T Nation

HST Results AND training, etc. background

Okay everyone, here’s your chance to contribute to the T-Mag knowledge base.

To everyone who’s given HST a fair shot, please post your results here. I’m not looking for a “discussion” about HST (there are already a lot of threads on that out there), but more in the way of hard data.

Please supply as much of the following as possible: Before/after BW and BF stats; diet followed (especially total cals); TRAINING BACKGROUND (i.e., what program you were doing before HST, and if possible what you were doing before that, and for how long); any androgens/supps that you were taking (and whether you did this only during HST or whether they are “regular” supps for you); chronological age; training age; “steadiness” of training (i.e., if you have “five years’ experience”, is this a steady five years, or five years spread out over the past twenty years?); any injuries; strength gains/losses; anything else that you feel might have had an impact on your training results.

We’ve got probably the most generally knowledgeable board membership out there, and I know that a LOT of people are interested in the program. So let’s each take a bit of time, gather some data and see what’s really what. (If you’ve already posted your results elsewhere, please copy them into this thread so that we’ll have it all in one place.)

Thanks! - char-dawg

You seem disturbed by Bryan building a working model/interpretation of a program based on research-derived principles of muscle hypertrophy. Your attempt to compile data based on people’s word is ludicrous. If you can’t address the physiological points, then the only real debate is in your head.

No offense, but this whole thread seems unbelievably ridiculous

??? Wow…guess I’ll have to leave it up to char to figure out THAT response (seems a bit much for what char was asking…)…

Blowpanis: um, yeah, whatever.

Anyway, I’ll try and get the ball rolling. Here’s what my HST results were:
Age:39. Years training: 25, very consistent. Previous program: 5x5 for one month, before that a basic “maintenance” program of 4 workouts/week, no cardio.

Diet: basic Massive Eating maintenance protocol, upped by about 500 cals for the first two weeks, then dropped back down to combat fat gain. Supps: My usual supps: Tribex, Surge, AP, Vitamins C and E, folic acid.

HST Results: Did one cycle from 11 Feb to 25 Mar 2002. Total loss of 2 lbs. LBM, total gain of 1 lb fat. (With the 500 cal. surplus during the first two-week mini-cycle, I gained 0.5 lbs of LBM and almost 4 lbs of fat. Cut back the cals thereafter.) Measured BF using three-point caliper method.

Despite the LBM loss, I did get stronger during the cycle. So that was one good result.

Anyway, contrary to what was ASSumed in the first post to this thread, I would very much like to hear feedback from everyone about their results. Trev, restless, all you other HST disciples, please contribute. And all of you others out there as well, I’d like to get as much info as possible into this thread. Thanks!

Here goes.
32 years old and have trained since 16 off and on. Probably 6 or 7 years total training time. Been through almost 5 cycles of HST since Nov 01. Before HST I did HIT type routines for 1.5 years (not overtrained, if anything I was undertrained).

Supplements: Protein (whey and caesin), multi, EFAs, Lipoderm (4th and 5th cycle), E/C, Creatine (just started), Saw Palmetto.

BW before HST 173lbs at 12-13% BF.
After 1st cycle, BW 186lbs at 15-16%BF.
After 2nd cycle, BW 189lbs at 14-15%BF
After 3rd cycle, BW 186lbs at 12-13%BF
After 4th cycle, BW 186lbs at 10-11%BF
During 5th cycle, BW 189 lbs at 9-10%
I started using creatine this cycle, and have responded well so far. I hope (should) end up at 190+lbs at 9% BF at the end of this cycle.

Training was fairly consistent throughout these cycles. Diet was manipulated according to goals.

1st cycle: 3400-3500 cals day
2nd cycle: 2700-2800 day
3rd cycle: 2200-2400 day
4th cycle: 2000-2300 day(low carb with refeeds)
5th cycle: 2000-2300 day (same)

Char, If you were already using Massive eating and added 500 calories to that, it’s no wonder you put on fat. With all due respect to JB, those are some high numbers when it comes to calories. Personaly I’d look like the Pilsbury dough boy if I ate at that level. That’s just my metabolism though.

I have a theory about some people who don’t repond to their first HST cycle. Someone coming form a lower volume routine (like HIT) seems to respond better on the first cycle. Someone who comes from a much higher volume routine may need one cycle to adjust to the decreased in total volume to see the real benefits from subsequent cycles.

For the most part, I don’t know of too many people who can make continued progress on the same routine. I know that from personal experience when I did higher volume stuff and HIT stuff, I would grow for a while and then plateau until I did something drastic to overcome it. With HST, I have made consistent gains without even a sign of a plateau in 10 months. This has never happened before. I see HST as a method that can be used over and over again because you just don’t hit that wall with it.


Well Char, since you’re such a nice guy (no pun intended,seriously), i’ll do this for you.

I’ve been training for two years. Before i started HST i was doing a pretty tradicional bodybuilding split, hitting everything once a week and using a similar volume as i use in my HST routines, around 9 sets for large bodyparts and around 6 to smaller. I made good gains on this routine but on the last 3 months i wasn’t progressing at all. I didn’t train to failure that often on my second year of training and found that i felt much better avoiding it and also grew more. My diet isn’t much different from then, i just have around 300-400 kcals more, on a 40% fat,35% carb,25% pro split, with a total of 4600-4800 kcals per day. My weight before HST was 79.5kg, at around 13-14% bodyfat. These numbers are not to be taken too seriously as i use a bio impedance device that they have at my gym, still, it’s pretty consistent with itself, so i believe it does track changes reasonably well. Anyway i never lost my abs completely out of sight, so i guess i was around those values. Of relevance i also the fact that in the previous months i had been at 83 kg at a similar bodyfat. I went on a diet and did too much cardio and lost a lot of muscle (any cardio is too much for me, live and learn…).

At the end of April i started My first cycle of HST, after the nine days decondicioning, at 79,5 kg ~13% BF. This first cycle was, more than anything, a learning experience and didn’t go to well, the intensity was too high most of the time, RM’s were overestimated, and i trained too often doing 6 workouts a week ,each with 9 sets and by week number two i felt burned out and resumed to tradicional 3 X week full body sessions. Despite this i ended this cycle after five weeks at 82 kg (a 5 pound increase) with a very small increase in BF, so i still was around 13-14%.

I started my second cycle at 81,5 kg after doing 12 days decondicion. This cycle i did tradicional HST style, 3 X week, mostly compounds, 14-16 sets per workout. I was eating 5000 Kcals a day and started suplementing with creatine.

For the record, here is the routine:

Squat or deads X 2(depending on rep range).
Bench press X 2
Dumbell chest fly X 1
BOB rows or on pulley X 2
Weighted pull ups X 2
Standing barbell military press X 2
Calf raises on smith machine X 2
EZ bar biceps curl X 1

This cycle was donne cycling the reps weekly, 15,12,10,8,5,5 (like the previous one). At the end of this cycle, after 6 weeks and a half, i reached my heaviest weight at 87 kg at 14-15% bodyfat, a good amount of this wieght is water weight from the creatine, but still, these are impressive gains.

I then went on a diet phase were i kept doing the 3 X week full body workouts, but dropped the reps and kept increasing the weights. I broke every record in all my lifts, but as strenght never was a priority will not go into that.

I am now at around 84 kg 11% bodyfat. Unfortunatly i experimented with empty stomach 10 minutes HIT sessions during my diet and lost way too much weight (read muscle). ALso realized that cardio while dieting makes lose muscle fast adn as soon as i ditched it all my muscle waisting problems desapeared.

I am now at the beggining of week two of my third cycle and am hoping to reach 200 opounds before next summer.

Phew!! This was the longest post i ever typed!! Char-dawg, you owe me one.

In about an hour, I’ll be on my way to the gym to begin my first workout in the 5-rep phase (5th week of the program). I am 22 and have been lifting for around 7 years, 6 of which have been consistent. I weigh 185 lbs at around 10-14% bodyfat (just a guess). I’d give you the details of my diet, but I don’t have my notebook with me. I’m using the massive eating protocols, and haven’t altered anything for the past 6 (approximately) months. That is, my caloric intake has been constant. Before HST, I did EDT. Before that, I did a mass-building program of my own making (essentially, the ol’ 1-bodypart-a-day thing), and before that, I did Ian King’s Upper Body Workout. In terms of supps, I use MRP, protein powders, glutamine, EFAs, and a crea-ribose supp. Now, in regards to program. I do HST on MWF. On Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday I do the Luke Sauder routine, as well as abs. I’ve also incorporated Waterbury’s 100 reps, using pushups and db curls on non-HST days, and I do 100 calf raises on HST days. Now, in regards to the benefits of the program: I have gained roughly 5 lbs, which, by all indications, is muscle. I look bigger and fuller. A few people have told me I look bigger. I’m getting great pumps. In particular, my triceps and shoulders have exploded. And for the first time in a while, I feel “hyooge” all the time. I haven’t noticed any strength gains, but I didn’t expect to see any during the first two phases; I think I’ll have a better idea of strength gains while I progress through the 5-rep weeks. Even before I heard about HST, I was thinking that I could handle (and benefit from) working bodyparts out more than once a week. Thus, for me, HST was more of a confirmation than a revelation. Still, I was skeptical that, as Nate Dogg and some others may have pointed out, hypertrophy gains could be induced by working with submaximal weights. I must admit, because of this, the first few workouts of the 15-rep phase had me worried. Nevertheless, I made gains after the 15-rep phase (sorry, I don’t have numbers ;). I’ve rarely trained in the 15-rep range prior to HST, and doing so probably shocked my muscles into new growth. While I didn’t think it was worth it at the time, I look back on that phase as incredibly worthwhile. I know you may not want to hear this, but I agree with the message behind bloodpanis’s post (not necessarily its style): HST flies in the face of a lot of the stuff you’ve probably been doing, and this, understandably so, worries you. Why do you want “hard data?” Sure, sharing results with others can be beneficial, but the best “hard data” you’ll ever get is doing the program yourself. Hey, HST might not be right for you, but what have you got to lose? The best program is the one you’re not on, right? Try it. And if you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Good luck.

I’d like to apologize for the tone in my previous post, it was unnecessarily harsh. It just seemed a bit grating that char seemed to be proactively attempting to discredit HST. And I never really saw him address any of the physiological points, which is the crux of the entire argument. The HST program as outlined is an attempt to put into place a practical protocol that respects aspects of muscular hypertrophy. Even if you didn’t like the cookie-cutter outline he gave you, do you really disagree with the principles themselves? If you disagree with the underlying science, I’d like to hear more specifics. Have you looked at the studies Bryan cites? I like the guy because he’s extremely knowledgable, thorough, and kind. Hate to see his ideas get a bad rep without a fair evaluation, relying on anecodtal evidence to prove/disprove his inferences from science.

Hey all. Hmm, let’s see. Okay, the history first. I am 20 years old, about 5’7.5" (on a good day. In shoes. Counting my hair.) I have been lifting since I was twelve. This was all for sports primarily, until after I graduated from high school and stopped playing. I’ve done BFL, HIT, SuperSlow, Static Contraction, a lot of volume based stuff… I first tried HST during mid january of this year. At that point, I weighed 158 pounds at just under 6% body fat. To keep things in perspective, at that point I was normally about 165 or at 8%, but I went away for a week or so during break and wanted to be uber-shredded.

During my first HST cycle, I went from 158 to 168 and gained no fat. Of course, I was regaining some muscle, so that must be taken into account. Even so, I was slightly hypocaloric as I didn't want to gain fat due to rebound effect.

My second HST cycle I gained about 4 (total) pounds, 1 pound of fat, bringing me to just over 171. After that, I did a Mag-10 Cycle during HST, and went from 171 to 193, or there abouts. I got back down to 7% body fat at 186, so I was pretty happy.

Right now I'm on a bulking cycle and I am currently 202 pounds at 10% body fat. For my height, that's about as big as I want to get right now.

For my exercises I use primarily compound movements with an isolation movements thrown in for my favorite body parts. I do 2 sets of compound, 1 set of isolation. I wont' get too much in detail because I've outlined this in several previous threads.

Also, my diet is pretty simple. I use massive eating protocol, at 186 I was maintaining at 3300 per day, so right now I'm eating about 4800-5200 per day to bulk. I'll give more details if anyone has any further question, but right now I'm later for work :P

I agree with steve m on his theory that those coming off a lower volume protocol, like HIT, seem to see excellent results.
Me: 35yrs., 5’9, 215lbs.,19yrs. of training, approx. 10-12%bf. Started the program @224lbs.,and was utilizing a CKD diet at less than 2000 cals/dy.(one carb up day on Sun.)
Results: (never did negatives, just 4wks. of 5rep sets)
Full squat: 500lbs x 5 reps (previous best:455 x 5)

I agree with steve m on his theory that those coming off a lower volume protocol, like HIT, seem to see excellent results.
Me: 35yrs., 5’9, 215lbs.,19yrs. of training, approx. 10-12%bf. Started the program @224lbs.,and was utilizing a CKD diet at less than 2000 cals/dy.(one carb up day on Sun.) Previous to this I had been using a low volume protocol, training each bodypart once per week. I had been training each bodypart 1xwk. for the last 5-7 years with the only variation being in volume utilized.
Results: (never did negatives, just 4wks. of 5rep sets)
Full squat: 500lbs x 5 reps (previous best:455 x 5)
DB bench: 140’s x 5 (2 sets), could’nt barbell bench due to torn rotator cuff. Previous best:130’s x 6
Similar strength increases in back and shoulder excercises.
In 8wks. I lost 9lbs. and strength went up. I never did any bf% measurements but I’m assuming all 9lbs was fat as strength increased.

Thanks people! Great contributions so far!

To restless: Ahh, stop it! You’re gonna make me cry…

To blowdpanis: No problem, apology accepted. But please understand something: I’m NOT trying to “discredit” HST! I’m trying to find out why it seems to work so well for some and not at all for others.

To Steve M.: I was on maintenance cals using Massive Eating partitioning before I tried HST. So the 500 extra were, in fact, not that much above maintenance for me.

To karl: As you’ve probably realized by now, I have tried HST. :slight_smile:

Anyway, great info so far. How about all the others out there? Nate? MBE? All you lurkers? Give up de data if ya got it…

Okay, questions. Char- I understand that HST wasn’t a effective routine for you. What is/was your stats (BF%, Ht, Wt - before, after). The “no-effect” for you IMO, would be valuable to see as well.

And is everyone that is experiencing results, following the routine as outlined in hsnhst.com *exactly*? Just curious.

Okay, here goes:

11 Feb - BF13.93, BW 180.4lbs

24 Feb - BF 15.71, BW 184.8

09 Mar - BF 14.75, BW 180.4

25 Mar - BF 14.48, BW 179.3

There you have it. The huge jump at the beginning was what I talked about earlier; after that I cut cals in an effort at damage control. But you’ll notice that +500 for two weeks, and then -500 for two more weeks, while leaving me at exactly the same BW as I was originally, also resulted in more fat/less LBM.

Oh, and I’m about 6’ tall. (My height, for some inexplicable reason, did not vary during the program.)

Nop, never did. I posted the routine i used in my second cycle and am now experimenting with a bit more volume, training twice a day, M-W-F. I’ll be glad to answer any other questions.

Char, Thanks for the clarification.

Patricia, I have done the routine outlined at the site since the beginning(15,10,5,5). I don’t do negatives for safety reasons because I lift at home with no real spotter. I have changed the lifts a little to suit my needs and equipment limitations. But it’s pretty much the basic routine outlined there. I do 2 sets on most lifts. If you have any other ?s please ask.


6’ tall, 185 lbs, low BF. Weight Training for 5 years. Best Bench 305, deep squat 365, deadlift 405. I am eating about 400 to 450 grams of protein a day, accompanied by about 4500 kCal. I am in my first week of 10’s and loving it. Next week I am starting Mag-10 to enhance this new program. I’ll keep everyone updated to my progress.

Hey, thanks - mucho appreciato! I was just curious. I had perused the HST site and was just wondering how close y’all were following the workout(s) outlined in the site.

char: my bad, I see that you had indeed posted a brief summary of your results. ooops.

Here's the reason I'm SO intrigued by HST. Ko and I have met a competitive bodybuilder in the gym, who's a cool guy. He's getting ready for a show on September 21. Basically following all the "usual" BB pre-contest protocals - which I threw out the door back in '96 - so we're trying to "convert" him to different training approaches. And he's willing to try 'em. But since we understand the competitor's mind at this point at four weeks out from a show, we understand that he doesn't want to "tweak" TOO much NOW. But in preparation for the Team Universe next August (we're planning on sending a whole NW contingent!), HST and /or 5x5 training may be the way for him to go.

From what I see, HST really adds to the density of a physique. A general plus in competition. Which is why my curiousity has been piqued.

Patricia, That’s how I felt about it way back in November. I was very interested in finding out if there was something to it being that it was so different from what I was doing. I don’t know if you’re inclined to sift through the research behind it, but if you do, you’ll see that it all makes sense. I agree that making any drastic changes 4 weeks out from a contest is not a good idea. After that though you have plenty of time to try this out. If you have any more specific questions, check out the forum at the HST site. Bryan is there most days, and there are plenty of people there with a few cycles under their belts. Good luck with the upcoming show. Steve

The rep scheme I follow is modified a little. I do 2 wks of 12reps, 2 @ 8reps, 4 @ 5reps, no negatives. I just can’t stand the thought of doing 2 weeks at 15 repetitions. I also alternate workouts. For example on Mon. I will squat, barbell bench(when shoulder permits), behind neck press, and barbell back rows, for my major movements. On Wed., I will substitute with db bench, leg press, chins, and side raises for those body parts. On Fri., I will go back to Monday’s workout. The next week I reverse the workouts. For bi’s, tri’s and abs, I do whatever strikes my fancy that particular workout.