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Long Plateau, Need Advice, to GOMAD or Not?


Quick background on my lifting career, I am 16 and I have been going at it for about 18 months and have gained 45 pounds with little to no fat gain. I am currently 5'7'' 160lbs. I was progressing steadily up until about 4 months ago when everything just sort of halted in terms of strength progression. My bench/military/DL haven't gone up in months, in fact my bench has gone down by about 10-15 pounds. I know plateaus are normal, but one of this length doesn't seem right being the beginner that I am. I also am aware that it is definitely due to something I am doing wrong, the most likely thing being I am not taking in enough food. Just so everyone knows I am not some idiot who trains arms and benches 5 times a week and then wonders why he isn't gaining, I have done my research and follow fairly reputable programs that include all the big lifts. I am currently on Madcows 5x5 intermediate 3rd week.

So my question is, how much would GOMAD help me at the moment? It seems that this option would be one of the easiest ways to increase my cal intake enough to get me out of this damn rut I'm in. What has your experience been with GOMAD and its impact on strength progression? I know its recommended mainly for people who are very new beginners but how effective would it be for someone at my level when combined with Madcows 5x5 would you guys think? Here are some stats just so you know where I'm at in terms of strength, Bench 185x5(used to be slightly higher), Squat 285x5, DL 335x5, Military 125x5.


GOMAD would probably be fine for you. That or find some other large amount of food that you can eat everyday.


Insufficient food could certainly be a part of this. I've seen younger lifters really benefit from using whole milk and when I was younger I'd do some fruit, a couple of cups of whole milk and protein powder a couple of times a day. This helped me put on about 20# over the course of a school year and my lifts went up significantly. The thing with adding certain foods in, is that not everyone reacts the same to them so go slow. If you're not drinking a lot of whole milk don't just start pounding a gallon a day of it. Start slow and see how your body reacts. If you notice adverse affects (bloating, gas, congestion, etc.) and your body does not adapt to it, milk may not be the answer. But honestly, for some it works like magic and is pretty damn cheap.

The other thing I've seen with teens when their progress stalls is related to growth spurts. Guy comes in and lifts are strong, form is great then a few weeks later he's had a growth spurt and everything has gone to shit. Why? His body changed enough and enough mobility has been lost that he simply can't move right. So, we drop the weight down, fix the form, loosen up the soft-tissue that couldn't adapt as the rest of the body grew and work the weight back up and beyond where they were. In these cases, it's not a matter of strength or a plateau in the normal respect, it's simply a change in the body happened and now they can't move the weight properly. Usually this is most obvious in the deadlift and squat, but can happen in the bench and press as well.

If you post what you're eating for a couple of days (including rough quantities) or videos people here can probably help you more.


The problem is simple: you are following a minimalistic program, and not eating enough to gain more bodyweight.

Although you need more calories (and probably more protein), no it is not necessary or advisable to down an entire gallon of milk every day.

I also highly recommend getting on a more comprehensive program.


^ Why and why?


Thanks guys, Blackhand i won't be going from zero milk to a while gallon, I have been drinking about 1/3-1/2 gal of whole per day for the last month or so. Also that growth spurt point is interesting however I'm not sure if it would apply to my situation as I haven't recently gone through much vertical growth. Mr. Popular I too am curious as to why you suggest I switch from the program, I haven't been on it long enough to really judge it, but most sources say nothing but good things, what is your criticism?


Whey protein