I've come up with a workout system that's been working well for me over the last four months. I'm about to start the fourth cycle of it, with some further modifications thrown in.
I tried HST a few times but I could never complete a macrocycle because my joints and tendons couldn't hold up to three full-body workouts a week. About three or four weeks into each cycle I'd get tendonitis or joint pain that would take several weeks to months to go away completely. I recognized that I could lift every third day, or two days on and one day off, if I didn't go to failure and watched what I was doing.
My current workout is a lower/upper split. I try to do lower-upper-off-lower-upper-off if my job and family requirements allow. At the start of each cycle I would pick a weight for each exercise where I could do 12-15 reps. I would then add 5-10 pounds each workout until the reps got down into the 4-6 rep range. As each exercise got to this point, I would go back to the initial weight plus maybe 10 pounds and start over. Not all the exercises would start over on the same day, but most would within a week of each other.
I've made some good strength gains in several of the "major" lifts doing it this way. My best example is the seated overhead press. I had been doing a double-progression approach until I started this current system. Here 's a graph that shows how much better it's been since I've abandoned the double-progression system. At the left of the graph you can see the slow progress I was making at first. Look at the three cycles after that and notice the marked increase in weight I've been able to lift. Among the three cycles there have been some weights where I didn't do as many reps as I had done the previous cycle, but overall I've ended each cycle being able to lift at least 10 more pounds for reps, than the previous cycle.
In the next few posts I'll get into the specifics of my workout and some baseline information on me.