HST For Dummies

His argument confused me. He kept referring to volume as the number of reps performed. I was under the that volume was

weight x reps x sets

Could someone please clarify?
Bryan said the following just a few days ago in the aptly-named What is volume and frequency thread:

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Bryan Haycock @ Aug. 31 2004,8:41)]Volume is generally considered to be reps x sets in strength training.

The amount of weight that is used is generally described in terms of "intensity" and is always a percentage of the individuals "max" whether it be 1RM or some other measurement.

Frequency, as mentioned above, is how often a training bout is repeated. It can mean how often an identical workout is repeated but it can also mean how often you train regardless of what you do during that workout.
OK Im a newbie to HST and just getting back into any type of weight training. I understand the principles of HST I just have a question regarding increments. Because I'm piss weak my rep maxes are fairly low eg 10 rep max for bench is about 50kg (on bar) and 10 rep max for bicep curls (dumbells) is about 18kg. Because the principle of HST is a constant change of stimulus and therefore weight increments can't be too low I've started my first cycle of bench 25kg on bar with 5 kg increments session, biceps 6kg with 2.5kg increments. I started with 10's because otherwise the weights for 15's would have been ridiculously low. Even my first few sessions of 10's seems very low in weight so I have just made sure I do the exercises very deliberatley and slowly to get maximum effect. I'm not sure whether I should have started my 10's at a heavier weight but with smaller increments or that the way I've set up is the way to go. Any help appreciated.
Why try to change a proven method.
The 15’s have their purpose.
Just remember that 6 months down the road it going to be a lots heaver.
Just do it by the “book” and there won’t be any excuses.
I hate to say this, but “go back read the FAQ’s”. (Got that from Blade)
First go find your 15RM on a Monday.
Secondly go find you 10RM on Wednesday.
Thirdly go find your 5RM on Friday.
Fourthly take a 9-14 day “SD”.
Then now we start the First Cycle.
Do 2 weeks of 15’s
Do 2 weeks of 10’s
Do 2 weeks of 5’s
Do 2 weeks extended 5’s with your 5RM with Drop sets or Neg’s.
This unless I’m mistaken.This is the “Classic“ First HST cycle .
On the Second cycle you may chose to eliminate the 15’s.
Good luck !
My question is:

After completing a cycle, would it not be best to figure out new RMs for any different exercices I want to include in my next cycle before starting SD?

I would have thought that if I SDed and then returned to the gym to work out my new RMs I would spoil the effect of my SD and so would have to do it all over again?!

It's not that I would be swapping out many exercises, perhaps four or five, so working out 15,10 & 5 RMs wouldn't be too taxing, but I still feel that I'd like to start on a cycle immediately following SD.
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]After completing a cycle, would it not be best to figure out new RMs for any different exercices I want to include in my next cycle before starting SD?

Yeah - it's probably the best idea to figure out your new RM's right after your negs.
Great! Thanks for that. Made sense to me. I'm really excited about starting on HST. I'm just taking this week to get my RMs and then it's SD for a week or so.

Just got back into training after 20 years! Got out an old Darden HIT book, refreshed the old memory and then did one and a half months of HIT. Whilst I made some great gains (added half a stone and made big increases in poundages used), I also had two colds! Considering I hadn't had a cold in over a year I figured something was up with my immune system. Decided to see if there was any new info out there that might explain some things that Darden didn't.

I chanced upon Bryan's site and started reading. Wow! At last some no-nonsense info based on recent studies. Fantastic! And a forum full of useful tips. Brilliant! Looks like I picked a great time to get back into training.
(EctoSquat @ Jul. 07 2004,23:01)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Okay, so you've figured out all of your maxes and are ready to start working out this Monday. Now here's a sum-up of how the routine will go. Each rep range (block) (15, 10, and 5) will each be given 2 weeks of training. It doesn't have to be 2 weeks, but we'll assume this is your first <span style='color:blue'>HST</span> &quot;experience&quot; and you are just going to do the standard. Training will be 3 times a week, once a day (we'll use M/W/F for this cycle). Again, some people train 6 days a week or some people do an AM and PM split. Each rep range will get 6 workouts over 2 weeks. Now here's where the weird part comes in (well, against what you probably normally do), you will only train to failure once every 2 weeks (until weeks 7+8, which I'll get to later). Workout #6 will be your routine with all of your maxes.</div>
I'm looking for the part where you get to weeks 7+8 later.  I just got back into training after about 8 years off, and I want to start with an HST cycle.  Just want to make sure I understand how the last 2 weeks work.
Workout 1 (Week 1, Monday)-50lbs
Workout 2 (Week 1, Wednesday)-60lbs
Workout 3 (Week 1, Friday)-70lbs
Workout 4 (Week 2, Monday)-80lbs
Workout 5 (Week 2, Wednesday)-90lbs
Workout 6 (Week 2, Friday)- 100lbs

Ok I must be the biggest dummie on the Earth..I still don't get what the first 4-5 training actually do. It looks like absolutly nothing to me. I mean in the example above: monday, week1 50lbs*15 even if I can actually do 25-30(maybe more)??. What tha...Second workout same, next same and so on to the latest 6th where you finaly &quot;have to do something&quot; and then jump to 10RP and same stuff.

You know what it seems really weird(if what i wrote is right) becouse milions of people over the whole Earth have trained hard workouts every day or so..And this shows actually extremly simple exercise which promises that you will grow like never before or whatsoever..I read here some stuff about soreness. How you can fell some soreness if you train like this? Seriously..I don't mean it like offense to AST, I rather just still dont get it. Do you feel at least something after an every training or just once a 2 weeks?
The 15s as they say in the FAQ are designed to condition your tendons for the heavy loads you'll be using later on. Your going for a burning feeling....so you can change up the tempo and squeeze and do whatever it takes to get a burning sensation going..sometimes it'll take more than 15 reps just keep going until you start to feel it.

In terms of constantly working to the maximum of your ability as they say on the main page.
&quot;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.&quot;

If you were constantly using as much weight as you could handle after a while you'd reach your strength limits &amp; pretty much any progressive overload stops or slows completely. Also i've actually felt sore the following day after all of my workouts regardless of the weight, though my strategic deconditioning consisted of sitting on my ass for about a week so that probably helped.
(solivagant @ Sep. 03 2006,01:46)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Do you feel at least something after an every training or just once a 2 weeks?</div>
Well, this will sound arrogant but I don't care.  It's the truth, and it makes my point clear.   A 50 lb or even 100 lb difference on many lifts is nothing to me, because I am very strong.  I use 20 lb increments per workout on just about all lifts except...dumbbell flies, where I use 10 lbs, oh and leg press, where I use 50-60 lbs.  

HST is easy compared to a high volume routine where you're going to failure, but it's no walk in the park once you get strong.  A 100 lb drop in the squat or deadlift is still 85% and sometimes more of my max.  The first week of a cycle goes smoothly, but by the first workout of the 2nd week things get tough, and I still have to eat a ton before going to work out and meditate before I hit the gym...all that good stuff.  You just keep working out, you'll see what I mean.
Good point steve, I am anxious to one day be that strong as you!

Even now I start my cycles doing 10 rm% for several weeks, then 8rm %, then 6 rm%, ala The max-stim spreadsheet. The % goes from 75% to 110% of whatever rm phase you are in. Currently just into the first stage of a cycle, yesterday did 85% of my 10rm on all exercises, I thought this sounded light, but I am amazed how hard the workout was and I am a little sore today!
solivagant: the point is that if, for example, you are squatting with 100lbs for your 15RM and you choose to increment towards your 15RM in steps of 10lbs, then you are using steps of 10% of your RM load. If Steve is squatting with 400lb for 15RM (just a guess, but he might be cos he's strong as an ox!) and is using 20lb increments to get to it, then he is using steps of only 5% of his RM load.

This is why it is quite a good idea to use %ages to figure out your increments (5-8% being quite a useful amount), though most of the time, simply using 5lb or 10lb increments is good enough (and easier to figure out too). Use 10lbs for your big lifts, like squats and deads, and 5lbs for your lighter lifts. Watch out with dumbells - only add half the total increment to each one.

One other useful pointer is to use a starting weight that is around 60-70% of your RM load. However, using your example, I would use a progression more like this:

Workout 1 (Week 1, Monday)-75lbs
Workout 2 (Week 1, Wednesday)-80lbs
Workout 3 (Week 1, Friday)-85lbs
Workout 4 (Week 2, Monday)-90lbs
Workout 5 (Week 2, Wednesday)-95lbs
Workout 6 (Week 2, Friday)- 100lbs

... because, if I started with 65lbs it might be awkward to find weights for the progression! Eg. 65, 72, 79, 86, 93, 100 (7lb increments - 3.5lbs either side of a barbell).

To avoid that problem you could do something like this: 65,75,85,90,95,100

I think Bryan has mentioned that it is a good idea to make the load increments larger rather than smaller, so make them as large as you can without starting out with a weight that is much below 65% of your RM. Make the increments practical so you don't get bogged down in the detail. Ultimately, it's the progression over the whole cycle that matters most. Hope that helps and doesn't confuse you more.
Ladies and Gentlemen;

My wife and I are both going to start our first cycle in 9 days, we have established our max reps for 15's 10's and 5's. This will be our first cycle here are the exercises we have selected for the first cycle. Please Comment remember we are beginners with HST we just want to get started on a cycle and then advance into our 2nd cycle and work varying exercises into the 2nd cycle . We are both very excited, our goal during the first cycle is to loss body fat by adhering to a clean diet and strengthen our muscles. In the 2nd cycle we will eat to grow. As far as nutrion goes we have sound nutrition, we are just lacking in the resistance training over the past year due to our moving cities because of my job. I feel confident that based on what I have read so far these exercises are solid base for starting. We are both in our late 30's to early 40's. We have trained for several years (except during the move), but not for real growth. We have decided to step it up and pack on some more muscle. Will update on our progress.

T-Bar Row
Shoulder Press
Flat Bench
Calf Raises
BB Curls
Overhead Tri-Extension

Cardio on off days
1 day off each week.
oh man, I feel so sorry for the poor old neglected deadlift.

edit: I really hope you guys start a log.
We have the Stiff legged Dead Lift (SLDL); And we will be logging all of our progress and results including nutritional logs as well. Hope to share some pics sometime when we feel worthy of photo....LOL

We know we will have the age gene to beat as well