On a hst program, am i actually starting out with a considerably lighter weight than what i will be doing in the end?[/quote]
Yes, of course. That’s the whole point.
“Easy” is a point of view. HST is about going from high reps to low reps, but either way, your workouts should be kicking your ass. If you’re doing 10 rep sets, that tenth rep should be total agony and as difficult to squeeze out as your one rep max is when you’re doing one rep sets. If it isn’t, you need to add weight.
It works for me. I love HST and do 10 week meta cycles - 2 weeks each at 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 reps. Then I take a week off and start over again. I’ve never failed to get stronger (and a little bigger) every meta cycle. Not surprisingly, it seems that any size gains I make, come at the end of the week off.
I keep a training log and try to do better every workout. If I’m in a 10 rep cycle, I push hard to make that 11th rep and if I do, then next session I add a little weight. If I only make 9 reps at the new weight, I leave it there and getting 10 at the new weight becomes my new goal for the next workout. So my “10 rep” cycle is really anything from 9 to 11 and so on through the various cycles. That way I’m making progress no matter where I’m at in the meta cycle and I keep from getting stale. HST can become just as much of a rut as any other workout scheme if you let it.
I always keep my workouts at just under an hour, so low rep cycles mean more sets and high rep cycles mean fewer sets. Like I said, either way my ass is dragging at the end of the training session. Every now and then I reverse the order and go from low to high.
Think of it this way… 100 lbs for 10 reps X 2 sets = one ton. 500 lbs for 1 rep X 4 sets = one ton. Over all, they’re the same amount of work, but how that work affects your body is different and that is what it’s all about. But the total amount of work you do at every session should be enough to exhaust you. If it doesn’t, you’ve got to ask yourself if you’re really giving maximum effort. The numbers won’t necessarily work out with mathematical precision, but you get the idea.
Don’t forget that maximum effort has nothing to do with how many reps you’re doing, it’s about your level of commitment.
“Leave it all on the field.”