T Nation

Lack of PRs?

Hey Everyone,

I’m sure that I am preaching to the quoir here, but this is something that I forget all too easily. I’ve read it before, but sometimes it doesn’t stick and I felt like maybe it was the same for some other people.

Basically, I get pissed off if I don’t hit a PR every week or so. But then I realized, if someone started at a 200lb bench and increased it by 5lbs per week, their bench press would be 460lbs by the end of the year! As we all know (hopefully) this doesn’t happen.

Anyone else tend to forget this too? Perhaps I’m just an overeager bastard.

-MAtt

i think we all feel this way.

I feel the same way too, but I’ve expanded my view of “PR.” Since I’m not a powerlifter, per se, doing the same amount of volume in less time with less rest between sets, doing an extra set, doing more reps, and moving an extra few pounds on the bar all count as progress in my book.

Motivation to add weight to an exercise and specifically impatience can be good, but they can also lead to a degeneration of form and an accumulation of stupid nagging injuries.
Basically, don’t sweat it. You’re in this for the long haul, 5 pounds this week will mean nothing in a year if you keep training consistently and smart.

[quote]redsox348984 wrote:
i think we all feel this way.[/quote]

Pretty much.

Every time I hear this sort of talk I think of Milon of Kroton. There are many stories about the strength of Milon, which he developed by lifting a calf every day, until became a bull.

Now that is text book progressive overload. That was the first thing we learned in resistance training at University.

No doubt old Milon put his 1rm up by a little more than 60lbs.

A couple thoughts:

Yes, you’re not going to hit a PR every time you step into the gym. But there really is no reason to not do something you haven’t done before at least once a month on the Westside system.

Since I have taken the week off from training, I have thought about everything that I have been doing wrong.

  1. Too much weight on DE day. I don’t know if anyone else has done this, but here it goes. I have consistently been basing my percentages off of special exercises (pull from plates, floor press) instead of what I have actually benched, squatted, or pulled.

For instance, I did my box squats with 250 last week, because I am positive that I can squat 500 in gear. The problem is that I have never squatted in a suit, and never squatted 500; my CNS, while capable of doing it, has never been able to adapt to that stressor.

I feel like this is the number one things I have been doing wrong, but it hurts the ego to only squat with two plates.

  1. Abandoning accessory exercises that you know help you. It’s easy to drift along after you do your main lift, and just choose accessory lifts randomly. For me, I stopped doing GHRs. I really have no idea why, I just haven’t done them in about a month. This is so stupid I almost hate to admit it.

  2. Trying to do too many different things. I am thinking about limiting every training session to three exercises as I prepare for my meet. This will make me not only eliminate all extra crap, it will make me focus on choosing the movements I know will help me the most and pouring everything into them. Sometimes, you start wanting to put together “cool” sessions, but I know I always get better results when I stick to the basics.

Now, these are all the things I think I was doing wrong in training. Maybe you spot something you were doing in here. Go set some records.

Bear

I took 2 months off to try to bring up my grades, and now I’m still trying to get back to where I was, so I haven’t hit a pr since march.

Moral of the story, workout instead of studying.

[quote]tveddy wrote:
I took 2 months off to try to bring up my grades, and now I’m still trying to get back to where I was, so I haven’t hit a pr since march.

Moral of the story, workout instead of studying.[/quote]

Hell yea man…which is why I’m on academic probation.

-MAtt

So tune up your plan (diet sleeping training stress etc.), bring the pain the next time you go at it, and realize everybody has a crappy day or even crappy week. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and if you continue to train harder and smarter you’ll get what you’re after, grasshopper. Or some shit like that.

Your feelings are correct. I am always pissed if I don’t hit a PR. While people may say, “If you add x pounds a week for X time, you’d be doing 5000 pounds”. That’s bullshit, and I’ll tell you why.

Sometimes I may not do an exercise at all. I may stop benching for 2 months, and then come back to it and then I’ll consistently add 5 pounds a week on my max triple for about 4 weeks. Then I’ll move to higher reps, where the goal isn’t to increase weight all the time. So if you vary your training properly, there will be periods of time where you’re always gaining strength on a lift. Simply going up 5 pounds a week on max triples isn’t going to work forever, however.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
tveddy wrote:
I took 2 months off to try to bring up my grades, and now I’m still trying to get back to where I was, so I haven’t hit a pr since march.

Moral of the story, workout instead of studying.

Hell yea man…which is why I’m on academic probation.

-MAtt[/quote]

I finally graduated and now I have a job where I’ll be able to lift all the time. Life is good. Good luck with the probation.

If a certain exercise is trained over 3 weeks consecutively at or above 90% of your 1RM (suited or raw), you will see a regression in strength.

[quote]tigerak02 wrote:
If a certain exercise is trained over 3 weeks consecutively at or above 90% of your 1RM (suited or raw), you will see a regression in strength.

[/quote]

this is true, pissed off determination, is nothing compared to intelligent training.
That comment tells me that tigerk02 knows what he is doing and probably impressive.

Yes, I know this to be true.

The thread wasn’t really an “asking for help” thread as much as just trying to see who shared the same sentiments.

-MAtt

[quote]DLboy wrote:
Your feelings are correct. I am always pissed if I don’t hit a PR. While people may say, “If you add x pounds a week for X time, you’d be doing 5000 pounds”. That’s bullshit, and I’ll tell you why.

Sometimes I may not do an exercise at all. I may stop benching for 2 months, and then come back to it and then I’ll consistently add 5 pounds a week on my max triple for about 4 weeks. Then I’ll move to higher reps, where the goal isn’t to increase weight all the time. So if you vary your training properly, there will be periods of time where you’re always gaining strength on a lift. Simply going up 5 pounds a week on max triples isn’t going to work forever, however.[/quote]

Right, I see what you’re saying. But, in something like the Westside method where you are training a bench variation every week, one could become frustrated if they don’t hit a PR in that variation from week to week.

-MAtt

I would imagine it would be easier to hit PRs with a board press vs. Full ROM bench press, same thing with a rack pull vs. Deadlift.

[quote]Matgic wrote:

Anyone else tend to forget this too? Perhaps I’m just an overeager bastard.

-MAtt[/quote]

YES!

I wasn’t even realizing how far I’ve come, just that I wasn’t getting another PR and lost motivation because of it.

I think the most important part of training is to understand your body.

Take an extra day off if you feel that you aren’t in an optimal condition to do a lift.

Also, mix up your assistance and your main movements constantly! You have to put your body in a constant state of adaptation. You can then have a 2-3 mesocycle where you can test your 1RM for a particular lift if you feel you are ready. Personally, when going for that new max attempt, anything over 102-105% of your previous 1RM may be a bit overreaching unless your previous warm-up lifts were very quick/easy.

Bar speed is to vital to the deadlift, so always use explosion after creeping down to the bar.

My favorite assistance movement for the deadlift is the rack lockout (pin pull) above the knee, which is where I stall.

It is also of tantamount importance to train the grip in the deadlift, so do them raw and hold the barbell in your hands for as long as possible.

If you are weak off the floor, I would suggest rack squats, another wonderful exercise. When doing rack squats, you should start from the position you start your deadlift in to simulate that same “pulling” distance.

I just want to add that I am a small dude, 5’6" 132 lbs and pull 435 lbs (I will be testing my new 1RM in 3 weeks). I made the mistake of not training grip raw (used straps), so my previous attempt at 445 was lost because of my god damn grip.

Additionally, I feel that the lighter guys doing powerlifting should really focus on their technique and design an intelligent program to suit HIS/HER needs.

The golden rule however is not to train over 90% for more than three consecutive weeks of a single main movement. This will only result in overtraining and cause a regression/set-back in training.

However, TRAIN HEAVY! This may not be the case on your main movement, but those two previous exercises I mentioned before should be trained heavy, as long as not too much volume is performed. I probably do 3-5 reps total; to train the CNS that I can handle this weight during a max effort attempt.

Beginners can use progressive overload to a point, but if you do not see significant gains in your numbers it is time to switch to the ME/DE westside cycles. An additional note regarding progressive overload is that I believe that they should be done in 3-6 (6 weeks being the max) week cycles because any longer would create too much fatigue (in my opinion) and stress on the CNS when training in the last weeks of lets say a 12-week cycle.

Please PM me if you have questions, I am more than glad to help.

a while ago i was convinced to try something crazy…to hit at least one PR everytime i hit the gym, i go in 6 days a week sometimes i’ve done five…either way, i haven’t missed a PR in over a year and a half and most days i hit more than one…it’s not uncommon for me to add 20-30 or even more pounds to five or six exercises in a month, not saying it’s easy…far from it, it’s the hardest, most demanding and draining thing you could do to yourself…but i wouldn’t have it any other way…