Here's the problem. I've been following a squat, bench, deadlift program of 3 sets of 5 reps across for 4 months now and while I've experienced definite gains in raw strength in all lifts, I seem to have plateaued. Even though I am 5' 9" and 172 lbs, my squat is only 180 lbs for 3x5, bench 175 for 3x5, and deadlift 220 for 1x5.
I know these are 'beginner' numbers but my CNS just can't seem to handle the workload. Since I've been having this problem I decided to start researching intermediate programs with the intent of weekly -instead of daily- increases in load. But I am wondering if I can simply knock two of my working sets off and follow a custom program that looks something like this:
[i]Squat: 5 sets of 5 reps: sets 1, 2, 3, 4 will be sub-maximal loads derived and divided evenly from one top set of 5 reps that will be the effective work set.
Bench Press: --Same as squat protocol--
Deadlift: 1 set of 5 reps at 100% working weight [don't want to overtrain]
Workout will fall on M,W,F with the weight for each lift -on every set- going up every workout day, instead of a weekly progression.[/i]
Well there's a rough draft. My thinking is that my body will be able to handle the reduced number of heavy working sets while still making steady gains every workout. Perhaps I'll throw in barbell rows interchangeably weekly with the deadlift so as not to overtrain that one. --Anyway, please share some of your thoughts. Again, I know my numbers must be in the beginner realm but I know my body and I know I am struggling way too much with where I'm at. This definitely feels like a plateau. --Thanks! Feel free to share a more effective workout program that may solve my problem.