Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training
I said I’d post a review on HST here over a year ago, but got a bit too busy. Well, I’ve got too much free time right now, so here it is…
The basic routine is to train each bodypart with one set of one exercise, increasing the weight each workout. The weight increments are scheduled so that you’ll reach your maximum weight for the given rep range at the end of each two week period.
2 weeks - 15 rep max
2 weeks - 10 rep max
2 weeks - 5 rep max
2 weeks - negatives
I thought it was a pretty good routine in regards to the results it produced. But it is still a fairly new training method, so some details will need to be refined over time. The primary concepts of the routine; high workout frequncy, low volume/intensity and high tensile stress seem to be the major contributing factors from this training. I believe this because it wan’t until the last month or so that I began to see significant results. But the results were great. During the end of the 5 rep phase and all throughout the negatives phase I could feel that wonderful thickening and tightening in my muscles. Hopefully modifications can be made to experience that growth for more that 3 weeks of the 8 week cycle.
I think the modification would be the advanced routine, where you reach your maximum once per week. My feeling is that I was at least slightly understimulated during many of the easier workouts. But this may be a good thing for those of you who have been training hard and could use a break. The other option would be to increase the number of sets performed, from one set per bodypart to two sets. You could also start your easier workouts being closer to your max, and just make smaller increments until you reach it. But I would guess that the advanced routine would be a better option.
Also, the negative phase which was my favorite, is only compatible with some exercises. Dips, leg presses and machine rows were great. Bicep curls are out of the question, and for me, calf raises felt dangerous with the weight of negatives. So for negative unfriendly exercises I would stick to either the 5 or 10 rep maximum weight. Either that or else find an exercise which is safer to use heavier weight.
The final drawback that I can think of is that a single execise doesn’t allow you hit all regions of muscle group; upper versus lower chest for example. This can be resolved by alternating exercises each workout, or doing a second exercise to hit a different region, while still trying to keep the volume per bodypart low.Conclusion
I think it’s a good routine and will continue to use it, but I’ll experiment with the modifications suggested above. If you’ve hit a plateau, I would definitely recommend giving this training system a shot.