Hi, guys. Been stuck between 225-235 for the past 3, 4ish months. I started lifting again in December after a hip injury and ballooned from 190 to 220 in a month. Steadily made progress up to 230ish, and I’ve been stalled for quite some time.
I’m 6’9", 23 years old. Current lifting goes as such and has been this way for the past 7 months without missing a day lifting (basically KingBeef’s routine from the past sticky in the BB thread with a few modifications):
Incline DB: 35x10, 45x10, 55x10, 65x8 (sometimes 10), 75x6-8.
Flat BB: 155x8, 185x8, 205x6
Decline DB: 60x8, 70x8, 80x8
Standing Calves: 3 sets of 90x12(3s hold at top, controlled stop at bottom)
Seated Calves: 3 sets of 90x12(3s hold at top, controlled stop at bottom)
Wide Grip Pull Ups: 40-50ish in under ten minutes, no weight right now
DB Rows: 80x10, 90x10, 100x8, 110x6-8
Neutral Grip Lat PullDowns: 120x8, 140x8, 160x6
Seated Straight Bar Rows: 90x8,100x8,110x8
- Incline DB Front Raises: 20x15x4
- Incline DB Shrugs: 50x8x3 (3s hold at peak contraction of each rep)
External Rotations: 3x20
Threw in 1 and 2 for mid/lower trap growth, as mine are lacking (all of me is lacking, but these in particular lol).
Leg Press: 2ppsx12,3ppsx12,4ppsx12,5ppsx12,6ppsx12,7ppsx10,8ppsx8
Glute Raises: 30,30,30,30
Deads: 225x5,275x5,315x5,365x5, sometimes 405 for reps if 365 felt good.
1a. Leg Curls: 70x12,90x12,110x12,130x8 (3 second negatives on all reps)
1b. Leg Extensions: 90x12, 110x12, 130x12, 150x12 (3 second negatives on all reps)
Wednesday: Arms Supersets
- Straight Bar Tricep Pushdowns: 50x10, 60x10, 70x10, 80x10, 90x10
- Pinwheel Curls: 20x10, 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
- Skullcrushers: 75x8, 95x8, 115x6-8
- Preacher Curls: 75x8, 85x8, 95x6-8
- French Presses: 80x10, 90x10, 100x10, 110x6-8
- Alternating Standing Biseb Curls: 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
OH DB Press: 30x10, 40x10, 50x10, 60x8, 70x6-8
Cable Lateral Raises: 25x12, 30x12, 35x12
DB Lateral Raises: 15x12, 20x12, 25x12
Rear Delt Machine Flies: 60x15, 70x15, 80x15
Cable Crosses: 20x30, 30x20-30, 40x15-20
Shrugs: 95x12, 105x12, 115x12, 135x12 (3s hold at peak contraction)
External rotations: 20, 20, 20
Diet is as such:
Meal 1, between 830-930am: 18oz greek yogurt:
50g protein, 510 cals
Meal 2, between 11-12: Rice w/ 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 slices of swiss cheese cooked in + small salad:
600 cals/18g protein from rice, 140 cals/12g protein from cheese, 360 cals from olive oil
Preworkout snack, between 1-2:
protein bar: 30g protein, 390 cals
Post Workout Shake, between 3-4:
24g protein, 140 cals
Meal 3, between 5-7: 3/4 Box of Pasta, 8 oz sauteed chicken breast, small salad:
1400 cals, 100g protein
Meal 4: 2 Servings of Pasta, 6 oz Greek yogurt:
560 cals, 30g protein
I also have a sweet tooth, so I’m usually constantly snacking on some sort of candy (reeses, heath, lol… consistently adds up to ~400 cals from there):
Total Cals: 3974 + (400 from candy [not sure if this is even relevant])
Total Protein: 264g
Also taking: Fish Oil, Creatine, Probiotics.
I was basically wondering what I could do to push past this plateau. Do I need more quality protein? More calories? Finding a new mode of progression? New routine? I’ll post pics in the comment right below this, for reference. My bf% is quite low, despite like 50% of my diet being carbs lol.
In terms of my lifts, progress has been coming where it matters on squats and deads, but bench and overhead press have stalled. Rows are progressing, but slowly. I can do unassisted pull-ups now as of the past week. Wide grip. Never been able to do that before.
I might just be obsessing over the scale, but I feel like my bodyweight should probably be going up if i’m attempting to “bulk”.
Really appreciate the insight any of you could provide. I’m so sorry for writing so much. Hah.[/quote]
It will take longer for you to fill out with quality mass. However, once you do, you will be that much more impressive (just look at side-by-side photos of Arnold and Franco in their prime). So use that as one of your motivators.
Contrary to what another poster stated, your programming can be improved for your goals - which, presumably, is hypertrophy and not athletic performance.
I’ll just comment on your Sunday:Chest/Calves routine for now because that’s all the time and inclination I have right now (your other days can be improved upon as well). You can take my advice or leave it. No harm, no foul if you disagree.
Ditch the bb bench. Since you’re not a powerlifter, there are better options - especially for someone at your height. This is the single biggest flaw, IMO, that I see for your chest day.
I strongly prefer you include at least one exercise in which scapular activity remain unhindered. To that end, I suggest you start your session with low angle push ups using TRX or something similar (you can take $20 to your local Home Depot and make your own). The beauty of this type of push ups is that you can start out with near-trivial angles and make adjustments as you see fit.
Also, by using the handles, you keep your wrists in good alignment. You may not have had, nor will you ever have, any wrist issues…but why not hedge your bets and avoid unnecessary hyperextension at the wrists.
Another benefit of a TRX-type device is that it allows you to bring your elbows in to a safer angle. You’ll hear people talk about the guillotine press and how it’s great for pec hypertrophy. I don’t disagree. However, the guillotine press is an advanced movement and you should hold off on it for now (should you choose to incorporate this down the road, that’s up to you).
So here is what I suggest for Chest sequence:
a) TRX-style of push ups for activation and general warm up.
b) DB incline presses.
c) DB floor presses.
d) TRX-style push ups at a more challenging angle. This replaces the decline DB press. Your core should be fresh after the incline and floor work, so they won’t be the weak link. Even without ever seeing you workout, I’d lay good odds that just body weight, with proper form, will be quite productive.
Note that this doesn’t cover any uni-lateral movements, of which I am a HUGE fan, but I’m hesitant to make things too complicated. Besides, in 4-6 weeks, there should, IMO, be some variation in your routine.
- With regards to calves, I recommend the following sequence. ALL MOVEMENTS DONE UNILATERALLY.
a) donkey raise OR 5-10 minutes walk on treadmill at the steepest setting that allows good form
Donkey, sitting, standing to be done unilaterally, with the weak side first. In your current program, you are doing the standing first. In order to sufficiently load the gastrocs/soleus - especially bilaterally - you’d have to load things up where your lower back is taking on too much compressive force. The squats and deads you do will tax the lumbar spine plenty. Absolutely no need to add to that with the way you are sequencing your calf session.
The donkey raise can be a little tricky to learn but once dialed in, it’s a wonderful exercise. Hopefully, you’re gym has one but if not, there are ways to McGyver it.
If you don’t have access to the donkey raise machine and you don’t want to go through the trouble of McGyvering it, another option is the hit the treadmill at the steepest angle you can do in good form for 5-10 minutes of continuous walking. Very low impact on the knees, trivial to no impact on lumbar spine, and a surprisingly effective way to pre-exhaust.
I prefer you do the sit down raise after that in order to pre-exhaust before the standing raise. It’s true the sit down raise primarily hits the soleus. However, there is activation at the gastrocs once form and MMC are dialed in.
By the time you get to the standing raise, you won’t need nearly the amount of weight that you did in the past. Your spine will thank you when you’re an old man and there are more important things in life than vanity.
You will meet people on this forum who give advice based predominantly on what has worked for them. They certainly mean well. However, the sample size from which they draw their “expertise” is highly suspect. The advice I gave you is based upon a significantly larger sample size with a boat load of research and empirical knowledge beneath the surface. I have no doubt some troll will inevitably slither in with why I’m full of it. Just keep in mind that the advice I gave you is based upon your goals, what you bring to the table, and many other factors which I do not take lightly.