What is HST? How is it different?

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by Bryan Haycock, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Junior Member

    My name is Bryan Haycock. Im posting this because Ive noticed a few HST threads on the board. Although it may seem that I'm "new" here, I've actually been here for many years now. I am grateful to the owner of the then Mesomorphosis a great deal for his support early on in my writing career. I started posting here when it was Mesomorphosis.com. Anyway, I've been busy over at another website for the last year or so and haven't been around much.

    For those of you who haven't heard of me or HST, some years ago I wrote about a training method I put together based on a bunch of physiology research. The method is designed specifically to induce hypertrophy (a.k.a. growth), at times at the expense of other performance factors such as strength, power, endurance, etc. I called the method Hypertrophy-Specific Training for obvious reasons.

    Please allow me to post a very brief treatment of HST for those who are interested.

    I have yet to find any program that didn't incorporate (or attempt to incorporate) at least one method or strategy designed to elicit muscle hypertrophy.

    There are only three concepts that are truly unique to HST.
    1) The concept, and research indicating, that mechanical load, rather than neuromuscular fatigue is the primary trigger of muscle hypertrophy.

    2) The concept that muscle tissue grows unabated in the face of continued loading. In other words, if you load a muscle, it will begin to grow and finish growing even if the load is never removed. This flies directly in the face of the common belief that full recovery is critical for optimal muscle growth. Think of skin being able to tan even while still exposed to sunlight.

    3) The acknowledgement of the "repeated bout effect" and the incorporation of a strategic way of overcoming its growth inhibiting effects (i.e. Strategic Deconditioning)

    Everything else is just using sets and reps to load the tissue. Everybody has been doing that since they began lifting weights (Romans were first to systematize it similar to the way we do it today).

    One will notice however that these three points of differentiation have a significant impact on the planning of ones "sets and reps". A brief summary of the implications must suffice for now:

    1) If progressive load, rather than chronic fatigue, is the primary stimulus for tissue hypertrophy, it isnt necessary to train to failure if hypertrophy is the objective. This makes the practice of adding more weight only after you can do more reps terribly inefficient if muscle growth is the goal. It also refutes the logic of the muscle confusion practice, which is primarily a neurological phenomenon.

    2) If muscle tissue is designed to grow even while the loading stimulus is still present, loading (i.e. training) should be undertaken much more frequently in order to maximize the stimulus. Create a high strain environment for the tissue to adapt to, not just occasional assaults.

    3) Because the tissue becomes resistant to further load-induced growth as part of its adaptation to being loaded, growth will eventually slow dramatically and/or stop. If continued growth is the objective the tissue must be allowed to return to a more sensitive state before continued growth is to occur from loading. This is called Strategic Deconditioning (SD). This is often mistaken as rest, which deals with the CNS. Rest is designed to allow adaptation to catch up to the stimulus. SD is just the opposite. It is only concerned with the mechanical properties of the tissue. Rather than allowing the tissues adaptive resources to catch up to your training frequency, SD attempts to push the tissue in the opposite direction, effectively making it unfit to endure frequent loading. As you can see, periodic rest increases ones fitness, by allowing recovery, whereas SD decreases ones fitness by allowing adaptive changes to reverse themselves.

    How to Set Up a Basic HST Cycle:
    First: Find the most weight you can lift for 15 reps, 10 reps, and 5 reps for each of the exercises you want to use during the cycle. These will serve as your 15RM, your 10RM and your 5RM. (RM is Repetition Maximum).

    What you are going to do is to start with weights BELOW your RMs and work your way up to them in 2 week blocks or periods. For the first two weeks you will be doing 15 reps on each exercise. For the second two weeks you will be using 10 reps on each exercise. And for the final 2 weeks you will be using 5 reps.

    You will only reach "failure" on the last workout of each 2 week block. This is because you will be using your Repetition Maximum on that day for that particular rep range.

    So, lets say your 15RM is 200 pounds on incline bench. For the first 2 weeks your weights for incline bench will go like this: 150lbs on Monday, 160lbs on Wed, 170lbs on Fri, 180lbs on the following Mon, 190lbs on Wed, and finally 200lbs on Friday. This example is using 10lb increments, but you could use 20 lb increments if you wished.

    Once you have reached your 15RM, you will immediately begin another 2 week cycle but this time using your 10RM and you will work up to it in the same way as you did your 15RM. Once again you will use a fixed weight increment from workout to workout.

    Once you reach your 10RM you will immediately start a new 2 week block using your 5RM. And proceed in the same manner as before.

    Its ok if your starting weight for your 10RM block is lighter than the weight you just used for your 15RM the Friday before. People call this zig-zagging and its just fine. In fact, most people experience better results with a bit of zig-zagg in their weights as they move from one two week block to the next.

    Usually smaller muscle groups do better with smaller weight increments from workout to workout. So whereas for legs you might use 20 pound increments while working up to your RM, for shoulders or arms you might use 10lbs or even 5 lb increments.

    If the starting weight is too low, for example with lateral raises for shoulders, it is ok to use 3 total weight increments instead of the usual 6. Simply repeat the same weight for two workouts, still making sure you end up using your RM on the last workout of that 2 week block.

    Of course, there are many many details that come up as a result of trying to apply HST to each individuals circumstances. Add to that the many details of mechanotransduction and the whole hypertrophic process (physiology, training, nutrition, supplementation, hormones) and you have quite a bit to chew on.

    I hope you found this helpful.

    Millard Baker likes this.
  2. swoool

    swoool Junior Member

    This thread is very informative and maybe should be a sticky so it doesn't get moved down.This may help eliminate a lot of questions.Just my.02.
  3. Grizzly

    Grizzly Member

    Probably not. Look in the anabolic section. There are two "how to do a fucking cycle right" stickies and there are still 400 questions a day.
  4. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    Excellent post, Bryan! Ive posted links to the original HST article numerous times and have tried to answer questions as best as I can. But its always nice to have the "real deal" here helping out!
  5. swoool

    swoool Junior Member

    Your probably right GRIZZ.It would be nice for it to be a sticky for my own benefit for quick reference though.And before you say it I'm not lazy.LOL
  6. Ramstein II

    Ramstein II Junior Member

    It’s a thrill to have you contributing. I hope the newcomers to this board realize how lucky we are to have your contributions.

    I agree with the idea of frequent/chronic bouts of progressive tension to induce hypertrophy, specifically sarcomere hypertrophy.

    However, what about sarcomplasmic hypertrophy? It seems to me that this is fatigue induced and results from a supercompensation of sarcoplasm, mitochondria, ATP, and CP stores which are exhausted from repetitive or high volume work. Do you think 1-2 sets for a muscle group in the 10-15 rep range is sufficient to induce this fatigue?
    mrmorris likes this.
  7. Lil-BIG-Man

    Lil-BIG-Man Junior Member

    Just out of curiousity....what kind of diet did you guys use to gain lean muscle and lose bf%? Thanks.
  8. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    Do you mean at the same time, or during a specific cutting or mass phase?
  9. mrmoo

    mrmoo Junior Member

    Hi Bryan. I have a couple questions for you if you wouldn't mind answering them.

    I tried HST for a month but failed horribly due to overtraining. I now realize this was because I misapplied your techniques and inserted more excersizes to cover all muscle groups. I'm looking forward to trying it again, the right way, in the near future.

    My first question has to do with the above quote of yours. Assuming 3 total weight increments instead of the usual 6, would the last two sets be to failure? For example, squats 5 rep failure is say 365. Mon and Wed is 305, Fri and Mon is 345 and the last Wed and Fri is 365. Is that right?

    My second question is along the same lines as the first. On your website in one of your HST articles you mention that it's fine to split legs into two excersizes, something like squats and leg press. Would that then mean that the last Wed (squats) and Fri (leg press) excersize would both be to failure? Or would you be hitting failure only on Fri (leg press) and squating 10-20lbs less then max on the last Wednesday?

    Thanks again.
    mrmorris likes this.
  10. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member

    The goal is not to hit failure, it is to adequately stimulate the muscle on a frequent basis. True, you are more likely to hit failure on the 6th day of each micro-cycle, but thats not the goal. If you do two leg movements, squat and leg press, then yes, the last Wed and Friday would be at your predetermined RM. IMO, Id stick with just squats, and any other major compound movement.

    As for the squat example you gave, you are using enough weight to go with 6 increments instead of 3. So start at 315 and go up 10 pounds each workout till you hit 365 on that final Friday.
    mrmorris likes this.
  11. Juggernauttx

    Juggernauttx Junior Member

    Another thing I have found effective in HST is to alternate exercises. I see Bryan frequently recommends this as well. So instead of doing one exercise for example in a 2 week block, you can do 2 different exercises and alternate them. This will also keep you from starting at a too low of weight and the weight jumps would be only 3 times for that exercise. For example on using Bobs squat example. Instead of starting at 315, you can start at 335 and just add 10 pounds when you do the squat. and you alternate this with say for example, leg press, and you increase that weight 10lbs each time you workout that exercise. So, you are still progressively adding weight still, it is that you are not starting at a too low of a weight, that something you feel like it is hardly causing microdamage. Also, this will help you from overcoming overuse injuries by not doing the same exercise over and over again. When I first started HST, I kept getting injured. First was my bicep, then later it was my shoulder. By alternating the exercise, I still get the load on the same muscle, but it is from a different stress point, where overuse injuries takes longer to accumulate. I hope all this makes sense. Good luck.
    mrmorris likes this.
  12. mrmoo

    mrmoo Junior Member

  13. mikestrong

    mikestrong Member

    After reading about HST, I had to try it. I really liked the results, I would not work out any other way.
    But one question I had was is it ok to incorporate WEST SIDE Techniques into it? By perhaps having a day were weights are lighter, but are lifted faster to strengthen tendons & ligaments.
    I like to work out that way atleast once a week or once every 2 weeks.
    According to this weight should be increased pretty much each time for six weeks.
    That would make it difficult to do have a day of strengthening tendons.
    Any feedback PLZ.
  14. AnimalMass

    AnimalMass Junior Member

    Exactly Ramstein.

    Bryan, you make this point...

    And for the most part, I agree with you. I think that load/ muscle teniosn is MORE responsible for growth than damage, especially concerning sarcomere hypertrophy. But for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy to take place, (which is a significant factor concerning hypertrophy) a person would need to occasionally do high volume is terms of sets and reps (ie. 10x10) occasionally.

    I think the true issue here is that hypertrophy is still something of an enigma, and no one fully understands it. But I do agree that you have set up a very efficient means for helping guys to grow without becoming stagnant.

    I agree completely here. However, I do think it would be beneficial to incorporate periods of loading verses periods of deloading into a hypertrophy program as well. Science has shown that the body responds to periods of heavy loading (loading that can only be sustained for maybe a 2 week period without totally overtraining) and then follow that heavy loading period with a deloading period where specifically volume is dropped (intensity or frequency could be reduced as well - but I'm a fan of reducing volume during periods of deloading.)

    Also, other than reading HST writings, I have never heard of the "repeated bout effect" in other training texts, and wonder if you coined this term yourself? Could you point us to some studies showing that complete rest is needed in order to induce maximum hypertrophy rather than a period of deloading?

  15. Juggernauttx

    Juggernauttx Junior Member

  16. morepain

    morepain Junior Member

    I will add just one thing, the HST calculator on the website hsnhst.com is a nice way to lay out your program and print the entire 6 week phase on one sheet, check it out
  17. Bryan Haycock

    Bryan Haycock Junior Member

    Sorry this is sooooo long

    I do not make a distinction between any two types of hypertrophy. Research has never indicated that there is two different kinds. I myself, before having done a lot of the research for HST, wrote about Siff and Verkoshanskys concept of rational and irrational hypertrophy. They arrived at this concept after observing that the bodybuilders they were aware of were not as strong as their strength athletes, even though the bodybuilders appeared to have more muscle mass. Their only theory for this was that the bodybuilder must not have as much contractile proteins in the tissue, thus the term sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

    However, from a physiological standpoint, the ratio of water to protein doesnt change significantly in hypertrophied fibers.

    Much of the confusion about this is my own fault for having widely published those original articles applying principles from the book Super Training to bodybuilding. However, I am not the only one to blame. In the 90s the concept of cell volumizing was promoted by Bill Phillips in his magazine Muscle Media 2000. They used research from liver cells showing an actual cell volumizing effect in order to sell supplements they claimed would do the same for muscle cells. However, research has never been able to demonstrate the same anabolic cell volumizing effect and I quote, The anabolic effects of igf-1 in skeletal muscle are not caused by increased cell volume. The results differ from those reported previously in liver cells in which the anabolic effects of IGF-1 were associated with cell swelling. The role of changes in cell volume in the regulation of protein metabolism may be different in skeletal muscle than in other tissues. (JPEN 1998 May-Jun;22(3):115-9)

    I agree that the intracellular metabolic effects of doing high reps are facilitative towards hypertrophy. However, I feel it has a much greater influence on the cells metabolic capacity and neural capacity (i.e. performance)

    Thank you. My intentions behind writing about HST has always been to help people who shared common goals with me. J

    I might add that hypertrophy really isnt so much of an enigma though. Recent research has laid out pretty clearly what is happening. An excellent review can be found in Control of the Size of the Human Muscle Mass. Annu Rev Physiol. 2004 Jan;66:799-828. You wont find a detailed map of signaling molecule pathways however. For that you might read Invited review: intracellular signaling in contracting skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol. 2002 Jul;93(1):369-83. A particularly enlightening is a study by Wertman (http://jp.physoc.org/cgi/content/abstract/535/1/155) found here, Journal of Physiology (2001), 535.1, pp. 155-164. If you have access, follow up with the list of more recent studies that have cited Wertmans paper.

    There are MANY other studies exploring the molecular signaling pathways associated with skeletal muscle activity/stretch and hypertrophy, far too many to list here. Not only that, but there does come a point where knowing more about the pathways doesnt bring you any closer to knowing what to do in the gym. Nevertheless, the information is there if one is interested.

    I agree, there is plenty of material demonstrating the benefits of periodization and strength gains.

    Im not quite sure I understand the question. I did not coin the term Repeated Bout Effect. I coined Strategic Deconditioning (after reading a lot of physical conditioning studies), but not RBE. Some researchers early on called it the Rapid Training Effect, but I liked RBE better so I always say that. You can read more about the Repeated Bout Effect here:

    1) McHugh MP. Recent advances in the understanding of the repeated bout effect: the
    protective effect against muscle damage from a single bout of eccentric exercise. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2003 Apr;13(2):88-97.

    2) Thompson HS, Clarkson PM, Scordilis SP. The repeated bout effect and heat shock proteins: intramuscular HSP27 and HSP70 expression following two bouts of eccentric exercise in humans. Acta Physiol Scand. 2002 Jan;174(1):47-56.
    3) Nosaka K, Clarkson PM, McGuiggin ME, Byrne JM. Time course of muscle adaptation after high force eccentric exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1991;63(1):70-6.
    4) Stupka N, Tarnopolsky MA, Yardley NJ, Phillips SM. Cellular adaptation to repeated eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. J Appl Physiol. 2001 Oct;91(4):1669-78.
    5) Saxton JM, Donnelly AE. Light concentric exercise during recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. Int J Sports Med. 1995 Aug;16(6):347-51.
    6) Nosaka K, Sakamoto K, Newton M, Sacco P. The repeated bout effect of reduced-load eccentric exercise on elbow flexor muscle damage. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2001 Jul;85(1-2):34-40.
    7) Nosaka K, Sakamoto K, Newton M, Sacco P. How long does the protective effect on eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage last? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Sep;33(9):1490-5.
    8) J Appl Physiol 1990 Aug;69(2):451-5
    9) Can J Physiol Pharmacol 2002 Nov;80(11):1045-53
    10) Basic Appl Myol. 1995;5(2):139-45.

    As far as complete rest being necessary for maximum hypertrophy I did not say that. I think it is obvious that the best way to apply an opposite stimulus to exercise and/or muscular overload, which triggers the RBE, is to unload the muscle. I find this self evident according to the SAID principle and the hundreds (if not thousands by now) of hind-limb suspension studies and astronautical research on the effects of weightlessness on skeletal muscles susceptibility or sensitivity to loading.

    Now assuming that the above addresses the question of why I advocate not training at all in order to try to reverse some of the RBE (Repeated Bout Effect), I will address whether it is necessary or not for a person to practice Strategic Deconditioning in order to overcome the effects of the RBE.

    Once a person can no longer progressively increase the load he is using to train with, the muscle will soon finish adapting and stop responding (i.e. stop growing) to that load. What choices does a lifter have at that point to use as a substitute for progressive load? I will suggest options:

    1) Use eccentric only sets. This will allow a person to use weights that are heavier than he can lift concentrically, thereby extending his ability to progressively increase the load.

    Short Coming This often requires a training partner (and a willing training partner at that!). The potential for injury also increases and weight loads increases.

    2) Increase volume (i.e. number of sets per sessions per muscle group) thereby increasing Time Under Load (TUL or sometimes called Time Under Tension [TUT]).

    Short Coming There comes a point where due to CNS fatigue, strength/endurance limitations, as well as real-world time limitations, a person simply cannot train longer each session. The risk of developing Overuse Injuries also increases with increased training volume.

    3) Increase the frequency of loading/training. In other words, train the muscle more frequently by repeating the previous session using the same weight loads.

    Short Coming Once again CNS fatigue is the primary limitation. The more extensive the level of fatigue, the longer it takes for voluntary strength output to return to baseline, let alone increase. If voluntary strength decreases, weight loads cannot be maintained. The risk of developing Overuse Injuries also increases with increased training frequency.

    4) Change of exercise selection to increase degree stretch. It is well established that most microtrauma occurs in the muscle when eccentric load is applied towards the end of its range of motion. It is possible that, for example, switching from close grip bent over rows, to close grip chins may increase the shear stress in muscle tissue which has previously adapted to a given weight load.

    Short Coming There are only so many exercises which you can go to to increase the degree of stretch. Some muscle groups are more easily addressed this way than others. Still, in a short time the muscle will adapt to the new chronically loaded position. In addition, some exercises that place a muscle in a significantly stretched position are anatomically unstable. This will decrease the actual amount of load a person can handle in those extreme positions, thus defeating the purpose.

    5) Use testosterone. Testosterone increases satellite cell activity without mechanical loading, thereby allowing a muscle that has grown resistant to exercise induced muscle damage to continue to grow. This offers tremendous advantages beyond anything that can be accomplished by manipulating your training variables. When it comes to hypertrophy, testosterone is the proverbial magic bullet.

    Short Coming It is illegal to use testosterone without a prescription in most countries. Some level of education is necessary to manage potential side effects.

    I feel that a period of eccentric loading to extend the functional period of progressive loading is the best option for most lifters. After that, I propose that an individual strategically decondition the tissue in order that submaximal weight loads will regain their potential to induce hypertrophy. However, there is nothing wrong with trying to take advantage of any other valid option to extend the useful period of progressive loading, nevertheless, these will prove to be only temporary solutions.
    Millard Baker likes this.
  18. Ramstein II

    Ramstein II Junior Member

    Points regarding “types” of hypertrophy well taken. My understanding of “irrational hypertrophy” is that Eastern Bloc strength coaches observed that their athletes would eventually hit a plateau using very low reps and high loads and thus theorized that their muscles lacked sufficient sarcoplasmic hypertrophy to facilitated further sarcomere hypertrophy. That does not exactly prove anything, I agree. Such a plateau could be explained by CNS fatigue or the “repeated bout effect” that you explained–a sort of desensitization I suppose. I’m tending to agree with your view of hypertrophy in that it cannot be segregated. Which raises an interesting point about the strength athletes being “stronger” than bodybuilders mantra we always hear. I don’t buy it, which is why I’ve always believed (even when playing power sports) that training for hypertrophy was superior for “strength” and sports. Problem is that it has taken me years upon years to figure out how to maximize hypertrophy (naturally). I still don’t know or am not totally convinced, but feel closer to the answer thanks to guys like you.

    To me it seems that the concept of “strength” is elusive. I don’t think it can be measured by a give lift given all the variable. People tend to believe that if a person can bench more or squat more etc.. Then that person is stronger at pushing or pulling in general. Not true. Thanks to the SAID principle, all it shows is that that person is better at those particular exercises and may or may not have more muscular strength. I still believe that muscle is functional through and through always. A bodybuilder’s muscles are functional and are capable of being adapted to any activity–it’s just that bodybuilder’s don’t care to develop superior neuro-muscular efficiency in a limited number of lifts. That’s just my take on the issue.

    Great response.
  19. Bob Smith

    Bob Smith Member


    [BS] I borrowed this from the HST website.

    This is a very good question and one that deserves to be answered, without simply zealously defending the premise that is being questioned. This makes for a very bad circular argument that can be VERY frustrating for people with skeptical, though honest, questions.

    First, let's start with what isn't different about HST compared with previous training programs. The length of this list is what has raised this question in the first place, and justifiably so. Let's begin with the "concepts" and then follow with the "methods".

    Pre-existing Scientific Concepts of Weight Training Found in HST

    • Stimulus Leads to Adaptation (cause and effect)
    • Specific Adaptation to Implied Demands (SAID) or simply "Specificity"
    • Progressive Resistance
    • Some relationship between Time and Tension
    • Diminishing Returns
    Pre-existing Methods of Weight Training Found in HST

    • Traditional Weight Lifting Movements both compound and isolation (squat, bench, curls, etc)
    • Training the whole body 3 times per week
    • Altering weight loads used over time
    • Altering the number of repetitions used over time
    • Doing eccentric reps (negatives)
    There has not ever been a weight training program that did not incorporate or mention at least most of these Concepts, and at least some of these Methods. Entire books (big books) have been written to explore these concepts and teach these methods. Whenever research was required, like for a textbook, you would find "strength and conditioning" research sited to support the validity of the concepts and virtues of each particular training method. The studies used "strength" and other "performance indicators" as a measure of whether the concept and/or method were valid.

    This has been perfectly sufficient for nearly everybody including trainers, teachers, professors, coaches and athletes, who have ever lifted a weight. For those who this wasn't sufficient, they simply explored other methods for steadily increasing body mass, I'm referring specifically to hormones.

    The exploration of the hypertrophic effects of hormones began in the 50s and has continued unabated every since. Today, a competitive bodybuilder considers himself conservative if he only uses 1 gram of testosterone per week. Lest I digress, we are not including the effects of androgens and other drugs in this discussion. That is a different issue with concepts and methods specific to the pharmacology and endocrinology of hormones and muscle tissue.

    Now let's consider the concepts and/or principles or beliefs of traditional weight training that HST refutes. These are the concepts that the new research refutes most specifically.

    Pre-existing Concepts that HST Refutes:

    • A muscle must be fully recovered before you should train it again.
    • You should not train a muscle that is sore (DOMS, not injury).
    • You must never train a muscle on consecutive days (i.e. train the same muscle everyday).
    • The concept of "Overtraining" in general as it applies to bodybuilding.
    • You must train with maximum "intensity" to elicit significant muscle growth.
    • You should not use eccentric training on a "frequent" basis.
    • You must change your exercise selection regularly in order to "confuse the muscle" into continued growth.
    • You must hit a muscle at every angle in order to adequately train it.
    • Muscle Fatigue is the primary indicator of having triggered the growth signal.
    • You must effectively isolate a muscle in order to train it effectively.
    • You can train a muscle in such as way as to change its natural shape.
    Pre-existing Methods and/or practices that HST Refutes:

    • Training a muscle no more than once or twice per week.
    • Training less frequently as your "intensity" increases.
    • Adding weight only when you can complete a certain number of additional reps at that weight (This is a fundamental difference!).
    • Training to failure every set and/or workout (If you don't how would you know if you can perform additional reps at that weight yet?).
    • Forced reps.
    • Performing several "obligatory" exercises per body part per workout.
    • Performing multiple exhaustive sets per exercise.
    • Changing exercises to "confuse" the muscle.
    The above erroneous concepts/beliefs and the methods/practices they engender are the cause of all the confusion and different training programs out their today. Most all of it stems from bodybuilding magazines fabricating these concepts and practices to address their ongoing need for new content each month and to conceal the use of drugs required to attain the level of mass flaunted by the sponsored models. By limiting your study of muscle growth to these magazines you will be ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. But that is an issue to be addressed elsewhere.

    Now, there is one traditional concept with its associated methods and practices that often make HST appear to be like previous programs. That is the concept of "periodization".

    We will only briefly discuss the topic of periodization, as only a brief treatise will be sufficient to show the differences between periodization and HST. For more detailed discussions of periodization you are advised to read "Super Training: Special Strength Training for Sporting Excellence" by Siff & Verkhoshansky, "Special Strength Training" by Verkhoshansky, "Fundamentals of Sport Training" by Matveyev and "Science and Practice of Strength Training" by Zatsiorski.

    Traditional concepts of periodization are based on methods used to manipulate intensity (i.e. work and/or load), volume and frequency in order to manage CNS fatigue and adaptability in athletes. To date, the art of periodization has entered the mathematical age and significant progress is being made in modeling systems designed to predict CNS fatigue and changes in the individual's fitness level. (1,2,3). Once an individual familiarizes him or herself with the true concept of periodization, they will immediately see the difference between Strategic Deconditioning and Periodization for strength training.

    For example, here are a few differences between SD and Periodization:

    • SD is used to decrease fitness level (A.K.A. conditioning).
    • Periodization is used to increase fitness level.
    • SD is used to increase the micro trauma associated with training.
    • Periodization is used to decrease the trauma associated with training.
    • SD is used to reduce work capacity.
    • Periodization is used to increase work capacity.
    • SD is applied irrespective of the need for "rest".
    • Periodization according to the need for rest.
    • SD is not based on "peaking" performance.
    • Periodization's sole purpose is to allow the athlete to peak on a specific date.
    So, when people ask, "What's different about HST?", tell them plenty! And its those differences that make HST superior to any other bodybuilding training method existing today.
  20. Str8blln

    Str8blln Junior Member

    Is this really possible??

    Can you really get bigger using the HST method by working out a muscle only 1-2 sets a day three times a week?? I'm skeptical and it sounds too good to be true. But I am willing to try it. Is there anyway that I can maybe do upper body MWF and lower body TuThSat and increases the sets a little bit? Honestly, 1 set??!!! That sounds ridiculous. Definitely looking forward to any feedback from you guys. A lot of you say it works, and I was wondering if you were using the program that bryan posted on the HST website. Please let me know. Thanks..