T Nation

6 Week Plateau


I've been bulking for 6 weeks and I seem to have hit a plateau.

6 weeks ago my body comp was the following:

Height 5'6"
Weight 139lbs
8.6% body fat

Now i'm
Weight: 163lbs
12.4% body fat

These measurements were actually done by two different girls just because the one that did it the first time changed sites. The second girl seemed to pinch harder but they said it shouldn't make much of a difference.

So, I've gained roughly 15lbs of lean mass. I think in 6 weeks that is pretty decent. I have been weighing myself every night for a while and the past week or so I actually started to lose weight and now I'm pretty steady where I am. I gained about 22lbs the first month. Now of course the most obvious thing would be to eat more to keep gaining. I am having a hard time finding more time to eat and actually having a hard time getting the food down. It's odd but maybe some of you guys have experienced the same.. my stomach doesn't seem full but i just can't get my mouth to swallow any more food down. I'm eating roughly 4-5k calories/day. Here is a pretty regular day of what I try to eat:

Wake up and have a protein shake
After I get to work I have 1.5 cups of oatmeal with raisins and a banana.
Then a few hours later I have a mixture of 2 cans of tuna with 2 hard boiled eggs, cheese, mayo and mustard.
Then another few hours I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich and some soup (usually progresso clam chowder because I'm addicted to it). I get home and eat a couple chicken breasts and a half a huge sweet potatoe and then later I will have a thin crust pizza which is actually a healthier style of pizza.. not that really greasy crap. Some days I am able to sneak in some mixed nuts and beef jerky and some days also an apple. Then I will have another protein shake before bed. I also try to pop a couple fish oil caps after 2 or 3 meals or whenever I remember to.

Lately I haven't been able to force this much food down in a day. It's been really difficult just as of lately and I can't figure out why.
Anyone else experience just all of a sudden not being able to eat as much?

I'm doing a 3day/week workout which is pretty much CW's TBT workout but I am limited to equipment so I can't do as many variations as I'd like as of now.. hopefully going to be getting more equipment soon. Also I pretty much stick to 3 sets and 7 reps.

I'm pretty happy with 6 weeks of work but I'm not at the size I'd like to be. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.


Try eating more. Seriously, that's what it's all about if you're trying to bulk. If you feel full, then tough. Try gorging yourself and see what that does for ya.

You can try mixing up your program, especially if it's remained unchanged for six weeks, but the biggest factor will be nutrition.

Good luck.



Right there with you bro.

130 lb

Started out great, now at 148-150lb and now I feel like im struggling.

Your going to get two answers here.
Eat more
Get roids....

You said 3 sets of 7...I hear (correct me if im wrong) sets of 10-12 reps is better, with less then 2 mins between sets is best.....

/all I got...

Good luck..


How/Why would sets of 10-12 be better?

And I read your post. You might try whole milk 2-3 cups a day could add alot of calories easily with a meal or two. Also if your so intent on bulking, why only take fish oil when you remember? Fish and olive oil should be eaten often.


Like they said. Eat as much as you can, and maybe switch to a lower rep scheme with higher weights (if you are talking about a lifting plateau).

Its a pain in the ass to eat this much, but I'm getting used to it now. And seeing the results finally.


No one here will tell him to get roids. He doesn't need them to buck a "6 week plateau".

Sets of 10-12 will offer no appreciable benefit over sets of 7 except for the variety of stimulus.

Whats up with the "pretty much stick to 3 sets and 7 reps"? Are you actually doing Chad's prgram or are you mostly doing 3x7? That will make a difference.

Short rest periods are good, with the caveat that they must not be so short you sacrifice quality. Rest enough. Not too much or too little but enough.

I agree with Sasquatch. Get more liquid calories. Eat more milled flax seeds, olive oil and fish oil.

Depending on how predisposed to fattitude you are, choose greasier cuts of meat. Find ways to get in the kcals.


15 lbs in 6 weeks. uhh, yeah pretty good i'd say.

i just don't see how you can determine that you have plateaued when you have gained that much in 6 weeks. a plateau, in my mind, lasts several weeks to several months, not just a few days. weighing yourself daily is maniacal at worst and unreasonable at best. keep in mind that growth comes in spurts.

but were this a real issue ... mostly what the others said. eat as much as possible. change the routine every 4 to 6 weeks.

i hear something good about pop tarts?



Well I assumed you guys would respond with eat more.

As far as fish oil caps only being consumed when I remember simply because either I don't have them on me or I just don't remember, I can't just decide to remember. Anyway, I thought that fish oil caps were more for joints and to keep them from hurting.

Like I said I am trying to do CW's TBT but am limited by equipment. I do 3 sets of 7 reps a lot in part because I don't have a squat rack or anyone to spot me, so I don't want to increase weight and do lower reps in fear of getting a barbell stuck to my chest. I plan on going shopping for a squat rack this weekend though. Also at the beginning I was doing 1 set of each exercise and resting and doing another set. I was also doing more than just 6 exercises before. So, I guess it wasn't really all that similar to CW's TBT workout but it was what I tried to model it to with limited ability.

When I say plateau it is because for the first 4 weeks, every day I would gain at least a half of a pound. The past 2 weeks I haven't gained anything and have actually lost weight. I am having trouble eating more and realize this is likely the problem, however I simply can't get more food down in a day. I think I need to change the type of things I eat and was looking for criticism to what I typically consume. So, I am trying to change things up a bit. I am looking to you guys for suggestions on what to change. I told you a sample of what I am trying to eat and you guys don't think that is good enough or enough calories?

As a side note I haven't been doing really any cardio at all and before I started this plateau I asked a trainer because my stomach was sticking out really far.. I mean it really did look like I had a beer belly. She said that I should start doing more cardio which I intended to do, but then I wasn't gaining weight so I never started. I want to get my body fat % down by thanksgiving and then start bulking again until christmas time. How long should bulking stages typically last? As long as it takes to get to the desired weight or what? Then once you get to that weight are you supposed to just cut back on calories or increase cardio or a little of both?


Here is where I get my UNEDUCATED opinion. I could be all wrong, I'm o.k with that...enlighten me!