If you’re especially interested in weight training and bodybuilding, and hey, let’s face it, many men are, then chances are you’ll have fantasized about walking on the beach, sporting a lean muscular physique to be extremely proud of. The truth is that this fantasy can become a reality, with a great deal of patience, hard work, dedication, training, and nutritional knowledge. If you’re looking to bulk up and add muscle to your frame, then you’re going to have to work extremely hard in the gym, and also in the kitchen as well before you start to see any noticeable results. Many people believe you simply have to lift weights in a gym to build muscle, but the truth is that you also have to spend a great deal of time getting your diet and nutrition just right before you see any results. Trainers and nutritionists both agree that building muscle and getting in shape is at least 35% training and 65% diet and nutrition, so that tells you just how important it actually is. You can lift all of the weights you like, but if your diet isn’t on point, you won’t see any results. One method of training which has been getting a lot of attention and very positive feedback, is one which is known as Hypertrophy specific training or HST for short. HST is a very controversial but effective training method, as is the nutritional advice which accompanies it.
What is HST? – HST is basically a method of training, specifically for muscle gain, which puts an emphasis on heavy lifting and recovery. Although the program incorporates a lot of strength training, the main reason for training in this way is not for strength. HST is derived from four main principles, and these are:
Mechanical loading – This refers to tension loading the muscles in our body to prepare them for muscular hypertrophy (muscle growth)
Chronic stimulation – This refers to the fact that in order for the muscles to grow, they must first be stimulated excessively via intense bouts of lifting.
Progressive loading – The more we lift, the more the muscles and the body begins to adapt, that’s why progressive loading is necessary. With this method, you add a little more weight or perform an extra rep or two with every single workout.
Strategic deconditioning – This is basically referring to when the muscles have been absolutely exhausted and destroyed, and require a break to recover. Typically, after a 6 – 8 week program, between 8 and 14 days off from training will be recommended.
What about the nutrition? – Here’s where things really become important. In order for the body and the muscles to grow, a steady supply of nutrients must be supplied via the foods we eat. Well, with HST you’re absolutely destroying your muscles and they need as much energy and nutrients as possible. Always, always ensure you have a post workout shake immediately following your workout, often with added amino acids such as glutamine for added recovery. As well as this, you need to be eating foods rich in protein and amino acids, every 2 to three hours throughout the day. Look for lean meats, seafood, fish, egg whites, and certain veggies. Try to cut back on carbohydrates in the evening, and limit them throughout the day. Ideally, immediately following your workout, you should consume some carbohydrates in order to create an insulin spike, which feeds the muscles with large doses of vital energy and nutrients. The more nutrients supplied to them the bigger, stronger, and faster they’ll grow. As well always, always ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid milk as it contains estrogen.