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Setting up a Hypertrophy-Specific Training? Cycle: Part III


BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Advanced Training Tips Setting up a Hypertrophy-Specific Training? Cycle: Part III



Go to: Setting up a Hypertrophy-Specific Training? Cycle: Part IV


By Charles T. Ridgely

Setting up a Workout Log

Setting up and maintaining a workout log or journal is essential. Not only does a workout log enable you to carefully plan your HST cycles, but it also gives you a direct means by which to monitor your progress, as well as any problems that might arise in your training over time.

Once you know your 15RM, 10RM, and 5RM weights for all of the exercises you have chosen, you can enter them into your workout log. Your 15RM weights are the weights you will use on the last workout day of the 15RM mesocycle (i.e., the 15s). Your 10RM weights are the weights you will use on the last workout day of the 10s, and your 5RM weights are the weights you will use on the last workout day of the 5s.

Next, you must subtract weight from your 15RM, 10RM, and 5RM to determine the weights you?ll use as you work up to your RMs. Before you can do this, however, you must determine a decrement value for each exercise. The decrement value is the amount of weight you subtract from your RM weights for each workout day preceding the workout on which you use your RM weights. This is explained more clearly below. The decrement value typically is about 5% of your 5RM weight. For example, if your 5RM weight for a particular exercise is 160 lbs (kg), then your decrement value for this exercise is 0.05 x 160 lbs (kg), or 8 lbs (kg).

Once you know the decrement value for each of your exercises, you are ready to determine the weights you?ll use throughout the cycle. To do this, you work backwards from the RM weight, subtracting the decrement value from the weight for each workout day to determine the weight for the preceding workout day. For example, suppose your 15RM for a particular exercise is 120 lbs (kg) and that your decrement value is 8 lbs (kg). The weight you will use on the 6th workout day of the 15s is 120 lbs (kg). On the 5th workout day, you will use 120 lbs (kg) ? 8 lbs (kg), which equals 112 lbs (kg). On the 4th workout day, you will use 112 lbs (kg) ? 8 lbs (kg), which is equal to 104 lbs (kg). Continuing along, on the 3rd workout day, your weight will be 104 lbs (kg) ? 8 lbs (kg), or 96 lbs (kg). On the 2nd workout day; 96 lbs (kg) ? 8 lbs (kg) gives a weight of 88 lbs (kg). And, for the 1st workout day of the 15s, 88 lbs (kg) ? 8 lbs (kg) gives a weight of 80 lbs (kg). For this exercise, therefore, the weights you will use during the 15s are 80, 88, 96, 104, 112, and 120 lbs (kg). The following table summarizes the weights used in the 15s of this particular example.

15s: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Weight: 80 88 96 104 112 120

With the weights for the 15s determined, you?re ready to move on to the 10s. The procedure for determining the weights for the 10s is identical to that discussed above for the 15s. Starting with your 10RM weight, you work backwards through the 10s subtracting the decrement value from the weight for each workout day to determine the weight for the preceding workout day. Continuing with the example above, if your 10RM weight for a particular exercise is 140 lbs (kg) and your decrement value is 8 lbs (kg), then the weights you will use for this exercise during the 10s are:

10s: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Weight: 100 108 116 124 132 140

Finally comes the 5s. As with the 10s and the 15s, during the 5s you work backwards, subtracting the decrement value from the weight for each workout day to determine the weight for the preceding workout day. Thus, if your 5RM weight is 160 lbs (kg) and your decrement value is 8 lbs (kg), then the weights you will use for the 5s are:

5s: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Weight: 120 128 136 144 152 160

After having performed this procedure, you will have all the weights you will need for this particular exercise throughout your HST cycle.

One other point worthy of mentioning is that each of the exercises you choose for your HST cycle will have distinct 15RM, 10RM, and 5RM weights. Because of this, the decrement value for each exercise will be different. Accordingly, you must perform the procedure discussed above for each exercise you intend to use during your cycle.

Dealing With Zig-Zagging Weights

Zig-zag is a term typically used to describe weights in one mesocycle being less than the RM weight used in the preceding mesocycle. For example, suppose your weights for the 15s are 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 lbs (kg), and the weights for your 10s are 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, and 120 lbs (kg). Putting these weights in a simple table gives:

15s: 50 60 70 80 90 100
10s: 70 80 90 100 110 120

Looking at the weights used for the 10s, it?s easy to see that the first four values (which are shaded for clarity) are weights with which you can easily crank out 15 or more reps. Because of this overlapping, or zig-zagging, phenomenon, your 10s may not be as productive as they could be.

A popular way to reduce zig-zag is by repeating some weights. For example, you could drop the first and second weights in the 10s and then repeat the remaining four weights. This is shown in the following table.

15s: 50 60 70 80 90 100
10s: 100 100 110 110 120 120

Now, the zig-zag is reduced to only the first two weights in the 10s. Another way to reduce zig-zag is shown in the following table.

15s: 50 60 70 80 90 100
10s: 90 100 100 110 110 120

As can be seen, this approach confines the zig-zag to three days of the 10s. Many lifters find this level of zig-zag beneficial for Central Nervous System (CNS) recovery and prevention of burnout later on in the cycle.

Still another approach to reducing zig-zag is as follows:

15s: 50 60 70 80 90 100
10s: 90 100 110 110 120 120

This approach confines the zig-zag to just two days, while the heavier, more productive weights are repeated on the remaining days of the 10s.

It should be noted that a little zig-zag can be a good thing; it allows for a little CNS recovery and can stave off burn out and overtraining which might otherwise occur later on in the cycle. But if the zig-zag is too severe, the productivity of the cycle may be compromised. You will have to experiment a little to find the level of zig-zag that works best for you.

Good luck,

Charles T. Ridgely
charles@ridgely.ws

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