Is this Normal? Weight and Strength Gains

Hi All. First post here. Love the site, read a ton of articles. Awesome stuff.

Anyhow, a little background info. I am 36. I have lifted weights on and off for 16 years, mostly off. Altogether I might have lifted 4-5 years total, longest stretch being 1 year. Yoyo weightlifter you could call me, and my weight itself. I started off at 150, went to 220 (~15%bf) down to 170 up to 190, and finally was at 157 3 months ago. I had never been a very strong lifter though, my deadlift was 385, bench was 225, and squat was 275 all for reps, i dont remember how many (All this when I was at my highest weight of 220 about 14 years ago). I dont know my 1rm as I never bothered trying.

Last year I battled cancer (beat it) and so I decided I wanted to get back to it and dedicate myself to getting stronger/bigger.

So now to the questions. I started back up about 3 months ago (at 157lbs). When I started I was REALLY weak:

bench: 95
deadlift: 135
squat: 115

Anyhow, is it normal to progress SO DAMNED FAST? I have gained 25 pounds, fairly lean (alot of water I am sure too) now sitting at 182, and my strength has gone up super fast:

bench 225
deadlift 365
squat 245

I am already 20 pounds away from lifting what I was lifting 14 years ago in the deadlift. ANd in only 3 months. It just seems… unreal.

I guess I want to know, is this normal for folks who take lots of time off? DO you think its mostly neural? ANybody else with similar stories? Would you expect me to start to plateu, or slow down soon since I am nearing my previous strength levels?

One more note, I am much more disciplined now than I was when I was younger, perhaps that is making a big difference. Also, I am self employed, but am not working much right now, have no stress in my life, and devoted as much time as I need on lifting, nutrition, recovery, etc.

Yes. It is extremely normal for someone who has had a layoff to come back quickly. It takes a long time to build strength, but fortunately it is also difficult to lose too much strength. Whereas with cardio, you can lose your ability much more easily and quickly.

The people who gain strength the fastest are people who used to lift and are coming back after a layoff, and big people who have never lifted before. I have a friend who is 6’7, 270. I finally got him to come lift with me, and I shit you not, his deadlift went up 100lbs in one week.

Enjoy it while it lasts :slight_smile:

[quote]csulli wrote:
Yes. It is extremely normal for someone who has had a layoff to come back quickly. It takes a long time to build strength, but fortunately it is also difficult to lose too much strength. Whereas with cardio, you can lose your ability much more easily and quickly.

The people who gain strength the fastest are people who used to lift and are coming back after a layoff, and big people who have never lifted before. I have a friend who is 6’7, 270. I finally got him to come lift with me, and I shit you not, his deadlift went up 100lbs in one week.

Enjoy it while it lasts :)[/quote]
X2

It’s a mixture of muscle memory and newbie gains. Nothing abnormal at all.

regardless of how ‘normal’ it is, sounds like you’re on the right track

Thanks everyone for the replies and the positive feedback. Its much appreciated. :slight_smile: