T Nation

Knowing When to Change it Up

Hey all this is my first post here on your boards. I’ve been lurking around for a while and like the looks of what I’ve seen. Fortified Iron has been my main forum for the last year or so which I love because of all the smart people. You guys look like another really smart group but a with a different sort of dynamic, so thats why I decided to join up. Anyway I’m a new power lifter coming from a football and track (throwing) background.

Anyway my question is, how ought I change up a current program in order to keep gaining at the same rate? I’ve been growing my bench consistantly for the last 8 weeks. I started trippling 205 at 190 lbs and tonight I doubled 230 at 204. I’ve seen similar gains across to the board, especially in the last four weeks. I’m looking at starting up a new program but hate to mess with a good thing. What do you all think?

How long have you been lifting seriously? Beginners can continue to make gains on the same program for many weeks. My rule of thumb is to change my workout whenever I feel like I’ve stopped (or slowed) making gains (not just for one workout, as that can be a false alarm). Usually this happens after 8 weeks or so.

The particular program depends on your goals. Also, you mention bench here, but I’m assuming you work back and legs too?

If you’re still gaining in strength, i’d prb retain the major lifts of your routine and change the supplementary ones. Say, swap dips for skullcrushers and DB curls for chin ups.

That way you continue to gain strength in the main exercises, but your changing the stimulus on your muscles with the other movements. Helps you stop getting bored too.

[quote]graphicsMan wrote:
How long have you been lifting seriously? Beginners can continue to make gains on the same program for many weeks. My rule of thumb is to change my workout whenever I feel like I’ve stopped (or slowed) making gains (not just for one workout, as that can be a false alarm). Usually this happens after 8 weeks or so.

The particular program depends on your goals. Also, you mention bench here, but I’m assuming you work back and legs too?[/quote]

I’ve been lifting seriously since I was about 16(I’m 19 now), so a little while, but I’ve been training for power lifting only since about the beginning of the year. I just mentioned bench because its been years since my bench has really moved like this, but yes I’m definently working the squat and deadlift as well.

[quote]Sxio wrote:
If you’re still gaining in strength, i’d prb retain the major lifts of your routine and change the supplementary ones. Say, swap dips for skullcrushers and DB curls for chin ups.

That way you continue to gain strength in the main exercises, but your changing the stimulus on your muscles with the other movements. Helps you stop getting bored too. [/quote]

Definitely a good idea.