T Nation

Advice on Slowed Progression


#1

My lifts really progress slower and at lower poundages than I think is normal. I’m genetically weaker than average and 32 years old, which may be part of it. I know I eat enough and get enough protein so that’s not it. Also, I’m starting to miss reps that I hit at the same weight during previous sessions, so I think the volume may be too high to keep up with.

My primary lifts are as follows:

Bodyweight 180lbs

Squat: 200lbs 5 reps
Bench press 150lbs 5 reps
Pendlay rows 160lbs 5 reps
Deadlift 315 2 reps (when using mixed grip only)

I’m thinking about altering my program to allow more recovery loosely inspired off the texas method I don’t think I am ready for the actual texas method because my gimp ass numbers arent intermediate yet.

Current routine:

Day 1
Squat 3X5
Bench 3X5
Pendlay row 3X5
Overhead press 3X5
Pull-ups 3X8
Glute-ham raises 3X12

Day 2

Squat 3X5
Bench 3X5
Pendlay row 3X5
Deadlift 3X3, 1X1
Chest dips 3X8
Face-pulls 3X12

Day 3

Squat 3X5
Bench 3X5
Pendlay rows 3X5
Overhead press 3X5
Chin-ups 3X8
Romanian deadlifts 3X8

I thought I’d modify it to this to allow for extra recovery:

Day 1
Squat 3X5
Bench 3X5
Pendlay rows 3X5
Overhead press 3X5
Pull-ups 3X8
Glute-ham raises 3X12

Day 2

Squat 1X5 PR
Bench 1X5 PR
Pendlay row 1X5 PR
Deadlift 3X3, 1X1
Overhead press 3X5
Chest dips 3X8

Day 3
Squat 3X5
Bench 3X5
Pendlay rows 3X5
Chin-ups 3X8
Romanian deadlifts 3X8
Face-pulls 3X12

What do you think? Should this fix me?


#2

I didnt realise there was a ‘standard’ for how quickly one puts on mass and strength.

Your numbers aren’t even terrible unless you are a powerlifter or have been spending the last 15years dedicated to the barbell.

Wtf? Are you trying to compete? There isn’t going to be a magical program that allows you to put 100kg on all your lifts. Enjoy the process and stop worrying so much about numbers.


#3

I’ve been lifting for 2 years and the linear progression programs have people adding weight every single work out and going to like 300lb squats in 6-9 months.

I’ll sit at the same weight for like 2 weeks sometimes before a 5lb increase. Sometimes more. Also as I said my lifts are starting to regress so I meant fix the regression.


#4

What did you eat yesterday?

Get on a real program.


#5

@stillborn_soul - Do what @JFG said and get a on a real program. I was stuck for a long time too and this is what I did to fix it.

  1. Eat whole foods and eat more of the good stuff.
  2. Pick a proven program (there is a shit ton of them on this site. Go through the training logs to see what appeals to you)
  3. Don’t miss days at the gym.
  4. Keep your intensity and focus in the gym high.
  5. Condition.

Those 5 things got me improving rapidly.

And don’t put a timeline on the weights you want. They will come with time. Trust the process.


#6

1 cup of oats (dry)
2 scoops of whey
2 scoops of casein
1 protein bar
2 double cheese burgers (only because I was trying to experiment with more calories)
3 big ass spoon fulls of peanut butter
4 hard boiled eggs
1 cup of brown rice (dry)
2 chicken breasts
Broccoli + cheese
1 can of spinach
1 can of tuna fish in olive oil

What programs do you personally recommend?


#7

2.) Which ones do you personally recommend for novice level? I stalled out on stronglifts 5X5 at 180-185 squat. The program I’m on now at least got me past that. My goal is to get the big 5 (squat bench deadlift press and rows) up to intermediate level as quickly and efficiently as possible and to keep a decent push/pull ratio balance while doing it.

3.) Apart from injuries or legit sickness I never skip a workout.

4.) My intensity is ideally kept as high as possible up to the point where form failures start to become a problem. I always aim as heavy as I can go without missing a rep without form issues and i keep my rest intervals to a stopwatch timed 2 minutes.


#8

If you’ve stalled out on stronglifts then you’re ready/should move on to Texas method or madcow 5x5. You’re numbers are fine to start them.

An upper lower split like this, another option also…


#9

Why are you improvising? There are tried and true programs out there. Whether it’s TX or a 5/3/1 variant or a hundred other programs, run a program as written. Give it a couple months and evaluate. Don’t go into a program with the mindset that it won’t work because of something and you’re going to have to make it your own.

One other bit of advice: if your gym has a coach or trainer, check in with him every once in a while. Get your form checked. You may be able to change one small thing and have it unlock big increases.


#10

A few things worth addressing.

One of the silliest myths around is the supposed existence of some defined line between Beginner programs and Intermediate programs, and that until one reaches some arbitrary threshold that classifies them as Intermediate, they should only be doing Beginner programs.

Programs like Starting Strength and StrongLifts are fine for a few months as an introduction, but there is no legal requirement that you must run them until you can squat XXX pounds. If your progress has stagnated (not just for a workout or two, but for several weeks), then the logical conclusion is that something must change. Either you must do something to improve recovery (more sleep? more/better quality food?) or it’s time to change your training. Texas Method is a fine choice, 5/3/1 is too…hold this for a moment.

Your diet looks okay at a glance. What about the rest of your life? Do you work a physical labor job? Do you sleep 8 hours a night? Things like this should be taken into account.

OK, back to program selection. One of the reasons that forum-wisdom often converges on a few selected programs is that people new to weightlifting often have no idea where to begin, and rather than starting out with a completely haphazard selection of exercises and no clue how many sets and reps, it’s good to have a program to keep them on track. For people that have been lifting awhile, though, many of us agree that the deeper you get, the less the specifics of your program matter. Over the past two years, I’ve added 200 pounds to my deadlift and 100 pounds to my squat without following a “program” at any point other than “go to the gym at least three times a week, front/back squat or deadlift every time, work up to something heavy, then if you feel good do some more volume.”

If you’re no longer progressing with what you’re doing now, then changing something is a good idea. Personally, although I’ve not actually run Texas Method to the letter, I think the look of it is good, and fairly aligned with how my auto-regulated training works. Some days are punch-the-clock workouts to get volume in; once every week or two, I’ll nut up and blast my way to a new PR. If you feel that the issue is recovery from trying to PR in basically every workout, then TM might be a good way to go.


#11

Thanks for the detailed reply.

My progress hasn’t completely stalled with what I’m doing, it’s just slowed so that my weekly improvements are maybe an amrap rep or maybe the set just felt easier or less desperate on the last rep.

Last two workouts showed me missing on reps I had 3 workouts ago, so I think my main problem is recovery. (Ex. Set 3 of bench went from 4 reps down to 3) I dont have a physically demanding job and I do get my sleep.

I was feeling kind of stuck at 195lb squat and last friday I just decided instead of doing my usual 195 3X5 I would just do 200 1X5. Sunday rolls around and I throw on 200lbs for 3X5 and I’m able to handle it. Then the next 2 workouts felt harder, although I managed to hit 6 reps on my final 200lb set instead of the usual 5 yesterday.

On a side note, I tend to not allow more than a brief pause between squat reps. I’ve noticed in form check videos people take entire seconds between reps. If this is “normal” then this can be part of my problem.

Anyways if this week doesn’t show improvement with tweaked volume I’m taking your advice and moving on to the Texas Method.


#12

[quote=“stillborn_soul, post:11, topic:230049”]
I tend to not allow more than a brief pause between squat reps. I’ve noticed in form check videos people take entire seconds between reps. If this is “normal” then this can be part of my problem.[/quote]If you are doing valsalva (I hope) you can let it all out and take a big breath in. That usually takes a second or three.


#13

Yeah, I do valsalva. I just mean I try to fire my reps off as rapidly as possible. But if its totally normal to basically sit there with locked out knees for 3 seconds inbetween reps I’m sure that can make a huge difference.