HSSF100 Muscle Building Workout - Heavy, Superset, Failure
I was first introduced to this training program by a natural bodybuilder Sean Sullivan, better known as Sully by fellow competitors. This was one of the first training phases we performed in my 2008 contest prep. I ended up competing 17 pounds heavier and significantly leaner than my previous show in the fall of 2006.
It has been nearly 10 years since my first exposure to HSSF100. Still, the program continues to provide drastic results in strength, hypertrophy, and body composition in a 4-8 week training cycle for trainees of all levels.
Related - Massive Volume Training 4 Day Split
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been able to gain a deeper understanding of the program and how it provides a benefit over your standard body part split routine.
Our body is in a constant state of chemical reactions. This is due to various hormonal ebbs and flows.
Training and lifting weights is how we manipulate and get certain hormones to release in order to accomplish two things: build more muscle and lose fat.
Each anabolic (growth) hormone plays a role in the training process. I’ll give you a very brief and simple explanation of the importance of each one.
- Testosterone – the king of muscle building hormones; controls muscle size and decreases body fat.
- Growth Hormone – increases protein synthesis, mobilization of stored fat and decreases utilization of carbohydrate for energy.
- Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 – similar to insulin IGF-1 increases protein synthesis, stimulates muscle growth and promotes connective tissue and cartilage repair.
While there may be a decent amount of scientific terminology, I’m sure we can all agree that all of those characteristics are desirable. With a properly laid out plan, we can meet the requirements of volume, muscular tension, and metabolic stress that are key pieces of the muscle growth puzzle.
The beauty of this program is the flexibility to choose movements that suit both your ability and the equipment you have available for use.
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Build Muscle With HSSF100
There are some guidelines to certain implements (barbells, cables, machines, dumbbells etc...) for the specific hormones.
- Heavy set targeting testosterone - choose multi-joint movements where you can use the highest load like back squat, deadlift and bench press.
- Superset targeting growth hormone – choose an isolation exercise followed by a compound movement.
- Failure set targeting IGF-1 – choose a machine based exercise to provide the highest amount of safety and ability to easily change weights.
- 100 rep set targeting increased blood flow and insulin receptor activity – choose any machine or cable movement.
Now that we have ideas for exercises to use, we want to address sets, reps, intensity, and rest.
Heavy: 2-5 sets in the 3-5 rep range using an explosive concentric. 90 seconds rest between sets. Use 2-3 sets for smaller muscles and up to 4-5 for larger. Loads can be between 80-90% of 1RM.
Superset (pre-fatigue) isolation movement: 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps at 50-70% of 1RM. Superset (pre-fatigue) compound movement: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps at 70-80% of 1RM. No rest between exercises in the superset, and 30 seconds between supersets.
Failure set: Do 5-7 reps to failure, rack the weight and take five deep breaths, do reps to failure, take five deep breaths, do reps to failure and then drop the weight by 50% and do reps to failure once again. When you can do no more reps, lower the weight for a 10 second eccentric (the negative or lowering part of a lift) stopping for a 3-second isometric (hold) at the midpoint of the downward movement.
Machines work best for this because of the ability to do a rapid weight change and the safety of going beyond failure. Do one set ONLY!
100-reps exercise: 1 set of 100 reps. Pick an isolation exercise and choose a weight that is light enough to get 50-60 reps before needing to pause.
The speed of the movement should be consistent and explosive. If your range of motion decreases, keep going! Partial range of motion is okay here.
- Monday: Back & Biceps
- Tuesday: Hamstrings & Shoulders
- Wednesday: OFF
- Thursday: Quads & Calves
- Friday: Chest & Triceps
- Saturday: OFF
- Sunday: OFF (Or repeat cycle)
Monday: Back & Biceps
- A1. Heavy - Barbell Row
- B1. Superset – Rear Delt Fly
- B2. Superset - Seated Row
- C1. Failure – Seated Lat Pull Down
- D1. 100 Reps – Straight Arm Lat Pull Down
- Biceps *Primarily isolation exercises
- A1. Heavy – Barbell Curl
- B1. Superset – Reverse Curl
- B2. Superset – Cambered Bar Curl
- C1. Failure – Machine Preacher Curl
- D1. 100 Reps – Cable Concentration Curl
Tuesday: Hamstrings & Shoulders
- A1. Heavy – Barbell Deadlift
- B1. Superset – Glute Ham Raise
- B2. Superset – SLDL
- C1. Failure – Seated Leg Curl
- D1. 100 Reps – Standing Leg Curl
- A1. Heavy – Overhead Press
- B1. Superset – Front Delt Raise
- B2. Superset – Arnold Presses
- C1. Failure – Machine Lateral Delt Raise
- D1. 100 Reps – Machine Shoulder Press
Thursday: Quads & Calves
- A1. Heavy – Back Squat
- B1. Superset – Leg Extension
- B2. Superset – Front Squat
- C1. Failure – Leg Press
- D1. 100 Reps – Hack Squat
- Calves *No heavy set or superset
- C1. Failure – Seated Calf Raise
- D1. 100 Reps – Standing Calf Raise
Friday: Chest & Triceps
- A1. Heavy – Barbell Bench Press
- B1. Superset – Incline Dumbbell Pull-Over
- B2. Superset – Barbell Incline Bench Press
- C1. Failure – Machine Chest Press
- D1. 100 Reps – Pec Deck Machine
- A1. Heavy – Close Grip Bench Press
- B1. Superset – Skull Crusher
- B2. Superset – Weighted Dips
- C1. Failure – Machine Dips
- D1. 100 Reps – Cable Push Down