Where can I find out the difference between HST and SST training?



I have read a lot about HST, but I cant find much about SST.
(e.g. The FAQ on this site appears to only talk about HST!)

Where can I find out the difference between the two?


John Smith
If you just Google "strength training" you'll find a veritable ton of information if what's here on the site isn't quite enough. I can tell you, though - the biggest difference between SST and HST is the approach. With both systems, you will get stronger and grow. With HST - the goal is more growth and less strength, though the two really go hand in hand. The growth aspect is accommodated through the use of different training stimuli - and you can read all about that in the FAQ's.

SST is a true focus on strength. Typically, that means lifting heavier weights for less reps per set - a reduced volume as compared to the HST model. That honestly is the biggest difference; folks looking for size do lots of reps with (usually) more lifts as compared to a strength-focused individual, who will usually focus on a couple core compound lifts to develop.

I hope at a minimum, that's a start to you understanding the difference. Good luck, shiphen.
SST can mean a lot of different things and HST can easily be modified to focus more on strength. Like tim said, lower volume, staying in a lower rep range... I usually work in the 5 RM or lower range and it's good for strength. DC, for instance, is one variant of HST that follows all the principles but has more of a strength focus. DC worked great for me though I ended up getting an injury. There aren't going to be a whole lot of differences because a good strength specific routine, in my opinion, is still going to follow the important parts of HST - chronic vs acute stimuli, progressive load, mechanical load vs fatigue as a factor behind progress... basically you are going to want to workout with a decent frequency still, focus on increasing the load you are using on the bar, etc.

If you are looking to layout a strength cycle, we can help you with it.
If you are looking to layout a strength cycle, we can help you with it.

I am thinking about doing strength. With HST there is spread sheet is there one for strength and is there anywhere that i can get information of SST from.

You could try the Starting Strength Logbook calculator spreadsheet here :


This also includes workbooks for the Practical Programming, Onus Wunsler and Wichita Falls Novice programs. If your weight progressions have not stalled the Starting Strength or Practical Programming programs can be productive if you keep the weight increments manageable. From personal experience I found the recommended weight increases became excessive quite quickly and having to do regular resets can become demotivating, however I was 42 when I first tried Starting Strength and it is probably more suitable for younger trainees.
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If you have not reached a plateau with strength-based training then a linear progression program like Starting Strength is one possibility, however if you are finding that you weights are stalling then an intermediate strength-based program is appropriate. In this case you can adapt the advanced HST spreadsheet I recently made available here for SST:


Here is how it should be configured:

[1] Dial in the exercises you are going to use in the exercises worksheet, preferably using your 3 rep max and 12 rep max weights for each exercise.
[2] Set the warm-ups like this: Weeks 1,2,3,4,5,and 6 warm-up 1 70% 5 reps, warm-up 2 80% 3 reps, warm-up 3 90% 2 reps
[3] Set the first session percentage to 70% and the last to 117%.
[4] Set the clustering in each cycle worksheet like this:
Cycle1 use Medium Volume clustering
Cycle2 use Zone Clustering
Cycle3 use Medium Volume clustering

Instead of following the session dates from start to end do the sessions in the following order:

Cycle2 session 1 on Mon week 1
Cycle1 session 1 on Wednesday week 1
Cycle3 session 1 on Friday week 1

Cycle2 session 2 on Mon week 2
Cycle1 session 2 on Wednesday week 2
Cycle3 session 2 on Friday week 2

Cycle2 session 3 on Mon week 3
Cycle1 session 3 on Wednesday week 3
Cycle3 session 3 on Friday week 3


Don't do any of the Cycle 4 worksheet. Finish the entire cycle at the end of week 6 then you must SD as weeks 5 and 6 will be demanding. On the last session of week 6 you should reach 105% of your current rep max weights.

Configuring the spreadsheet like this and following the session programming will result in a SST cycle suitable for intermediate trainees.
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