Rows
Deadlifts (see below) / Back extensions (WITHOUT hyperextending!)

Light exercises:
Leg Press
Seated Shoulder Press
Lat Pulldowns
Incline Dumbbell Bench
Machine Rows
Abs

Notes on the above:

* This exercise selection is a bit arbitrary, but I think it would be a good start for many

* Deadlifts are only to be performed once a week (Fridays). Imho, deadlifts multiple times a week + lots of other stuff = problematic for most people, at least in the long run. So, make a lighter substitution on one of the days. Weighted back extensions (e.g. 45 degree back extensions holding dumbbells) would be a good fit. Even something like leg curls for a little more hamstring emphasis would work

So, 8s on Monday (medium), 12s on Wednesday (light), 5s on Friday (heavy). Look like a 5 x 5 style split? This isn't a coincidence - practical experience by many indicates this works quite well.

A rep target of 20-25 total reps per exercise would be a good place to start. Something closer to 20 (e.g. 6 sets of 3 reps) would probably be advisable on the 5s day (hi scientific muscle!).

I would suggest doing this with a little fatigue management AND antagonist pairing. I have already set up the exercises to accomodate this. ~1 minute rest between paired antogonists is a good rule of thumb Alwyn Cosgrove uses that will probably be helpful here. This would be the functional equivalent of taking about 1 minute rest between all sets, which will make the days go by pretty zippily. The only downside is that you will be a little more winded - life is tough!

Now, putting it all together for what this would look like:

Monday (8 rep day, ~25 total reps)
Squats
Standing Shoulder Press
Chins (weighted)
Bench
Chest Supported Rows
Back extensions (45 degree) or Leg Curls

Wednesday (12 rep day, ~25 total reps)
Leg Press
Seated Shoulder Press
Lat Pulldowns
Incline Dumbbell Bench
Machine Rows
Abs

Friday (5 rep day, ~20 total reps)
Squats
Standing Shoulder Press
Deadlifts
Chins (weighted)
Bench
Chest Supported Rows


Feel free to add a little direct arm and (particularly) calf work where you see fit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeynov

Disclaimer: what you are about to read below are forms of clustering, these imply nothing about the loading. The loading for the different days are STILL based on 8, 12, and 5 RM's. Clusters represent "mini sets" that one can choose to employ to avoid training too close to failure, a method that can be useful for squeezing in a fair amount of total reps.

So, if you prefer a conventional set/reps approach, PLEASE feel free to do so. Examples:

Three sets of 8 for the 8's
Two sets of 12's for the 12's
Three to four sets of 5's for the 5's

Now, some default rep/set schemes with fatigue management in mind (bearing in mind the above):

8s - 5 sets of 5 reps, 6 sets of 4 reps if things start getting grindy

12s - 3 sets of 8 reps, 4 sets of 6 reps if things start getting grindy

5s - 6 sets of 3 reps, maybe 9-10 x 2 if you're really fatiguable


Obviously, anything in between or adjusting on the fly is totally kosher. Remember, the main advantage (the way I see it) to fatigue management is simply guaranteeing that you get in your rep target. If you can do this just fine and prefer a traditional set/rep scheme (e.g. hitting the rep target on the first set, then playing the rest by ear), knock yourself out.

To help counteract the potential increased length of time it would take to complete these rep schemes (if you would choose to employ them), I suggest:

* Antagonist pairing
* Consider fairly short rest intervals, that ~60 second rule may work well. Possibly less, particularly at first.
this is of course available in greater detail on the hst website: http://www.hypertrophy-specific.info...ikonboard.cgi?

peace

Sentinel

ps: i hope this helps someone
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:43 AM   #39
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[QUOTE=0311;12072]One last final thing. Obviously, full body splits are far and away superior to the one muscle per week "supercompensation theory". Here is how they compare and why it's superior:

Quick Example:

1 muscle per week frequency (classic BB'er split)

Monday- Chest
Flat bench-3x10
Inclines-3x10
Dips-3x10

Tuesday- Back
Pulldowns-3x10
Rows-3x10
Pullovers-3x10

Total sets per week:
Chest = 9 sets
Back = 9 sets

HST Full Body (three times per week frequency)
Using 8 rep mesocycle example.

(Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Flat Barbell Press-2x8
Incline Dumb. Press-1x8
Barbell Rows-2x8
Chins-2x8

Total sets per week:
Chest = 9 sets
Back = 12 sets

-Basically, you are getting in the same amount of work sets per week.

According to the above program, where is the arms, shoulders, and leg workout? How I can include them in this program?
Thanks...
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:14 PM   #40
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