I feel like I am really spinning my wheels and would appreciate any help I can get. About a year ago I lost a bunch of weight, down from 210lb to 163lb or so (I am 6'1). I lost a lot of fat (waist went from 44'' to 33''), but quite a bit of strength too. Actually, I lost a shitload of strength.
Through my weight loss, my lifts dropped as follows (belt & chalk):
Bench: 245lbx2 to 205x5
Back Squat: 315x3 to 245x5
Deadlift: 375lbx5 to 345x2
Yeah, something went seriously wrong there. I was obviously an idiot and probably dropped weight too fast. I also got injured midway through dieting. The real problem is that for the past year, yes a whole YEAR, I've been trying to the regain strength but simply can't. Like I can't really make ANY gains. At all. I am still stuck at almost exactly the same numbers as right after the cut. I have no idea why.
I eat enough to gain weight: I have gained 20lb the last year - and it feel like pretty much 100% of it has been fat. I eat 220plus grams of protein a day which should be enough given my bodyweight of less than 200lb. My diet is comprised of 90% clean foods: meat, eggs, cottage cheese, oats, rice cakes, natural peanut butter, low fat mozzarella, olive oil, plus vegetables like broccoli & tomatoes & cabbage. I try to keep my carbs low (only at breakfast and pre&post workout). I sleep 6-8hrs a night (pretty much try and sleep as much as I can).
As far as training, I gained the most strength (and was at my strongest) training Westside/conjugate periodization, upper & lower 3-4 days a week. I trained the same way for a while, with the same intensity and volume (as I figure why not train this way if it worked well in the past, right?) but it just didn't work. I couldnt gain any strength and actually ended up pulling a pec.
I then tried more higher rep upper/lower work, and then Push/Pull/Legs bodybuilding style routine, but neither of these really worked. I tried doing more volume, less volume, more failure work (quickly kicked my ass), no failure work. I felt better with no failure work but didn't make any actual real gains from it. I deloaded and worked back up multiple times, though I always run into the same wall.
I want to make my situation as clear as possible. What usually happens is that I make progress for about 2-3 weeks, then I stall, and my lifts end up slowly going backwards. If I push on, I get sick or injured (e.g. the pulled pec, also tweaked my hip badly on Back Squats).
If I deload, I either come back weaker and have to spend the next 1-2 months building back up only to stall at roughly the same place, or I come back a bit stronger but quickly stall and regress. I also have periods were my strength is wildly inconsistent, and I seem to fight to even keep strength gains from the week before (then I'll get a random strength burst, only to somehow lose it two weeks later).
I am incredibly frustrated and demotivated. I am at a total and complete fucking loss as to not only what's wrong with me, but how to fix it. I have gotten my testosterone checked and the doctor said it was fine (it was 19.1nmol iirc). I don't believe the problem is due to a lack of work ethic, 'training like a pussy' or not having a clue about nutrition as I gained strength and size before. I had dreams of entering my first meet and starting powerlifting seriously, but now I feel like I'm going nowhere. Please help.