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Darkhorse 12-14-2005 11:01 PM

Hypertrophy-Specific Training
Here it is since a few here got interested after I said that my brother gained 7lbs so far on the program I designed for him. :)

I'm not going to get into the details. Perhaps Chinpiece and Hrdgain81 can add what worked for them.

It's pretty easy to design something that works as long as you follow the four principles:

1) Mechanical Load
Mechanical Load is necessary to induce muscle hypertrophy. This mechanism involves but isn't limited to, MAPk/ERK, satellite cells, growth factors, calcium, and number of other fairly understood factors. It is incorrect to say "we don't know how muscle grows in response to training". The whole point of the HST book is not to discuss HST, but to present the body of research explaining how hypertrophy occurs. Then HST becomes a relatively obvious conclusion if your goal is hypertrophy.

2) Acute vs. Chronic Stimuli
In order for the loading to result in significant hypertrophy, the stimulus must be applied with sufficient frequency to create a new "environment", as opposed to seemingly random and acute assaults on the mechanical integrity of the tissue. The downside of taking a week of rest every time you load a muscle is that many of the acute responses to training like increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels, and mRNA levels all return to normal in about 36 hours. So, you spend 2 days growing and half a week in a semi-anticatabolic state returning to normal (some people call this recovery), when research shows us that recovery can take place unabated even if a the muscle is loaded again in 48 hours. So true anabolism from loading only lasts 2 days at best once the load is removed. The rest of the time you are simply balancing nitrogen retention without adding to it.

3) Progressive Load
Over time, the tissue adapts and becomes resistant to the damaging effects of mechanical load. This adaptation (resistance to the stimulus) can happen in as little as 48 hours (Repeated Bout Effect or Rapid Training Effect). As this happens, hypertrophy will stop, though neural and metabolic adaptations can and may continue. As opposed to hypertrophy, the foundation for the development of strength is neuromuscular in nature. Increases in strength from resistance exercise have been attributed to several neural adaptations including altered recruitment patterns, rate coding, motor unit synchronization, reflex potentiation, prime mover antagonist activity, and prime mover agonist activity. So, aside from incremental changes in the number of contractile filaments (hypertrophy), voluntary force production (i.e. strength) is largely a matter of "activating" motor units.

4) Strategic Deconditioning
At this point, it is necessary to either increase the load (Progressive load), or decrease the degree of conditioning to the load (Strategic Deconditioning). The muscle is sensitive not only to the absolute load, but also to the change in load (up or down). Therefore, you can get a hypertrophic effect from increasing the load from a previous load, even if the absolute load is not maximum, assuming conditioning (resistance to exercise induced micro-damage) is not to extensive. There is a limit to the number of increments you can add to increase the load. You simply reach your maximum voluntary strength eventually. This is why Strategic Deconditioning is required for continued growth once growth has stopped (all things remaining equal).

* I think the most important step in order to make something like this [HST] work is #4. This program has you using weight that is far below your max. By SD'ing for a week and a half or whatever, you are deconditioning your muscles enough to where that light weight now becomes harder to lift, and a growth stimulus takes effect.

Any other information anyone wants about the specifics can just go find it themselves by clicking here.

They also have a helpful calculator that can aid you in planning your weights to be used each day...Or every other day. Any questions about how to use it ask away. I've been there, done that.

HST is strictly a mass program. Of course, with hypertrophy comes strength, but that is not the goal. If you like lifting heavy weights day in and day out, then disregard this whole topic. (that's me!) It's not for you. I've personally tried this program in the past, but I used their piss poor example with what looks to me like a thousand different exercises. Trust me, this is not what you want to do. Also, if you cannot bear to be seperated from the gym for a week and a half to two weeks, then forget about trying this. (me again)

911 12-14-2005 11:16 PM

Hey, thanks a ton 0311. This is very similar to what I am doing only with my own personal mods. I have got to say you guys are the most knowlegdable and helpful group I have been able to find, thanks. :D

Darkhorse 12-14-2005 11:31 PM

HST is divided into 2 week mesocycles at a given rep range. Here's the basic program:

15 reps-2 weeks
10 reps-2 weeks
5 reps- 2 weeks
Plus negatives

Anyways, the info is on that website to figure out what you'd want to do. Now, the program I made for my brother back home looks like this:

12 rep mesocycle

Olympic Squats
(low) Incline Dumb. Press
Shoulder Press
Barbell Rows

Week 1: 2 x 12
Week 2: 1 x 12, 1 x 8-12

Everything is 2 sets of 12 reps. Once the weight gets really heavy as you close in on your 12 RM in that second week, you still need to get the first set of 12. The second set if you choose to do it [in the second week] can be anywhere from 8-12.

8 rep mesocycle

Olympic Squats
Flat Barbell Press
Incline Dumb. Press (1 set)
Barbell Rows
Barbell Shrugs
Chins (underhand, shoulder width) OR underhand pulldowns
(optional) Reverse Curls

Week 3: 2 x 8
Week 4: 1 x 8, 1 x 5-8

-As you can see, I added a few extra lifts since the rep range got lowered. I still do not include any direct arm work since IMO you won't need it. Plus, chins more than work your biceps! Same thing goes for the second week of 8's. For the second set of the exercises, since it's so close to your RM you might not be able to nail both sets of 8. However, doesn't hurt if you try. :cool: On the actual RM day, you can just do 1 set of 8 and move on since you are maxing out.

5 rep mesocycle

Olympic Squats
Leg Extentions
Flat Barbell Press
Incline Dumb. Press
Barbell Rows
Barbell Shrugs (optional)
Weighted Pullups
Barbell Curls OR Incline Curls

Week 5: compound lifts are 3 x 5, supplemental lifts are 2 x 5.
Week 6: compound lifts are 2 x 5, drop set of 10 reps.
supplemental lifts are 1 x 5.

- I put the most exercises for 5's. I prefer all the isolations to come during this time. Like the example says, the first week has all compound lifts set at 3 sets of 5 reps, and the supplemental are 2 sets of 5. Week 6 has compounds at 2 x 5 due to the heavier weight, then a drop set of 10 I always prefer. Supplementals are just a single set of 5. If I was to increase all those sets further, you'd be in the gym forever.

My brother so far (all natural) has gained 7 lbs by the middle of the 5's which is superb! Especially when I take into account that his diet leaves much to be desired.

Anyways, I have a spreadsheet if anyone's interested in trying it. If you do want to do a plan of your own or something more like what I posted, there are steps you must take before beginning...

1. You need to find your rep maxes for each exercise. I had my brother hit the gym on Monday and find all his 12 rep maxes for each exercise. On Wednesday he found all the 8's, then on Friday he found all the 5 rep maxes.

2. From there, he gave the numbers to me and I inputted them in the final day of each mesocycle....Which is day 6 of each. From there I decided on his increments that he will jump up in weight and reversed planned....All this means is whatever I put in day 6, I equally subtracted either 5-10 lbs for each day working my way down to day 1.

3. Finally, once everything was set in stone, I told him to stay out of the gym and perform minimal cardio for his SD. His SD since he's a big guy used to slinging iron was 2 weeks. For others, it could be sooner or later depending on your level of conditioning.

**I edited some of that list to do per range because I wrote the order wrong for the shrugs and rows. Barbell rows should be done before shrugs since they are more important. I also put side laterals for 8's, and high pulls for 5's because high pulls are more explosive and deserve no more IMO reps than 5 [heavy]. Side laterals are more beneficial with a higher rep range.

Darkhorse 12-15-2005 12:46 AM

2) Acute vs. Chronic Stimuli
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

Tuesday- Back

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

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

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

However, according to Principle #2- Acute vs. Chronic Stimuli , increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels, and mRNA levels all return to normal in about 48-36 hours. This fact is what seperates both examples from one another. With the full body, you are keeping all those growth factors elevated for the entire week. The first example has you only growing for 3 days and maintaining for 4 days.

So a very simplified explanation could be that example 1 has 52 growth cycles per year per muscle group whereas example 2 (full body) has 156 growth cycles per year. This explains why a lot of people lean towards frequency to blast out of plateaus, ect. Of course, all this gets thrown out the window once steroids enter in the picture. ;)

Darkhorse 12-15-2005 02:28 AM

Okay, last thing I'd like to add:

FAQ written by Blade. Full FAQ found Here.

So how is HST different from other training programs?

This is a very good question and one that deserves to be answered, without simply zealously defending the premise that is being questioned. This makes for a very bad circular argument that can be VERY frustrating for people with skeptical, though honest, questions.

First, let's start with what isn't different about HST compared with previous training programs. The length of this list is what has raised this question in the first place, and justifiably so. Let's begin with the "concepts" and then follow with the "methods".

Pre-existing Scientific Concepts of Weight Training Found in HST:

Stimulus Leads to Adaptation (cause and effect)
Specific Adaptation to Implied Demands (SAID) or simply "Specificity"
Progressive Resistance
Some relationship between Time and Tension
Diminishing Returns

Pre-existing Methods of Weight Training Found in HST:

Traditional Weight Lifting Movements both compound and isolation (squat, bench, curls, etc)
Training the whole body 3 times per week
Altering weight loads used over time
Altering the number of repetitions used over time
Doing eccentric reps (negatives)

There has never been a weight training program that did not incorporate or mention most of these Concepts, and at least some of these Methods. Entire books (big books) have been written to explore these concepts and teach these methods. Whenever research was required, like for a textbook, you would find "strength and conditioning" research sited to support the validity of the concepts and virtues of each particular training method. The studies used "strength" and other "performance indicators" as a measure of whether the concept and/or method were valid.

This has been perfectly sufficient for nearly everybody including trainers, teachers, professors, coaches and athletes, who have ever lifted a weight. For those who needed more, they simply explored other methods for steadily increasing body mass - I'm referring specifically to hormones.

The exploration of the hypertrophic effects of hormones began in the 50s and has continued unabated every since. Today, a competitive bodybuilder considers himself conservative if he only uses 1 gram of Testosterone per week. Lest I digress, we are not including the effects of androgens and other drugs in this discussion. That is a different issue with concepts and methods specific to the pharmacology and endocrinology of hormones and muscle tissue.

Now let's consider the concepts and/or principles or beliefs of traditional weight training that HST refutes. These are the concepts that the new research refutes most specifically.

Pre-existing Concepts that HST Refutes:

A muscle must be fully recovered before you should train it again.
You should not train a muscle that is sore (DOMS, not injury).
You must never train a muscle on consecutive days. (i.e. train the same muscle everyday)
The concept of "Overtraining" in general as it applies to bodybuilding.
You must train with maximum "intensity" to elicit significant muscle growth.
You should not use eccentric training on a "frequent" basis.
You must change your exercise selection regularly in order to "confuse the muscle" into continued growth.
You must hit a muscle at every angle in order to adequately train it.
Muscle Fatigue is the primary indicator of having triggered the growth signal
You must effectively isolate a muscle in order to train it effectively.
You can train a muscle in such as way as to change its natural shape.

Pre-existing Methods and/or practices that HST Refutes:

Training a muscle no more than once or twice per week.
Training less frequently as your "intensity" increases.
Adding weight only when you can complete a certain number of additional reps at that weight. (This is a fundamental difference!
Training to failure every set and/or workout (If you don't how would you know if you can perform additional reps at that weight yet?)
Forced reps
Performing several "obligatory" exercises per body part per workout
Performing multiple exhaustive sets per exercise
Changing exercises to "confuse" the muscle.

The above erroneous concepts/beliefs and the methods/practices they engender are the cause of all the confusion and different training programs out their today. Most all of it stems from bodybuilding magazines fabricating these concepts and practices to address their ongoing need for new content each month, and to conceal the use of drugs required to attain the level of mass flaunted by the sponsored models. By limiting your study of muscle growth to these magazines you will be ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. But that is an issue to be addressed elsewhere.

Now, there is one traditional concept with its associated methods and practices that often make HST appear to be like previous programs. That is the concept of "periodization".

We will only briefly discuss the topic of periodization, as only a brief treatise will be sufficient to show the differences between periodization and HST. For more detailed discussions of periodization you are advised to read "Super Training: Special Strength Training for Sporting Excellence" by Siff & Verkhoshansky, "Special Strength Training" by Verkhoshansky, "Fundamentals of Sport Training" by Matveyev and "Science and Practice of Strength Training" by Zatsiorski.

Traditional concepts of periodization are based on methods used to manipulate intensity (i.e. work and/or load), volume and frequency in order to manage CNS fatigue and adaptability in athletes. To date, the art of periodization has entered the mathematical age and significant progress is being made in modeling systems designed to predict CNS fatigue and changes in the individual's fitness level. (1,2,3). Once an individual familiarizes him or herself with the true concept of periodization, they will immediately see the difference between Strategic Deconditioning and Periodization for strength training.

For example, here are a few differences between SD and Periodization:

SD is used to decrease fitness level (A.K.A. conditioning).
Periodization is used to increase fitness level.

SD is used to increase the micro trauma associated with training.
Periodization is used to decrease the trauma associated with training.

SD is used to reduce work capacity.
Periodization is used to increase work capacity.

SD is applied irrespective of the need for "rest".
Periodization according to the need for rest.

SD is not based on "peaking" performance.
Periodization's sole purpose is to allow the athlete to peak on a specific date.

So, when people ask, "What's different about HST?", tell them plenty! And its those differences that make HST superior to any other bodybuilding training method existing today.

911 12-15-2005 02:46 AM

All I can say is damn....... oh ya and thanks :)

hrdgain81 12-15-2005 05:23 AM

HST is a great training method. I had very good results with my first HST cycle, and I will eventually do another when the time is right. From my exsperience i will add just a few things to this thread that i found to be helpful.

1. In designing your HST workout, focus mainly on compound movements. this way you get hit as many muscles with each movement as you can.

2. Many of the hst outlines i've seen have up to 15 movements. To me this is overkill, i started with 12, and had dropped 2 by the end of the second week.

3. after your first HST cycle, you may be inclined to substitute for certain weeks. In other words, i found two weeks of 15 reps to be a bit much, and it didnt seem to help with joint elasticity as projected. my next cycle will have one week of 15's, and 3 weeks of 10's.

4. I ran a small ph cycle with my hst cycle. not a bad idea, but hst is geared more toward a natty bodybuilding enviorment. I wont do anymore ph's with HSt.

ChinPieceDave667 12-15-2005 07:36 AM

My 0311 database is becoming immense... I'm going to need a separate server for all this info.:)

Chuck Norris 12-15-2005 07:37 AM

nice work :)

Darkhorse 12-15-2005 02:32 PM

I agree Hrdgain. With the first week, it's only compounds, and no direct arm work. The second mesocycle can have some added isolations, and the third can have metabolic stress techniques, ect... This is all coming from the Pimp HST book that's for the advanced reader. I'll try and post the whole book, but it would probably confuse most here. :confused:

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