A few questions???

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by chadenegger, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. chadenegger

    chadenegger New Member

    Gday everyone- first off i hope every one has had a great x-mas.

    So i came across a HST article the other day and then started reading everything on the forum the last couple of days and am keen to give HST a crack when i stall out on my current program. Now i have a bit of a habit of overthinking things and tinkering where i probably shouldnt, but thought id throw out a few questions for the more experienced guys. Here they are.

    1) Can strategic deconditioning be done at different times for different muscle groups??? I understand how important the deconditioning is, but hate taking time off from the gym. i know though that i would definately do it if i could stage deconditioning for different body parts at different times eg start 15's for upper body/or push whilst deconditioning lower body/pull (not sure yet how id split body if i was to), when i move to 10's for upper/push start the 15's for lower/pull and then keep working through like that. Would it work or does the body need deconditioning as a whole??? anyone tried it?

    2) Now ive read in a few posts/articles that there is nothing magic about the rep ranges used (15/10/5) and that the progressive increase of load is the key(which makes sense). So rather than spend 2 weeks in each rep range could you work out your starting weight at the start of the cycle as per normal, and then work out what you need to add to the bar to hit your 5RM at the end of the cycle. Then you would add that weight every work out, not be too concerned about number of reps as they would naturally decrease over the course of the program and of course stop a rep or 2 short of failure. To me it seems a much simpler way of doing it-thoughts???

    3) Anyone ever ran an abbreviated HST routine? I work out at home by myself and dont have a huge amount of equipment. I was thinking of doing chins, dips, overhead presses and deadlifts only. Any one ever try anything as abrreviated as that? any need to up volume to offset the lower number of exercises??

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
  2. grunt11

    grunt11 New Member

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for reading up on things first since people over time have put a lot of info out here and it’s always good to know people are checking it out. I have experience with two of your questions and possible a another so I’ll start with the ones I’m sure of.

    #2 - Picking rep ranges is arbitrary and IMO does overcomplicate things. I only did rep ranges my first cycle and then switched to straight linear progression as you suggest and have never looked back. I think you shortchange yourself by arbitrarily stopping at 15 reps or 10 reps or 5 if you have more than 2-3 reps left in you. This is the same sort of auto-regulation suggested by Blade for myo-reps. it also means you don’t have to take time to figure out your rep maxes which will likely change over your cycle anyway. I think the hard part for most people is to stow the ego at the door and stop when you really should rather than pushing it every time.

    #3 – Yes I’ve done abbreviated routines and possibly had my best gains on them. I just picked one push, one pull and one leg (either Squat or Deadlift) and did those. I had my best gains by doing this 6 days a week until it got too heavy to recover by the next day at which point I switched to and upper/lower split 3 times a week. when that got to heavy to recover from every 48 hour (somewhere in the 3-5 rep range) I switched to a 3 way split twice a week. I kept going using max-stim reps until I couldn’t get one rep w/o cheating.

    #1 – I haven’t tried exactly what you are suggesting but something similar. I continued doing my lower body powerlifting workout primarily Squats and Deadlifts but also Good Mornings, Glute Ham Raises and other assistance work while doing traditional linear progression for my upper body exercises. Both worked as my Squat and Deadlift both went up while I gained muscle on my upper body. So I can say that lifting heavy for my legs and posterior chain at least didn’t short change my upper body muscle gains, but I’m not sure if it would have any negative effect on the quality of your SD.
  3. chadenegger

    chadenegger New Member

    Thanks very much grunt- i appreciate your reply. I was considering spacing my work outs 36 hours apart but thought i may have been doing too much, probably not so if you were able to run 6 days a week for a while,so i guess i will give that a bash and see how i recover.
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you do not cut out training completely, then there are some important aspects of SD that you will miss out on. You've already admitted you are an overthinker - this is bad because it leads to ****arounditis, which is harmful to continued progress. So just quit doing that, don't ask any more questions about changing anything and run Bryan's example routine from the HST article unchanged for a cycle, do the same exercises he lists, the same number of sets - just do it, eat a ton and then after we will talk to you about abandoning rep ranges. http://hypertrophy-specific.info/hst_notes.html is where you need to go to see his example routine. This is a very good routine for introducing someone to HST. Most of us here have ran that routine and made great gains. Of course you have to eat for growth though.

    Since you are working out at home, I would assume you don't have a leg press, so just do squats every workout instead of alternating with leg press. It is important that you do HST as close to possible to Bryan's outline the first time so you can get your head wrapped around HST and how it works. If you buy a new car, are you going to start cutting it apart, replacing parts with custom parts and crap like that before you give it at least a test drive? All the rest of those lifts you should be able to do at home with just a basic power rack and bench.
  5. chadenegger

    chadenegger New Member

    Thanks for the reply totentanz, i love reading your posts by the way, seems like you really know what your doing. Anyway appreciate what your saying, dont have a rack or bench at home though, thats why i chose the 4 exercises i mentioned. The smaller exercises i was just going to leave out for my first run just to focus on the mass builders and to gauge my recovery with the added frequency. As for the rep ranges ill give them a go as they are suppose to be done. cheers man.
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Woah, no rack or bench?

    Where do you live, USA or elsewhere?

    If you plan on working out at home forever, I would strongly recommend trolling craigslist for a rack and bench, I have bought a few different racks on CL before, always got a deal. If you watch for long enough, you'll find a good deal. Not sure what kind of budget you've got, but I recently got a rack with high and low pulleys, bench and 300 lbs in weights for only $400 which is a great deal. The guy also had a complete dumbbell set he was going to throw in for another $100. It took a few weeks watching craigslist before I found that deal though.

    What all equipment do you have? An abbreviated routine is ok, and can work well. However, depending on your strength level, deadlifts every workout could get to be a bit much.
  7. chadenegger

    chadenegger New Member

    Hey mate-i live in north west australia in a mining town about 1700km from perth (nearest major city), getting stuff here is quite difficult and very expensive. I am planning to weld up my own rack or simple squat stands sometime soon, also need to get my hands on some more olympic weight plates aswell, but freight up here is a killer! I gotta say i was pretty concerned about deadlifting every work out aswsell, i guess ill just try it and see what happens, im hoping atleast with the added frequency and reps at the start that i will really be able to dial in my technique as its been feeling a bit off lately.
  8. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I was worried you were in Australia... yeah getting stuff there seems to be a pain in the butt.

    If you are only doing deads, chins, dips and overhead press, then I think you'd be okay doing deads every workout.
  9. caramba

    caramba New Member

  10. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hey chadenegger,

    Some good advice so far. Thought I'd chime in with a few things:

    Squat Stands
    A pair of adjustable squat stands can be very useful and less expensive than a rack. They are much more mobile too. These days, it's rare that I do anything in my rack. If I do, it's for a max bench or squat attempt so it's still handy to have. Most of the time I squat outside the rack. If I can't get up or I stall out, I dump the bar, which is a useful skill to learn—better to have bumper plates though!

    Even without stands of any kind, if you work on your clean technique, you should be able to lift enough weight to make front squats challenging up to at least 10RM loads and hopefully 5RM loads.

    Floor pressing
    No need for a bench to do these but you will need some O-size plates.

    Deficit deadlifts
    To throw more stress on your quads and to make deadlifting more of a leg movement, stand on a block. Even a 2" block will make it noticeable more difficult to break the bar off the floor. This will be similar to using a snatch-grip on the bar but will allow for a more upright torso.

    Rep Ranges
    The rep ranges as laid out in the vanilla HST program (15s, 10s & 5s) work very well for managing accumulated fatigue over the course of a whole cycle. If you have a tendency (like I did) to want to push every set to your max, then the vanilla program will prevent you from doing this. Frying your CNS before you even get to the heavy end of the cycle will limit your progress. sometimes you will finish a session and feel like you could have pushed so much harder but the fact is that you lifted more load than your previous session and in the next session you will be lifting more again.

    Zig-zag between meso-cycles is questioned a lot because most folks hate returning to loads that are lighter (and for fewer reps) than their previous session. However, the fact is that, after a hard RM workout, CNS recovery takes longer than you might think. A couple of, what are effectively, back-off workouts allow your CNS some additional recovery time for the push towards your next RM workout, while still keeping your muscles loaded with enough tension to drive a PS response—you should still be ahead of RBE.

    If you are doing a simplified routine and if you have been training for a while, I would aim for 30 reps per movement. As the loads increase you may want to back that off a bit, so that by the time you get close to your 5RM loads you might only be doing 15 total reps with that load. Once you decrease the total reps with your working load then you might want to add a lighter higher-rep set of each exercise to finish off—something like a set of ~10 reps with your 15RM load would be good. This will prevent your total work-done from dropping off considerably as you get to the heavy end of the cycle. It's not essential that you do this but if you start to feel a little deflated during the heavy end of the cycle then adding in a higher-rep metabolic 'burn' set will ensure that your body keeps topping up muscle glycogen stores, making your muscles feel fuller.

    All the best!
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  11. chadenegger

    chadenegger New Member

  12. chadenegger

    chadenegger New Member

    thanks for your input man, much appreciated.

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