T Nation

HST

Hey T folk, I haven’t come across any threads on HST in a while. ANyone still using it? I experienced the most profound results I ever experienced while trying it. Is it just me or are others blown away too???
R

Yes, i’m using it and still making the gains of my life. Currently i’m the tenth day of decondicioning (four more to go) after which i’ll start my fourth cycle. I am now 8 kg (17-18 pounds) heavier than i was before i started HST at the end of April. Bodyfat is the same has it was before has i’ve been cutting during summer.

I’m also experiencing mad gains (following the “Poliquin Diet” as well). I got sick during the eights and am currently adapting the program.

You have been putting on muscle on a low carb diet? Can you give me some more details? I’m very interested in hearing about your macro split, food choices carb timing, etc…

Well, you gotta remember that it’s neither ‘low-carb’ or ‘low-calorie’. I’m getting roughly 1g C, 1g F, 2g P per lb of bodyweight. About 25g of the fat is from Salmon Oil. As well, I don’t count ‘dietary fibre’ when consuming my vegetables (so I usually have to back-calculate my carbs by taking off the protein from the total calories per serving - since they tend to include dietary fibre when telling you the carb grams.)

Steve Coppola is also making excellent gains.

I’m using HST, but every second day (instead of MWF). As well, I throw the occasional power session in on an ‘off’ day but I increase my carbs quite a bit the next day (to stave off over-training). BUT, I’m not seeing the same gains as you are - I’m only half way through my first cycle. But I focused on strength training before HST (since I wanted to maximize sarcomere hypertrophy, I figured that I wanted to be able to go as ‘heavy’ as possible for HST)

PS: this is my most rambly post ever …

Thanks for the reply.

I’ve read the Poliquin threads after posting my question and it does sound interesting. I’m might give it a try, i’d be delighted to be able to put on mass on fewer carbs than i use now, even if it means gaining at a slower rate.

Tell me, how much of your protein is coming from powders? And how much has your grocery bill increased since you are on this diet?

Thanks again.

Oh goodness is it expensive … it’s not so bad now that I’m using peas and green peppers as my main vegetable sources (instead of all different types of vegetables).

Theoretically, the only time I used powdered protein is post-workout, but I don’t always have it. I have ~ 50g of casein before hand (about 1.5 hrs before I work out) and then I have two tuna sandwiches after I work out (60g protein post-workout). I never saw a benefit from Whey - and it’s pretty inconvenient. I’m thinking that full protein sources should be enough - and remember, I’m making awesome gains (whether the diet or HST is the key, I don’t know).

I don’t really follow Berardi’s diet recommendation - I figure that the greens are so low on the GI and II that it doesn’t really matter.

But you sound like you’re making better gains than I am anyway (or have been making awesome gains on HST). The main reason why I went onto the Poliquin diet was to lose fat. I had previously been using a low-carb diet (hence, I’d lost quite a bit of glycogen) and I wanted to continue the fat loss, but in a more healthy manner. Imagine my surprise when I just put on weight, and kept putting it on! (I figured I wouldn’t put on much muscle during the beginning of HST, since the low weights wouldn’t stess the sarcomeres).

PS: sorry I’m so rambly today.

just have to chime in and say that HST is the best program I’ve ever used, period. I’ve just finished the 15s and I’m up 6lbs already, with bodyfat the same. I’m using androsol (the old school stuff), but even with androsol I’ve never made gains like this in years.

Thanks again for the reply.

The thing ig, this year i want to get to around 9% BF for summer, and i’m going to dedicate around 5 months to this, so i can do it very slow. Seems like this plan can suit my needs, if i can afford it that is…

Well it’s good to see some others are experiencing gains too. I’m also on a low carb diet with one or two carb days per week and find I keep my strength with the HST format. I’ve yet to get to a five rep’er workout too and find my strength pretty consistent. The thing I noticed about this is that it’s not easy at first to workout with low glycogen, but after a bit I’m used to it.Though my carbs are still not as low as when I was cutting over the summer.
Definately a cool workout. I’m doing perhaps a couple more sets than is suggested, but should I need to I finish up the next day with a much smaller workout…
Very cool!
R

I thought the program totally sucked. I got smaller, weaker and fatter while following it. Needless to say, it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’ve switched to EDT, and I’m making much better gains. So HST doesn’t work for everyone. I discussed this in a previous thread. Looks good on paper, and the reasoning seems good, but it just didn’t pan out for me.

Hey, no problem (obviously)

My main concern with a lot of the ‘canned’ programs is that the coaches never tell you WHY they’re getting you to do what you do. Since you’re fond of EDT, I was wondering if you could answer a question?

EDT seems to focus on using light weight and works on increasing reps. If the weights are so light, how does it cause sarcomere hypertrophy? I’m just thinking that it looks like a mechanism for cramming more and more glycogen into the cells. I’m mainly focused on increasing my raw strength. Actually, I tried HST because I was intrigued by it - just wanted some ‘show-off’ muscles finally.

EDT looks like a great program for increasing that ephemeral “willpower” though.

I have not posted about HST in quite a while, but I just wanted to chime in and say I honestly love the program. Over a few consecutive cycles I added somewhere in the area of 20 pounds to my frame.

I am not currently using it, but I plan to work it back in for at least one cycle at some point in the near future. I have a feeling HST is something I will repeatedly go back to for quite a while. Overall, great program.

Yes, I am also having good results with HST. I am on my second week of 5’s of my first “cycle” if you will. What I have to recommend is something that Poliquin reffers to as the “unloading principle”. What I do is the last two workouts I cut the volume in half. Don’t really have time to get into details but I think that it works very well with this program and makes it much more likely that you will be able to keep increasing weight, workout-to-workout. Has anyone else come up with any derivations of the program?

Nate, don’t want to bust your chops but I don’t think you getting “fatter” was a problem of the program. As far as gains are concerned, I think that most people can make gains on almost anykind of program if they are eating correctly and managing recovery. Anywho, glad EDT is working for you.

El_Machinea, if you use a weight that is too light, then yes, you may not get enough to cause hypertrophy. If you read Staley’s article, he suggests taking a weight you can do for 10-12 reps, and then doing that weight for about 6 reps and decrease reps as needed over time. So, you are still using a weight that should be 65-75% of your 1RM, which is the typical range required for hypertrophy. I am actually using weights that are 70-80% of my 1RM, so I’m within the correct spectrum to elicit hypertrophy. I pick weights that I can get 8-10 reps max, and end up doing sets of 4-8 reps. I average 5-6 reps per set, and usually can only complete one or two more reps if I was trying to go all out on that one set. And I’m usually doing 8-10 sets per exercise and about 2-3 exercises per bodypart. Which means, my volume is much, much higher than HST ever would be.

If you go lighter than 60% of your 1RM, then you’re basically doing the same thing HST proposes in the 15 and 10-rep weeks where you pick a weight that is a fraction of your 15 or 10RM.

This was my main problem with HST. Here I am working out with 20-40lbs in some lifts, when I could easily do much, much more for the required reps (15, 10, 5). It wasn’t enough to elicit hypertrophy. Not to mention that the volume of work was way too low for that type of intensity. Remember, you can train with high volume or high intensity, but not both. So how can you train with low volume and low intensity and expect a desired outcome? That’s where I think HST also begins to lose its effectiveness. So for those who make progress on HST, I think it’s due to the fact that they were overtrained to begin with or were doing too much volume of work beforehand. As stated before, HST looks great on paper, and all the reasoning behind it is sound. But it didn’t pan out for me. Volume and intensity were much too low.

Tim, as for me getting fat, it was due to the fact that HST was so low in volume and intensity that I didn’t burn near as many calories. So I was eating enough to gain, but only got a bit fatter since I wasn’t really burning enough calories and also the program didn’t illicit hypertrophy.

I’m getting a little mad with this HST is for overtrained people only thing. How do you explain the fact that i’m still gaining 6 months after starting HST? Am I overtrained? How come my lifts are consistently going up, and also were before HST?

HST suits everybody in my opinion. You may have to taylor volume and things like that to suit your needs but stick to the principles and it will work.

You also don’t have to start at such low weights, i started HST cycles at 40% of my 1RM and had great sucess with it.

All in all EDT doesn’t make that much sense to me either (sounds fun though!) but i wouldn’t bother going around discrediting it if all i had was an unsucessfull experience with it against so many sucess stories.

Maybe you really are the one who won’t gain on it (along with Char Dawg…), don’t know, tough luck, but this doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great program for begginers, intermediate as well as advance bodybuilders. Overtrained or not. Besides, most people don’t even know what real overtraining is. I’ve been there and there’s no way you’ll make any kind of gains on it. And it doesn’t go away with a couple of weeks of rest or with light training, it’s something a lot more serious that can permanently damage your health.

Nate (and everybody else), damnit use some common sense. Don’t worry so much about percentages and do as much weight as you can at the given rep range (provided that that you increase weight 5-10lbs per workout for upperbody, 10-20lbs for lower. Then the second time you do the program, the last workout (per rep range) should be 5-10/10-20lbs higher than what you lifted in the last workout last cycle.

Thanks for the reply, bud! Actually a 10-rep weight looks pretty good. And as HST constantly points out, you don’t need to go to failure to build muscle. Multiple sets, while avoiding failure (whether in a session, or in a week) is the goal of both HST and EDT.

Do you thinking staggering HST with a power program would be of benefit (since they’re focusing on different mechanisms)?

HST Fucking Rocks! I’m on the last legs of my third cycle and I’m up 12 lbs… I did a body composition check before I began (172 @ 13%) and now I am at (182 @ 12%) Im always hungry, always pumped… I think i’m going to do a MAG10 cycle after the first of the year and see where that takes me.