T Nation

10 Months In, a Question


#1

From sedentary, 25 years removed from gym to starting powerlifting April 2014. I'm 46, 5'9".

I've gone from:

weight 174 to 200

sq 280 to 385
bch 185 to 260
dead 285 to 475

I'm happy with my progress and believe that today I have a 500 deadlift in me based on the speed of my 475 pull in my first meet, and my coach says I should exceed 560 this year.

Despite solid strength and size gains over the past 10 months, after pulling together all the data, it looks like my performance is really inconsistent. Like, I'll hit a solid 3RM on squats, only to lose ground and then match that same 3RM 2 months later.

I know we all have bad days, but looking at all the ups and downs in day to day actual performance, is that normal?

FWIW, I'm being coached in the Westside tradition. Lots of accommodating resistance through bands and chains, box squats, etc.


#2

Are these inconsistencies just in your squat or all 3 lifts? If you lift raw, and follow the westside method (which is perfectly fine for raw) you need to be careful what exercise selection you use and make sure it has a good carryover to raw squatting. If you can squat 500 to a box, but cant squat 405 then obviously the box squat isnt the best choice for you. See what im sayin


#3

I split time pretty much 50/50 b/t free and box. Also use the camber bar, bow bar, SSB bar, and straight bar. Reverse bands and chains as well.

It’s just weird. I’ll see a number from my logs from months ago that I struggle to hit today, but overall the weights are moving up. Seems like sometimes I hit a ‘magic’ day and go big, go heavy and set a new mark on a certain rep/loading scheme then struggle to get back there.

Id say all three lifts


#4

It’s normal. You don’t always make gains. Some lifts go up while others stagnate. I’d lean more towards recovery, diet and intensity changes. Sometimes it helps to do something else for a little while or try something new just to give the body a rest from the norm.

You’ve made good gains. They may start coming a little harder now with consistent gym time and age, but they’ll still come. Celebrate the “small” victories. They add up in the end.

Look at Tony Conyers. There’s a guy who is still making gains after many many years of powerlifting. Arguably one of the best and consistent powerlifters ever who has run under the radar of popularity. My training partner is in the 242 class and has consistently at age 56 hit 400+ benches and 600+ deadlifts in competition since he started competing at age 52 (two years after a heart attack).


#5

[quote]osu122975 wrote:
It’s normal. You don’t always make gains. Some lifts go up while others stagnate. I’d lean more towards recovery, diet and intensity changes. Sometimes it helps to do something else for a little while or try something new just to give the body a rest from the norm.

You’ve made good gains. They may start coming a little harder now with consistent gym time and age, but they’ll still come. Celebrate the “small” victories. They add up in the end.

Look at Tony Conyers. There’s a guy who is still making gains after many many years of powerlifting. Arguably one of the best and consistent powerlifters ever who has run under the radar of popularity. My training partner is in the 242 class and has consistently at age 56 hit 400+ benches and 600+ deadlifts in competition since he started competing at age 52 (two years after a heart attack). [/quote]

That’s cool. Thanks. I’m gonna keep at it, and I think diet and rest need attention b/c consistency and intensity are there.


#6

And what I forgot to mention, is progress isnt always linear. You can’t stay at your peak strength year round. Count your victories when you get them and learn from what you might have done wrong or what didn’t work.