T Nation

6.5 Months Progress


Lifts update (PR's) :

125kg Squat 2x5
135kg Deadlift 1x3
70kg Bench Press 1x3
Chin ups (+5kg weight) 6,7,6.
Testing pull ups next time
Rows: 77.5kg 3x5 (will take some weight off to work on form)

Fallen behind a bit with Deadlift and Bench but there were some technique issues I had to address so had to take some time working on technique. I am now doing the Advanced Novice programme with Rippetoes. On my third set of squat today I just could not lift past the first rep, legs were gone. This may be due to the fact on the last rep of the second set, I realy was pushing hard to get it up.


Keep it up!


Good work man, keep it up


I'm still waiting for you to address your bullshit in this thread from six weeks ago:


So this is 2 years progress?


Renatus, it looks like you're trying to bullshit everyone, yourself included, about your progress. I don't care if you try and bullshit me, might be a good idea to stop bullshitting yourself though.



- Get on another program
- Double your surplus

enjoy your gains.


Chirs I swear you have the strongest mind I have ever seen cant believe how often you are able to remember some of this stuff


Either way it's really terrible progress for 2.5 years.


Hi Chris, after my graduation in June 2013, I totally stopped training and became unemployed. I quickly lost weight and went down to 143 pounds. I started training again 6 and a half months ago at 143 pounds in February, the day after Valentines day when I realised I could not keep living like a depressed slob anymore. A girl had rejected me the day before and I realised I was a shell of myself. The time after my graduation was the hardest mental battle I have had to deal with in my life. I have sent a PM to Chris already about it just now, but you guys must know how much I had fucked myself up.

I was living without money in my parent's home. I lived nocturnally eating one or two meals a day of potato chips and soda. I woke up at 9pm and spent my time awake playing games on the computer. I was mentally dead man, I was unemployed and the most depressed I had been. No hope, nothing. I kept getting rejected for every job I applied to. I had lost 20 odd pounds of muscle and it is only recently that I have gained it back. It has been very tough training these last 6.5 months because i know that i should be much stronger if i did not become self-destructive and stopped training/eating in June 2013.

But, I have to say. That day, on February 15th, lifting again has turned my life around. Even when I hit difficulties in life, I am much more sure of myself. Slowly, after putting much effort into the gym, I started gaining weight back and now I am stronger than I have ever been. I mean it when I express my gratitude for the time you guys spend writing your posts and helping me out. Chris , I am sorry if I seemed like a typical lying douchebag. I know you took your own time to write those posts to help and I appreciate it. Lifting saved my life. It gave me confidence to go out and successfully get a job. Now, I want to hit the next level guys. I am stronger than I have ever been, but I still feel like I really need to make up for lost time.

My time in purgatory was bad, but it's gone now. I take it as a lesson and I know that such problems with depression can make me lose everything.


Ok, so this is basically 6.5 months progress after being out of the gym for 8 months or so. That's fair enough. But it's totally the kind of detail that would've cleared things up right-quick if mentioned in any of your threads this year, and it would've further explained some things (where you're coming from training history-wise, the regained bodyweight, etc.)

But, whatever. If you were in a legit funk for that time and have now gotten your shit together (in the gym and outside of it), it's for the best to keep moving forward. I'm not going to kick you while you're still getting back up. Let's just move on and actually look at your recent progress:

July 7:
Squat: 122.5kg: 5,4,3
Deadlifts: 130kg 1x4
Bench Press: 65kg 3x5

August 16:
125kg Squat 2x5
135kg Deadlift 1x3
70kg Bench Press 1x3

So in about six weeks, you've added 2.5-5kg on these main lifts. That's well-below expected for any variation of Starting Strength. I get that you were fixing technique on the dead and bench, but still, I think it's time to move on to a different program.

What's your current bodyweight?

What's your particular goal?


Current bodyweight is 163 pounds, I lost some weight (2 pounds) because of stress regarding moving house for work. I just signed a contract for the new job today and should be seeing my new apartment tomorrow. So yeah, I am back on my feet now. It's been some journey. That hard part of my life is all done now. 100% truth.

My goal? I want to keep getting stronger and adding lean mass (some fat is ok too, i can now accept it is for the greater good). I lifted 135kg for 4.5 reps two days ago, I just failed to lock out on the final rep after I managed to get the weight off the ground for the final rep. I want to get bigger and stronger for all the big compound lifts. As for the programme, I will trust what advice you give me in terms of a new routine.


So, zero weight gain in six weeks, if not longer. That's entirely nutrition-related. It's good that you've regained what you lost, but dial in and be consistent seven days a week with quality protein and ample calories to move the scale.

I wouldn't overfocus on losing two pounds. That's within normal daily fluctuation. I can go up or down two or three pounds from breakfast to bedtime based on what I eat or how much/little i'm moving during the day. Week to week trending is more important.

Glad to hear. (P.S. - PMs don't work on the site, so I didn't get whatever you sent. Don't sweat it though.)

That's a start, but specific goals get reached, vague goals remain ideas.

In your "five month progress" thread, you said you've gained minimal fat with the 20 pounds so far so, like I said then, you should be in a fine place to really push the calories. As long as you're lifting hard consistently, and exercise common sense (no ice cream buffets four days a week), results should get going.

You've got a just-about-bodyweight bench, more than 1.5BW squat, and almost 2xBW deadlift, so I'd say a base level of strength is in place and that'll carryover in whatever direction you go. Almost any program should be fine.

If your schedule is still a little hectic with moving and starting a new job, training 3 or 4 days a week will be fine. There are plenty of solid programs that fit the bill. 5/3/1 being just one of them. The Boring But Big challenge might be worth considering, taking a straight 3 months to really push for some size while keeping the heavy lifting at the core of the training.

But, again, it all comes back to food. If you don't deliver the calories, you'll stay going in circles. Check this for some ideas:


Been reading those articles and particularly the one on food and wow... this quote surprised me a bit:

"Finally, recurring muscle soreness has a calorie cost itself. Did you know muscle soreness on a whole-body level carries an element of hypermetabolism not totally unlike some injuries and even minor surgeries? Big eating can lead to big lifts and thus big soreness. It's yet another calorie drain that the magic formulas don't account for."


Hi there, I want to do the Rippetoes advanced novice programme because I think I can still squeeze some linear gains from my lifting. My problem has been not eating enough, and therefore if i am not eating enough i am not going anywhere really. When I am not eating enough, I am not really growing.

Long term goals specifically? I want to get to over 200kg Deadlift (with a great squat too) and over 100kg Bench Press for reps. I don't know how long this will take me but these are my goals. I want to become an aesthetic bodybuilder that can also move a lot of weight. This will mean I will have to move on to a more bodybuilding specific programme as an intermediate programme after this run on advanced novice Rippetoes.

Now I know, the problem is I am not eating enough because the scales have not moved. And if i was not eating enough, then I was not training properly because food is a part of overall training.

I want to do this variation of the Rippetoes Advanced Novice programme. However, I want to do conventional deadlifts still on the day 2's for 1x5.

Intermediate Bodybuilder Variation
Week A

Day 1
Back Squat 3x5, 1x8
Bench press 3x5,1x8
Chin-ups 4x8-15

Day 2
Front squats 3x5, 1x8 OR Light Squat 2x5 (80% 5RM)
Seated Press 3x5, 1x8
SLDL 3x5, 1x8

Day 3
Squat 3x5, 1x8
Incline Bench press 3x5, 1x8
Row 3x5, 1x8

Week B

Day 1
Squat 3x5, 1x8
Seated Press 3x5, 1x8
Chin-ups 4x8-15

Day 2
Front squats 3x5, 1x8 OR Light Squat 2x5 (80% 5RM)
Incline Bench press 3x5, 1x8
SLDL 3x5, 1x8

Day 3
Squat 3x5, 1x8
Seated Press 3x5, 1x8
Row 3x5, 1x8

The backoff set of 8 is done with about 75% of the weight that was used for your 3x5 set.


Your lifts are still really weak, ofcourse you can still go with a liner program. If you can't progress as per the program, and your "eating enough", the problem probably is your not eating enough. Don't care how much your eating, eat more. Like I said before double your surplus see what happens. If you still aren't progressing, then your probably not getting enough sleep. No reason not to make progress if your resting, eating, and following a proven program.


Don't you bench 50kg?


You're right. I was using the Harris-Benedict calculation and adding 500 cals to maintenance. Obviously... that is not enough. Because it does not account for the various ways in which more calories are burnt (e.g. even recovery pains require more calories). Will take one more day to eat more and then train tomorrow. These three days of rest have been to move house and work out how to move forward. I understand now, its a food/recovery issue.


Bingo. Also, if you want a good liner program stronglifts is great.


Yep, but this has been your problem for a few months. Your training plan will be absolutely secondary until you fix your nutrition.

If your body had enough quality nutrition (calories, protein, fat, and carbs) along the way, you'd build a physique base while getting stronger. Adding 20 pounds of muscular bodyweight while significantly increasing your lifts will make your body look much different.