Hacking the HP-Mass Program


After fumbling around in the dark for a few months, I’ve decided to get back to basics and return to using the HP Mass Program that I was using this time last year. If you haven’t done it before, it’s a great program to introduce a lot of volume into your routine because you train the main lifts (squats, bench, presses, and deadlifts) 4 times a week with a methodical progression over time. Back and biceps are trained separately on the fifth day. Forget about all that Stuart McRobert low volume, low frequency shit. I did that for years and spun my wheels getting nowhere. Thanks to my blind adherence to dicks like him, I wasted a lot of valuable training and growing time. There’s no coincidence that you don’t see a lot of great physiques being produced from the camps of the low-volume devotees.

While I do love the HP mass program,  I’ve learned enough about it to modify it for my own needs. Auto-regulation is what it’s all about. And despite it being the current training buzz word, I believe auto regulation only comes from accrued experience – finding out what works and doesn’t work at an individual level.

I feel that the huge amount of pressing was responsible for the pec tear/strain I received months ago and my current shoulder problems. I still can’t use any barbell bench press movements and so I alternate dips one day and incline dumbell presses the next. This goes against what CT prescribes in his program, but I feel that by training the same movement pattern day after day inevitably invites overuse injuries. Hell, even on Wendlers 5/3/1 program, he suggests only training the main lifts once a week for waaaay less volume that HP Mass has you doing.

Secondly, I’ve altered the number of sets prescribed in the original program. Rather than wave loading, I’m ramping up to my max set and then ending it there. The original template has you working up to your max weight, then backing off for a few sets, then working back up to the main set again. I will add in some extra sets as the weeks progress to add in extra volume, but overall, the volume will be cut drastically. I don’t see myself putting in 2-3 hours in the gym like I was previously.

I’m still using the supplementary assistance exercises in between sets, but I’m going to use more of a varied selection than I did before. I’ll use shrugs, high cable rows, bent over lateral raises, lateral raises and even some arm work if I feel like it.

Gonna grit my teeth and take up  the sled work again in the mornings. I fuckin’ hate sled work, but I love the results.

I will also add in some bodyweight stuff daily ála Waterbury’s High Frequency Training incorporating multiple sets of chins, pushups and calf raises for extra volume.



  1 comment for “Hacking the HP-Mass Program

  1. TVC
    September 27, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Trying doing progressive 5×5.


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