T Nation

3 Month Plateau


#1

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):

Sunday: Chest/Calves
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)

Monday: Back
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
1. Incline DB Front Raises: 20x15x4
2. 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).

Tuesday: Legs
Leg Press: 2ppsx12,3ppsx12,4ppsx12,5ppsx12,6ppsx12,7ppsx10,8ppsx8
Glute Raises: 30,30,30,30
Squats: 225x8,245x8,265x6
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
1. Straight Bar Tricep Pushdowns: 50x10, 60x10, 70x10, 80x10, 90x10
1. Pinwheel Curls: 20x10, 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
2. Skullcrushers: 75x8, 95x8, 115x6-8
2. Preacher Curls: 75x8, 85x8, 95x6-8
3. French Presses: 80x10, 90x10, 100x10, 110x6-8
3. Alternating Standing Biseb Curls: 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10

Thursday: Shoulders
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
BCAA's

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.


#2

Also, my training background before this is basically horse shit. In December I was basically new to lifting. I had done deads and squats and other stuff, but not on a program that made any sort of sense. Then I found 5/3/1 about a year and a half ago. Did that for 3 months, developed hip impingement syndrome in my left acetabulum, stopped, went through physical therapy and came back to lifting 10ish months later (this most recent December). I’m new. And have a long way to go. But I would like to push past this plateau and get back to gaining muscle.


#3

the lack of mass is embarrassing lol


#4

Do you play a lot of basketball? It’s a stereotype question 100%, but you’re tall and in shape(or have the appearance of it), and I know a ton of athletes who ‘can’t grow’ because they are playing rec/intramural/practicing sports for hours a day on top of their lifting routines. If you are, 3900 calories is almost certainly way low.

Even if you aren’t, 3900 is probably low for someone 6’9 250-260(probably where you envision yourself), so bump up the cals and keep at it. A pretty healthy bump is probably in order if you stalled for 3 months. Also, red meat and eggs aren’t the devil, you’re allowed to eat them.


#5

No, I don’t play basketball hahahaha. It’s funny you ask that, because that’s literally the first thing anyone ever says to me when I first meet them. That and they ask how tall I am. The only physical activity I get outside of the gym is from longboarding to classes right now, so approximately once or twice a day to get to the library etc. I would be riding more, I just don’t have the time for it right now. So I doubt it’s an issue.

I’m definitely going to try to bump the cals now. I need to find a way to efficiently cook all of this food, though. I just recently started cooking, which has been great. The only problem is that I don’t know too many recipes and it can be time consuming, lol. I have no problem with red meat and eggs. For bumping calories, should I add in an extra meal or just increase meal sizes?

Edit: You definitely think it’s a diet thing, not a lifting program thing?


#6

Training and diet looks solid.

Make it easy on yourself and just bump up the cals around your workout for starters. This is really easy to do. A few extra scoops of whey. A few scoops of dextrose.

A couple handfuls of almonds, walnuts, or cashews before bed and throughout the day would add up too.


#7

[quote]Zooguido wrote:

I’m definitely going to try to bump the cals now. I need to find a way to efficiently cook all of this food, though. I just recently started cooking, which has been great. The only problem is that I don’t know too many recipes and it can be time consuming, lol. I have no problem with red meat and eggs. For bumping calories, should I add in an extra meal or just increase meal sizes?

Edit: You definitely think it’s a diet thing, not a lifting program thing?[/quote]

Short answer: yes. It’s probably easier to increase meal sizes(or adding something to the already existing meals like a handful of nuts or a couple spoons of PB), especially if you’re already struggling to logistically cook/prepare all your food. Basically, get yourself more anything, because your protein numbers look good, and you seem to be tolerating what is already a decently high carb diet.


#8

I think the more important qestion is why are you not playing basketball? the NBA is the highest paid union in the world.


#9

I would also say to eat more quality protein from sources such as meat and eggs. Some people actually say not to count protein from grain suorces. Meal #2 is basically all carbs with a bit of cheese. Add some meat there. Most of your protein seems to be coming from yogurt.

I would also recommend cutting out the candy/chocolate snacks. If you have a sweet tooth, replace it with honey glazed almonds, peanuts, natural peanut butter & jelly sandwich, snacks which are nutrient dense with both cals and protein.


#10

Thanks for all of the insight, guys. Really appreciate it. Altered my diet a little today.

So far it’s been:

meal 1, 9:20 am
12 oz greek yogurt = 30g protein, 340 calories

meal 2, 12:00 pm
salad, rice + 4tbsp olive oil, cheese, with 6oz chicken breast = 60g protein, 1460 calories

preworkout snack, 2:00 pm
protein bar = 30g protein, 380 calories

postworkout shake, 4:00 pm
2 scoops whey = 48g protein, 240 calories

so far: 168g protein, 2420 calories.

Hoping I can knock out another 100g protein and 2000 cals in the next two meals. Shouldn’t be too difficult. I can already tell it’s more than I’m used to eating haha. I’m going to go pick up some almonds, walnuts, peanut butter and eggs this weekend. Don’t have the time right now though. The almonds definitely seem like a good idea. Could easily throw them into the yogurt or just eat a handful right before lifting. And a few scoops of PB right before bed sounds good.

Edit: Also, I’ve never looked into dextrose before. Would anyone mind giving me a rundown on what it does and its purpose? I’m asking Dr. Google right now as well.


#11

Dextrose is chained glucose. Glucose, as compared to other sugars, is preferentially stored as muscle glycogen. Not only are you looking for an insulin spike after working out, but the thought process is that by consuming dextrose after weight training (as opposed to fructose or sucrose), the undigested sugars will go toward replenishing muscle glycogen rather than fat.

Is this broscience? I never validated this, just something I’ve heard for so long I’ve accepted it. Lyle McDonald also talks about it for whatever that is worth.


#12

Well that sounds nifty. Gonna have to get me some of that. Any brand you would recommend?

Edit:

Post Workout Meal: pasta/chicken, 1350 cals, 75g protein
protein bar snack around 9ish: 390 cals, 30g protein
pasta and yogurt when i got back from the library: 400 cals, 25g protein

Total for today: 4560 cals, 290g protein. Going to try to stick to this. I’ll eventually replace the extra protein bar with some almonds and peanut butter when i get out to the store this weekend.


#13

What’s your body composition look like? There’s no point in forcing your body to gain weight if all you’re gonna add is fat. Make sure you’re progressing in your training so your body has a reason to grow and then provide enough nutrients for it to grow.


#14

[quote]myself1992 wrote:
What’s your body composition look like? There’s no point in forcing your body to gain weight if all you’re gonna add is fat. Make sure you’re progressing in your training so your body has a reason to grow and then provide enough nutrients for it to grow.[/quote]

Pictures were posted in post #2 and #3, lol. I’d guess I’m sub 12% body fat? Not too sure. Never really got some calipers and measured. But I’m not fat, and adding more fat would not hurt my ego in the slightest.


#15

[quote]Zooguido wrote:
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):

Sunday: Chest/Calves
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)

Monday: Back
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

  1. Incline DB Front Raises: 20x15x4
  2. 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).

Tuesday: Legs
Leg Press: 2ppsx12,3ppsx12,4ppsx12,5ppsx12,6ppsx12,7ppsx10,8ppsx8
Glute Raises: 30,30,30,30
Squats: 225x8,245x8,265x6
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

  1. Straight Bar Tricep Pushdowns: 50x10, 60x10, 70x10, 80x10, 90x10
  2. Pinwheel Curls: 20x10, 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
  3. Skullcrushers: 75x8, 95x8, 115x6-8
  4. Preacher Curls: 75x8, 85x8, 95x6-8
  5. French Presses: 80x10, 90x10, 100x10, 110x6-8
  6. Alternating Standing Biseb Curls: 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10

Thursday: Shoulders
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
BCAA’s

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. 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

b) sitting

c) standing

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.


#16

[quote]Zooguido wrote:

[quote]myself1992 wrote:
What’s your body composition look like? There’s no point in forcing your body to gain weight if all you’re gonna add is fat. Make sure you’re progressing in your training so your body has a reason to grow and then provide enough nutrients for it to grow.[/quote]

Pictures were posted in post #2 and #3, lol. I’d guess I’m sub 12% body fat? Not too sure. Never really got some calipers and measured. But I’m not fat, and adding more fat would not hurt my ego in the slightest.[/quote]

Yeah i had typed that up days ago but never actually submitted it, saw it afterwards, and you single digits bf. Just focus on progressing on your lifts there’s not much you can do to put muscle growth in “overdrive” overeating will just make you fat.

You’re at a great place bf wise to grow so if you are getting hungrier than what your diet dictates then eat more according to your hunger. Aim for 1 lb or .5lb a week in terms of weight gain, if not gaining add in a shake when you wake up at night to pee and like jake said increase periworkout nutrition.

After you do that or if you’re doing that and you stall then up your carbs on your training days and lower them a bit on your rest days while increasing healthy fats.

Also, something you can do for your stalled lifts is up your rep range to 20 and slightly increase the weight each week while trying to keep the same number of reps, when you get back to the weight your now using you’ll be stronger


#17

Thanks. Really appreciate all the replies. Probs gonna drop BB bench in favor of DB bench. I think my ego’s getting in the way on that one. Just always felt the need to progress there for some reason, lol. Gonna start taking weekly weight measurements as well, rather than daily or once every two days. Rather than worrying about losing two lbs of water weight, i’ll just be paying attention to the big picture. Got my almonds, chicken, peanut butter, and tuna at the ready. We’ll see how this pans out.


#18

Just an update:

Been getting 4500-5000 cals a day on training days, and around 3500-4000 on rest days. Eating almonds and peanut butter when i’m not eating an actual meal (at the library studying, in a place where i don’t have access to full meals, etc), so i’m getting in more protein throughout the day in a consistent manner.

My arms have increased a 1/4" over the past week outside the gym. I ended up throwing in two drop sets to failure with standing dumbbell curls at the end of my arm workouts, as well as two drop sets to failure on the hammer strength chest machine on chest day. I’m not sure which is having a bigger impact; the diet change or the minor tweak in the gym. I’ve also put on 4 lbs. Going to stick with this and see where it takes me. Regardless of being unsure if it’s the drop sets or the weight increase giving me a bigger arm measurement, I’m definitely happy with where this is going.

Thanks again for all of the insight and help you guys were able to provide me.


#19

[quote]56x11 wrote:

[quote]Zooguido wrote:
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):

Sunday: Chest/Calves
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)

Monday: Back
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

  1. Incline DB Front Raises: 20x15x4
  2. 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).

Tuesday: Legs
Leg Press: 2ppsx12,3ppsx12,4ppsx12,5ppsx12,6ppsx12,7ppsx10,8ppsx8
Glute Raises: 30,30,30,30
Squats: 225x8,245x8,265x6
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

  1. Straight Bar Tricep Pushdowns: 50x10, 60x10, 70x10, 80x10, 90x10
  2. Pinwheel Curls: 20x10, 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
  3. Skullcrushers: 75x8, 95x8, 115x6-8
  4. Preacher Curls: 75x8, 85x8, 95x6-8
  5. French Presses: 80x10, 90x10, 100x10, 110x6-8
  6. Alternating Standing Biseb Curls: 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10

Thursday: Shoulders
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
BCAA’s

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.

  1. 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.

[/quote]

I agree with some of what you said, but there is nothing wrong with the bb bench if it suits you. Learn to bench with your chest, and its a great movement. You referenced Arnold, not that I’m a fan of him or anything, but I do believe the bb bench was one of, if not THE, reason his chest developement was great. Same with Surge Nubret, who also had a phenomenal chest. And personally, I feel it in my chest more with bb bench than dumbells. Wouldnt it be better to help the OP figure out whats best for HIM instead of speaking in absolutes?


#20

[quote]bwilliamsr89 wrote:

[quote]56x11 wrote:

[quote]Zooguido wrote:
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):

Sunday: Chest/Calves
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)

Monday: Back
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

  1. Incline DB Front Raises: 20x15x4
  2. 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).

Tuesday: Legs
Leg Press: 2ppsx12,3ppsx12,4ppsx12,5ppsx12,6ppsx12,7ppsx10,8ppsx8
Glute Raises: 30,30,30,30
Squats: 225x8,245x8,265x6
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

  1. Straight Bar Tricep Pushdowns: 50x10, 60x10, 70x10, 80x10, 90x10
  2. Pinwheel Curls: 20x10, 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10
  3. Skullcrushers: 75x8, 95x8, 115x6-8
  4. Preacher Curls: 75x8, 85x8, 95x6-8
  5. French Presses: 80x10, 90x10, 100x10, 110x6-8
  6. Alternating Standing Biseb Curls: 25x10, 30x10, 35x10, 40x10

Thursday: Shoulders
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
BCAA’s

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.

  1. 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.

[/quote]

I agree with some of what you said, but there is nothing wrong with the bb bench if it suits you. Learn to bench with your chest, and its a great movement. You referenced Arnold, not that I’m a fan of him or anything, but I do believe the bb bench was one of, if not THE, reason his chest developement was great. Same with Surge Nubret, who also had a phenomenal chest. And personally, I feel it in my chest more with bb bench than dumbells. Wouldnt it be better to help the OP figure out whats best for HIM instead of speaking in absolutes?[/quote]

  1. I referenced Arnold to give an example of, when all things are equal (or close), the taller muscular man simply looking more impressive than a shorter muscular man. The OP states he is 6’9"; people at this height will fill out at a slower rate, generally speaking. So I wanted the OP to make sure he stays patient and know it’s a long road he’s on.

  2. Speaking of that long road, I’ll state an obvious rule because so many seem to forget it. That rule is: do everything within reason to stay injury free. Yes, people can (and often should) train around injuries. But it’s better to stay injury free in the first place. People of the OP’s height have a higher chance of injury utilizing a bb bench. And the OP gave every indication that he is primarily interested in hypertrophy above all else. For this reason, I strongly recommended the db floor press to replace the bb bench.

This is not an “absolute” as you accuse of me of; I am hedging the odds in the OP’s favor as much as possible given what he brings to the table and his goals.

You mentioned Serge Nubret. His is actually one of my favorite physiques and his pec development is one of the best all time, IMO. However, for every Serge, there are countless other trainees for whom the standard bb bench is less than optimal for pec hypertrophy (if that is the primary goal).

Also, if you re-read my original reply to the OP, I actually mention the guillotine press, which is a variation on the bb bench. In my reply I specifically state the following:

" 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)."

As you can see, I advised the OP that a variation on a bb bench can be effective for hypertrophy and it’s an option that he may want to explore in the future. So again, you’re incorrect in accusing me speaking in absolutes. Or you misinterpreted what I wrote.

Now go back and re-read the very first post by the OP. In it, he specifically mentions the following: “…bench and overhead press have stalled.” If a beginner lifter comes to me for advice and tells me that he’s plateaued on a certain movement, I have him do a variation on that movement.

If an advanced lifter has plateaued on a lift, one can debate on this; some coaches will argue that more focused work on that same lift is the cure. This is another topic entirely.

The OP gave every indication that he is relatively new to this game. Beginners who are training on their own (as in no direct supervision by a skilled and experienced coach) are asking for trouble if they continue to grind away on a lift in which his morphology makes the lift sub-optimal AND (by his own admission) he has stalled.

So you accuse me of dealing in “absolutes” and not helping the OP figure out, in your words, “what’s best for HIM.” But that is EXACTLY what I did. I took the information the OP provided and provide a template that I sincerely believe to be an improvement on what he is currently doing. If you fail to see this after all the explanations I’ve given, that’s on you.