T Nation

Can't Trust the System

Hi CT and all others,
I have been running this for 8 weeks, and been doing good, but now im starting to stall on all lifts in all the rep ranges. So my brain starts to think about another program to get things going again. Its like i dont trust the system and going for it in a long term.

Use a daily undulating periodization model:
Front squat (heaviest) 4 work sets of 6 reps
Bench press (moderate) 3 work sets of 10 reps
Deadlift (light) 3 work sets of 12 reps
Chest-supported t-bar row (pump) 2 work sets of 15 reps

Bench press (heaviest) 4 x 6
Deadlift (moderate) 3 x 10
Front squat (light) 3 x 12
Bent over barbell row (pump) 2 x 15

Deadlift (heaviest) 4 x 6
Front squat (moderate) 3 x 10
Bench press (light) 3 x 12
Seated row (pump) 2 x 15

My problem is that i always push myself and grinding to get the reps in so i can add some weight to the next session. Its like i dont think i will and muscles or get stronger if i dont. I know thats is not the case, but when im in the gym it just happens. I have a hard time holding back and im always going balls out on the big lifts and adding stuff because my brain tells me ”more i better” And if i miss a workout day i get pissed and fell i need to ”catch up” another day. I like to see progress both in weight lifted and in the mirror.

I tought of myself as a type 3 in life, but maybe not in the gym. I train at a crossfit box and see alot of strong people, and maybe it affects me.

Im 41 years old and have been training 4 years very consistent. My weight is 95kg (210 punds) and im 186cm (6,1).
If someone have tips how i can handle this and not going balls out and grinding and start to looking for solutions that i probably worse then going lighter and have a long term progress plz let me know.
3 days a week fits my lifestyle as it is now whit work and 2 kids and one on the way.

My lifts are from the last 8 weeks.
Deadlift 165kg for 6 reps, 140 for 10 reps, 130kg for 12 reps
Squat 112,5kg for 6 reps, 90kg for 10 reps, 80kg for 12 reps
Bench 107,5kg for 6 reps, 95kg for 10 reps, 85kg for 12 reps
Regards Robert

Well that is part of your problem. While you NEED to train hard, pushing everything to the limit (especially on big lifts) can take a huge toll on the nervous system which can have a negative effect on performance, motivation and well-being.

And when the CNS starts to get “fatigued” (it’s not really fatigue, is either dopamine depletion or adrenaline resistance) you become less positive, less motivated, have a more negative outlook on everything. So when performance also drops you see it even more negatively.

You need to understand that you simply can’t add weight or reps every week. Heck, adding only 5lbs per week would mean a 250lbs increase per year. In 3 years you’d be lifting over 1000lbs on all lifts.

You already KNOW that pushing to your limit at every session will not work… you know it intellectually… but you don’t emotionally believe it. The problem is that until you experience itand truly believe that you can progress more by not pushing all-out all the time,you simply won’t be motivated to train without going all out.

Thx alot CT for you reply i really appreciate it!

A question tho, you got any tools that i can use to slow things down and dont go so hard and start to add or change stuff? So i can prove to myself and my emotions that progress still happens whitout going hard everytime i train.

I like to train the big lifts because its time afficient.

Thx alot man you are turly an insparation.

Maybe look at a 5/3/1 full body variant. It will fit your training schedule, and the AMRAP top set should satisfy your need to push hard without completely draining you (since it’s only 1 set).

Hi and thx for replying,

I have been doing som 5/3/1 templates and enjoying the simplicity. But i still fall into the same trap everytime. When i dont feel im making progress or when the weight goes up and i feel that this set or workout is going to be hard as hell and it will leave me drained i start to look for something else.

I would probably need a program that told me to to x weight for x week before add weight. And i know thats 5/3/1 in a nutshell. But “leave 1-2 reps in the tank” dont work when im at the gym.


Try writing out your program. Write down the weight, sets, and reps for each session for 6-8 weeks. Start with weights that you know you can get without grinding. Don’t even come close to grinding. Add 5-10 lbs per week and follow the program.

Hi and thx JMaier31,

I keep a log over my lifts and workouts and what you are suggesting i did with the above training plan. I works as long as the lifts feel light and good and the workouts where around 50-60 min. And i did add weight as you pointed out, but at week 8 all of the lifts where so hard that i could barely finish the workout and the wourkouts became longer around 70-75 min because of the rest periods where longer.

Maybe i need to reset my training and go easy and dont rush to add weight to the bar every session. Easy to plan it but when im at the gym i just want to add weight to get that sensasion of a “good” workout.

Thx alot for your suggestions.

I understand. I just finished my second round of CT’s Simple Guaranteed Strength & Size program. It’s 12 weeks long and alternates between adding volume and adding weight.

Workout 1 is 3 x 8 @ 70-72%
Workout 2 is 5 x 8 @ 70-72%
Workout 3 is 3 x 8 (add 5-10 lbs from week 1)
Workout 4 is 5 x 8 (same weight as workout 3)

You get the idea. It’s on his ThibArmy site. I’ve really enjoyed the program. The first time I ran it, I started really light as I was coming back from hip surgery. I still managed to finish at my previous maxes in several lifts. The second time I ran it I simply increased the Week 1 weights by about 10 lbs and started from there. For some lifts I entered my week 12 weights (not my 1RM but heavy weights for me) and worked backwards from there.

I found that most of the workouts were manageable. Some felt tough but I never missed a rep except on OHP (which struggles to improve). I recommend the program to everyone. It’s four days a week but you could probably just spread it out over more than 12 weeks and keep your current split of M/W/F.

It’s tough to tell you how to take your foot off the pedal. It’s as simple as “Stop doing that” but then again, it’s not so simple.

For what it’s worth I matched my lifetime PR’s on squat and bench and added 50 lbs to my deadlift the first time I ran SGSS and I never missed a rep. Again, I was coming off of hip surgery and this was my first program back in the gym without restrictions.

Here are my lifts:

  • Bench 305 x 1 (week 12 I worked up to 285 x 1)
  • Squat 365 x 1 (this was my pre-planned week 12 weight)
  • Deadlift 545 x 1 (week 12 I worked up to 465 x 1 and then pulled 500 x 1 after that felt easy)

The reason I list these lifts is to show you that I wasn’t working near my max on bench and deadlift but they both improved. Prior to my hip surgery I pulled 495 on deadlift and could only hit 285 on bench. I was on the shelf for 12 weeks after surgery using machines and cables with my healthy limbs. I ran this for 12 weeks and I was the strongest I’d ever been all around.

Wow thx a lot JMaier31 for the time spent trying to help me!

I will look into the Simple, Guaranteed strenght and size, i found it on thibarmy!

Looks fine, tho I’m used to train full body 3 days a week. i hope i dont feel like i miss an upper body lift on the lower body days and vise versa on the upper body days.

For muscle development is 2-3 days a week per muscle group good, but for me whit this setup it will be 2 times over a 8 day period, but i guess that’s ok?

Thx a lot again!

I think it will still work with your 3-day program. It’s not “ideal” but ideal is really the program that fits your lifestyle.

I know you’re kind of frustrated so changing to an upper and lower split might be just what you need.

I think there are two workouts on CT’s site. One is available to purchase and the other is a free one that he laid out in the blog section.

Thx alot!

i found the free one on the website.

Regards Robert

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