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HST - tips on strategic deconditioning and eating big

Hi all. Couple questions about the HST program I just started. I have calculated my 15, 10 and 5 rep maxes, and now am taking at least a week off for SD before I start the program. I am also under the impression, (and correct me if I’m wrong) that I should be eating big on this program. If so, can I still eat big, while on SD - given that I’m not exercising? Also, can I be doing AB WORK ONLY during my SD? (my midscetion needs a lot of attention). thanks for your help!

You should eat at maintenance during SD. You can do some ab work during SD if your not going to train them using HST principles once you start your cycle. Otherwise just rest them. I have done abs HST style and I noticed that my midsection got fairly thick. I would recomend not using progresive resistance for abs.


In addition to Steve’s comments, I would encourage you to take two weeks of SD, especially if you have been on an intense program previously. The extra week of SD will do you more good than an extra week of lifting. Good luck.


Do NOT do abs with HST! They will respond and grow, which for most isn’t what you want.

Eat at maintenance during SD or any other time you’re not exercising. What do you mean by “eat big”? What are the numbers?

Crooz: thanks for the advice regarding abs and HST. You recommended NOT doing ABS during HST. However, HST is a long program, about 8 weeks long - and given that my mid section really needs work, I am hoping to give attention to this body part as well. Is there some abdominal protocol that I CAN do during HST, so this region doesn’t get even more smooth? As for “eating big”, once I get onto HST, I am assuming I can start eating more calories? I was thinking of following JB’s Massive Eating program while on HST. Any comments? Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate it.

As most know, I’m a big fan of HST (and vegetables!). I think Crooz meant don’t use HST principals on your abs - not “don’t do abs”. If you’re doing abs under a different protocol, it’s no biggie. Just remember to give them variety and periodization.

Regarding “eating big”. I’m quite sure HST is one of those programs that needs you to eat properly. Bryan Haycock did an article (on his site) about getting enough food. He’s sure not like Berardi, it’s not nearly so detailed. I’d just be sure to get a proper post-workout shake.

You should know that I gained good weight using ‘below maintenance’ calories if you calculate them using massive eating. But, I was on my version of the poliquin diet (see that thread) - and massive eating is unique in that it allows you to burn through more food than normal.


EL’s correct. I meant to say that don’t use HST methods on abs. Use whatever you like. Some prefer everyday, others once a week and some throw a couple crunches whenever they want. If you go on the HST forum and do a search there’s an ab program. IMO, it’s rather complicated. Just use one of the ones offered here. I’m partial to Coach Davies functional ab routines.

Like Machine I had gains eating a maintenance, just increased the macro profile to a high fat/protein, no carb but that’s just me. Croooz

Hey, thanks to all for your feedback. One last question to anyone who might read this. I’m relatively new at the t-mag way to train, so…I’ve been taught to treat abs like any other body part, i.e always rest them a day between work outs. If I do HST on MWF, can I do ab work T, TH, Sa? thanks again for your time.

Yes I do abs T, TH, Sa along with some HIIT Cardio. If this is your first cycle you may add a “little more” to your midsection but you can tweak your diet next cycle.

While I do agree that ABs should be treated like any other muscle if you use HST they will grow like every other muscle. The truth is that with low enough bodyfat levels most everyone has a nice set. The problem as you can see looking around is that low bodyfat levels are going extinct. My recommendation: Work on vacuums (sucking in your stomach), functional ab work and get the bodyfat levels to the single digits. I do ABs daily ala Pavel Tsautsoline. Low rep, low volume, heavy weight. Again just choices. Croooz