ProgramsSetting Up A Hypertrophy-Specific Training Cycle!Charles RidgelyAugust 09, 2006 20 min readHST is helping many ordinary people make wonderful gains on an every-day basis, and many exceptional liftersare experiencing renewed, plateau-free growth, as well. Find out how to set up a HST program!To be certain, there are a mind-boggling number of lifting programs available, all claiming to be universal in theirability to produce bigger and stronger lifters. Some programs rely on muscle fatigue, or working to muscularfailure, to produce results. With these programs, a weight is lifted until it cannot be lifted even one more time.Other programs rely on increasing volume. These programs may call for adding more sets or repetitions of eachexercise over time. Still other programs call for a combination of working to failure and increasing volume toproduce results.Unfortunately, a large percentage of these programs are based not on scientific evidence, or research, butrather on the basis of observations of a few elite lifters. One program that is based on scientific research isHypertrophy-Specific Training(HST), developed by Brian Haycock.HST is helping many ordinary people make wonderful gains on an every-day basis, and many exceptional liftersare experiencing renewed, plateau-free growth, as well.It should be noted that the objective here is not to provide the scientific evidence behind HST, but rather tobriefly explain the principles of HST and demonstrate how to set up your own HST cycle.A more detailed account of the science behind HST can be found at the Hypertrophy-Specific Training mainarea, located here.Key Principles Of HST An important thing to understand about HST is that it is not a rigid program which is applied to all lifters in thesame way. Rather, HST is a group of principles, which, when understood intuitively, can direct your lifting effortstoward new growth without hitting the plateaus that inevitably plague lifters using other, generalized programs.In the simplest of terms, the primary principles of HST are frequency, mechanical load, progression, andstrategic deconditioning. Each of these principles is briefly discussed below.Frequency: In the HST protocol, muscles are loaded three times a week rather than the usual once per weeksuggested by other programs. The greater frequency of workouts provides the muscles with an environment ofchronic loading. This contrasts the acute loading (i.e., high intensity once a week) of other programs.Let's consider an example which illustrates the difference between acute and chronic loading. Say you get anew job that occasionally requires you to lift and move several boxes, each weighing 50 lbs. Naturally, the firsttime you do this, the next day you will be sore. The soreness occurs because your muscles are not conditionedto this particular form of exercise.