T Nation

Just Never Quite Seem to Cut It

Hey all, 36 yo active duty and I have been lifting for some amount of years now. I got fat at one point in my life and decided that was for the birds and started lifting. You would think with how long I have been doing this, I would be much much stronger, a lot more bulky, and definitely have less body fat. But something always seems to be blocking my way. I have no idea what it is, but my love handles REFUSE to disappear, my 1RM for Bench will not cross 200, and my squat is squat. Has anyone else had these types of difficulties in their lifting life? If so, what did YOU do to overcome them?

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What is your training program like? Are you consistent? Have a partner or somebody to be responsible to? Have you had any blood work done for Test, estrogen, etc?

Are you deployed, stateside, or overseas? Do you drink alot?

Just trying to get more info

I have never lost weight lifting you just don’t burn enough calories. Think about it time under tension is seconds maybe a few minutes for say a farmers walk and you might as well not count bicep curls, haha
Running and diet is the way to lose those love handles. No cheese no bread no beer no sugar or pop

So basically… no point in living.


Try an app to track daily calories. Under Armour has one. After about 2 months you’ll have a good understanding of how much and what to eat. Eating same stuff regularly will make it easier.

Limit alcohol to a few drinks a week and record drinks on app.

Best idea is consistent workouts with a strong training partner.

I have done a few calorie tracking apps. I usually do very well when I am tracking calories, but sometimes (having three kids and a wife) it is difficult to make two separate meals. I am still within my range of calorie intake, though I do probably have a few more bad calories than I do good ones. I also don’t really ever drink, so alcohol isn’t a big issue for me.

My program has changed over the years, right now I am doing this nice amalgamation of the Tom Ellis “Lucifer” workout and Jamie Dornan’s “50 Shades” workout. I try to stay consistent as possible. Life occasionally steps in a throws me off, but I do get back on track. I don’t have a partner. I workout alone and I am going through my fitness journey by my lonesome. and Yes I have gotten blood work done. It all came back normal, but my other doctor said that the only way to really get a good judgment on something like that is to do a saliva test, so as soon as I can purchase one, I will be doing that to find out.
And I am stateside (California)

First of all, thank you for your service brother. I also served but that was a LONG, LONG time ago.

Being an old guy, I’m not familiar with those programs mentioned. So with no huge outstanding issues facing you making (even incremental) strength gains, something is holding you back.

Have you tried changing anything to measure affect? i.e. barbells instead of dumbbells, or box squats, or partial deadlifts, etc. Some of your issue may be psychological in that you are afraid you will hurt yourself under a new weight or afraid to fail. There is a lot of confidence built once you achieve a new personal best.

Maybe a reliable workout partner would help you. I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find another GI to train with. Or maybe hiring a personal trainer for about 3 months to basically be your experienced workout partner and watch you and push you to new places?

The very site you are posting on here will give you all the info you need on a program called 5/3/1, developed by a guy who could throw Jamie Dornan across a very big room. Understand and use that program well, combined with taking in enough calories, and I cannot see how you could fail to break through some of your barriers. A 200 pound bench will soon become trivial.

But you have to push yourself. You probably think you have been working hard before in your training, but you will find new levels that will require a whole new mindset. As a military guy, I have no doubt you have it in you somewhere.