T Nation

HST Role Call

Hey everyone…
Last year I did some reading on HST(Hypertrophy Specific Training) because it looked pretty interesting as a training protocol for the winter mass building session. The way in which it is built around hitting your muscles 3 times a week with increasing weights seemed pretty logical to me and also it seemed that this might be a way to workout 3 times a week with one or two exercises per muscle without taxing your muscles too much that you can’t recover. I have heard others bash this style of training before… ala MIke Mentzer style… but I feel this has taken it to a new level where you actually are working… not fooling yourself into thinking you are once a week.

Anyhow I started using HST 2 months ago so a full cycle has finished. I have gained 25 lbs.. I have no doubt that it is a good chunk of muscle as it can be seen but of course some is attributed to fat and water. I doing a massive eating regime because it also looks promising and builds off controlling your hormones which is key.

I am getting ready to start my next cycle again this monday… with much ambition I might add…

OK enough of my rambling.. I am starting this thread because I want to get some feedback from other HST followers. Meaning muscle recovery, new growth, strength, and how this compares to other protocols used..

Thanks alot


I have done HST back and forth with EDT throughout 2002. From the beginning I had a negative experience with HST then I went to EDT for some great gains. In 4th qtr 02 I gave HST one more try with modifications accrued from the HST forum, and have experienced strength and size gains despite dieting.

I am convinced that the overall principles that Bryan Haycock (progressive overload, training muscles every 48hrs, and deconditioning muscles) are the keys to any successful hypertrophy program. The failure of some with HST is not the program itself but the lack of understanding of the application of those said principles.

i started HST in Nov. 02. I am currently in the middle of my 10’s of 2nd cycle and am up 10lbs since Nov. some is fat, but some is muscle. for 41yrs. old this isn’t bad.

3rd cycle i am going to do in a caloric deficit. very interested to see what happens/if possible to get lean using hst.

i like HST as it has less wear and tear on the joints than other programs. Strength has increased noticeably with the progressive loading.

I am into my second cycle and start the 10’s next week. During the first cycle, I gained 8 pounds and added an inch to my chest and 1/2 inch to my arms. I have been training most of my life and am now 57 years old so gains are hard for me at this point. I also had started Myostat in May so some of the gains, hopefully, may be attributable to that. I studied Bryan’s principles for about a year before I bit the bullet and started HST. It seems difficult to give up old training methods even when they are no longer producing results. I noticed after my first cycle that, for the first time in years, my lats actually grew and got thicker. I am sure that that is due to the increased frequency. Once per week just does not seem to cut it for me. Don’t forget the strategic deconditioning before starting any HST program. If you skip that step, which a lot of people do, you will not make gains. As for strength, I just ordered the add-on set for my PowerBlocks to take them up to 130 pounds as well as a bunch more plates. So, while the program is meant to be hypertrophy specific, I do believe that strength also benefits, especially during the 5’s and negative phases of each cycle. Good luck and keep us posted. BTW, I post on Bryan’s board under BobT.

Sammy, could you give some examples of what you did to tweak the program to get your results? I believe I do understand the principles of the program, but I’d like to hear your take on what worked for you and what didn’t. Thanks, Nick

I start next week for the third cycle. I love it. It offers enough variety to keep me interested and growing. Be leery of claiming such gains unless you’ve done pre & post measurements. Kinda screams BFL and 25 lbs in 8 weeks comes out to 3lbs a week which indicates to me that it’s more a good chunk of fat & water. Croooz

By tweak I mean:
Followed a 1 week rep range 15/12/10/8/5/repeat 5 or negatives/SD
Trying to better feel the lift, I was going through the motions with the lighter workouts in each rep group, this last time around I focused on perceived intensity not absolute intensity by slowing down TUT with lighter weihgts, I left the gym feeling the same after every workout.
I chose the exercises and number sets per body part like I was doing any traditional split. 9-12 sets per week of Back/Chest/Quads/Hams, 6 sets of shoulders/bi/tri/calf/abs
When I completed the last workout for the first 5 rep week if I haven’t hit concentric failure, I would continue to add 5% each additional workout until I hit it. For other exercise I already I would do single arm movements/leg movements 2 concentric plus 3 eccentric only reps.

I am glad to see that others too are enjoying HST. Not only do I notice the substantial gains but also I notice how I am interested in my workouts. The quick paced and variety filled workouts get rid of the monotony of hitting the same muscle so many times per workout and just getting bored with the rep range too.

Does kind sound of BFL… I should have been more clear. I have been nursing my back for some time before I started HST. These gains were proportionatlly a good amount to muscle to water and fat I am sure. I went from 190 to 215 at last measurement. This is n ot the best indicator of fat/LDM ratio but I really have no noticed significant fat gain… just overall fullness and hardness. I doubt highly that my second cycle will be as eventful as my first… my first cycle was after a long layoff… thus the 25 lb gain… much was water I am sure too… so I wasnt trying to mislead anyone… just making sure…


Congratulations on results everybody.

I’ve posted results a lot of times before. Anyone interested can make a search and read.

I am now starting my first cycle on slightly restricted calories and my goal is to lose around 8-9 % BF untill next summer.

Will post progress pics if I ever manage to get them to show on the damned Photos forum.

Hey everyone. I wanted to share my thoughts. I just posted separately a question about HST, and realized this thread had started. So, I’m reposting my thoughts/questions onto this thread as well. Am having trouble with increasing the weight on some body parts - especially upper body exercises, like pull ups and dips that require using one’s own body weight. Basically, if my 15 rep max IS my actual body weight, how can I “count down” from my own body weight? Also, I’m not sure if I started the program correctly even. I am on week 2 of the 15 rep max cycle. I took one full week off before I started this, then I cacluated my 15 RM, and two days later began my first HST workout. Did I screw up there? Anybody with any thoughts, please feel free to share. Thanks! Good luck to y’all.

Bassically I went oneday and found all 1RM’s. The I took the 1 RM and used percentages to calculate my 5, 10, and 15 rep max. You may find that is muscles that are lacking or weaker than other muscles will not be so linear in their progression. You may find that just because percentage wise you 10 RM might be one weight but your not able to do it, than your muscles are not up to it. You should notch it back a little to accomodate and then see how you are next cycle.

Brian Haycock does recommend a deconditioning period for this to work so you may have jumped into it a little quickly. I suggest you finish what you have planned so far. If you know your 1 RM’s than you should be able to calculate everything else. Make sure you are completing your max weight on the last day of the cycle and work backwards from there… Hope this has helped


Hi Big Bear:

Hey, thanks so muchfor your reply. I appreciated the feedback. So, I wanted to follow up with a question. I in fact did take one week off before I started HST. Meaning, I took a week off from my training, then calculated my 15rm, and then a couple days later went into my first HST workout. It sounds like I should have taken my base measurements and then taken another week off? What do you think is best for me now. Should I take a week off, and then resume from the beginning? Thanks for your advice.