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Best Way to Bring Up Lifts?

Hey everyone. I hope this is right right place to post this. I am 34 year old male who is currently training at home. I had been running a program from barbell medicine and made it 11 weeks out of 13 week program. Based on their programming style my lifts went down. I wanted to change to something less volume and not RPE rating as my body couldn’t handle the program at the end. My plan was to run 5/3/1. I am currently on week 2 of the program but after some thought I was thinking maybe I should run something else to bring my lifts back up. I was thinking of finishing the 5/3/1 cycle and going to something like starting strength to get my lifts back up.

Currently my 5/3/1 training maxes are;
squat-140 lbs
Bench-145 lbs
Deadlift-170 lbs
press-90 lbs

I ran starting strength back in Oct 2019 and started with;
Squat-210 lbs
Bench- 155 lbs
Deadlift- 245 lbs
Press- 97 lbs
Power clean- 85 lbs

When I finished in January 2020 my numbers were,
Squat- 240 lbs
Bench- 184 lbs
Deadlift- 265 lbs
Press- 113 lbs
Power clean- 115 lbs

You gaining body weight weekly?

When I was doing starting strength I was overeating and become more fat than fit. The barbell medicine I was eating less and have been gaining muscle while dropping body fat. Currently trying to eat for maintenance. I just think maybe a short LP would bring my lifts up to a more reasonable training maxes for 5/3/1

For clarification… what are your current actual numbers?

Also what is your height and weight?

I’m 6’10 and currently 180lbs. My actual numbers I’m not really sure. These are from about two weeks ago;

Don’t buy into this nonsense - particularly if you are not doing a powerlifting meet. Do 5/3/1 for beginners to give you extra practice at the compound lifts. Don’t skip the conditioning or explosive work.


That’s not a typo, is it?

How old are you, and do you have any health history or current problems?

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I’m sorry I am 5’10 not 6’10. I’m 34 years old. The only current health issue is I have something wrong with my right knee. Not sure if it’s a tendinitis or some sort of inflammatory issue.

I am currently running 5/3/1 full body for beginners using the 5 progression, if that’s what your referring too about the beginners program.

Ok. Cuz at 5’10, 180 you’re on the right track. :+1:

At 6’10, 180 you need a doctor.



You lot 100lb from your squat in 11 weeks. That’s a bit nuts.

I would keep the 531. You might not be doing the bigger weights - but that “plus set” is all in. You can go for broke.

You might be adding weight slower - but the month on month you can add weight and reps. There is nothing that says strong like more weight & more reps.

Yeah I’ve lost some weight and feel better and look better. Since cutting down some fat I can see some definition that wasn’t there before.

I don’t see how you could possibly have lost that much on non-peaked, non-competition lifts in that timeframe barring serious illness or injury. Were you lifting, or is this a pre- vs post-quarantine comparison?

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Prior to quarantine I was using a gym. I was doing a conjugate program. At time of Quarantine I had a rack and a barbell so I started doing Andy bakers garage gym warrior but I started having knee pain around 3-4 weeks into it and looked into another program, barbell medicine programing. While using this program It was RPE rated and I know its hard for me to push myself and I go light. This is the second or third time of running an RPE based program. During the program my knee started to cause issues so I backed off and skipped some squat days because of it.

Ok, got it. So essentially lower body injury.
If we throw out your lower body lifts, I’d say your upper body numbers are within margin of error. So, basically, you just haven’t progressed and you already know what you don’t like. I don’t think it’s panic time, in that case; just pick whatever seems cool to you and go.

Side note: how were you liking ME days if you’re not comfortable pushing yourself without percentage prescriptions? Was that something you enjoyed?

On Conjugate I enjoyed the whole thing. The issue is its hard to get programmed without all the equipment at the gym. On conjugate work up to a max effort of 1 rep I just kept pushing myself till I felt if I went any further I would fail and called it. On the Barbell Medicine programming it called for 1 rep at 8 RPE. I would go only as heavy as I felt I needed too. I didn’t strain all the time and went really light. On Conjugate I would try to beat my 1 rep max or get close to my rep max for the variant, If that makes sense.

Can you be a littles more specific on the issues?

I was told by my primary care it is arthritis but I don’t believe that’s the case. My knee is sore, the knee cap swells up, hurts at times to stand on or bend. Kneeling will cause issues that irritate it and make it so I can’t get up. Most of the time the pain is on the sides or below the knee cap and occasionally behind the knee joint.

Why do you feel that arthritis is not the correct diagnosis?

I’m young for arthritis, 34 years old, it’s not consistent. If I work on my knees they swell and that’s when I notice the big issue. I noticed the knee started bothering me when I was squatting one day. It was like I had my foot planted on the ground and twisted away from my body and that’s when pain started to show up. I don’t think arthritis is like that. Plus my primary care said there’s no sign of arthritis from the X-ray and it could be arthritis but to take arthritis Tylenol and try physical therapy

Do any movements hurt other than kneeling or occasionally squats?