ok so im looking to start HST next week.. i've read the site and some articles and it seems like a good program. my split will be something like this... tuesday, thursday, saturday.. those will be my alloted training days. full body workouts. now there is some things i am un clear about. i under stand you do 2 weeks at a time at a certain rep range.. 12 reps.. than 10.. than 8.. than 6, etc. now, are these reps to failure or what? or super light weights i can do 15-20 reps.. what i gathered so far is that at the begining of each weeks workout you do say bench press.. 200lbs for 12 reps easy.. than next workout you add 10lbs at 12 reps somewhat easy.. than your final workout you do say 230lbs, barly getting the 12 off.. is that the proper way? i havnt been able to find what im looking for.. how EXACTLY the program is run etc.. only bits and pieces

thats the way I'm doing it. you're supposed to take your x-rep max (10 for me for this 2-week group), and subtract 6*(5 or 10) from that... by your last work out for each rep-group you want to be at failure for each set (last rep).. at least thats the way I interpreted it.

Have you looked at their website ? Basically you estimate your 15,10 and 5 rep max. You want to hit this max by the end of the 2 week period for each respective rep cycle. For example, say your max 15 rep squat is 140lbs. The 1st workout of 15's you start with 60lbs,2nd 80lbs, 3rd 100lbs, etc until you hit your max on the sixth workout of the 2 week cycle. Good luck with it. I've done it in the past and it works. Jason

Here's how I understand it. You have two week periods at a certain rep number (15, 10, 5 is what I have seen most), lifting three days per week (full body workouts) Prior to this time, you determine your MAX weight for each exercise at each rep level. E.g., for bench, say your max 15-rep weight is 135, your max 10-rep weight is 165, and your max 5-rep weight is 200. In each two week cycle, for every exercise you plan to use your max weight for that rep range on the last (6th workout). Each workout prior to that one is done using a lighter weight (typically about 5% of your 5-rep max weight. In the above example, 5% of 200 is 10lb). To answer your question above, the sets in the final workout of each period should be such that you can JUST get all of the reps (although if you have gained strength in the meantime, maybe it's a BIT easier than that). So, your bench press in the 15-rep workout period would use weights of 85, 95, 105, 115, 125, and 135. In the 10-rep period, it would be 115, 125, 135, 145, 155, 165. In the 5-rep workouts, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200. In the 7th and 8th week, you can either use weights above your 5-rep max, doing negatives or simply less reps, or you can simply do another 5-rep period. Then you take 1-2 weeks off and repeat, but increasing the final weights used. That's the basics. You can alter slightly using a "zig zag" in order to avoid the overlap where the first few workouts at a lower rep number are too easy (e.g., in the above example , if you could do 165 10 times, then the first few 5-rep sets will likely be extremely easy, using 150-170lbs), but I guess that needs to be tweaked depending on how it goes for you. I hope I've got it mostly right. I am starting this program on Monday, and I've never done it before.

Spreadsheet for HST rep max estimation According to the articles I have read, the best way to set your weights for an HST program is to actually go to the gym and find the maximum amount you can lift for each rep amount you plan to use. For example, on Monday find your max weight for a set of 15, on Wednesday do the same for 10, and on Friday the same for 5. Of course, they also say that you need to take the following week off to recover from this exercise! Alternately, you can estimate the weights to set as your maximums for each rep number. Since I just took a week off from lifting, I prefer to do this, so that I don't have to immediately lay off again. To help me with this, I created a spreadsheet that I could use to estimate my maxes. Based on a weight and rep number you enter, it calculates your 1RM, as well as your max for any rep-number you enter (it lets you enter 3 different values, with 15, 10, and 5 set initially, since that's what I've seen mentioned most frequently). It also lays out a plan for each of the two week "mesocycles" within an HST program, by setting the max weight in the last workout of each cycle, and subtracting off an amount in each preceeding workout. You can tailor the gap between them by entering your desired delta as a percent of your 1RM (5% is a guideline I've seen.) Just enter values in all of the yellow cells and the spreadsheet calculates the rest (in various shades of blue). Please forgive the formatting, it's not my strong point. For anyone trying to start an HST program for the first time, I hope this can help a little.

I started HST about a week ago. StevieD and I have the same understanding of the program. Jono, if you haven't been to their website, go there immediately. They have everything you want to know about it. The first couple of workouts on the 15s were ridiculously easy. EFK came out with his "Weak People Suck" thread about the same time I started HST. I knew exactly how he felt as I was doing full body workouts with really light weights. I have dumbbell curls in my routine and if I did it exactly right, I'd have been using the pink dumbbells for my first workout. I simply refused to go that far!

I know what you mean. Was very tempted just to skip the 15's altogether, but decided to "tough it out",lol. Jason

I started at 10s b/c I messed up. I just finished my first week - the second two workouts were good (first one was BAD - See "weak people suck" ha). it seems like a nice program, although I'm kinda dreading the second week of 5's... seems like its gonna be REALLY tough.

First HST Workout Well, my experience seems to have been different from some of the other folks who have tried HST. I went into my first 15-rep workout expecting it to be a relative cakewalk. My workout was the following: 45 degree leg press, 2 sets Leg curl, 1 set Flat BB bench press, 2 sets Incline DB press, 1 set Assisted pullups, 2 sets Bent DB rows, 2 sets Shrugs, 1 set Military BB press, 1 set DB lateral raise, 1 set Rear DB raise, 1 set BB Curls, 2 sets DB tricep extension, 2 sets Donkey calf raise, 2 sets I was coming off of a MAX-OT program, and used the spreadsheet in my earlier post to calculate my 15-rep maximums based on the reps and weights I finished that program with. I then reduced the weights according to the HST methodology to get my weights for today. By the time I was finished, I was beat! While I was able to get all of my repetitions without struggling, it's going to be an incredible challenge to increase the weights on each exercise EVERY workout, and still get them all. I just thought it was interesting that others have commented on how light many of the weights felt. Should they be "light" right now? Should I be able to get through the workout without much effort, at least until the last couple of workouts on each rep range? If so, then maybe I increase the amount of space between the weights on each workout, or adjust what I am using for the maximums (calculated by a spreadsheet, so maybe the formulas I used are not quite right).

I'm curious as to why you decided to stop max-ot after 1 cycle. Were you unhappy with the results? Jason

Not unhappy, per se, but just not real excited after doing it. I didn't seem to gain much in either strength or size, and was looking for a change. Admittedly, maybe I could give it more time, I haven't concluded that it's absolutely not for me yet. Prior to that, the last couple years I have done mainly HIT-style training (single sets to failure, workout each body part at most once per week, etc.), and this "felt" similar to me, although obviously there are differences. Right now, I would like to gain muscle size more than strength, so HST appeals to me. The first time I had heard of this was when John mentioned he was thinking about a switch from Max-OT (what can I say, I don't really "keep up" with the latest trends in bodybuilding), and when I researched it, I was intrigued. I've never done anything quite like this, so I figured, why not? Finally, as I've gotten older it seems like the heavy weights on a consistent basis seem to wear on my joints more. I know that the week off really seemed to help there, but it seems like the HST approach might be easier on them as well.

Dropping again, no idea why. Well, apparently "doing nothing" with my diet was the right thing to do! After 2+ weeks stuck at 175-176lbs, I have dropped to 170 in the past week. The ONLY thing that happened in that time was that I changed from drinking a caffe americano (basically just a coffee made by adding hot water to espresso) with my breakfast to drinking a cappucino (espresso with steamed milk). My total calories and macronutrient ratios are unchanged. That's it. I can't believe that adding about 2/3 of a cup of milk to my diet made any kind of significant difference, but I'm at a loss to explain it with anything else, either. Of course, I had the off week from exercise, so maybe that gave my body a good resting up to attack the fat again?