T Nation

What's Everyone's Exercise Selection for HP Mass?


This isn't a question specific to you CT but feel free to comment, I just figured most people visit this forum who follow the HP mass program so I'm interested to see people's exercise selections.

For upper body I've done OHP, incline, flat, now I'm doing OHP, flat, decline
I prefer OHP, incline, flat but dropped incline on my second 3 week cycle because you said it was more draining on the nervous system.

For lower I did front squat/dead lift and now I'm doing front squat/trap bar dead lift. I'm thinking of switching to back squat as the primary exercise and debating on the second lift as I won't have a trap bar when I go back to school in a week.


OHP, incline, flat bench press.

Front squat and snatch-grip deadlift.

For some reason I've always disliked flat benching, but like incline and love overhead. I love the frequency of hitting each lift, and have gotten stronger and more explosive on everything in the 5 weeks I've been doing HPM.



Upper Body Pressing: Standing Press, Incline Press, Weighted Dips (unusual choice, but i can do 80kg for 3 reps and seem to get good gains when doing it regularly)

Lower Body: Front Squat, Back Squat (this is unathorised - but coming of a hamstring injury so want to avoid deadlifts for the first 6 weeks of this program and then will do some form of it).

Sledding volume: as much as possible (about 10 20-30 minute sessions per week)

Current Lifts (kg at 77kg, 168cm, all as large ROM as possible):
Standing (strict) Press: 3x75
Incline Press: 100x3
Weighted Dips: 80kgx3

Back Squat: 160x3
Front Squat: 135x2 (fairly new to lift)

Going to run this program twice, with perhaps changing front squat to snatch grip dead or sumo dead for second 6 week plan.

End of year goals: Strict Press: 90x3; Incline Press: 120x3; Weighted Dips; 105x3 Back Squat: 200x1; Front Squat: 160x1


I think CT actually said it was ok to do front squat and back squat instead of a dead lift variation if you wanted to specialize in the squat, it's just not outlined in his articles discussing the program. I was also debating doing that but feel like it's easier on my knees to have a dead lift of some type in there as one of my two exercises.


Upper Body

  1. OHP
  2. Incline Press
  3. Bench Press

Lower Body

  1. Eccentricless work only due to L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1 disc herniations. (Investigating different alternative exercise to throw in that don't aggravate my back, might need to settle with Extensions and Glute Ham Raise)


military press / incline press / flat press
back squats / deadlifts


Floor Press
Bench Press

Back Squat
Sumo Deadlift

I started with incline press but started over with floor press because it was too hard on my shoulders


Cool thanks...Yeah my reasons are (1) to specialise in squat and (2) not excessively yet train lower back and hamstrings. I had an injury (mild) in both recently so don't want to go crazy on them. +++ I'm just not that good at the conventional deadlift and doubt it will tax my legs as much as the squat - although i can crack 200kg at the sumo deadlift


Mephisto, how is it going? I am apparently about to have surgery on L4-L5 L5-S1 herniations. So far I've been doing the horizontal leg press and the eccentricless training. Have you found any good ways to work your lower back? You mentioned extensions and GHR; those don't aggravate you?


It's frustrating because I'd like to possibly compete in a couple of years but this is something I'm going to work on. I've experimented with several exercises over the years and unfortunately most aggravate the back.

Most of the time some coaches/trainers recommend split stance squats, step ups, horizontal leg press etc, my problem is my left leg has lot at least 30-40% of its power output due to a nerve being crushed. I'm seeing my sports med doctor this week to find out what I can do and if surgery is an option (Would rather rehab over surgery)

Sled work has been good but due to the amount I've been doing to maintain and grow my knees are starting to give me some problems.

GHR's don't bother my back at all I just make sure to keep everything tight plus the extra glute work helps with taking the load off my spine.

I'm thinking about doing German volume training for my legs using the leg curl and extension until I work my way back to the horizontal press and hopefully squatting again.

I tried asking Coach T for some recommendations but I haven't heard back from him. Maybe we should create a new Thread to see what his take is on the matter?

When is your surgery planned for?


I am the same as JHollywood, except I use a regular deadlift rather than a snatch-grip. I alternate my lowers on Monday and Tuesday, meaning Monday my lower is front squat and Tuesday it is deadlift. My one upper is OHP every Thursday and on Friday I'm doing flat bench on odd weeks and incline on even weeks.

I, too, was never a fan of bench pressing, but am very happy with what I've experienced so far with this program.

Quick question for all though, are you switching things up after the first six weeks or sticking with the same exercises? I was thinking of waiting until twelve weeks to think about changing exercises.


Considering swapping the front squat out for the back squat with my new Oly shoes, but other than that, I'm intent on really pursuing strength rather than variety.


Ohp, close bench, bench, deadlift on Mon/Tue
Front squat, back squat, Ohp on thur
Front squat, squat, close bench on Fri

I am in my all time best performance and cosmetic shape. Did first week of single ramp for three weeks because of time constraints due to finals. Just finished double ramp week and begin triple ramp tomorrow.

I plan on taking coachs advice and not changing exercises for as long as possible. I am planning on retesting 3 rep max after first 6 week cycle. Then doing another 6 week cycle at new weight.

I was very lucky to get Coach Thibs book THEORY AND APPLICATION OF MODERN STRENGTH AND POWER METHODS. It's a sweet read and I plan on incorporating band work and over shoot training in for two weeks after my second 6 wk cycle.

Ok I've rambled enough here. Hope everyone is getting
the results and large amounts of haters I have aquired at the gym:) thank u coach and all who ask questions I don't think of and learn from. Peace all and GO PACKERS


It is in a couple weeks. I don't think CT is looking to answer injury questions online, which makes a lot of sense; folks hang on his every word so much somebody will end up crippled and think it is because he recommended jumping deadlifts with 95% max for scoliosis patients.

Keep an eye on the loss of strength in your leg. The doctors' concern with getting me into surgery was because of the pinched nerve - apparently if it is crushed for too long you will eventually develop some condition where you can't push with that leg. That said, this is surgery number 4 for me (not back, just overall), and you are definitely right to avoid it if you have the option. If you don't, though, you will rehab your way back. People that go under the knife in better shape do better anyway.

I've just been doing a ton of the horizontal leg press, and I keep it really really light. I do some sled work, and I do some of the single leg squats and ham curls and things like that with the TRX. GVT would probably be the same idea - focusing on fatigue loading with safe movements rather than performance loading with the money moves.


Yea I could understand CT's frustration. I'm a fitness professional so I'd think it would be a little different for me taking another fitness professionals advice but I understand the level of liability he'd have.

I'm going to take it easy with sleds this week and start doing GVT 4 days a week. I'm gonna give it about 4-6 weeks to see if there is any growth, if yes I'll just continue with that as I rehab my way back to good health.

I've added you as a friend, keep my posted on your progress.


Upper body day 1
Overhead press
Flat bench
Floor press
Back Squat

Upper body day 2
Push press
Incline bench
Flat bench

Lower body day 1
Back squat
Bench press from the pins

Lower Body day 2
Back squat (I'm training with my son and he has trouble with front squat form).
Sumo deadlift
Push press

I had to switch my exercises early because I was having too much trouble with my shoulder. Initially I had decline press and dips but they just irritated my shoulder too much. I've dropped them and its feeling better but still sorer than I would like.


UB: standing military press, incline bench press, flat bench press
LB: squat, deadlift


Push press -> low incline bench press -> close grip decline bench press

Front squat -> trap bar DL


same here, trap bar deadlift and hs incline, barbell for rest

who has tried this program with DB Bench/Incline/OHP? thoughts?


I'm jealous, my gym doesn't have a Trap Bar. But we have 2 Smith Machines, 2 Hammer Smith Calf Raise machines and like 6 Ab machines.