T Nation

HP Mass Program Question


I have been doing a modified version of this program for 2 months now and have had very good results. The only variance to the program has been in rotating the Upper Body and Lower Body days instead of doing them back to back.
My rational for that in starting out was mostly due to concerns with the lower body lifts. In the past, I never squatted low enough and wanted to fix that. Also, I had never gone real heavy with deadlifts. So in making those changes I was concerned with doing lower body lifts back to back and recovery.
Like I said, Im happy with the progress Ive made thus far - but should I now switch to doing the back to back days? I'm still a bit skeptical on doing squats and deadlifts on back to back days - but I want to acheive the best gains I can.
Obviously I know what Thibs thinks - but I'd also like to hear from you that have been doing the program.



I started the HP mass program like you did since my work capacity was low coming back from a long-term injury. After doing a cycle with alternating days I did my next one with the concentrated loading/back to back days and the results were phenomenal. It definitely will stress the hell out of your recovery abilities, especially in weeks 3/6 (hint: get a foam roller and use it extensively once fatigue and soreness are starting to accumulate) but the results are worth it in terms of gains in strength, size and in work capacity. Also definitely do not skimp on the sled work or neural charge stuff, especially when you're starting to accumulate fatigue and feel increasingly beat up.

Also I can't tell from your post if you're doing the secondary emphasis lifts or not. Just in case you aren't, those are pretty important. If you haven't been doing those then you should be getting those in there asap.


Thanks etaco.
I am going to give the back to back days a try starting this week.
I have been doing sled work only on lower body days thus far.
Neural Charge work has been limited and have not done much in terms of secondary emphasis lifts.
Time has been my biggest issue with fitting it all in (between work and family)

My Schedule thus far has been:
Mon - Lower Body (Squats, Deadlift, Sled, Abs)
Tue - Upper Body (Military, Incline Bench, Bench)
Wed - Repeat Lower Body
Thurs - Repeat Upper Body
Fri - off
Sat - Back and Biceps plus Farmers Walks
Sun - off

During the weekdays I have at most 1.5 hours after work for my workouts.
I feel that I keep a decent pace - so I'm not sure how to fit in the secondary emphasis lifts.
I can fit another workout in on Fridays - Should I make it a Neural Charge day?
Sundays are for the family.

I appreciate any feedback.


The secondary emphasis lift are the difference between a twice per week each for legs and upper pressing versus four times per week for each plus mini neural charge workouts. I think the importance of those extra days goes beyond just the extra volume they bring since they keep the body more stimulated with the extra frequency. This system is based heavily on the notion of "strength is skill" and "greasing the groove" whereby you work to increase strength through the short-lived neural adaptations as well as the longer-lived ones. The extra frequency is part of why training weights are kept lower than in some other lower frequency programs. The biggest drawback of this system I've found so far is definitely the time commitment required (plus the related boredom of week 3/6 workouts that seem to last forever).

If you can divide your workouts to fit in extra chunks of work at other times during the day then that would be ideal. This program is ideal for dividing into mini workouts. If that's not possible then I'd try to fiddle with your existing schedule to fit in at least a secondary workout for each at some other point in the week. One idea would be to fit a short secondary emphasis type workout on Friday for whichever muscle group you hadn't hit as your main group on Thursday and throw in the neural charge exercises for the other half of the body on that day as well. Then you could add some secondary emphasis type work to your Saturday workout for whatever you didn't do Friday.

Really I'd just suggest experimenting while keeping in mind that the general strategy underlying this program is to do as much work as you can recover from, to paraphrase Christian.


I run into the same issue with time and using a commercial gym make it difficult. I find that super-setting OH Press with Rear Delt Rows and Bench Press with Shrugs works well and doesn't add much more time. Or on LB days I superset Squats with Leg Curls. If for some reason I can't do that and if I'm feeling good on Wed; I'll replace the neural charge with accessory exercises and get a good Rear Delt, Trap, Rhomboid workout in.


Thanks for the feedback guys.
Well I just did week 1 of doing back to back days for UB and LB. The big takeawys thus far is its the most sore I've been in a long, long time (glutes and hams). And on the 2nd day of UB I was shot come the 3rd lift and really had to drop weight.
I like the idea of doing super-sets to get in the acessory work but have some questions.
What kind of weight and sets/rep scheme are you doing?
Will this take away from the main lifts?

My new schedule going forward is:
Mon - LB and sledwork
Tue - LB and sledwork
Wed - Nueral Charge and Abs
Thur - UB and sledwork
Fri - UB and sledwork
Sat - Back and Biceps plus Farmers Walks
Sun - off


Before starting did you do the 3RM test that CT discussed so you know what you're real 3RM and MTW are? No, I don't find doing rear delt or rhomboids with OH Press hurt me at all. I do them at the beginning when I'm ramping up. I'll do my feeler set then do a set of rear delt rows / or reverse grip rows and just continue that pattern. For assistance work I typically do 4sets of 8-10 reps. I've been having trouble with bench form lately, probably all mental, but I stopped supersetting Shrugs until I get that under control.

I haven't found Hamstring work to negatively affect anything (Squats or DL's) either. Until I hurt my back I did Romanian Dead Lifts for assistance work with Squats and that was my favorite. I haven't found an exercise that really works my glutes and hammies like RLD's.