T Nation

First Cycle Strength Gains

At week 4 my lifts have increased drastically, my question is… Should I ease into the strength gains or continue to press heavier every session?
Bench increased: 30lbs
Squat increased: 30lbs
Deadlift increased: 20lbs
All other lifts are going up…
My bodyweight increase is around: 13lbs

You’re on a cycle for a reason, I say run with it as long as you’re not experiencing any joint/tendon issues.

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Like yubs said as long as you are not experiencing joint/tendon issues. I know for myself and I don’t do low reps that when I get to about 125% of my pre cycle weight that is where I know I need to watch it. For example let’s say I was only using the 100 lbs dumbbells for my last set of flat bench. From experience I know when I get to the point where I am using 125 lbs on my last set that is when my shitty old elbows starts their shit. Now keep in mind all of the other exercises I am doing that have gone up in weight on the cycle.

That 125% rule is pretty consistent for ME on my upper and lower body. Keep in mind I don’t ever go for one rep max weight and my routine is rep heavy with heavy weight.

If you are worried just pay attention because your body will let you know when something is being too strained. It will most likely be around the joints as the tendons and connective tissue tend to lag behind the muscle development. That lag tends to be around about 6 months, but everyone is different. For long term development, get to a point where you are have pains, ease back a bit then spend a little time there before pushing through again.


the only thing I would suggest is to lay off the 1 rep max attempts. You shouldn’t know that you’re that much stronger on all your lifts, because you shouldn’t have attempted 1 rep maxes on all of them 4 weeks into a cycle. And you DEFINITELY shouldn’t be attempting 1 rep maxes again while still on cycle. 1 rep maxes should almost never come up in training, UNLESS you’re training specifically for a contest in which you have to make 1rm attempts. If you’re lifting for aesthetics, or just general strength training, avoid this. You’re going to get more out of your cycle sticking in at least slightly higher rep ranges. The easiest way to hurt yourself is by lifting at your max, and its ESPECIALLY easy to hurt yourself while on cycle. You don’t want to waste the second half of your cycle because you pulled your hamstring or something stupid like that.


Thanks for all the responses guys… I think flip is right, to be honest I did let it get to my head and was pushing into sub 4 rep ranges. I was experiencing some joint pain and I think this was due to heavy weight plus my AI dosing. I might chuck up a cycle log later or results post.

we all did it on our first cycle - try and learn from everyone else’s mistakes! haha

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