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there is an overwhelming amount of information here, most of which i have been reading. i am an intermediate lifter. can you point me in the direction of which scheme you personally endorse? the original one from the web site or a new variation or something out of the ebook? Im just looking for guidance on a template to try out that has gotten overhwelming amounts of success.

thank you for your responses
I couldn't sleep, so started rambling as an arm-chair expert chiming in:

TLDR: Even with advanced lifters, I'd start with a vanilla 3xweek plan or 6xweek A/B plan. I think you'll be surprised that it works. I think the first cycle is the technically the most important because it gives you the framework. But, I think the 2nd and 3rd cycle end up getting the best "gainz" because the weights end up being considerably higher.

If I can plan everything around training (not realistic for me), I'd do a 6xweek A/B plan. On the small chance vanilla doesn't work, there's probably an obvious reason (in order):
  1. sleep/diet
  2. underestimated rep maxes
  3. small chance it's not enough volume.

The stickied results thread is good if you're looking for something else, or Totentanz's book, or the simplify and win thread.

Long version:
My favorite plan is vanilla style 3xweek, but then after the 5s, do a DUP 6x/week plan increasing the weights on the 5s and 10s, but not paying attention on the high rep days. High rep (20-25), low rep (3-6), medium rep (9-12), then repeat for a few weeks before taking a week or two off.

Other fun plan I like:
Extending each rep range until completely maxed out, so the 15s may take 7 workouts, 10s, 8 workouts, etc. It's fun for a change, and likely trades the balance of diminishing results/hard work, so likely isn't as effective.

Other notes:
Ask, "how often am I going to workout over the next 6+ months?" Then put your plan together by balancing each muscle group at least 2x a week. Make sure to increase the weights cycle to cycle (regardless of which split).

Random notes:
"Back in the day," I "bulked" from 150 lbs to 185 lbs for high school football. The coaches had us maxing every workout on mainly a push/pull twice a week plan. 5x5, 6x4, 5/4/3/2/1, etc. After I was out of sports, I dropped down to 175 lbs fairly quickly (wasn't trying to). Got back into "serious" lifting, and I could do my own thing, so I tried most of the stuff on (back when it was updated only on Fridays, now After a few years, and without force feeding myself, I was right around 185 lbs, but not considerably stronger.

I then stumbled across HST. Did a vanilla plan of:
Barbell rows
Bench press (usually, but not always, dumbbells for the 15s)
Pull ups (lat pull down for the 15s, then progress to weighted pullups for the 5s)
Leg curls (some times added weighted step ups before these)
Dips (or tricep pressdowns)
Lateral raises
Chin ups (or curls)

Within 12 weeks I was considerably stronger than before. It felt like all of a sudden, but it was probably 9 months or close to a year, I was at a lean 205 pounds. What? I'm bigger, stronger, and I haven't had to max out/bust my butt every workout AND I wasn't force-feeding myself? And, my shoulder/elbow/hip aren't killing me? I've since tried a lot of other programs for variety, and they just don't work as well for me.

Around 2006(?), I tried a cycle of 3xweek, twice per day, with repeating the AM workout in the late afternoon. Odd as it sounds, but the PM workout was easier than the AM workout. It worked, but didn't help my lower back/shoulder/elbow health. So, more effective now, doesn't mean better over 6 months.

So, the most effective plan is one that is consistently hits every muscle group at least 2x week, increasing the weights over time. Not just for a month or two, but over 6-12+ months.

I think the people that prefer HST and get the most out of it are the ones that have done multiple cycles of HST and are increasing the weight each cycle.
That is great stuff Clayton, thanks for posting that. I enjoy reading how people take the HST principals and incorporating them into a program that works for them.

I am an untrained lifer (Took several years off) and have been at it since Sept 1st, 2019. Though I am currently in my first HST Cycle (just finished week 5) I am learning so much about my bodies current limitations and am really looking forward to weeks 7 and 8 where I plan to see where my 5 rep maxes hit a peak.

As basically a beginner the first five months I got back into lifting (not on HST) I really did not know what appropriate volume I should be using and see now I was doing way to much for my xp level during that time.

HST has really taught me a lot about auto regulation and the generic template offered recommends 1 maybe 2 sets which really was a great starting point for someone like me. In the past I always erred on more volume to be good and sure.

After 5 weeks on HST I have gotten great results, work outs are shorter though still impactful, I am less fatigued and when this 8 week cycle is done I will have great data for my next 6-8 week meso. In most cases I will do what I have read Blade and others recommend, just go up 5 or 10 lbs from where I started last time. I plan on keeping the same exercise selection save for 1 or 2 exercises. I may experiment with an additional set on the 10s and/ or the 5's. In later mesos I may look at A and B workouts. I look forward to making the principals my own as the months go by. But for now Bryan's templets is a great starting point.

Though I did get good results my first 5 months (based on my 5 weeks xp) I expect my future gains to have more yield from using HST principals. And to think that I just listened to Bryan on the SSD podcast Mid Jan 2020 because I wanted to hear something on the way home from work. Wow, did that podcast (which led me to the Maconi podcast and eventually here) have a dramatic effect on my training and gains. Wish I would have heard about HST months ago, though I am here now, onward and upward, planning on sticking with HST for long while.