T Nation

How is My Progress?

I’ve been working now for 5 months and I wanted to know if I’m making good progress of if I’m just sitting here and need to work harder.

All weight in pounds (1RM are calculated)
4/25 Stats: Weight: 140, DL: 297.5, SQT: 215.8, MP: 116, BP: 169
9/25 Stats: Weight: 165 DL: 363.83, SQT: 239 OLY (266 PL), MP: 116, BP:180

My upper body lifts are pretty weak because I was having a lot of technique issues, especially with my military press. I also started 5/3/1 boring but big 2 months ago (I just started the 3rd cycle) so my 1RM is being calculated based off of the sets I’m doing with the training max. I also switched to doing Olympic back squatting recently.

As I said I’m just curious if my progress is typical or if I need to work harder/eat more

Thanks =^.^=

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:
4/25 Stats: Weight: 140, DL: 297.5, SQT: 215.8, MP: 116, BP: 169
9/25 Stats: Weight: 165 DL: 363.83, SQT: 239 OLY (266 PL), MP: 116, BP:180[/quote]
Just to translate this into different terms, for another perspective…
The actual before/after numbers would be more accurate, rather than estimates, but in five months, you’ve gained 25 pounds of bodyweight, added about 65 pounds to your deadlift, about 50 pounds to your squat, about 10 pounds on your bench, and not moved on your overhead presses.

Is the bodyweight gain “quality” (shirts sleeves/shoulders fitting more snug, pant waist close to the same as before), or have you gotten much squishier around the middle? I forget how tall you are, but a consistent five-ish pounds per month is pretty good, as long as it wasn’t just pudge.

I’m not great an Internet-diagnosing technique issues, but I can’t imagine the kind of problems that would result in zero progress on overhead presses and barely any on the bench in that amount of time. Definitely try to address those by any means necessary so you can get moving on them, while obviously staying joint-healthy and not trading crap form for more weight.

Lower body strength seems right on, even with the change in squat style. Any particular reason for the switch?

If you look through my posts you can see a thread I made for my MP, I was basically bending back way too far, almost as if I was trying to create a bench in mid-air. My bench is getting better, but I think earl problems were with my grip and just having a weak chest. so my upper body lifts have been a cycle of adding more weight, the form getting worse, and then backing it down again. OR getting to a point at which I couldn’t complete the sets and then had to back off. Since I’ve been on 5/3/1 I haven’t had to back down the weight, and my form has gotten better.

I’m 5’10" I did get a little fat but that was expected, my waist did gain an inch or two but my pants are actually getting tight around the quad/hamstrings, my shirts are tight around the shoulders (I may soon look like one of those douchebags wearing a tattoo shirt 2 sizes too small lol) My abs aren’t as visible but you can still see a 6 pack without flexing (I used to have 8).

I switched squat style because I wanted to work the front half of my body more instead of all my lower body movements being posterior chain dominated. In addition to that I see myself switching to Olympic lifting after I’ve gotten to the weight level I want to be (210ish then cut back down to 180 - 190) because Olympic lifting seems more like my training style and is something I want to excel at. However I can’t really train that way now because I don’t have the space in my bedroom (I barely have enough to even deadlift) and I don’t have the kind of time to go to a gym that would allow that kind of lifting (hopefully by time I reach my weight goal something will change).

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:
If you look through my posts you can see a thread I made for my MP, I was basically bending back way too far, almost as if I was trying to create a bench in mid-air.[/quote]
Oh? :wink:

One “trick” to getting a good bench grip week to week is simply remembering exactly where you’re gripping each time (sounds obvious, huh)? Pay attention to where you’re grabbing the bar relative to the rings (“middle fingers on the rings” or “thumbs distance away”, whatever), jot it down in your notebook, and that way you can be more consistent. After a while, you realize there’s a slight-but-noticeable difference between, for example, middle fingers on the rings and pinkys on them.

Cool. Most of the time it’s just a matter of experimenting with different things until something clicks into place.

Sounds good, man. And it’s cool that you have a goal set down the road already. Overall, I’d say keep doing what you’re doing and just work on the tweaks you’re already aware of.

Only thing though, if competing in the Olympic lifts is something you want to work towards, then starting to learn the snatch and clean and jerk as soon as possible (even if you won’t “need them” for months or a year down the road) will pay off huge. When it comes to the competition lifts, technique is a huge variable.