T Nation

Inconsistency in Overall Weight Lifted


What's up T-Nation,

Here is my question

Why is it that the amount I can lift varies up or down from week to week? Let me explain: I have noticed that I progress and regress every other week. during a particular cylce I will use the same rep and set scheme but one week I will squat 315 for 8-10 reps for three sets, but the following workout that weight will seem way to heavy and I will have to drop weight to maybe 250-260 just to reach the same reps and sets. What is strange is I have noticed a pattern like this:

week 1 squat 315

weeks 2 squat 250

week 3 squat 320-325

and so on. I have noticed that this is the case whether I am doing a Total body routine three times a week, split training twice a week or a more traditional BB split routine. every other work out i have to decrease the weight. Why?


This could be a variety of things during each week. Did you just notice this for 3 weeks or longer?

One would be the intensity to which you are lifting at. 315lbs for 8 reps for 3 sets is semi hard on your bady and central nervous system (CNS). So when the next week rolls around you are in a sense "deloading" unknowingly. Then come a week later your able to lift more. How long are rest times? Compared to week 1 then week 2.

Are the first weeks 8-10 reps? 8th or 10th rep being extremely hard. What about next week? Are they 8-10reps 8th or 10th rep being hard or do you feel like you have more in the tank?


Ahhh, it's all in your head man. Look at what you're eating too, if i don't eat adequate carbs before a workout, andything after my first couple of sets would be torture, normal weights would feel twice as heavy etc...


Fuzzy Apple,

Its more of the general feeling of the weight. Some workouts that 315 feels very manageable and I know I can hit the reps and sets I am working for. the next workout I will pull that 315 off the rack and its feels much heavier, so I know that to get the reps I want I have to lower the weight. Then maybe a couple of times after that, I will go into the gym betting that I could outdo the 315 weight and I do and it feels right, but the workout after that I have to regress in weight.


I have exactly the same problem. My lifts lower even 50% from one session to another for no apparent reason. One day I BP 90kg, the other I can barely lift 40kg.

Im almost sure it has something to do with carbs. But even when I eat around 100-200g of carbs in the 1 half hour before workout I only feel more energy and a little increase in the strenght.


Some may not agree, but I that like something like this may be very mental. I know if I go into a heavy deadlifting or squatting session and am thinking to myself that the weight on the bar is heavy, it will feel heavy and I actually may not be able to lift it. However, when I go in with the mindset that this isn't anything, that same weight feels light and even easy at times.

This may not at all be what you are going through, but when the same weight feels different, regardless of the soreness, I feel that it has something to do with your mental state going into the lift.


It might be a lack of consistency in your diet. If your eating one way before one workout, and a different way before another then your results may vary. If your calories are too low your body may be compensating for that and "deloading" itself, as fuzzyapple mentioned, in some effort to protect itself. Perhaps you worked out at a different time of the day as well. My body is used to working out in the first half of the day, and my efforts at night or evening workouts are usually sub-par.

Also, I know personally a poor nights sleep can totally derail my workout efforts for a given day. All that being said to go from squatting 315 for reps to 250 for the same reps is a pretty big decrease in performance. Ive had days where I cant quite match the previous workout's performance, but its usually by 10-15 pounds not 65.


keep this up for a year and you will add 170 lbs to your 8-10 rep total.


I dont agree with this.

I go to the gym knowing that last time I benchpressed 90kg, so when I get 30kg to warm upI think its going to be reaaally easy, but I can do only 8. And in that same session I end up using 45kg for my final set.

I think it has nothing to do with mindset. IMO it is something related to carbs ingestion.


I think the correct statement would be, you think you have to lower the weight.

In most instances, it would not be the case that the muscles are actually so drastically weaker, or that the nervous system cannot do the job.

I would suggest reading any of the many threads on ramping.


I'm gonna have to disagree with the mental aspect of it also. Only because I have had days when I felt weak walking into the gym thinking I was going to have a crappy workout and I hit some PR's that day. It has also worked out the other way around when I felt great and had a good mind set going into the workout and I just sucked that day. Depending on when you workout could have something to do with it. If I workout later in the afternoon, I feel much stronger than I do in the morning due to carbs and feedings before my workout. Take a close look at your diet and the amount of Carbs you are ingesting before your workouts. If my glycogen stores are full, My str is for sure better. So my guess is: I's your DIET.


The OP is reporting a 65 lb drop out of 315, or over 20%.