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HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed?

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Ant
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2003/08/08 10:21:59 (permalink)

HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed?

Not found any posts regarding this method of training on the forum, so I was hoping to get a bit of debate going.

HST: Hypertrophy-Specific Training by Brian Haycock

For an introduction to the principles click here:
http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_index.html

The basic gist of it is this:

Traditional hypertrophy training was derived from interpretations of strength training.

Brian has sorted through the available literature on actual muscular hypertrophy (as opposed to interpretations of strength training) and come up with some principles optimised for hypertrophy, he's also put together a sample program which looks vastly different to traditional hypertrophy splits that abides by these principles.

Any thoughts on it guys? The really intriguing thing to me is that it does seem to be the natural conclusion from the literature, though some of it IMO may be flawed. However a working model of how hypertrophy occurs is a big step up from "it just happens".
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    GTM
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/08 13:34:26 (permalink)
    Very interesting reading...

    Particularly the Frequency aspect.. which ties in with another article I once read which stated studies showing that strength gains began to be lost after 96 hours after subjecting a muscle to stress.

    The Nutrition articles also make very interesting reading and I have to say tie in with my personal experience of when i've had the best growth/strength gains.

    http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hsn_artcls_prepostnutri.html

    &

    http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hsn_artcls_proteinmyths.html

    GTM
    #2
    GTM
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/10 21:02:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive
    quote:
    The downside of taking a week of rest every time you load a muscle is that many of the acute responses to training like increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels, and mRNA levels all return to normal in about 36 hours.

    That's fascinating, but what he doesn't seem to appreciate is that it's the CNS that determines hypertrophy. Which means that hypertrophy will occur and then you certainly don't go into a catabolic state, that is absurd. He seems to appreciate what homeostasis is and yet has no idea that the effects of homeostasis don't occur that rapidly.

    Basically he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. The system may work for steroid users or people who don't know how to reach proper intensity.




    I take it from that statement that you have evidence to prove that the study he draws that conclusion from is flawed? (MacDougall et al 1995). Or that he is misrepresenting the results of that study ?

    According to him at least the study found "At an average time of 36 hours post-exercise, MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis - GTM) in the exercised arm had returned to within 14% of the control arm value, the difference being nonsignificant"

    GTM
    #3
    Disciple
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/11 11:01:37 (permalink)
    I agree with johnny about the soreness, I do 2 sets of intense squats and my quads are sore for at least 3/4 days there is no way I could train them as hard or harder 2 days later.

    As for the routine I don't see the big deal, its just a full body routine based around progression, exactly what people were doing 40 years ago.
    #4
    Cat-kicker
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/11 11:35:55 (permalink)
    Thanks for the link Ant. I've been looking through the forum on that site - most of the results that people have had have been very good. Of course it's true to say that people who have tried HST may have had the same or better results with another method, but equally they may have had worse results. Personally I think it's good to try different methods and I think I may well give this a try as it is SO different to anything I have done before. If I get bad results - so what!? I'll have learnt from it! Training is a life-long pursuit as far as I'm concerned, so I can certainly afford to try something for 8 weeks or so. If I do decide to do it (and I'll have to think about when as I'm away for a month soon) then I'll start an HST journal.
    #5
    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/11 12:25:10 (permalink)
    Personally I have been using the system now for a couple of weeks (slightly modified based on Brians own recommendations) I like it so far.

    What I am surprised about is Johnny's reply. I thought you'd actually like this since many of the principles jive with old school strength training methodology i.e Work a bodypart more than once a week, progressive overload (though done slightly differently).

    The only thing that actually goes against this (which is most likely good for hypertrophy but bad for strength training) would be strategic deconditioning.

    I do take issue with the fact that Brian does use some studies which use strength as a marker to draw some conclusions for HST.

    Also interestingly enough you might want to read this:
    http://www.t-mag.com/articles/216hyp2.html

    He essentially debunks the term intensity in the quote below and in other parts during the interview
    quote:

    Boy, where do I start?! I'll try to make this brief but believe me, I have strong feelings about how the education of a bodybuilder got so screwed up along the way. About forty years ago, when the powers that be decided they'd try to make money from bodybuilding, truth took second seat to the pursuit of wealth. In essence, they found that they could use kids' dreams of looking like a super hero to swindle them out of their money. "If you buy this, you'll look like this guy." The fact that it took hormones to look like the guy in the ad was kept in the strictest confidence. They'd even go so far as to vilify people caught using steroids to maintain the sparkling image of the idols in the magazine ads. "Pot, let me introduce you to kettle."

    The powers that be also found out quickly that the bigger the muscles, the more influence the ads had on kids. So the idols in the ads just got bigger and bigger. Over time, there arose a culture of gross misrepresentation and subsequent misinformation in bodybuilding. Using professional bodybuilders to sell supplements and weight equipment is a slippery slope.

    Sure, it's inspiring to see your idol in the magazine pages, and it's also very persuasive to hear him or her say that this product or that allowed them to achieve their success. But what happens when people begin to buy the products and the equipment, yet fail to achieve the results promised them by the ads with their idol so prominently placed with the product? I'll tell you. Any one of three things must happen. You either lose the customer because they become disenchanted; you must switch the product presented with the idol; and/or you must explain it away in their method of training (i.e. blame the user). This is where "intensity" came in. If you didn't grow like the ad promised, you simply weren't "man enough" to train with the intensity of the pros.

    It wasn't until Dan Duchaine and a friend came out with the Underground Steroid Handbook that people began to realize that pro-bodybuilders look the way they do because they use steroids… lots and lots of steroids. It had nothing to do with supplements or training. When Bill Philips introduced Muscle Media 2000 this realization hit the mainstream.

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    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/11 12:28:23 (permalink)
    Would also be interested in your reasoning for this statement j5
    quote:

    That's fascinating, but what he doesn't seem to appreciate is that it's the CNS that determines hypertrophy

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    GTM
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/11 18:44:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive

    Well I just wrote out a huge long reply to this then deleted it so I'll keep it short and sweet.

    You can't judge the optimum outcome for a massively complicated system based on the results of one aspect (protein synthesis), the most significant other aspects of weight training that determine frequency are muscular soreness, CNS recovery, motivation, other physiological demands and injury prevention. Don't let the results of one small study blind you to reality, use your own knowledge and common sense.



    Ok points taken about sorness and CNS recover etc.. but if the point about Protein synthesis is true.. then it would lend some weight to the argument that to obtain maximum growth.. you would need to stimulate Protein Synthesis more regularly than just once a week, as it would seem that after a relatively short period it has returned to base level. Whether given the points you raised it would be possible to attain a higher frequency is another issue.

    I just find it interesting that from a MPS point of view it would seem that the body has a higher potential for growth than we are actually capable of ever achieving.

    GTM
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    mattster
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/11 19:50:28 (permalink)
    Ant how long does each routine take on average? Its certainly very interesting, im just thinking (maybe im reading it wrong) but one session looks like it would take up a fair amount of time.

    Im thinking along the too longer time in the gym - less time to recover idea.

    The only bit i quibble with is the idea of training a muscle that is still sore.

    Id be interested to know ur results after a few more weeks on ur programme pal
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    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/12 10:36:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by GTM

    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive

    Well I just wrote out a huge long reply to this then deleted it so I'll keep it short and sweet.

    You can't judge the optimum outcome for a massively complicated system based on the results of one aspect (protein synthesis), the most significant other aspects of weight training that determine frequency are muscular soreness, CNS recovery, motivation, other physiological demands and injury prevention. Don't let the results of one small study blind you to reality, use your own knowledge and common sense.



    Ok points taken about sorness and CNS recover etc.. but if the point about Protein synthesis is true.. then it would lend some weight to the argument that to obtain maximum growth.. you would need to stimulate Protein Synthesis more regularly than just once a week, as it would seem that after a relatively short period it has returned to base level. Whether given the points you raised it would be possible to attain a higher frequency is another issue.

    I just find it interesting that from a MPS point of view it would seem that the body has a higher potential for growth than we are actually capable of ever achieving.

    GTM



    Possibly.

    However I believe there is also some research that this is based on which says muscle protein synthesis is elevated even if the load used is entirely submaximal.

    As a result Brian doesn't have you going to failure very often so the CNS doesn't actually take much of a beating.
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    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/12 10:40:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mattster

    Ant how long does each routine take on average? Its certainly very interesting, im just thinking (maybe im reading it wrong) but one session looks like it would take up a fair amount of time.

    Im thinking along the too longer time in the gym - less time to recover idea.


    Each one takes roughly an hour, time seems to be coming down as the resp do though. This includes training with a partner and sitting on my backside downstairs afterwards to drink a pro-recover! Not much longer than my workouts were before in fairness.

    quote:

    The only bit i quibble with is the idea of training a muscle that is still sore.


    Funnily enough, I have not been that sore off the program, and I have been going to failure more often than Brian recommends in the original program... maybe thats just me though.

    quote:

    Id be interested to know ur results after a few more weeks on ur programme pal


    No problemo! I'm hoping for a couple of pounds solid muscle by the end of the cycle. While this may not sound like a lot, I haven't bulked in a while, or do anything resembling a traditional bulk at all, so I think it is a fair goal. I'll definitely consider it a success if I get a couple of pounds of muscle out of it.
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    mattster
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/12 12:52:35 (permalink)
    are u taking any PH or anything fella to supplement ur training on this routine?
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    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/12 13:34:15 (permalink)
    Just the usual mate, ALA/CLA/ALCAR, which I've been using for ages now anyway.
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    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/20 10:37:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by GTM

    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive
    quote:
    The downside of taking a week of rest every time you load a muscle is that many of the acute responses to training like increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels, and mRNA levels all return to normal in about 36 hours.

    That's fascinating, but what he doesn't seem to appreciate is that it's the CNS that determines hypertrophy. Which means that hypertrophy will occur and then you certainly don't go into a catabolic state, that is absurd. He seems to appreciate what homeostasis is and yet has no idea that the effects of homeostasis don't occur that rapidly.

    Basically he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. The system may work for steroid users or people who don't know how to reach proper intensity.




    I take it from that statement that you have evidence to prove that the study he draws that conclusion from is flawed? (MacDougall et al 1995). Or that he is misrepresenting the results of that study ?

    According to him at least the study found "At an average time of 36 hours post-exercise, MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis - GTM) in the exercised arm had returned to within 14% of the control arm value, the difference being nonsignificant"

    GTM




    GTM,

    Do you have the full name of that study, or any others that Brian references with regards to MPS? I'd like to investigate them and see if I'd draw the same conclusions from the literature.
    #14
    GTM
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/20 13:21:39 (permalink)
    Ant..

    It's in his list of references, (along with others), at the bottom of his article about pre and post nutrician..

    "MacDougall JD, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDonald JR, Interisano SA, Yarasheski KE The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol 1995 Dec;20(4):480-6"

    http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hsn_artcls_prepostnutri_3.html

    GTM

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    Ant
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/08/20 14:10:50 (permalink)
    Thanks mate, thats a very odd place to put those references, I guess that it used to be one article which was split up into three sections.
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/12/21 16:35:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    The really intriguing thing to me is that it does seem to be the natural conclusion from the literature, though some of it IMO may be flawed.

    Some of the HST routine has to fill in a void where there's no information, but the key principles are based on research results. Just check and see what is supported by evidence and what is not.


    quote:
    How exactly are we to determine if our muscles are at risk of injury? If a muscle is still sore it has not recovered, period. I would never be able to put in the same effort if I was forced to work out with a still sore muscle.



    quote:
    This is his bizarre justification for the idea that you can work a muscle that is still sore.

    No, his justification for training a sore muscle is the research that has shown that a sore muscle's recovery will not be hindered by a second bout of training.

    quote:
    ...he doesn't seem to appreciate that there are many more symtoms of overtraining which absolutely are a result of localised muscle damage. Injury being the main one.

    He distiguishes between microtrama and injury. His initial readings would have been on the physiology of hypertrophy, starting with the exercise induced damage to actin and myosin filaments, sarcolemma, etc.

    Keep in mind that overtraining isn't much of a problem with HST because each body part is only trained with 3-9 sets per week. And because of this low volume and intensity the soreness is much less than would be produced by the typical routine.


    quote:
    Allow any minor overuse injuries to heal?! Here is a crazy thought. Why don't we just not get the minor overuse injuries in the first place, by doing a decent routine.

    He didn't say that the training would indefinitely produce minor overuse injuries. The statement was that if any are present, they would be given a chance to heal. The truth is that you'd be much less likely to get an overuse injury with HST than with most other training styles.

    Also, the primary purpose of strategic deconditioning isn't to heal the body; its to eliminate the repeated bout effect. That is to make the body more responsive and sensitive to further training.


    quote:
    Oh that's odd, I thought this was Hypertrophy specific and yet strength gains are one of the main aspects of the system. Perhaps there is another similar site called Strength Specific Training with exactly the same routine and justifications.

    Strength gains are not a key component of HST. During your cycle are never required to do more than you could do at the beginning. The purpose of the weight is only to apply direct physical strain on the tissues, which is the stimulis for hypertrophy.

    quote:
    That's fascinating, but what he doesn't seem to appreciate is that it's the CNS that determines hypertrophy.

    That's incorrect. The stimulis of hypertrophy has been supported and well known to be the result of microtrauma to the muscle, and to be independent of CNS fatigue.


    quote:
    Basically he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

    Could you please your concept and mechanism for CNS induced hypertrophy? I'm very interested to hear it.



    quote:
    If I do decide to do it (and I'll have to think about when as I'm away for a month soon) then I'll start an HST journal.

    Cool, let me know your progress. Also, you'd probably want to start with the advanced routine. The only purpose of the basic routine is to simplify scheduling, since the periodization is a little complex.

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    Dano
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/12/22 05:10:38 (permalink)
    This topic is over 3 months old
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    Robert
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/12/22 14:59:42 (permalink)
    J5,

    in this instance, i am not doubting you about the questionablity of some of the princiles in this HST training program.

    but i would like to understand how the nervous system contributes to hypertrophy, i thought it was hormones that controled protien synthesis.

    also, i have trouble understanding [due to having zero ccess to education in this area] why if i keep my levels of electrolytes/glucose up, my nervous system gets fatigued.

    rob
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    AmericanMeat
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    RE: HST: Mystery of Hypertrophy Revealed? 2003/12/23 03:06:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Please refer to any biology book aimed at eleven year olds

    Nice attempt at an ad hominem attack. I already know the mechanism, unless my college level human physiolgy text is somehow wrong, and your eleven year olds' biology book is right. But since you're assuming that you're right, I'll ask you again...

    Could you please explain your conceptual mechanism for CNS induced hypertrophy? I'm very interested to hear it.
    #20
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