i was asked to do a write-up on HST on www.intensemuscle.com
and i thought i would put it here as well
so here it is ladies and gentlemen:
im not gonna go into introducing myself because this isnt my program.
Hypertrophy Specific Training
was created by Brian Haycock
ok, before i begin, i dont plan on writing down what hst is because there is plenty of info about hst right out there. i will however, provide plenty of links to the articles:
this is the main hst forum: Click Here
to download the 2 free HST eBooks: Click Here
the HST FAQ sub-forum: Click Here
the regular HST Forum: Click Here
ok, there was a thread on another site which has a shitload of HST info also on it. here is the thread: Click Here
having said that, im gonna lay out some rules out of many which u can use while creating ur hst programs. i would like to add a note here: HST is not a program
. it is a set of principles which when applied in training produces growth and a little bit of strength. another note is that nothing is taken to failure on purpose. nothing.
having said that, there are many ways of going about making ur hst programs. the most basic form of HST is called Vanilla HST. here is what Vanilla HST looks like:
1.) Vanilla HST
this means "simple" HST. nothing special. it is up on the hst main site and ill paste it here:
the other ways of going about HST are simple.
HST Programmin depends upon the following factors:
the 4 mesocycles are:
15 rep mesocycle
10 rep mesocycle
5 rep mesocycle
negatives, drop sets, strip sets, etc
as per the book, each of these phases must be carried out for 2 weeks. after this there is a one week break. so u have:
8 Weeks - HST
1 week off
new cycle of HST
as per the rule book u must find ur 15,10 and 5RMs before starting the HST program and plan ur progression for each lift in advance. this means that, lets say ur 15RM for squats is 300 lbs. so, ur planning for the 15 rep mesoycle phase is gonna be:
Week 2: Friday - 300 lbs
Week 2: Wednesday - 290 lbs
Week 2: Monday - 280 lbs
Week 1: Friday - 270 lbs
Week 1: Wednesday - 260 lbs
Week 1: Monday - 250 lbs
as u can see, u have to work backwards. this means that u know u have to hit 300 on session 6 (week 2 friday) so u need to know where to start out from. yes, this also means that u are using submaximal loads.
now, i manipulated hst protocols.
firstly, u can extend any phase u want. the last 2 week phase where u use negatives, drop sets, etc is not necessary for most beginners and intermediate lifters. advanced trainees will probably need this phase a lot more. the 15 rep mesocycle is essential. what i would do is, manipluate the sets and reps and the weight increments as per the cycle. this may look messy but ill try to make it simple: the following is an example of what i would do if i wanted more exercises and higher volume:
Week 1: 15 Rep Mesocycle - 2x15 (5-10 lbs increments)
Week 2: 15 rep Mesocycle - 1x15 (10-20 lbs increments)
Week 3: 10 rep Mesocycle - 4x10 (5-10 lbs increments)
Week 4: 10 rep Mesocycle - 2x10 (10 lbs increments)
Week 5: 10 rep Mesocycle - 1x10 (20 lbs increments)
Week 6: 5 rep Mesocycle - 5x5 (5 lbs increments)
Week 7: 5 rep Mesocycle - 2x5 (10 lbs increments)
Week 8: 5 rep Mesocycle - 1x5 (20 lbs increments)
exercise selection is not very difficult. if u do the Vanilla HST, u will use the same exercises for the entire HST protocol. i like to change exercises in different mesocycles. Assuming u like to change the exercises and provide more variety, u should firstly have ur exercises go according to something like this:
in the 15s phase, i would concentrate on compound movements only. no isolations. so, a classic example of a 15 rep Mesocycle with a set-rep scheme of 1x15 for both weeks is:
flat bench press
incline bench press
lat pull downs
sometimes people like to have many compound movements added in. in this case, having an A/B Split both being fullbody is perfectly ok. of course, the increments will have to be adjusted. if someone decides to do an A/B split, i would advise choosing exercises via free weight vs. machine. so, for example, this would be an A/B workout:
hammer strength bench
hammer strength row
lat pull downs
another chest/shoulder machine exercise
for the 10 rep mesocycle, more isolation and specialization exercises are added in. i like to remove squats and bench press and rows to give myself a break from them and prepare for the heavy 5 rep mesocycle. also, if u are doing the negatives and the drop sets mesocycle, then u will be doing most of the same exercises u would do during the 10 rep mesocycle.
another form of hst is:
Monday - 15 rep mesocycle
Wednesday - 10 rep mesocycle
Friday - 5 rep mesocycle
the planning for this remains the same. 2-3 weeks for each mesocycle and then a week off. so u can have different loads for the same exercises in the entire week or u can have different exercises each day/mesocycle.
another trick which has worked for some is breaking their body up into upper and lower. some have worked out 6 days a week doing upper/lower/upper/lower/upper/lower and some have worked out 3 days a week but twice a day. morning - lower and evening - lower.
for fat loss, a lot of people have also experimented with 6 day a week with full body programs using only the 15 rep mesocycle and the 10 rep mesocycle.
what people need to keep in mind is:
1.) HST is a set of principles
2.) The MOST important principle is: PROGRESSIVE LOADING while maintaining SUBMAXIMAL LOADS
so having said that, even if u add just 1 lbs to your lift every session, its perfectly fine. also, having a 15-10-5 Rep mesocycle can be changed into 12,10 and 6-4 rep mesocycle.
sometimes, u can do away with a few principles in order to stress on others. for example, i have a particular method of arranging mesocycles and their volume in order for the trainee to gain a lot of strength along with the mass. i dont remember when i posted this program on the hst board, but i know the PRO's out there loved it.
this is what i recommend:
15 Rep Mesocycle
all compound lifts. 3 for each large muscle group (legs, chest and back) = 9 exercises + 1 ab exercise = 10 exercises in all.
week 1 is 2x15 and week 2 is 1x15. increments vary depending on what the trainee can handle. even doing both weeks as 1x15 is fine. 2x15 is for those that feel 1x15 is "too easy" for them.
workouts 1 to 5 is the planned progression. this means u hit ur 15RM on ur 5th workout. the 5th workout is week 2 wednesday.
the last session of this phase is the PR session. u choose any weight u feel u can push and u hit a new 15RM. going to failure on this day is fine. u just need to make sure to sleep and eat a lot on the following 3 days to recover.
10 Rep Mesocycle
3-6 compounds and 3-6 isos. i like leg press, incline barbell, db rows, SLDLs, military press, lat pull downs to be the compounds. if machines are preferred then using them is fine. for iso's the usual: bicep/tricep/calf/forearm work.
extending the cycle is up to u. sometimes 2 weeks works for some and sometimes 4 weeks for others. whatever u choose, planning ur progression is the key. sometimes, it is very beneficial to do an A/B or an Upper-Lower Split here.
regarding the progression, the concept is the same as it is for the 15 rep mesocycle. ur last week MUST be 1x10 and ur goal is to hit ur 10RM on the wesnesday of that last week and friday is an all out PR day.
5 Rep Mesocycle
only compounds. 3-4 lifts in all. A/B split is fine. so is upper lower. for full body i prefer squats, bench, rows and militaries. for A/B, A is squats, bench, rows, skull crushers, B is leg press, db incline bench, db rows, barbell curls. upper-lower could be anything as long as compounds or even machines are used.
3 weeks for this is fine. usually 5x5, 2x5 and 1x5 for the 3 weeks does good. u have to hit ur 5RM on the last workout of the second week. the entire last week is for setting PRs. the last week is meant solely for strength increase. ur 5RMs set here will the 5RMs for the next cycle
now, i have compromised on a few HST principles out here. lets see:
1.) volume is not the same in each mesocycle. the idea was to have same setxrep scheme for the whole mesocycle but to progress only on the load. having 2x15 and 1x5 for the 15 rep mesocycle makes the volume zig-zag.
2.) volume is not the same throughout all the mesocycles put together. the idea was 1x15, 2x10 and 3x5 for the vanilla hst. but here it makes the entire overall volume zig-zag.
but the benefits are:
1.) new PRs every mesocycle
2.) steady increase in strength
3.) strength is related to mass so if strength increases theoretically mass should do
4.) its a whole lot funner to push urself rather than lift sub-maximal loads all the time
now, i have experiemented with this program (or something similar because i made some changes and learnt from the other program i did) in august 2006 and i gained 15 lbs in those 8 weeks (i did 2 weeks 15 rep mesocycle, 2 weeks 10 rep mesocycle and 4 weeks 5 rep mesocycle). i dont have pics and i didnt have a journal for that program (i think).
i do know that the hst boys ok'ed it and they liked what they saw. im not saying my program is the best form of hst at all. its just how i would do things if i decided to do hst. this is just a disclaimer
i think that is about all the ideas i have for now. if i have more ideas i will post them. but i think for now i have practically put everything ive read on hst and understood of it into one thread :lol:
also, most of the stuff isnt coming from my head. i have just put together the experiences of a lot of other people. for example the fat loss program, the hybrid hst where u have 3 mesocycles in 1 week, the a/b splits, the upper-lowers, etc is not mine. its just what people have done and benefitted from. ive only done 2 hst cycles but ive printed and read both the hst ebooks a dozen times and ive designed a few other programs which the Pro's on HSN.com have liked and ive given advice on hst to a few people on the HSN board. again, this too is a disclaimer.
have a great weekend people