Hypertrophy leg Workout
1. Mechanical Load:
- Mechanical Load is necessary to induce muscle hypertrophy. This mechanism involves but isn't limited to, MAPk/ERK, satellite cells, growth factors, calcium and number of other fairly understood factors. It is incorrect to say "we don't know how muscle grows in response to training."
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.
2. Acute vs. 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 the muscle is loaded again in 48 hours. So true anabolism from loading only lasts two days at best once the load is removed. The rest of the time you are simply balancing nitrogen retention without adding to it.
3. Progressive Load:
- Over time, the tissue adapts and becomes resistant to the damaging effects of mechanical load. 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.e. strength) is largely a matter of "activating" motor units.
4. Strategic Deconditioning:
- At this point, it is necessary to either increase the load (Progressive load), or decrease the degree of conditioning to the load (Strategic Deconditioning). 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).
Utilizing Lactic Acid As A Stimulus For Tendon Repair/Health:
- Now HST incorporates a few other things such as higher reps (for lactic acid) to prepare the muscles and tendons for future heavy loads. This serves as "regular maintenance." Without it, you increase your risk of chronic injuries and pain. The metabolically-taxing reps enhance healing of strained tendons.
Progressively Adjusting Reps To Accommodate Progressive Load:
- HST suggests that you use 2-week blocks for each rep range. Why? It has nothing to do with adaptation. It is simply a way to accommodate the ever increasing load. Of course, you could adjust your reps every week (e.g. 15, 12, 10, 8, 5, etc.), but this is more complicated and people might not understand.
Often times, in order to communicate an idea you must simplify things, even at the expense of perfection. If people can't understand it, they won't do it. What good would that do or anybody? Then, over time, people figure out for themselves the other possibilities that exist within the principles of hypertrophy.
Low Volume Per Exercise (Average Volume Per Week):
- HST suggests that you limit the number of sets per exercise per workout to 1 or 2. This is based on "some" evidence that sets beyond the first "effective" set do little more than burn calories.
There is nothing wrong with burning calories, but when you get to be my age you just don't have the exercise tolerance that you once did. Using hormone replacement (HRT) therapy would of course, increase the number of sets you could do without undue stress.
Some may question the validity of HST not utilizing more than 1 or 2 sets per exercise. The number of sets is set low to accommodate the frequency necessary to create an effective and consistent environment to stimulate hypertrophy. Over the course of a week, the volume isn't that different from standard splits (e.g. chest should tri, back bi, legs).
HST is a training idea based on numerous scientific principles and data that has been rendered to be effective by many trainees, even including a few professional bodybuilders. It is an idea that has direct scientific evidence to support itself. It is based on training each body part three times per week so as to constantly induce growth.
The idea is that constant tension on the muscles will lead to more hypertrophy than a conventional split in which a muscle is subject to stress once or twice per week and the other 5-6 days of the week are spent training other body parts and not stimulating each muscle group. However, over the course of an entire week, the total number of sets for each body part will be similar to a conventional body part split.
What is the best HST workout? Be specific and make sure to list exercises, reps, sets, etc.
The principles of HST are based on progressive load and on training each muscle group 3 times per week. The program is based around 2-week cycles in specific rep ranges. Also, the goal of the workouts is intensity and stimulation, not annihilation of the muscle group.