Been training for 2 years now, 89kg bodyweight and eating 4000kcal a day. Got a 125kg bench, 190kg squat, 215kg deadlift. However, my squat and dead have been the same for about 3 months.
Recently, I gained a little on my bench after changing to a 5-3-1 program but I haven’t tested my 1rm for a while. My squat and deadlift training currently consists of…
5-3-1 squat and deadlift
3x5 squat and deadlift
5x3 squat and deadlift
The sets are usually in the 75-95% range every workout.
I’ve tried everything from different programs, to squatting 5 days a week and deadlifting 3 days a week. I’m really getting desperate, since I’m competing in May. What do I do?
If you are regularly going over 90% that could be a problem. You only need to be peaked for a meet, not year round. Other than that you might want to look at how much volume you are doing, if you are always well recovered then increasing volume could help and if you are not recovering then reducing volume could be the solution. What assistance exercises do you use?
Deadlifting fairly heavy three times a week and then doing more deadlifting on top of it doesn’t sound like a great idea. Not many people deadlift more than twice a week, and for a good reason. RDLs and SLDLs are a good deadlift assistance lift and aren’t as taxing since you use less weight, you could substitute those for one of your DL sessions. Overall it sounds like you are probably doing more than you can recover from. How many total lower body work sets are you doing each week?
Heavy squats 4 times a week and heavy deadlifts once a week. The only problem is my recovery isn’t as good as it used to be when my progression was at its fastest 7 months ago. It’s been slowing down ever since.
Yea, recovery is the limiting factor. The initial phase is just accumulating volume and developing mental strength. After a few years, most (I) just leverage on what I have. Genetically gifted people have been accumulating for decades. Imagine how much they have to expend.
Everything is going to work within the first year or two of lifting. Your old programs worked because you simply were not strong enough to really dip into your recovery resources. Now you’ve come out of an absolute beginner phase and not everything is going to work. You are stronger and recovery can now be an issue. You are going to have to be just slightly smarter about your training in order to progress. Deadlifting typically uses a high percentage of your total musculature and is usually a lifter’s heaviest lift. This is why it can tax recovery more than other lifts. Cut the DL out of the first two days and you have a pretty badass program.
No progress in 3 months? You’ve been training for two years. It’s gonna happen. That’s not really a plateau. Now, if you haven’t gained in a year then I’d be a little more concerned about your training.
Stay in that 70-80% range hitting 5’s. Pop in a few singles here and there to feel the heavier weight. Trust the work. Pressure, consistency and time are what work in the long run. Don’t get hung up on 3 months. Look at the year.
Don’t worry about the meet. Just put in the work and the numbers will be there. I think you’re at that point where you need to start developing your own style/template/programming and figuring out what you trust and what works. Structured programs only take you so far.