T Nation

Disappointed With Strength Gains


#1

Looking for some feedback from you guys. I'm pretty disappointed with the lack of gains in strength. I thought I was ready to bust into some new PRs, but it's not really coming around. I know several of you have followed my training, and I'm not sure I could put a whole lot more effort into what I've been doing. Trying to be smart and get rest days, but I'm just not hitting the numbers I thought I should.

Got a couple ideas, but I wanted to hit you guys up for some feedback. What would you guys do differenty? Am I just after too much too soon? I do feel part of getting to new PRs is mental. That 300lb bench, and 400+ deadlift is so close I can almost taste it. Suggestions please. Some of you guys are REALLY strong. What keeps your progress going? Thanks


#2

Check out Thib’s newest article on the front page. Coincidentally, he goes into this in pretty good detail.

DJ


#3

[quote]djreef wrote:
Check out Thib’s newest article on the front page. Coincidentally, he goes into this in pretty good detail.

DJ[/quote]

This kind of makes me a little shy to put in my 2 cents worth but what the hell. Those under 50 don’t know that you are granted total knowledge of all subjects on your 50th birthday. (Or at least we think we are).

For the Bench:
More assistances exercises. Went back through you thread and I see some CGB but seemed pretty far apart. More direct front delt work.

Deadlift: With your good mornings and lower back numbers outs it should be flying up. Having said that, how’s you’re technique? Are you relying too much on your back and not enough initial leg drive?

If your training to get strong don’t do so many reps getting up to your heavy numbers. Warm up so the heavier weights aren’t a shock and then hit low reps at high weights.

You’re normal workout is outstanding. But you’re talking about specific lifts here. You have to direct your efforts at those lifts to get stronger in them. Make sure you’re not worn out on the days you work your big lifts.

I know you’ve got the strength. If your goal is to make these lifts direct your energy towards that.

If I have said anything that contridicts Mr Thib’s article, refer to my first paragraph. You will get your goals. I have no doubt in that.


#4

[quote]djreef wrote:
Check out Thib’s newest article on the front page. Coincidentally, he goes into this in pretty good detail.

DJ[/quote]

Thanks djreef, I just went over it briefly this morning. I’ll read it more carefully this evening.


#5

[quote]hel320 wrote:

For the Bench:
More assistances exercises. Went back through you thread and I see some CGB but seemed pretty far apart. More direct front delt work.

Deadlift: With your good mornings and lower back numbers outs it should be flying up. Having said that, how’s you’re technique? Are you relying too much on your back and not enough initial leg drive?

If your training to get strong don’t do so many reps getting up to your heavy numbers. Warm up so the heavier weights aren’t a shock and then hit low reps at high weights.

You’re normal workout is outstanding. But you’re talking about specific lifts here. You have to direct your efforts at those lifts to get stronger in them. Make sure you’re not worn out on the days you work your big lifts.

I know you’ve got the strength. If your goal is to make these lifts direct your energy towards that.

If I have said anything that contridicts Mr Thib’s article, refer to my first paragraph. You will get your goals. I have no doubt in that.

[/quote]

Thanks hel320! I figure I’ve been spending a lot of time on bigger movements recently. Haven’t done much assistance work on bench, I’ll do that. I’ve always wondered about my warmups. Don’t really know what is an adequate amount of work for warming up.

The new program I’m starting, I won’t do any max lifting for several weeks, and more assisiatnce work. After loosing a lot of strength working an off shift, and not having figured out how to lift and work midnights, I’ve pushed myself to try to get back where I was. Now I need to get smart to get to the next level.


#6

What I see missing is speed work, but I am a West side Template advocate. When I got my strongest is when I started working Max effort days and speed Days. You have to be fast and strong to move weight.

Also analyze your training and see where your weakness is in a specific lift and fix that. Repeat the process always going after your weaker links. For instance when i first started benching I was really weak off the chest. Couldn’t get it started without some help but as soon as my spotter would get it moving for me I could take it out of his hands and press it. So I started training everything toward that.

No offence intended to Mr Thib but he is concentrating on BB and Personal Training these days. When he was more strength orientated it was more toward Olympic style lifting. If Strong man type stuff is what you are looking for read stuff by Brad Cardoza or Sully. Power lifting I would go with Eric Cressey or Mike Robertson or just go over to elitefts.com and read everything on their site…LOL


#7

DZ, I am the last person to be giving you suggestions, so all I can do is give you encouragement! I know you will find your inner focus and the buried strength within you. (Now I sound like some kind of Zen Healer! LOL)
But in all seriousness, don’t let what you see as a lack of progress get you bummed out. Sometimes you need to step back and take a rest week, and then when you get back to it, you literally blow your previous numbers away.
We had a powerlifter/trainer at the gym that would train that way, and he made some incredible gains training like that.


#8

Thanks Colin, and Mr.X! I thought about what I really want to do. And while I’ve been having tons of fun doing what I’ve been doing. I do really want to do a powerlifting meet. So, I’m going to focus again on powerlifting for a while. And get in some of the strong man stuff as GPP, or just good fun. I’ve found a routine I used a couple years ago, and if I put in as much effort into it as I’ve been doing lately with the things I’ve been doing, it should yield some nice gains. All of your responses have helped. Thanks Guys!


#9

Between you, QT, Jimmy T, and Pencil neck we could have one hell of a powerlifting squad in the 198lb class. (Is that still a weight class?) What is it makes guys at that so strong? Anyway, with your work ethic I have no doubt you’ll make progress.


#10

I was a late bloomer strength-wise…I did not reach my peak strength-wise until well into my late 30’s and early 40’s. In my early teens my training revolved around bodybuilding and fitness; late teens & early 20’s - Olympic Lifting; mid-20’s on to the present - powerlifting. My strength curve never really came on strong until I had put some consistent PL training for many years prior to all my injuries and surgeries.

All my 181/198 PR’s were set all around age 40 after 15 years of training. Granted PR’s were set all the way through till then but none after 40 and i have been training 12+ years since then. For me, I need to train the lift consistently, at least 2x/week to see any sig. improvements…if i don’t my strength regresses, which is what it is doing a lot of lately over the last several years.
I’m not sure i know the answer to DZ’s question…it may take some trial & error before you hit on what works for you & I wish you the most luck in that endeavor - the same to the rest of the gang!


#11

[quote]hel320 wrote:
Between you, QT, Jimmy T, and Pencil neck we could have one hell of a powerlifting squad in the 198lb class. (Is that still a weight class?) What is it makes guys at that so strong? Anyway, with your work ethic I have no doubt you’ll make progress. [/quote]

Thanks hel320. I have some Winter fat to drop, but 198 would be where I would want to lift.

Thanks to you too QT. I appreciate your feedback.


#12

I’m with QT.

I’ve tried Westside several times and I love the ideas behind it but I’ve never gotten it to work for me. But I know lots of guys who’ve gotten great results with Westside.

Personally, I’ve done better training the lift 2-3 times a week doing doubles and singles (preferably singles) at 85%+ of my 1RM. I’ll be returning to that kind of routine in a couple of weeks. It’s about as simple as you can get squat/deadlift, bench, and a couple of auxiliary exercises.


#13

DZ - have you come up with a game plan to help you in your quest? Some plan, even a bad one, may be better than no plan at all. I think if you put your head into this one, you can come up with a routine than better meets your immediate and long-term goals. If a meet is on the horizon, then a plan is important so that you are at you peak for the meet and not leave your best lifting in the gym. I have had plans, and still left my best lifts in the gym, I learn from them and tweak them until maybe, just maybe, they’ll ead me where i want to be. Good Luck!


#14

[quote]QuarterTonner wrote:
DZ - have you come up with a game plan to help you in your quest? Some plan, even a bad one, may be better than no plan at all. I think if you put your head into this one, you can come up with a routine than better meets your immediate and long-term goals. If a meet is on the horizon, then a plan is important so that you are at you peak for the meet and not leave your best lifting in the gym. I have had plans, and still left my best lifts in the gym, I learn from them and tweak them until maybe, just maybe, they’ll ead me where i want to be. Good Luck![/quote]

Yea, I’ve found an old program, not unlike a westside program. I think it’s working, I actually look bigger, and feel stronger. I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to make some of the lifts, and I haven’t missed one yet. I’m eating like you wouldn’t believe.Maybe I was after too much too soon after being out of the game for months. I’m really focused on the prize now! It’s a 14 week program, and I’ve only got about 8 more weeks till the meet. I’ll have to tweak something to peak the week before the meet.