Planning on doing my first ever strength cycle...

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by LittleBigHorn, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. LittleBigHorn

    LittleBigHorn New Member

    Hello everyone,
    I am currently finishing a bulking cycle using HST principles (will be done in about a week), and I plan on cutting up for the summer after that; again, using HST to ward off muscle loss. I was thinking of doing a strength cycle after that, though, starting sometime during the summer. Now, I have never done strength specific training, and my workout regimen doesn't include deadlifts of any kind (my back is still developing nicely, so I haven't had much need to incorporate them), which I understand is a staple lift of any strength cycle.
    A couple of questions: is there a strength program that is simple, muscle preserving (or even muscle building), and easy to grasp? Also, I work out at home: I have all the necessary equipment, but no fancy gym machines, so the program should not require the use of any gym machinery.
    Also, what kind of diet do people usually follow when training for strength? I'd imagine you keep the calories at maintenance level?
    One last question: are deadlifts ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY? Since I've never done them and built a well balanced physique without, I'm always hesitant to add new lifts. You know the old saying, "if it ain't broke...". [​IMG]


    My lifts have been improving steadily so far (at least most of them), even though I've done nothing but HST for the past year or so. I just want to avoid getting plateued in my strength gains, hence the reason why I want to try something different for a change. I don't do negatives, eccentrics or drop sets, either: I just repeat my 6s with higher weights for the lifts I feel I can improve (yes, I do 6's in place of 5's... always have).
  2. LittleBigHorn

    LittleBigHorn New Member

    Doesn't anyone have any suggestions of input? :confused:
  3. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member



    you may not follow the references programs progression, but the prinicpals work for strength as well. Instead of 15/10/5/neg

    do 10s/5s/multi sets of triples or similar, and potentailly when loading gets heavy, 2x weekly rather than three

    maintenance or slightly above


    but they seperate the men from the boys
  4. Lance

    Lance New Member

    You would actually consider a strength routine and miss out on that deadlifting fun!! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Deadlifts will be your heaviest lift. If you havn't done them before, then in short time they will be your heaviest lift.
  5. stan

    stan New Member

    That's true [​IMG]

    Grab them and do 'em, you're gonna love them man.

  6. LittleBigHorn

    LittleBigHorn New Member

    Finally, some input! [​IMG]
    Aaron, thanks once again for the great advice. It's good to hear that HST can be used for strength gains as well with only minor tweaking required.

    Lance and stan, I guess I'll be incorporating deadlifts, then!For some reason I've never done them before, but I guess it's never too late to start, huh?
  7. cueballNH

    cueballNH New Member

    I second that...finally some guidance. [​IMG]
    I've been searching for a simple no-frills compound exercise strength setup and the thing I've always like about HST was the simplicity and effectivness.  So based on Aaron's response, I can get the best of both worlds now.  I started a 3x weekly, 10/5/3 rep, 2/3/4 set routine.  I am using only 6 compound exercises (squat, dl, incl dumb pr, pullup, dip, bent over row).  So far so good...
  8. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Hm, if one tweaked HST as Aaron mentioned, to go for strength, then would a period of SD be necessary or even recommended? After all, that wouldn't help much in terms of strength. I would think one could either hop into a new cycle straight off, or take a week or two of lighter or specialization work before going back into it, rather than stopping entirely.
  9. faz

    faz Active Member

    also instead of doing 15s10s5s you could do 10s8s6s4s with smaller increments.
  10. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Aaron, nothing to say to this?
  11. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    For strength, it is better to deload than to do a specific SD.
  12. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    Aaron when you deload, do you just cut volume? Do you keep at the same weights? Is it especially important to avoid failure (even if its just for one set)?
  13. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Depending how I feel (joint/muscular wise) i will usually drop intensity. Sometimes I will drop intensity and volume.

    But ultimately it depends on what I have been doing
  14. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Hey Aaron, after someone reaches their genetic limits of hypertrophy, and he's fine with that even though he's no 200-pound monster because genetics isn't on his side (like me, I'm doomed to not getting 18" arms without AAS), and all he wants to do is maintain muscle and increase strength, do you think it's a good idea to drop all other exercises except bench and deadlifts? Just those two exercises for the entire workout? Can a good strength program comprise of just those two lifts? Or will other exercises really be necessary? And in that case where hypertrophy isn't an issue anymore, how often should one deload?

  15. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    you've reached your genetic potential and you don't weigh 200? How tall are you?
  16. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    then you would get strong at bench and deadlift. If your wanting generic overall strength, you will need more exercises than that.
  17. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    I'm 5'8". Haven't totally reached my genetic limit. But using Bryan's calculator (pointed to me by Dan), I found that I'm near the door already. And it said there that my estimated limits are 16" for the arms (which coincidentally was my target for Christmas, thinking the summer after that I could get 18", but turns out my genes just won't allow that) and so on... and a max weight of 178 pounds or something @ 8%BF. Sucks, doesn't it? In panic I asked Dan (begged, actually) to tell me that the calculated estimates are WAY OFF, but he said they are pretty much it, not pinpoint accurate, but pretty much around those figures. [​IMG]

    Errr.... Aaron, if you can somehow tell me that those estimates don't mean a thing... oh, who am I kidding, I was born very small and frail. I shouldn't have kidded myself into thinking I could naturally become a 200 pound monster. [​IMG]

    Ok, thanks.
    Well, when one does hit his genetic limit, how much additional strength can he gain from then? Surely, the strength gains won't just continue coming, and there would eventually come a time when everything will just be maintenance, right?

  18. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    they dont mean a thing

  19. Scooper182

    Scooper182 New Member

    You're not going to make it to 200 pounds? No big deal, unless your life goal was to be a successful bouncer.
    It's all about proportion--being excessively huge is simply unnattractive. Case in point: A few years ago there was a teacher/football coach who was not tall at all, but all the girls loved him, most noteably his body. He left for a year to become a strength coach at a small college, only to come back to high school teaching for whatever reason. He clearly must have used steroids to have gained the mass he did in one year, but in any case, he came back HUUUUUUGE, I'm talking real wide, all muscle.
    No one finds him attractive anymore.
    The question is, did you get into bodybuilding to be a 200 pound monster, or attract the ladies through a lean, proportional, muscular body?
    At 5'6" I know I'll never be able to throw a big guy out of a bar but then again...that's not why I got in the game ;)
    Good luck and may you reach ALL your goals! [​IMG]
  20. thehamma

    thehamma New Member

    can you explain what deloading is more specifically for me, or send me a link or something I can familiarize myself with?

    I dont have any strength training exp.
    Can I impement it into my HST routine?

    Thanks thehamma

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