T Nation

Getting Weaker?

Hi everyone,
First I would like to introduce myself. I am a 24 year old young man and I have been hitting the gym for a couple years now but this is my second year of serious lifting with consistent programming and nutrition.
I’m 5ft 9 and around 170lbs at the moment, I’m not sure about body fat but it should be around 15~18%.
I follow mainly a Push/Pull/Legsx2 per week program and nutrition wise I try to eat a healthy balanced diet with enough protein at around 3000+ kcals per day.
I’m here to ask a few questions with regards to training. I’ve made very good progress over the last year, but I feel like my lifts have plateaued and I’ve been feeling a bit weaker lately. I think I might have lost 5kg on the dumbbell bench press for each dumbbell for example.
Do you guys think it’s time to try a new program or is the problem just me overtraining and a deload should do the trick? Or should I take a break from training all together?

Probably not.

Very, very unlikely.


You will not experience linear progressipn forever. You have to work your way up and then take a step back and rebuild. Here’s how I’ve started doing it. (Example with random numbers for a lift)

W1 D1: 3x8 @ 100
W1 D2: 5x8 @ 100
W2 D1: 3x8 @ 105
W2 D2: 5x8 @ 105
W3 D1: 3x8 @ 110
W3 D2: 5x8 @ 110
W4 D1: 3x5 @ 120
W4 D2: 5x5 @ 120
W5 D1: 3x5 @ 125
W5 D2: 5x5 @ 125
W6 D6: 3x5 @ 130
W6 D2: 5x5 @ 130
now I reset
W7 D1: 3x8 @ 105
W7 D2: 5x8 @ 105

And so on. Eventually I will start to stall with that progression. At that time, I will go back two or three phases and start again. Strength is built in the 80-87% 1RM range. It’s not built by maxing or testing.

Probably not but with the details you have provided it is hard to say. You haven’t told us what you program loos like, what progression model you are using, how much improvement have you made, what you current max’s are.

very very unlikely

I wouldn’t do this unless you were extremely fatigued or suffering an illness.

Seeing as you stated that you’re in your mid 20’s and have only been seriously lifting for a couple of years, I highly doubt your lifts have stalled.

That said, and as has been asked above, it would go a long way if you outlined your training. Also, are there potential stressors in your everyday life that could be affecting your lifting? Work, school, relationships, lack of sleep, etc etc.

Just drop the weight and volume by 25-50% for a week.

Consider small changes to your programming.

What does your training look like?

How has your weight changed over the last few months?

You say you feel weaker lately? For how long has this been the case? Are you saying a week or weeks?

Surprised nobody has mentioned more food


At 15-18% estimated bodyfat, which tends to mean more around 20+, I imagine that is why.


How much progress have you had in the past year?

I’ll vote for changing the program. If you’ve been progressing for a YEAR on the same program, it’s normal you stalled. Try something radically different, like full body 3-4 days a week, or upper/lower with push/pull supersets.

I imagine that on a push/pull/legs split, there are a lot of isolation exercises. Maybe try focusing more on the big compound movements

I should start looking at last post dates…

1 Like

No worries… it happens

That’s what I was thinking. It’s easy to forget about nutrition, which I have done many times. I recently started making sure I was getting at least 1 gram protein per lb body weight and also started taking a carb supplement along with a BCAA supplement pre and intra-workout and I’m amazed at the difference. Even on days when I go into the gym not feeling especially strong my weights have still gone up. It can be hard when you don’t have the budget for quality supplements and/or to buy enough quality food but it’s crucial, along with proper rest and sleep, if you want to get bigger and stronger. You should also be at a slight calorie surplus.

[quote=“wanna_be, post:8, topic:261945”]Surprised nobody has mentioned more food

Not Quite

The original post is old. This guy’s moved on.

With that said, eating more isn’t the solution. He’s consuming more than enough calories.

The issue is…

The General Adaptation Syndrome

This means the body eventually adapts to a training program. When adaptation occur progress stops.

Thus, the solution, as KnightWhoSaysNi stated, is he need to change his training program.

Periodization Training

The foundation of Peroidization Training is built on changing your training program.

Research has demonstrated the Periodization Training works for athletes, everyone.

There are some good online article on Periodization Training for those unfamiliar with how this works.

Deloading one to two training sessions once progress has stopped is a short term fix, with short term results. Periodization Training take the long view, with long term results.

Kenny Croxdale