T Nation

Help... I Think I've Plateaued!


Hi, I'm a regular reader on T-Nation but not a regular poster so apologies if this isn't in the correct forum.

A quick bit of background: I'm 35, 197 pounds and have been training 'seriously' for 3 years following a long rugby career.

My goals are to improve strength and increase size towards a more aesthetic muscular physique - no longer conditioned for a particular sport.

Over the 3 years I have been satisfied with my strength gains (and gained lean mass) after following a variety of routines off T-Nation.

For the last 3 months my routine has comprised of an all over strength program comprising of a 3 day a week workout

Day one: 8 sets of 3, 6 exercises (last set to failure), 4 compound exercises, 2 isolate
Day two: 4 sets of 6, 6 exercises (last set to failure), 4 compound exercises, 2 isolate
Day three: 3 sets of 9, 6 exercises (last set to failure), 4 compound exercises, 2 isolate

I have certain restrictions:

I train alone for an hour at 7am, when the gym is completely empty - so hardly ever get spotted.
I have had reconstructive surgery on both shoulders so certain exercises are difficult i.e. bench press is substituted by dumbell press.

My diet is very clean, I try and eat 6 meals a day, and have a post weights shake of complex carbs and 2 scoops protein, 2 daily protein shakes (1 scoop each), and a pre-sleep protein shake (2 scoops)

My issue now is I have seriously plateau'ed and need advice as to how I could change my routine to further improve size (especially in my biceps).

Apologies that I haven't got pics or specific info about my 1RM's etc.

Some stats where I am at the moment are for eg:

Flat DBell press: 4 x 6reps (40kg bells)

EZ bar curls: 4 x 6reps (20kg either side)

Dead lift: 4 x 6reps (110kg)

Any advice would be welcomed,



How much have you improved in the past 3 years? What does your diet and workout look like? Am I to assume you’re training the same lifts each workout with a different set/rep scheme?

The simple answer is eat enough to put on weight and train to get stronger–increase either the weight or number of reps you can perform as often as you can.

If your bodyweight hasn’t increased in a long time you aren’t eating enough. If your bodyweight has increased, but your strength hasn’t, you probably aren’t training intensely enough.

And, if your goal is to get bigger, why wouldn’t you train like a bodybuilder? Lose the TBT and get on a split routine.


Deadlift needs to be a lot higher.

and I;d avoid considering the EZ curl as a main movement for the biceps (not suggesting you drop it obviously). Do straight bar or DB curls instead.