T Nation

Embarrasing Numbers...

OKay, to preface this post let me start by saying that I only found T-Nation in July of 06.

Prior to T-Nation I lifted like a little bitch (on and off for several years) & I found every excuse in the book to not do squats or deads. I know I know…pure idiocy.

Anyways…since I’ve found T-Nation I have discovered the joys of Squats & Deads, I’ve lost about 10 pounds according to the scale yet I’ve most definitely gotten bigger and my body comp has definitely changed for the better.

People are noticing as well. My fiancee’s girlfriends all look at me and then look at their own boyfriends and say, “Wow, you need to get your lazy ass to the gym too!”

And my fiancee says I’m starting to look like a meathead…of course I take this as a compliment.

I’m now 160 pounds and 5ft 6in tall. At one point in time I was a 190 pound lazy fat ass(about 4-5 years ago).

Now to get to the point. Here are my numbers:

Bench: 235
Squats: 240
DL’s: 285

I realize my squats and DL numbers suck balls and that for T-Nation’ers my bench ain’t all that impressive either.

But I’m working on it.

What can I do to bring my numbers up quicker on my squats and dl’s? I feel that they are severely lagging.

I’m doing full body workouts four times a week. Every week I calculate volume for every workout and make sure to progress accordingly the following week.

Strength and hypertrophy gains are most important to me as I plan to bulk for about at least another 6 months (hopefully without adding too much fat).

Take your time with the progress. What is your rush? Are you going to compete any time soon?

Apply a sensible, manageable progression to the most basic lifts and your progress with strength and hypertrophy will be for a lifetime.

[quote]FFB4Life wrote:
OKay, to preface this post let me start by saying that I only found T-Nation in July of 06.

Prior to T-Nation I lifted like a little bitch (on and off for several years) & I found every excuse in the book to not do squats or deads. I know I know…pure idiocy.

Anyways…since I’ve found T-Nation I have discovered the joys of Squats & Deads, I’ve lost about 10 pounds according to the scale yet I’ve most definitely gotten bigger and my body comp has definitely changed for the better.

People are noticing as well. My fiancee’s girlfriends all look at me and then look at their own boyfriends and say, “Wow, Alex is getting big. You should get your lazy ass to the gym too!”

And my fiancee says I’m starting to look like a meathead…of course I take this as a compliment.

I’m now 160 pounds and 5ft 6in tall. At one point in time I was a 190 pound lazy fat ass(about 4-5 years ago).

Now to get to the point. Here are my numbers:

Bench: 235
Squats: 240
DL’s: 285

I realize my squats and DL numbers suck balls and that for T-Nation’ers my bench ain’t all that impressive either.

But I’m working on it.

What can I do to bring my numbers up quicker on my squats and dl’s? I feel that they are severely lagging.

I’m doing full body workouts four times a week. Every week I calculate volume for every workout and make sure to progress accordingly the following week.

Strength and hypertrophy gains are most important to me as I plan to bulk for about at least another 6 months (hopefully without adding too much fat).[/quote]

Your numbers aren’t that bad at all. I think you will find that many, many T-Nation regulars are a bunch of smack-talkers who lift no more than you (if they actually lift at all).

Once I started adding the 3rd big plate to each side on my deadlift, people in the gym started to think I was REALLY strong. When I got up to 360lbs, people would come up to me and say “dude, that’s crazy”. I was curling the other day (yes, I like to curl) with a 95lbs barbell, immediately to my right was a group of college kids bench-pressing the same weight and struggling.

My point is, you are stronger than you think. Compared to 95% of the world population you are a freaking Hercules.

Full body workouts 4 days a week? Does that work for you?

If you are not getting stronger than you need to adjust one of the three:

Training
Eating
Rest

You may be training too much/eating too little. Experiment a little bit.

First, don’t be embarrassed by your numbers. If you are trying to bring them up, then you are doing the right thing. Don’t worry about everyone else’s opinions at your gym. And yes, there seem to be a lot of inflated numbers on this site.

Ok, I know this isn’t the beginner’s forum, but I’ll start with some pretty simple advice that seems to get overlooked.

Nutrition. Make sure you are getting enough good calories to grow. If you aren’t growing, your numbers aren’t going to go up.

Consistency. The biggest mistake people make is starting and stopping their programs. It sounds like you have this covered, but nothing beats getting in there day in and day out for years (not months) and always trying to improve over time. Maintenance is easy. Shit, 80% of the people who belong to a gym don’t even go. And at least half (probably 75%) of those who do go just half ass it and don’t make progress.

Variety. Back to the maintenance concept. WAY too many people stick with the exact same exercises, in the same order for the same number of sets, the same number of reps at the same weight. I doubt that you are doing all of this, but if any of it is true, then it is something to think about.

Workout Log. Many people don’t keep a workout log, hell, most people don’t even know what they are going to do once they get to the gym (other than doing exactly what they did last time). Keeping a journal never hurt anyone, and would probably benefit most. If you are keeping one, you are one step ahead of the game. Now just try to increase load/volume/intensity over time.

Aside from always trying to make progress in those specific lifts, you should be working on accessory lifts. Deadlifts - deadlifts from a deficit, snatch grip deadlifts, rack pulls (supramaximal). Squats - box squats, front squats, overhead squats. Bench press - incline/decline press, dumbell press, rack lockouts (supramaximal).

Hopefully you are in it for the long haul and you can continually make progress. Nothing good ever comes easy. I don’t think you are in it for the easy way out, just don’t be frustrated if it takes a while to get your lifts to a point where you are happy. Trust me, the point of happiness with your maximums will always seem just out of your reach. This is a good thing. It will drive you to make progress. There are a ton of good article here. Do a search for the specifics you want to improve on.

No one has the perfect routine for you, it will be a matter of trial and error. But you will find a lot of good starting points here, and with time you can manipulate the programs to accomplish your goals.

Good luck.

Sounds like you need a change. If you want to bring your numbers up, try this:

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/9week-training-program.htm

You’ll put on some weight, too.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

-folly

My diet is definitely not perfect but I am still seeing gains.

Definitely not getting enough sleep either. I average 5.5 hours a night 6.5 - 7 hours if extremely lucky.

Before I started this 4 day a week full body thing I did the WM followed it by the Art of WM and then did other full body workouts (my own program design)three times a week.

Not sure how 4x a week is working for me other than the fact that it is hard as hell. I’m in my second week so after a full four weeks I’m taking a week off.

I’m thinking about a split routine of my own design after I take the week off though. Hopefully I can better target my weaker areas.

PGJ, thanks for your comments. There are definitely a few “college boys” in my gym but I happen to go to a gym where people train quite reilgously (I guess I’m blessed in that sense) and I see a lot of guys lifting the kind of weight you refer to. In my gym I’d say I rank around the top 65th percentile.

Jp_dubya: no rush…I was just under the impression that my DL numbers and Squat numbers should be a lot higher than they are in comparison to my bench.

I’m smaller than you, 5’4", 190, 340 bench, 405 squat, and a 395 dead and have higher numbers,( not bragging), but I was in the same boat, my deads and squats sucked ass, I’d seen high school girls volleyball players sdquat more than me.My shit used to be weak I switched over to a 4 day split, and concentrated on compound movements for each day, EX

Monday
Flatbench and inclines

Tuesday
Bent over rows and pull ups

Wednesday
Off

Thursday
Deadlifts
shoulder shrugs

Friday
Squats

After 2 months of this I re did my max and I consistently saw it increasing.

That was 3 years ago.

Remeber eat big and lift heavier weights. if you are constantly lifting the same amount of weight you need to increase the weight or you are not going to stimulate new growth. I’m not saying to pile on your max and go to town, but on your last set if you can get out 3 or 4 more, you need to increase the weight 10-20 pounds for each set.

Just my 2 cents
Bullpup

[quote]Modi wrote:

Nutrition. Make sure you are getting enough good calories to grow. If you aren’t growing, your numbers aren’t going to go up.

Consistency. The biggest mistake people make is starting and stopping their programs. It sounds like you have this covered, but nothing beats getting in there day in and day out for years (not months) and always trying to improve over time. Maintenance is easy. Shit, 80% of the people who belong to a gym don’t even go. And at least half (probably 75%) of those who do go just half ass it and don’t make progress.

Variety. Back to the maintenance concept. WAY too many people stick with the exact same exercises, in the same order for the same number of sets, the same number of reps at the same weight. I doubt that you are doing all of this, but if any of it is true, then it is something to think about.

Workout Log. Many people don’t keep a workout log, hell, most people don’t even know what they are going to do once they get to the gym (other than doing exactly what they did last time). Keeping a journal never hurt anyone, and would probably benefit most. If you are keeping one, you are one step ahead of the game. Now just try to increase load/volume/intensity over time.

Aside from always trying to make progress in those specific lifts, you should be working on accessory lifts. Deadlifts - deadlifts from a deficit, snatch grip deadlifts, rack pulls (supramaximal). Squats - box squats, front squats, overhead squats. Bench press - incline/decline press, dumbell press, rack lockouts (supramaximal).

Hopefully you are in it for the long haul and you can continually make progress. Nothing good ever comes easy. I don’t think you are in it for the easy way out, just don’t be frustrated if it takes a while to get your lifts to a point where you are happy. Trust me, the point of happiness with your maximums will always seem just out of your reach. This is a good thing. It will drive you to make progress. There are a ton of good article here. Do a search for the specifics you want to improve on.

No one has the perfect routine for you, it will be a matter of trial and error. But you will find a lot of good starting points here, and with time you can manipulate the programs to accomplish your goals.

Good luck.[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback Modi.

I actually keep an extremely detailed workout log on a massive spreadsheet where I calculate my volume and then project my numbers for the following week.

I’ve definitely found a wealth of information of this site and having read a lot of Waterbury, Poliquin & Shugart’s stuff I feel I have a pretty decent handle as far as varying the type of lifts I’m doing.

My diet most definitely needs work though. For a few months I can stay extremely strict but for a month at a time I’ll fall off the wagon and eat all sorts of shit. I was doing great up until christmas actually and just started getting my diet back on track this monday.

Either way, I plan on being in the iron game for the rest of my life and I completely understand that being in it for the long haul…is really the ONLY way.

[quote]bullpup wrote:
I’m smaller than you, 5’4", 190, 340 bench, 405 squat, and a 395 dead and have higher numbers,( not bragging), but I was in the same boat, my deads and squats sucked ass, I’d seen high school girls volleyball players sdquat more than me.My shit used to be weak I switched over to a 4 day split, and concentrated on compound movements for each day, EX

Monday
Flatbench and inclines

Tuesday
Bent over rows and pull ups

Wednesday
Off

Thursday
Deadlifts
shoulder shrugs

Friday
Squats

After 2 months of this I re did my max and I consistently saw it increasing.

That was 3 years ago.

Remeber eat big and lift heavier weights. if you are constantly lifting the same amount of weight you need to increase the weight or you are not going to stimulate new growth. I’m not saying to pile on your max and go to town, but on your last set if you can get out 3 or 4 more, you need to increase the weight 10-20 pounds for each set.

Just my 2 cents
Bullpup[/quote]

interesting…yeah, I was thinking a split routine may be the way to go as far as targeting weaker areas.

I think I may go that route in about a month after I’m done with my current full body 4x a week approach.

thanks bullpup

forget about it, as long as there is progression. Hell, your numbers are better than mine and I’ve been here 6 years almost.

…Of course, I have some joint issues and that inhibits me in a lot of ways I don’t care to explain, but the fact is that I’m a thousand leagues farther along than I was before T-Nation. Would I like to have big numbers? Yup, and I will. Something gets better every time I work, so I don’t sweat it.

Ummm…I don’t consider those bad numbers. Some people around here are really big and really stong and some are just amazing liars. It’s tough to tell who is who sometimes. Those numbers aren’t bad. Don’t fret. Some guy who do not squat all the way down will claim big numers but whose here to verify?

My squats suck and I have been working hard to bring them up. But I have a problem most people would berate me for complaining about, but my quads get huge, fast. So they are big and weak. So for aestetic purposes I have to balance my “numbers” work with looking good, or as good as I can. This makes my numbers suffer. My squat is 235 lbs ass to grass. I am not ashamed.

well,when i was first wanting to bulk i was at bbing.com(time well wasted).the only thing i got from that site that worked was the following written by a teenage writer:

"Leg extension-do 20 reps at 60% of your max for the leg extension,add 20lbs and do 10 reps,take off 10lbs and do 15 reps,add 30lbs and do 10 reps.

immediately go to a squat rack and do the same weight progression."

there is no rest except when you’re adding/removing weight,it kicks your ass but my legs doubled after a month of that.At which point I stopped doing them,like i said,it was hell :wink:

Hey man, you have nothing to complain about. As long as you are using proper technique and are getting stronger, there is no point in being embarrassed.

I only recently started doing squats and deadlifts (less than a month ago), and I can only front squat 120lb 5 times, and deadlift 250lb, but I’m gaining and I use proper technique so I’m not embarrassed about it.

eat more carbs/ sugar you shouldnt weigh 160 for long while your trying to get stronger protein is over rated what gets you stronger is almost considered satanic to most of bodybuilding.com

pizza fast food candy just about everything you want to avoid while clean bulking

yes you can get stronger without eating like crap no you dont need to add fat to get stronger but if you do eat like this your strength will go through the roof 100-200lbs to your total within 5-10 weeks would be something to expect

however when you eat like this you wouldnt want to follow a set program squat when your legs and back dont hurt same for bench and deadlift at least this worked for me

n3wb

[quote]jmwintenn wrote:
well,when i was first wanting to bulk i was at bbing.com(time well wasted).the only thing i got from that site that worked was the following written by a teenage writer:

"Leg extension-do 20 reps at 60% of your max for the leg extension,add 20lbs and do 10 reps,take off 10lbs and do 15 reps,add 30lbs and do 10 reps.

immediately go to a squat rack and do the same weight progression."

there is no rest except when you’re adding/removing weight,it kicks your ass but my legs doubled after a month of that.At which point I stopped doing them,like i said,it was hell ;)[/quote]

LOL

Never be embarrassed by your numbers. When I first started lifting I benched 55lbs for my max. If I cared what the kids in high school thought of me I would have quit a long time ago. I didn’t even know what a deadlift was. Remember that you’re competing with gravity, not people. Keep truckin’ and more power to you.

What immediately stands out is 4 total body workouts/week. That is much too often for your body to recuperate, even with good sleep patterns and nutritional habits. I would personally cut that to 2-3 days/week or try a program like bullpup suggested. I think you are on the right track but as your strength increases, so will the need for off days.

If your numbers are a bit higher this month than they were last month then you’re doing fine. I compete only against myself because it’s the only standard that means anything. I’ll never be as strong as some guys and if I made that my measure I’d quit out of frustration in fairly short order.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
If your numbers are a bit higher this month than they were last month then you’re doing fine. I compete only against myself because it’s the only standard that means anything. I’ll never be as strong as some guys and if I made that my measure I’d quit out of frustration in fairly short order.[/quote]

If this concept alone is the only one someone adopts, their training should be 100% better