T Nation

HFSW Questions


Do any of the readers here know the specifics of the HFSW?
Is there a detailed Post on this anywhere?
I have done a search but only picked up a bit here and there.

I understand that it is done for the

Does anyone have any other information that they could add?
Are you supposed to warmup for each lift? as this could make the session quite long.

Any Help would be appreciated. thanks

High Frequency, Sub Max Training
High Frequency, Sub Max Training
High Frequency, Sub Max Training
High Frequency, Sub Max Training

I've seen it stated that it is a non-stressful form of training. By the name, I would not think so.


1) You do variations of 4 main lifts (usually bench press, overhead or push press, back or front squat, sumo or conventional deadlift)

2) You use a weight that is substantial, but sustainable on a daily basis. Essentially, even doing the last set you should have some reps left in the tank. For example, if you're doing 3x8 you do it with a weight that you can lift 12 times (usually 70% of 1RM), so by the first set you can still do it 9-10 times, even with short breaks between sets. Remember - you have to be able to recover while doing it daily. Personally, I have to go a bit lower in weight on the deadlift to do so (let's say 65% instead of 70%)

3) You do 2-3 "feeler" (or warmup) sets. For example, if you would use 60kgx8 on the main sets you can do 20kgx5, 40kg x3. The point is to be 100% ready by your first work set but not fatigued at all

4) The HFSW part should take about 35-45 minutes, depending on how you're feeling that day and equipment changeover times. If you don't have to move stuff around you can probably do it in 30 minutes.

5) You can throw some minor work in between the sets (Active rest). I do rotator cuff exercises. If I'm not having a bad day I will usually have no more than 15 seconds of rest (usually consisting of walking between stations and drinking) between the main sets and AR exercises. Without AR that may be 45 seconds.

6) By the end of HFSW you should feel amped up, but not tired.

7) If you start with an upper body lift, the next is lower body (so bench-squat-OHP-dead, for example)

I hope I covered all the main points.



Thanks BIP,

That answered alot of my questions.
A few other points if you are able to help out.

Is there a specific Rep Range that is best for HFS? I see that most members are doing 3 Sets of 5/4/3 per Exercise.

Is this done on every day that you lift? If time permits that is.

Have you found it has helped to increase your strenght or technique on the lifts?

Thanks for your help again.


CT has us progress over a rep range, usually starting at a 12rpm then doing 3x8 for 2 weeks, then moving to lower reps as the cycle progresses. Usually because the structural work increases in volume.

You also add 10 lbs each week.

You do it on chest, quad, shoulder and posterior chain dominate days. For lat/bicep or any spec day you don't do it. Though you can do it every day and sometimes twice a day.

If you wanted to do it every day I'd say do it AFTER your lat/bicep day about 6 hours later ( though I guess doing it way before would be acceptable ).

You might not instantly gain better strength- but your technique has no where to go but better if you're doing it so often. You'll figure out some of your weak points and fix them. It lets to strength gain via improved technique and muscle growth. The HFSW is like a neural charge workout in that it gets you all pumped up full of blood, hormones and awesomeness.


What corst said :slight_smile:

HFSW is sort of like neural charges buffed up brother. I wouldn't do it when I'm drained (which is where neural charge is perfect), but it is great in its own way,

The program I'm on (Hypertrophy Base 2) is 6 weeks long, during the course of which you increase the weight on HFSW every week (+10lbs, although I do +5lbs on upper body lifts, since it fits the weights I use better), while the volume gradually decreases:
Week 1,2 3x8
Week 3,4 3x6
Week 5,6 3x4

I believe the rep range might be lower on more strength focused programs, but you'd have to ask someone who's doing one.



so after you do the HFSW workout, you then move on to your main workout of the day, be it shoulders or chest etc?


Pretty much. In hypertrophy base 2 the structure is:

Part 1: HFSW

Part 2: Foundation work (a.k.a. main lift)

Part 3: Structural work


How are the reps performed? Explosively?




interesting concept, thanks for the info BiP


Thanks Guys,

Have either of you had experience with doing the HFS earlier on in the day and then your Main workout a few hours later?
What would be the minimum time you would recommend between sessions?


@cally: No problem!

@antic: I think ryanbCXG may have done something like this. You should send him a PM, but I think he'll be gone most of this week so it might be a couple of days before he answers.
I think it should work well - HFS is meant to be heavy but not too fatiguing, so that it activates you, gets you used to heavy weights and allows you to practice the lift at a high percentage of your 1RM. I think about 4-6 hours (same as usual) in between will work well., possibly even less due to low fatigue.
You could also visit the spill and ask CT :slightly_smiling:



I have the delt spec phase included with my hypertrophyphase2, but would be interested in seeing how the other phases look like. I.e. chest/legs/posterier chain/back etc..

If you don't want to publish them here, please pm them.


Back spec in the 6th post here:


great info on the hfsw. A question I have and if its already been answered i didnt see it so sorry, but are all the sets of one exercise finished before moving to the second. For example do 3 sets ohp then 3 sets squat etc. or is it in the form of a complex or circuit. Thanks


You finish all sets of one exercise before moving to the next.

Bench feel set 1
Bench feel set 2
Bench work set 1
Bench work set 2
Bench work set 3

Squat feel set 1




do you do this for all the 4 lifts or for just one lift in one cycle??


All 4 lifts, at least 4 times a week. Some people are doing them more often, including multiple times a week.

In the current programs we're only doing 3 lifts (e.g. squat, bench, deadlift). The lifts stay the same for at least an entire cycle. The point is to truly MASTER each lift and become extremely proficient at them.

@Everybody: Try to follow the livespills - there's lots of good HFSW info there. Check today's (Tuesday) livespill and yesterday's "special edition" "Never Chase Fatigue, Chase Performance".