T Nation

Increases in Bursts

I just noticed something tonight while reviewing my past workout logs. My increases in weights come in steps/bursts. I will have 3-6 weeks where I can not lift any more (either in volume or in max) than the weeks prior and then bam, I not only pass the previous max, but surpass it by 20-30 pounds…then, 3-6 more weeks of not being able to increase it from this new max and poof, it happens again.

I was getting discouraged some weeks when I could not progress…until I noticed the pattern. Now I know not to get down during those weeks where I feel like I’m not gaining anything…because it’s just a matter of time.

Anyone else experience this same thing?

(Disclaimer: I’m still a newbie at this having only been lifting for ~1.25 years. My guess is this type of progression is normal and the type I was experiencing before (some increase nearly every week) only works when you’re just starting lifting.)

Jofjltn4, yes I experienced the same thing. Human bodies are not machines. The Roman empire reached its maximum expansion approximatively 1000 years after the foundation of Rome. What I may suggest you is to read carefully everything concerning PERIODIZATION on T-Nation. Years ago I read a simple method by Mc Robert & Kubik. 3 months training cycle, start with a load 80% of your best,add small weights at each workout. In this way the 1st month is easy, the 2nd medium, the 3rd hard. You end this cycle with a better performance. Then start again lowering the loads and so on. More up to date periodization patterns are described on T-mag by King, Thibadeau etc. Waterbury’s ABBH shows a clear periodization.
Hope that helps !