strength base before HST

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Sir Liftalot, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Sir Liftalot

    Sir Liftalot New Member


    I read a couple of threads about the fact that complete novices should have
    a strength base before they start off with HST else it wont be very effective.

    The theory behind this is that beginners don't have the sufficient strength
    that will be needed for the specific rep max micro-cycle of HST which are namely the 15s, 10s, and 5s.

    So my question: Does a novice need a strength base before he/she starts with HST for optimal results?

    Thanks in advance!

    Source: http://

    acceptable strength base:

    Squat: 120% of BW in KG
    Deadlift: 150% of BW in KG
    Bench press: 80% of BW in KG
    Overhead press:50% of BW in KG
    ( for atleast 5 reps )
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I disagree with the thread you linked to. I think that the only thing that is important is for the beginner to know the lifts. HST is ideal for beginners, in my experience. Beginners need less volume to grow and the higher frequency that HST provides is ideal for that. Typical strength training requires more volume and most beginners don't have a high work tolerance yet. HST can be laid out with minimal volume and it will help them not only build some muscle but develop tolerance for more volume. Then during subsequent cycles, they can add a set or two to each lift to improve their results and further increase their work tolerance.

    Also, if you don't think you can gain significant strength on HST then you are mistaken. I was a beginner when I first found HST and it was what got my started on the path. Before that, all I did was dumb training from magazines and stuff like that. My first HST cycle I stuck with one set for each exercise and did about 8-10 lifts (can't remember exactly) and I experienced the best gains I had ever experienced prior to that. I also got stronger. After four or five cycles, I had gained significant strength. I might be able to dig up my old logs from back then to prove this. I do recall that my first year with HST, I gained something like 35 lbs overall, which obviously some was fat but a lot was muscle. I got lots of comments asking what I was doing to be blowing up like that. It wasn't until later on, after I had built a base with HST that I began to explore strength specific training. But make no mistake, HST has all the key ingredients of a good strength program already and all the strengths programs I have followed (5x5, DC, etc) all follow HST principles.

    So no, I do not think HST is worthless for a beginner without a good base of strength. I think HST is ideal for a beginner to help them learn the essentials to training properly, develop strength, plus it helps them build a base of muscularity and work tolerance for later on in their training career.
  3. Sir Liftalot

    Sir Liftalot New Member

    Thanks for your reply

    Would this be a good summary of your reply?

    An untrained novice with no strength base should get
    the same results from HST as an untrained novice with the strength base i described? (not taking in account genetics and other factors)

    btw sorry for my spelling, English is not my native language.

    Thx in advance
  4. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Your phrase "an untrained novice with the strength base" does not apply because then they would no longer be untrained. What I am saying is that HST is a good system to use in order for the untrained novice to develop that base that you are describing. I also say that their results will likely be either equal or superior to if they were to use a strength training program instead of HST.
  5. Sir Liftalot

    Sir Liftalot New Member

    Thx for answering my questions i think its all clear to me now.

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