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Couldn't Add Weight, Advice?

I’ve been doing Starting Strength, just finished my 4th week. But now i was unable to get the weight up on my bench 2 workouts ago, and my last workout I actually had to drop weight on the Press.

Last week:
3x5 Bench 155
3x5 Press 105

This week:
Bench 1x5, 1x4, 1x3 160
Press 1x5 105, 2x5 95

i made it through 3 full weeks of progress every workout, but now that this happened, what do I do? When I Pressed today, I tried to put 110 on and couldn’t get it over my head, dropped it to 105 and barely got all 5 reps, tried to do a second set and couldn’t move it so I dropped it to 95.

What should I do now that im starting to have trouble getting the weight up? deload? How exactly do you do a deload? Keep the weight the same for the next workout and try to get all 3x5? Any advice would be appreciated, i’ve been making good progress on the other lifts and would like to see these lifts start going back up.

When you stall, I think Rippetoe advocates several things.

  1. Reset: Go back a couple weeks and start again at those weights. Keep increasing linearly as you were.

  2. Microloading: You might be making too big of jumps, especially w/ your press. Use the smallest plates in the gym or even get heavy washers or platemates and use those.

  3. Eat more: The linear progression is based on the fact that you are taking enough food in to recover, build muscle, and get bigger. Make sure you are eating enough/getting enough rest, and that your bodyweight is increasing.

…So in short, I would go back a couple weeks to previous loads, make sure you are using appropriate increments, and “eat everything not trying to eat you”.

I agree with eating more. If your bodyweight isn’t going up, you’re not gaining any muscle. As your lifts go up, your food intake needs to go up too.

-Sab

Well, my bodyweight is going up. Since I started Starting Strength (4 weeks ago) I’ve gained 10-12 pounds and seen steady increses on my lifts, so I think im eating enough.

I’ll try dropping the weight on those lifts.

There are some lifts that won’t progress as quickly. The Press is probably the slowest-progressing compound lift in the book, so don’t get discouraged.

You can drop back more than two weeks. If you’re lifting explosively, which you should be, lighter weight won’t hamper your progress.

Microloading is a good option as well. I have sections of chain cut into .75 and 1.5 lb sections. Just use a quick-link to make a loop from each section and use them as weights.

Rippetoe would basically tell you that you need 1.25 pound plates or smaller and to makes sure you are sleeping and eating enough.

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

You can drop back more than two weeks.

[quote]

Well, since i’ve only been doing the program for 4 weeks now, dropping back more then 2 weeks would basically be resetting to where I started from. I’ll drop the weight to 150 pounds on the bench and start progressing again, and drop press to 95. I did this with the squat and improved my form and am now progressing fairly easy.

If I got 1.25 lb plates, how would I know when to make jumps of 2.5 lbs or 5 lbs on lifts like the bench and clean? Would I try to make 5 lb jumps and if I failed then the next workout would I drop the weight 2.5 lbs or what?

The more you lift, the more you eat.
So add more calories, you’ll see gains.

While I do like Rippetoe’s books (I have all of them) I do think that It can become able to overtrain on them at times. Either lower your lifts to a couple weeks previous- our take a full workout week to recover and workout at about half capacity in either volume or intensity- ie. use the same weight for half the sets (volume) or lower weight (intensity).

Personally, I like lower weight (50-70% of normal weight lifted) for the same amount of sets. Do this every 3 to 4 weeks. It will allow your body to catch up with your progress and build lean mass as well as just giving your body and mind some rest.

and I almost forgot… EAT!!! You’ll get nowhere on his programs if you don’t eat enough.

[quote]fisch wrote:
JayPierce wrote:

You can drop back more than two weeks.

Well, since i’ve only been doing the program for 4 weeks now, dropping back more then 2 weeks would basically be resetting to where I started from. I’ll drop the weight to 150 pounds on the bench and start progressing again, and drop press to 95. I did this with the squat and improved my form and am now progressing fairly easy.

If I got 1.25 lb plates, how would I know when to make jumps of 2.5 lbs or 5 lbs on lifts like the bench and clean? Would I try to make 5 lb jumps and if I failed then the next workout would I drop the weight 2.5 lbs or what?[/quote]

You seem to be in a huge hurry. Consider this: If you progress 5lbs per week, that’s 260lbs per year. Extremely unrealistic, and you’ll find yourself stalling every time you turn around. If you progress 2.5lbs, that’s 130 per year. Still unrealistic, but you’ll be able to progress almost every week and avoid the frustration you’re going through now.

When the increases become difficult, switch to 2.5lb progressions. And be a little more patient… and eat…

I progressed in my lifts for about 8 weeks straight, then I deloaded for a week.

I think doing things like that will really help you continue to progress.

I don’t htink that SS suggests a deload; but it’s a good option.

If you gained 10-12 lbs in 4 weeks… I mean, unless your squat and deadlift JUMPED (which they might have)… you might want to clean up your diet.

I mean, good progress and all that. But if you want to stay relatively lean, you need to justify your weight gain with strength gains.

Unless you’re trying to overtake Uber Newb. At which point, Go with God, son.

[quote]Otep wrote:
If you gained 10-12 lbs in 4 weeks… I mean, unless your squat and deadlift JUMPED (which they might have)… you might want to clean up your diet.

I mean, good progress and all that. But if you want to stay relatively lean, you need to justify your weight gain with strength gains.

Unless you’re trying to overtake Uber Newb. At which point, Go with God, son.[/quote]

Well, I started off at 160lbs 3x5 for squat, 135 3x5 for bench, 185 1x5 for deadlift. I’m right now at 210 lbs 3x5 squat, 155 3x5 bench, 260 1x5 deadlift.

As for staying realitively lean, I wasn’t relatively lean when I started, but I wasn’t really fat either. bf% is around 20% right now though (impossible for me to know for sure, new scale I just bought apparently isn’t accurate for anyone under 18), and thats not as low as I would like it to be. But I don’t want to cut right now, as I would like to get lower bf% but I would really like to get strong first.

[quote]fisch wrote:
Otep wrote:
If you gained 10-12 lbs in 4 weeks… I mean, unless your squat and deadlift JUMPED (which they might have)… you might want to clean up your diet.

I mean, good progress and all that. But if you want to stay relatively lean, you need to justify your weight gain with strength gains.

Unless you’re trying to overtake Uber Newb. At which point, Go with God, son.

Well, I started off at 160lbs 3x5 for squat, 135 3x5 for bench, 185 1x5 for deadlift. I’m right now at 210 lbs 3x5 squat, 155 3x5 bench, 260 1x5 deadlift.

As for staying realitively lean, I wasn’t relatively lean when I started, but I wasn’t really fat either. bf% is around 20% right now though (impossible for me to know for sure, new scale I just bought apparently isn’t accurate for anyone under 18), and thats not as low as I would like it to be. But I don’t want to cut right now, as I would like to get lower bf% but I would really like to get strong first.[/quote]

The force is strong with this one.