Are rest days required at all??

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by professor33, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. professor33

    professor33 New Member

    Given the principles of HST as I understand them, are rest days required at all vis-a-vis the actual workout weeks and not the SD days?? For example, I have set up the program for 6x per week and started last Monday with the first week of 15 reps. Well, the 7th day (a scheduled rest day) happened to be a Sunday, so I went to the gym and performed the next workout with its standard weight progression. Realistically, I can continue right through the end of the 15 rep schedule. But what should I do when I get to the 10s? Should I take a day off and then start the 2 weeks of tens or just forget the rest day and move right into them. Depending on the answer, should I forget all of the future rest days and workout what will turn out to be 48 days in a row???
  2. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    There is no simple answer prof. It all depends on how you feel. If your attitude is good, muscles not overly sore, sleeping and eating good, joints and tendons not bothering you, weights not stagnating, etc., go for it. Rest when your body tells you that you need a day off.
  3. professor33

    professor33 New Member

    Thanks, O+G, I like that answer. Since, I have always gone along by how I feel anyway. I just want to make sure that I am not violating some basic tenet of the HST protocols. I have felt good so far and I think my next day off will probably be schedule related rather than my body telling me I need a day off.

    But, man, doing squats everyday is a pain in the @$$!! (No pun intended). I know I can rotate with other exercises and I do for other body parts, but there is nothing like squats for lower body development imho.
  4. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    I am new at this but why would you be doing squats everyday? I thought the idea was that you were supposed to alternate body parts if you were doing a 6 day/week routine and therefore would not be doing legs every day but only every second day.

    Please staighten me out if I am wrong. Squats everyday just seems to be asking for trouble anyway you look at it.
  5. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    professor, if you don't like doing squats every day, you might look into alternating with deadlifts every other day. You don't have to, if you aren't having any problems with doing squats everyday, but that's what I did last cycle when I was working out 5 to 6 days a week and it worked out well. It adds a little bit of variety to cut down on the monotony of doing squats over and over.
  6. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Cap, if your back and knees can take squats every day, there is nothing wrong with it. I do squats in the morning and leg presses in the afternoon 5 days per week! However, I also train legs with 20,15 and 10 reps. I usually do not do reps of just 5 because it puts too much strain on my lower back.
  7. professor33

    professor33 New Member

    Cap, what I have read here and on seems to suggest that a 6x/week routine is better than a 3x/week routine because of the timing of the workouts and how they create an additive effect. In fact I think I saw Bryan write somewhere that a 2x/day 3x a week routine was even better but I don't want to go to the gym 2x/day (6x/week is bad enough already) (I don't have the time to find and copy the posts that led me to this belief right now, but you have probably read some of them already). I think that most people end up with a 3x routine due to convenience and the fact that they will still create the right environment within the muscle to spur hypertrophy.

    Tot: Yeah, I thought about deadlifts. But, as this first HST routine is an experiment for me, I wanted to see what kind of development I would get with exercises that I have a feel for what they have done for me in the past (my baseline, if you will). If I see good success on HST, then my next cycle will include more variety.

    O+G: I never thought about that for squats. I am also worried about the week of 5's, because my current routine has 315# scheduled for those two weeks (and for the 2 weeks of 5s/negs). And, while I have used that weight in the past, it always worries me that one slip out of good form could hurt me.
  8. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    I thought that the six days/week schedule was with alternating body parts each day and not doing a total body workout each day. Is the goal not to work out each body part 3 days/week and not 6 days/week???
    Even the two a day workouts are split so that you work some body parts in the morning and some in the evening but then still take the next day off. This would still mean that you are only working each body part 3 days/week.
  9. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Captain, some people do the split like you describe, some do it with fullbody 6 times a week. It depends largely on personal preference.
  10. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    That seems great but just doesn't seem to follow the HST Notes and principles set out by Bryan which follow:

    "" Each muscle group should be loaded 3 times per week. This adheres to the Frequency Principle. A loading stimulus for hypertrophy must be frequent enough to create a consistent ³environment² for the muscle to adapt to. If the muscle is loaded too infrequently, the muscle will adapt and then un-adapt before the stimulus is applied again. "

    • 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.

    • Rest is important. Although it is fine to experience some accumulation of fatigue, adequate and regular rest is important to avoid injuries and control stress.
  11. Captain, not to dispute Tot, but I don't think it is a matter of preference, it is a matter of need. That need would be Volume. As one grows more conditioned more volume is one way to continue the stimulus when working with a given load.

    So if you NEED the additional volume working out 6X week can make it easier on your CNS than bombarding it with more sets or reps. Also though if you are going to work out 6X week then you need to try and keep your fatique in check by possibly doing fewer exercise and uppinig your calories.

    If you do not NEED the volume increase, stick to 3X week.
  12. professor33

    professor33 New Member

    I had a few minutes, so I searched around for the previous posts that led me to my current 6x per week schedule. And I can't repeat or even understand all of what is discussed, so go here and read them:

    HS:Forum Home > Training > HST FAQ and find the threads titled "Training Frequency" and "Optimizing HST"
  13. Captain Crunch

    Captain Crunch New Member

    Thanks for all the information. I am learning as I go and appreciate everyone's patience with me as a newbie at HST. Just finishing off my first set of 15's and enjoying the change from HIT training. I will give you feedback on my results after the cycle is over.
  14. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Cap, I think you will find that HST, like the research behind it, is evolving. I consider 3 to be the minimum effective full body workouts per week. In fact, my current cycle consists of 10 full body workouts per as follows:


    Incline Bench
    Shoulder press


    Seated rows
    Leg Presses

    This has been my most satisfying cycle to date and I will continue in this fashion with my next workout. Much research needs to be done yet but I suspect frequency is going to be an area that shows a lot promise for improvement in the future.
  15. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    I'm with O&G here.

    In my opinion (and so far my experience, albeit limited in HST), frequency and load progression are the most important elements to achieve hypertrophy.

    Designing a high frequency program and then managing it accordingly is obv. a lil more intricate than the standard 3x program, but the results of doing 6x a week are greater.

    Go to the "Customising HST" thread in the HST-Forum and start on the first page. Frequency is the first variable addressed here. Don't keep reading on thru everything else necessarily just read what's said about frequency.
  16. savagebeast

    savagebeast New Member

    Old and Grey, I believe you once said you found it difficult to gain muscle when your frequency is really high because of the huge amount of calories that such high frequency workouts demand. How have your mass gains been this cycle? Also, how many sets of each exercise do you do per workout?

    And on a different note, do you miss isolation movements at all?
  17. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Savage, I think what you are referring to is when I was doing relatively high frequency AND relatively high volume. I tried to do 7 total sets twice each day, 5 days per week and that was just too much for me (70 sets per week). I cut that back to 4 sets twice per day, 5 times per week (40 sets per week) and saw an immediate benefit. My ideal is probably somewhere in between.

    For my next cycle, I am going to cut back to 4 times per week but keep 2 full workouts per day and add a third mini-lat workout in mid day.

    It will look like this:


    Incline Press
    Chin Ups
    Shoulder Press
    Seated french press

    Mid Day:

    Pull ups


    Seated Rows
    Leg press

    I say four times per week but if I can, I will do the routine 5 times per week. That way if I miss a workout here or there, I won't feel like I am behind in my schedule. My psyche sometimes benefits from these type of silly games to trick it into thinking I am ahead of schedule. That way I seem more motivated to stay ahead of schedule. It sounds stupid, and I think it is, but it seems to work to my benefit. [​IMG] In all liklihood, I will be doing between 44 and 55 total sets per week, i.e., one set of each exercise.

    I added the extra lat workout because my lats really benefited from the increased frequency and I want to push them a little harder to see if even more frequency will be better. If it does, I will probably rotate a different bodypart in each cycle to get that extra frequency periodically.

    I didn't miss the isolation movements at all. However, I am adding in french presses and curls on this next rouitne to see if it makes a difference. I didn't lose anything without them and now I want to see if additional isolation frequency will be a benefit or be too much. Due to the lack of extensive research on hypertrophy and frequency, I find I have to resort to my own experimentation to see how I will respond. So far, the results are very positive. Of course, you do have to make sure you eat good and get enough rest or you will burn out. [​IMG]

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