HST Workout Routines

April 27th, 2008 by Paul Johnson

HST stands for Hypertrophic Specific Training and this workout routine was developed based on some research studies on the best workout to build muscle. This seperates it from most bodybuilding workout routines, which are usually based on some bodybuilder guru or pro-bodybuilder claiming a workout worked for him, so he recommends everyone his own workout. The problem with using someone else's workout is just because a workout works for him, doesn't mean it is the best for YOU. The person could have excellent genetics and grow well off any workout routine or his individual genetics may do best for that particular workout. So, its good to find workout routines that have some research basis like HST and not because some pro-bodybuilder recommends it.

HST Workout Principles:

The studies they did led to them forming some of these major principles for every workout.

Mechanical Load: This is obvious, you need to lift weights to build muscle!

Progressive Load: You can't build muscle without small increases in weights. Ex. If you
always squat with 100 lbs you will never keep getting bigger.

Low volume: Low workout set volume. Research shows one or 2 sets per excercise is adequate to stimulate hypertrophy.

Chronic vs. Acute Stimuli: Workout a muscle more than once a week. Protein synthesis and hormonal adapations last only 48 hours. This means 5 other days of the week are being wasted, not being stimulated by another workout.

Strategic Deconditioning: Help avoid plateaus by reducing weights to desensitize your muscles to a certain stimulus.

Compound excercises: Compound excercises are the best mass builders, so HST focuses on mainly compound.

Progressive Rep Ranges: Every 2 weeks you should lower the rep range. This is to keep up with the increasing heavy weights you are adding to each workout because of the progressive overload principle.

HST Workout Routine Guidelines:

You can make your own small variations of a HST workout routine, what is important is that your workout routine follow the core principles of HST because most are based on their research findings. Every HST workout must be a full body workout done 3 times a week, for example monday wednesday and friday. You don't have to pick the same excercises each workout, but you need to workout each muscle in every workout all 3 days and most of the excercises should be compound. All workout sets are low volume, doing only 1 or 2 sets per excercise and 1 or 2 excercises for each muscle. Workouts start at about the 15 rep range on week 1 and about every 2 weeks you will decrease your rep range and increase your weights. Usually you will do something like 15 reps week 1, 12 reps week 2, 10 reps week 3, and so on.

After a few weeks and staying at the lower rep ranges of 5 to 6 for a couple weeks, then it is time for you to lower the weight and do the same low rep range for a week. This means you will be doing a weight that is very far from muscular failure. This is the Strategic deconditioning portion mentioned earlier as a major principle of HST. This deconditioning helps give your muscles a semi-break and helps against long term plateaus. The following week you will start another similiar workout cycle all over again, with light weights in the 15 rep range.