T Nation

First Overall Stall

Everything has stalled for me at the 4 and a half months mark, exactly to the day. The programme is Starting Strength. I started off with the bar. I stalled on my deadlift today at 130kg where I have failed to hit 5 reps on the third attempt now. I got 3 reps today and the previous 2 times I got 4 reps each time. My squat has also stalled on 120kg as my form was not consistently low enough (although I did do mostly good and low reps). My bench stalled earlier on 65kg 3x5 and I am back up to 62.5kg now with it. Military press has also stalled at 52.5kg 3x5.

It is just all a bit frustrating really. Am I making progress which is too slow?

Progress inevitably slow down as you advance in training. Do what the program tells you - deload by 20% and try again. If you’re permanently stuck, try Madcow 5x5 or 5/3/1 next.

I am sure the programme says to deload by 10% in the event of a stall?

10% sounds fine too

[quote]renatus wrote:
I am sure the programme says to deload by 10% in the event of a stall? [/quote]

So you have answered your own question??

Do what the book says.

I personally have never found any value in resetting. I don’t quite understand how doing to exact same weights, sets and reps as you did the first time you stalled will help you not stall, as it’s using the same strategy that was ineffective the first time.

Whenever I was in the TC’s shoes, I would either change movements, change programming (either more sets, more reps or both), or follow a completely different routine with a different emphasis (so, in the case of SS, following something like WS4SB or 5/3/1). Generally, a change gave me a chance to strengthen weaknesses which were holding me back in the other movements.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I personally have never found any value in resetting. I don’t quite understand how doing to exact same weights, sets and reps as you did the first time you stalled will help you not stall, as it’s using the same strategy that was ineffective the first time.

Whenever I was in the TC’s shoes, I would either change movements, change programming (either more sets, more reps or both), or follow a completely different routine with a different emphasis (so, in the case of SS, following something like WS4SB or 5/3/1). Generally, a change gave me a chance to strengthen weaknesses which were holding me back in the other movements.[/quote]
This has been my experience as well-- I whole-heartedly agree. Very good points.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I personally have never found any value in resetting. I don’t quite understand how doing to exact same weights, sets and reps as you did the first time you stalled will help you not stall, as it’s using the same strategy that was ineffective the first time.
[/quote]

I think the value in resetting is largely mental for a new lifter. Hitting the reps can help get you ready to hit the reps. A relatively new lifter will probably find more value in this than someone with years under the bar.

Sometimes the weakness is all in your head.

That’s my $0.02.

Personally, I have found taking a week off to work best, followed by changing the workouts. I also never did well with “resetting” as when I did the stronglifts program I made barely any progress following that protocol. I really dont like linear progression programs, but that is just me. I prefer something along the lines of “Working up to 6 sets of 4 at 90% 1RM.”

The plan I am on now is something like this
4 warm up sets to 90% 1RM
work up to 3 sets of 5 at 90% RM

So my first squat week looked like (last 1 rep max was 2 month ago at 305, haven’t gotten a new one yet since my ankle still hurts a little)
135x5, 185x5, 235x5,255x5, 275x2,275x2,275x2

I am hoping in about 4-6 weeks I can get:
135x5, 185x5, 235x5, 255x5, 275x5, 275x5, 275x5

I like this type of progression better because it is nonlinear and more adaptable to ones capabilities. Progress can also be more precisely measured. I also felt it is also more obvious when the program is not working - for example if it takes 2x the effort to get, say 2 more total reps, than last week when you improved by 3 reps, then you know it is time to take a break. When adding just 5 more lbs to the bar it is not so easy to determine your progress, IE in my experience these linear progression methods tended to just fail all at once.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I personally have never found any value in resetting. I don’t quite understand how doing to exact same weights, sets and reps as you did the first time you stalled will help you not stall, as it’s using the same strategy that was ineffective the first time.

Whenever I was in the TC’s shoes, I would either change movements, change programming (either more sets, more reps or both), or follow a completely different routine with a different emphasis (so, in the case of SS, following something like WS4SB or 5/3/1). Generally, a change gave me a chance to strengthen weaknesses which were holding me back in the other movements.[/quote]

How do you feel about the grey skull reset which calls for two sets of 5 followed by a 5+ set so that you get to continue the PR progress only with rep maxes instead of added weight?

[quote]jbpick86 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I personally have never found any value in resetting. I don’t quite understand how doing to exact same weights, sets and reps as you did the first time you stalled will help you not stall, as it’s using the same strategy that was ineffective the first time.

Whenever I was in the TC’s shoes, I would either change movements, change programming (either more sets, more reps or both), or follow a completely different routine with a different emphasis (so, in the case of SS, following something like WS4SB or 5/3/1). Generally, a change gave me a chance to strengthen weaknesses which were holding me back in the other movements.[/quote]

How do you feel about the grey skull reset which calls for two sets of 5 followed by a 5+ set so that you get to continue the PR progress only with rep maxes instead of added weight?
[/quote]

If it helps one get bigger and stronger, it’s definitely worthwhile. It would be crucial for the trainee to focus on those rep PRs as you mentioned, similar to simply resetting and adding more reps to each set in total.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]jbpick86 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I personally have never found any value in resetting. I don’t quite understand how doing to exact same weights, sets and reps as you did the first time you stalled will help you not stall, as it’s using the same strategy that was ineffective the first time.

Whenever I was in the TC’s shoes, I would either change movements, change programming (either more sets, more reps or both), or follow a completely different routine with a different emphasis (so, in the case of SS, following something like WS4SB or 5/3/1). Generally, a change gave me a chance to strengthen weaknesses which were holding me back in the other movements.[/quote]

How do you feel about the grey skull reset which calls for two sets of 5 followed by a 5+ set so that you get to continue the PR progress only with rep maxes instead of added weight?
[/quote]

If it helps one get bigger and stronger, it’s definitely worthwhile. It would be crucial for the trainee to focus on those rep PRs as you mentioned, similar to simply resetting and adding more reps to each set in total.
[/quote]

I read that the Greyskull LP came into existence because of similar concerns as yours. The guy that wrote it was basically looking for a way to keep people from getting stale during their resets and people liked doing the resets so much he made the 5+ final set a permanent fixture. I literally have to reset every lift right now after they all stalled at the same time and I’m seriously considering switching to the GSLP.

[quote]jbpick86 wrote:
I read that the Greyskull LP came into existence because of similar concerns as yours. The guy that wrote it was basically looking for a way to keep people from getting stale during their resets and people liked doing the resets so much he made the 5+ final set a permanent fixture. I literally have to reset every lift right now after they all stalled at the same time and I’m seriously considering switching to the GSLP.
[/quote]

Personally, I’m liking it quite a bit. I’m still pretty early into it, but I’m really liking the way it forces you to continually progress either weight-wise or volume-wise, and shifts between them as you stop responding to a particular rep range. The 5+ set also is a nice bit of psychological trickery in that it’s not just “get 5 reps”, but it turns it into a challenge and forces you to focus a bit more.

One of the other unexpected benefits is how the shift from intensity to volume helps with joint issues. My right elbow has been problematic my whole life, keeping me from really doing much benching even back as far ago as high school. Progressing via intensity just gets harder and harder pain-wise, but once it crosses the threshold of limiting me, the shift to volume work helps it recover, heal, adapt. It’s also given me the time to looking into truly fixing and/or working around it.