HST routine

The Hypertrophy-Specific Training or the HST Routine is a training system oriented towards hypertrophy.


The HST was created by Bryan Haycock and was born as a result of the investigation that analyzed both stimuli and mechanisms for muscle cell hypertrophy.

The Specific Hypertrophy Training (HST) is based on the physiological principles of hypertrophy which are were first discovered in his laboratory.

These principles were organized into a “method” of mechanical muscle loading to induce hypertrophy (Figure 1).

Figura 1

Figure 1. HST routine (10 repetitions). Source: Haycock (2002).

In our blog we have prepared a plan to gain muscle mass . If you want to know the key points for hypertrophy , read on.

Principles of HST

Mechanical loading

Mechanical loading is necessary to induce muscle hypertrophy .

This mechanism involves, but is not limited to MAPk / ERK, satellite cells, growth factors, calcium and other factors which are fairly well understood.

High frequency of training

In order for the load to translate into significant hypertrophy, the stimulus must be applied often enough to create a new “environment”.

Instead of seemingly random and acute attacks on the mechanical integrity of the tissue.

In relation to the frequency of the training stimulus, It is a disadvantage to introduce a week of rest every time a muscle is trained , as many of the acute responses to training such as increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels and mRNA levels they return to normal in about 36 hours.

Thus, this author states that:

“… spend 2 days growing and half a week in a semi-anti-catabolic state… “.

So if the target is to maintain protein synthesis at high and stable levels over time, you should train every 36-48 hours (frequency 3 per muscle group) .

Progressive load

Over time, the fabric adapts and becomes resistant to the damaging effects of mechanical loading .

This adaptation (resistance to stimulus) can occur in 48 hours (repeated combat effect or ef quick training).

In this case, hypertrophy will stop , although neuronal and metabolic adaptations can and can continue.

Strategic de-adaptation

This concept refers to reduction the degree of adaptation of the load . The muscle is sensitive not only to absolute load, but also to load change (up or down).

Thus, you can achieve a hypertrophic effect by increasing the load of a previous load , even if the absolute load is not maximum, assuming that the conditioning (resistance to micro damage caused by exercise) is not too extensive.

Carico Allenamento

There is a limit on the number of increments that can be added to increase the load.

This is why Strategic De-adaptation is necessary for continued growth once growth has stopped.

Methodology HST

Use of lactic acid as a stimulus for tendon healing / repair

HST incorporates repetitions plus elevated to prepare muscles and tendons for future heavy loads .

This serves as “regular maintenance”. Without it, the risk of chronic injury and pain increases. The metabolically demanding repetitions improve the healing of tight tendons.

Compound exercises

It is recommended to use compound exercises to maximize the effects of the load .

However, the optimal ratio of global to isolated exercises would be: 70% and 30% (figure 2).

Figura 2

Figure 2. Exercise suggestion for each muscle region. Source: Haycock (2002).

Progressive adjustment of repetitions to adapt to progressive load

Recommendation to use 2-week blocks for each interval of repetitions .

This tip has nothing to do with adaptation, it is simply a way to adapt to the load.

Sure, you can adjust your repetitions every week (e.g. 15,12, 10,8,5, etc.), but this is more complicated and people may not understand it.

Low volume per exercise

There is a limit on the number of sets per workout and per workout (1 or 2).

This is based on the evidence that sets beyond the first “effective” set do little more than burn calories .

The number of sets is set to a low value to satisfy the frequency needed for r create an effective and consistent environment to stimulate hypertrophy.

Eccentric workouts

Regarding the principle of load variety, HST incorporates eccentric workouts for 2 consecutive weeks .

This tip is only for exercises that can be performed eccentrically without risk of injury .

HST Practical Points

Load to use

  • Find your 15RM, 10RM and 5RM for each exercise to be used.
  • Load increase after each mesocycle (2.5-5 kg) .

Determination of weights for each workout.

  • Beginning of repetition patterns with lower loads than maximum lifts.
  • System progression to heavyweights.

Repetition interval

Reps will decrease every 2 weeks in the following order:

  • 15 reps for 2 weeks.
  • 10 reps for 2 weeks.
  • 5 reps for 2 weeks.

Then continue your maximum of 5 reps for 2 weeks or start 2 weeks of eccentric.

Punti pratici HST

Variation of load

Reducing repetitions allows you to increase the load:

  • High-repetition workouts have an important purpose.
  • Volume increase anaerobic work benefits the muscle by increasing resistance to injury and increasing functional capacity.

The series will be limited to 1-2 per exercise .

Training frequency

Each muscle group must be loaded 3 times a week (medium-high frequency; fullbody routine).

  • Principle of frequency .
  • A stimulus for Muscle hypertrophy must be frequent enough to create a constant “environment” for muscle adaptation.

Importance of rest

  • During rest days (e.g. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) light cardiovascular exercises (20-40 min.) can be performed.
  • The incline treadmill (brisk walking) should be the first option.
  • Adequate and regular rest is important for avoiding injury and managing stress .

Keep CNS fatigue low during frequent workouts.

Complete each workout

  • Even if the muscles are slightly sore from the previous workout, finish the workout with the designated pounds .
  • It is important to know the difference between common injuries and muscle pain .
  • Importance of warm-up .

NEVER train a muscle that is at risk of injury.

Strategic De-adaptation

After each 6-8 week cycle , it is necessary to take a period during the which one you don’t train. This time it is used to recover and allow healing of minor overuse injuries.

Try to get enough sleep and participate in recreational activities outside the gym .

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

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