Over the last 23 years he has incorporated his passion for bodybuilding into his education as a physiologist and career as a writer and consultant for the sport supplement industry. In , Bryan was invited to write and work as editor-in-chief for the online magazine Mesomorphosis, founded by Millard Baker. The magazine experienced rapid growth in popularity and set a new standard for scientific accuracy in fitness publications. In October of , Bryan wrote a short unassuming article describing a method of training that research had indicated would lead to the greatest degree of muscle growth. He called it Hypertrophy-Specific Training.
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Hypertrophy-Specific Training HST is based on physiological principles of hypertrophy first discovered in the laboratory. These principles were then organized into a "method" of mechanically loading the muscle to induce hypertrophy. As the science continues to explore the exact mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy, this error will be whittled away.
After all, it is a process that cannot be observed with the naked eye. In the beginning I simply did what others were doing. Then, I began reading muscle magazines and buying books. For about 10 years I trained with all the popular training styles.
I made decent progress in the beginning but as time went by, I seldom saw changes in the mirror, at least not any I could get anyone else to notice.
But I continued to pursue the art. As I entered college and graduate school, I finally had access to real research that was only just then beginning to take form. The interest in muscle growth is fairly new in academic circles. As I began to explore the research, it became clear to me that the routines and traditions I was exposed to as a bodybuilder, were NOT based on physiological principles on a cellular level.
It was a "fantastic voyage" compared to the European inspired global view of training. All of these things were left out of the equation of traditional training routines.
As hypertrophy-specific research progressed in specificity it was clear that traditional training routines had stumbled across many important principles of load induced muscle hypertrophy, but because of their limited perspective volume and intensity they failed to capitalize on some critical truths exposed by research at the cellular level.
The principles of hypertrophy that HST is based on are as follows not an exhaustive list : 1 Mechanical Load Mechanical Load is necessary to induce muscle hypertrophy. The whole point of the HST book is not to discuss HST, but to present the body of research explaining how hypertrophy occurs. Then HST becomes a relatively obvious conclusion if your goal is hypertrophy. Chronic Stimuli In order for the loading to result in significant hypertrophy, the stimulus must be applied with sufficient frequency to create a new "environment", as opposed to seemingly random and acute assaults on the mechanical integrity of the tissue.
The downside of taking a week of rest every time you load a muscle is that many of the acute responses to training like increased protein synthesis, prostaglandins, IGF-1 levels, and mRNA levels all return to normal in about 36 hours. So, you spend 2 days growing and half a week in a semi-anticatabolic state returning to normal some people call this recovery , when research shows us that recovery can take place unabated even if a the muscle is loaded again in 48 hours.
So true anabolism from loading only lasts 2 days at best once the load is removed. The rest of the time you are simply balancing nitrogen retention without adding to it. This adaptation resistance to the stimulus can happen in as little as 48 hours Repeated Bout Effect or Rapid Training Effect. As this happens, hypertrophy will stop, though neural and metabolic adaptations can and may continue. As opposed to hypertrophy, the foundation for the development of strength is neuromuscular in nature.
Increases in strength from resistance exercise have been attributed to several neural adaptations including altered recruitment patterns, rate coding, motor unit synchronization, reflex potentiation, prime mover antagonist activity, and prime mover agonist activity.
So, aside from incremental changes in the number of contractile filaments hypertrophy , voluntary force production i. The muscle is sensitive not only to the absolute load, but also to the change in load up or down.
Therefore, you can get a hypertrophic effect from increasing the load from a previous load, even if the absolute load is not maximum, assuming conditioning resistance to exercise induced micro-damage is not to extensive. There is a limit to the number of increments you can add to increase the load.
You simply reach your maximum voluntary strength eventually. This is why Strategic Deconditioning is required for continued growth once growth has stopped all things remaining equal. I am a 36 year old male that has worked out on and off for many years with marginal results. Once again I thank you for this fantastic routine and plan to continue using it with continued success. Who would have thought that something that appears so simple in design, and so opposite to the current popular thought could produce such great gains.
I have lifted off and on for all of my life and have never had significant gains until now. I have lost the inch off of my waist I wanted to and gained 5lbs.! I am amazed. In circuit fashion, I go through my whole workout in less than 40 minutes- this really keeps working out interesting. Instead of going all out, every workout and having debilitating soreness, the low-volume and high-frequency of the system gives my body a constant, satisfying tightness.
This is good stuff! Strength went up during every 2 week cycle. Total bodyweight went up 10 pounds, with being LBM.
8 Week Hypertrophy Specific Training Program Spreadsheet (HST)
Hypertrophy-Specific Training HST is based on physiological principles of hypertrophy first discovered in the laboratory. These principles were then organized into a "method" of mechanically loading the muscle to induce hypertrophy. As the science continues to explore the exact mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy, this error will be whittled away. After all, it is a process that cannot be observed with the naked eye. In the beginning I simply did what others were doing. Then, I began reading muscle magazines and buying books.
Click to See Full Disclosure Popularized by Bryan Haycock, hypertrophy specific training HST is a training routine based upon the principles of mechanical load, chronic stimuli, progressive load, and strategic deconditioning. This training style is best utilized by bodybuilders, though it can be used by powerlifters and other athletes to spark muscle growth and work capacity in the off-season. The spreadsheet below is not the official Hypertrophy Specific Training spreadsheet developed by Bryan Haycock. You can find those here. Instead, this is an adaptation made by this guy that is drastically simpler, retains the training principles, and is Google Sheets friendly so it works on your phone.
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