T Nation

Body Weight: Dropping. Bench: Increasing...


...Pullups: Increasing. Dips: Increasing. Squats: Decreasing. WHY??

OK, here's my scenario:

I live alone off-campus, on the short side of a mile away. I bike to class, anywhere between 2 and 6 times, 4 or 6 times on the leg day. My workout is Mon-Chest, Tues-Arms, Wed-Should/Upper Back, Thurs-Legs. I bike to class Mon-2 times, Tues-6, Wed-2, Thurs-4 or 6., Fri-2.

I thought it was the biking that made my legs fatigued and unable to handle the weight, so I skipped a lecture one Thursday, and I was even weaker.

I thought maybe it was the amount of time from dismounting the bike to getting under the bar, but that seems to make no difference whether I wait 5-10 minutes or just jump straight at it.

("no difference" meaning the drop in weight is consistent) I thought maybe it was my calorie intake (even though the rest of the lifts are consistently improving, ONLY squat and its variants are decreasing) so I upped my calorie intake a couple hundred (3-5 hundred) and my protein intake 30-50 grams.

I thought maybe I'm just tired, so I ate some fruit before lifting for carbs and energy. Nothing. I tried SPIKE. Nothing. I tried more sleep. Nothing. I tried loading a shit load of creatine ever since this started. Still nothing.

Each variation that I try I stick with for 2 weeks, so I can give it a valid chance. (except the creatine, calories, protein, and sleep, those have been constant since about 6 weeks ago)

I used to be 205 with a 315 for 4x6 squat, now I'm 194 with a 295 4x6 squat, but today I could only do 3x6, then went down for set #4 and stopped at the bottom of rep 1. This has been going on for 3 months. Please, help me get my squat back!!


you "bike to class" 6 times a day ? you mean to your home and back 6 times ? or do you mean bike between 6 different classes ? if it's biking to home and back you might have to change that habit


You know what they say about decreasing body weight...eat more.

It might also be that you put your legs day at the end of a harrowing four-day torture, and your recovery isn't handling the extra effort. Again, eat more.

Your upper body gains may also be from learning better neural efficiency, so while you might be getting "stronger" up top, you may actually be losing muscle mass re: the weight loss. Again, eat more.

My vote is eat more. Log your food intake until you get on the "Gain Train" again, at least 1-2 pounds a week.



Bike less, for sure.

One day off isnt going to give your legs time to recover, depending on how far you live from campus, especially if youre doing it 6 days a week, for any length of time at all.


5 days a week, so it's 2 days off, but I get the point. luckily my friday class is at 1PM, so I could just leave here at 1230ish on foot. think that would help?


1.) If you're bodyweight is dropping, you aren't getting in enough food.

2.) If you aren't getting in enough food, your work capacity and recovery could be compromised.

3.) You're doing legs on the last of four consecutive days of (presumably) heavy workouts.

That sounds like a recipe for less-than-optimal squat performance to me. Try upping the cals (every day, not just pre-workout on leg day) and adding a rest day on wed or thurs instead of one of your weekend rest days.

If your schedule doesn't allow you to shift your rest days, then try doing your leg day on Monday or Tuesday. If that helps, then you know to stick your lowest-priority workout on Thursday


Umm... you may have already figured that out by yourself, but I'm just saying... if your dips and pullups increase, its probably because your bodyweight is going down. They're bodyweight exercises, after all.
Doesn't explain the bench increase though.


why is your leg day the same day you bike the most? maybe you should do it monday or wednesday instead? or perhaps a day you dont have classes. c'mon now, youre in college so think like it.


isnt it quite obviously obvious why your dips and pull ups are going up and squats are going down with the weight decrease?

as far as losing weight or the inability to gain weight eat more, no you dont have a magical metabolism, yes you are not eating enough, this one is also pretty obvious


You're not the first person to lose weight and see their squattage drop. Perhaps losing weight is increasing your ROM slightly, CT wrote about this before I think.


bodyweight exercise or no bodyweight exercise, it's consistent that my upper body is getting stronger, while my lower body is getting weaker.

and I know I don't have a magical metabolism. but what I'm wondering is this: if i wasn't eating enough, why is everything except squat variations growing stronger? even bench and deadlift are going up. isn't getting weaker in almost all of your lifts the tell tale sign that you're not eating enough???

the only lifts that are decreasing are squats, front squats, and leg press, lifts that resemble the basic back squat. I know the answer is blasting me in the face: my biking load. which is why I'm bumping legs to Fridays, when I only bike 2 times, and don't at all the next couple days so I can rest my legs. I'm also adding more calories and protein, trying to bump up to 3000 cals, just for good measure.

even with this solution, I have another question: why, after a couple weeks of the same biking pattern and the same lifting pattern, didn't my legs adapt? I can see BEING weaker for squats, but why continuously GETTING weaker every week? why not lift X pounds before I biked, but now lift (X-a) pounds after I started biking, and work up from there? (yes, it's algebra, I know :P) why is it going down every week? if the answer is "not eating enough" then why is EVERY lift except squat variations going up?


Seems you already have the answers. Eat more, put in a rest day/change order of sessions. Clearly your legs aren't adapting as the stress is greater than your body's ability to cope, due to the aforementioned factors.


Interesting..if you bike that much it should eventually lead to more leg growth as long as you are eating enough. I would just cut the biking down the day before you do legs. I mean biking is not THAT straining on your legs..unless you are going uphill.

There is a principle/theory that basically says its more effective to train a muscle more frequently than to train it once a week to failure.

Example doing chest 3 times a week but only doing like once press for 3 sets at a time per day, giving one day in between to recover. Instead of doing once chest day with all the presses and flyes.


I'm bumping the calories up. I can't control how often I bike, these are paid classes we're talking about (sadly). I'm just going to try moving legs to friday, eat more, and pray.