A high mechanical load is necessary to induce muscle hypertrophy.
The direct answer of the muscle to the load is the increased synthesis of various growth factors, which is back at its starting level after 36-48 hours. Means, that every muscle is to be worked out at least 3 times a week.
The muscle adapts the mechanical load, which makes hypertrophy no longer possibe, if you use the same weight over and over again. It conditions. To induce hypertrophy, you have to work out above the conditioning. Thats why weights have to be increased steadily. They are never to be decreased.
At some point it is not possible to increase the weights anymore, which makes it impossible to work out above the conditioning. At this point, the solution is decreasing the conditioning, by taking off 12-15 days. It is part of the system and can't be left out. Without it, HST doesn't work.
Forget sets. There are no sets. There is just a total volume that is done doing as many "sets" as you like. The number of reps done at a stretch is irrelevant.
Example: You want to benchpress 30 reps. It doesn't matter if you do them 6x5, 10x3 or 30x1. Every rep is worth the same, no matter if it's the one you start your "set" with, or if it's the one you end it with.
Muscle failure is to be avoided
. It reduces the possible volume, increases the risk of injury, stresses the CNS and is free of purpose.
An HST routine usually consists of 4 exercises. Calves are usually not integrated and can be worked out at the end of the sessions. Abs are worked out doing the 4 main exercises more than enough.
Lower body push
Lower body pull
Upper body push
Upper body pull
Planning of a cycle
Before starting a cycle the 5RM has to be determined. Usually you estimate, and then try. But remember that you have less power after your first try, so you should hit it immediately. Also, you have to determine your 5RM BEFORE
your SD, otherwise your conditioning is too high at the beginning.
A cycle lasts about 6 weeks starting at 60% of your 5RM. Each week weights are increased:
1. Week: 60%
2. Week: 70%
3. Week: 80%
4. Week: 90%
5. Week: 100%
6. Week: 110%
30 reps are a good starting volume. To bring fatigue to a minimum, clusters of 6x5 (week 1), 10x3 (week 2-3), 15x2 (week 4) and 30x1 (week 5-6) are recommended.