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Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training

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AmericanMeat
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2003/12/21 18:17:40 (permalink)

Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training

HST review
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.

The Routine
2 weeks - 15 rep max
2 weeks - 10 rep max
2 weeks - 5 rep max
2 weeks - negatives
Rest

The review
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.
#1

5 Replies Related Threads

    Cashman
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    RE: Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training 2003/12/22 16:09:08 (permalink)
    Could you post the original routine again? And if you have any indicators as to points when you made specific gains and also how much you gained I'd be interested in reading them.
    #2
    AmericanMeat
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    RE: Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training 2003/12/22 20:00:22 (permalink)
    The original routine was roughly:
    Seated Leg Curls x 1 set
    Leg Press x 1 set
    Hammer Machine Rows x 1 set
    Dips x 1 set
    DB Curls x 1 set
    Tricep pressdowns x 1 set
    Rear delt machine x 1 set
    Shrugs x 1 set
    Calf Raises x 1 set
    Machine Cruches x 1 set

    The only variables were weight, repetitions, and maximum effort. The weight started light(around 75% max), progressively getting heavier until I reached my 2RM. Reps started at 15, dropping every two weeks(15 reps, 10 reps, 5 reps, negative). Maximum effort would increase each workout, finally having a workout to failure once every two weeks. During the negatives portion of the training I was at or near failure every workout.

    I didn't see the best benifit until the last few weeks of training when the weights increased the highest and the reps dropped down the lowest. The earlier weeks may have been better if I had been hitting my failure point at least once a week(advance HST routine). I've also got some other modifications that should produce better results as well, which I'll post after confirming my ideas with some scientific studies.
    #3
    Cashman
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    RE: Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training 2003/12/23 09:49:30 (permalink)
    Was there any specific reasons as to why you didn't include Deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press (i.e the big compound lifts)?
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    AmericanMeat
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    RE: Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training 2003/12/23 12:05:54 (permalink)
    All of those are difficult to do negatives with, and since I was testing the training style I wanted to keep all major components of the system. Some people use those lifts with HST though.
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    Cashman
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    RE: Review of Hypertrophy Specific Training 2003/12/23 14:48:44 (permalink)
    Fair enough. How would you say it compares with gains made on a 5x5 or pre-exhaust/triple drop set style routine?
    #6
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