Hypertrophy Specific Training – HST

Black and White Gym

What is Hypertrophy Specific Training? Let’s start with defining hypertrophy. It is the increase in the size of an organ. It’s only desirable when it occurs in the skeletal muscles. The muscle needs to be directly stimulated by resistance training. Hypertrophy can also occur during other high anaerobic exercises such as interval training, rowing, cycling and sprinting. A diet rich in protein with a caloric surplus is also necessary, together with regular rest.

Hypertrophy Specific Training™ developed as a result of the studies looking at both the stimuli and systems for muscle cell hypertrophy. As hypertrophy-specific research progressed in specificity it was plain that conventional training routines had stumbled across several important principles of load induced muscle hypertrophy. Because of their narrow outlook they were unsuccessful in taking advantage of some significant facts exposed by research at the cellular level.

If you’d like to do an Hypertrophy Specific Training program, take note of the following:

  • All maxes should be established before doing the first cycle.
  • There is a compulsory increase in weight each workout. This adheres to the principle of progressive overload.
  • Assign your max weights to the final workout of each two-week block.
  • Repetitions will lessen every 2 weeks in the following order:
    • 15 reps for two weeks;
    • 10 reps for 2 weeks;
    • 5 reps for two weeks;
    • Then carry on with your 5-rep max for two weeks or begin two weeks of negatives. The reduction in reps accommodates the increasing load.
    • During the 15’s the reps should begin slowly and then accelerate as you feel the burn begin to kill your strength.
    • During the 10’s you should go slower when the weight is light.
    • The first week of 5’s should be slow on the way down but still pretty explosive on the way up.
    • During negatives you should lower the weight in about 4-4½ seconds.
  • Limit sets to 1-2 per exercise.
  • Each muscle group should be loaded 3 times per week.
  • Hypertrophy Specific Training is done on three non-consecutive days per week. Rest is important, so do only light cardio on your rest days.
  • Finish each workout using designated weights even if muscles are a little sore from the previous workout.
  • A one-week interval of strategic deconditioning should be taken following each 6-8 week cycle, during which no training should be performed. Strategic deconditioning is very important for long-term growth.
  • You can split the workout into a morning and afternoon session.

Strategic pre- and post-workout supplementation can significantly add to the effectiveness of your training, when implemented correctly and consistently. Exercise causes acute changes in the metabolic setting of muscle tissue. Pre-workout dietary plans are based on supplying alternative energy substrates to protect energy stores. This also takes advantage of increased blood flow to muscle tissue.

Background of Hypertrophy Specific Training

Author and founder of the Hypertrophy Specific Training Method and Hypertrophy-Specific Nutrition, Bryan Haycock, began lifting weights in 1978. Hypertrophy Specific Training or simply HST is a system of training intended to rapidly and efficiently encourage whole body muscle growth.

HST calls for frequent workouts because of the heightened anabolic effects of training. This is because improved protein synthesis, muscle-specific IGF-1 expression, and other factors involved in modulation of short-term protein synthesis, only last for 36-48 hours. There is also increasing evidence of a “summation” effect by exercising while levels of these signals and responses are elevated.

Hypertrophy Specific Training – Setting Up Your Exercise Schedule

You should plan your training frequency. Otherwise, you might be wasting time. This is true whether you are sold on heavy weight and low reps or less weight and more reps. It can be hard to know when your muscles need to be trained again. Recent research has shown that training a muscle group approximately every 48 hours may be more effective than training it once or twice per week.

Hypertrophy Specific Training Sample Workout

Each body part should be trained using the following exercises:

Body Part Exercise(s)
Legs Squat or leg press and leg curls
Chest Bench and dip
Back Chins and seated or bent over row
Shoulders Lateral raise and shoulder press
Biceps Any one curling movement per session
Triceps Triceps push-down or lying triceps extensions
Torso Crunch or machine

Eating For Mass

Maybe it is your diet that needs some thought if you are not gaining weight. Begin with the nutrients most important to the body when planning your meals. A surplus of calories is necessary for the body to increase its fat-free/water-free mass at the simplest level. To establish your caloric requirements you will need to use a computation or formula. Don’t let the numbers turn you off. You don’t have to be a math whiz to do these simple calculations.

Hypertrophy Specific Training Principles

Here’s the principles of hypertrophy:

  1. Mechanical load
  2. Acute vs. chronic stimuli
  3. Progressive load
  4. Strategic deconditioning

Strategic Deconditioning: Priming the Muscle for Sustained Increases

Your objective when using Hypertrophy Specific Training methods is to present the muscle with a growth-promoting stimulus while it is actually vulnerable to micro-trauma. Strategic deconditioning is basically a period of time free from training which is long enough to permit a reversal of some of the acute adaptations in muscle tissue, referring specifically to the repeated bout effect. Training after strategic deconditioning results in much more rapid gains in size and strength.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *