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Lost 10kg Strength in All Major Upper Body Lifts. Why?


So walked into the gym today feeling jacked to shit, ready to bust out 5 sets of 10 with a 40kg weight on incline press! Feeling pumped to all shit, I still struggled… WTF!! then I continued and tried other exercises and to my surprise I was weak as anything… LOST 10kg strength in all major upper body lifts?

No, I am not overtrained (about 80% sure) but there is a possibility I have caught a cold and two days prior I did do a leg session that utterly destroyed me (still sore). I mean such a good session the DOMs have me feeling like a novice lifter. Anyway, I digress… does ANYONE have any clues as to what this is!? my strength gains were going phenomenally and then one day they just plummeted out of the blue.


You didn’t sleep enough, you didn’t eat enough, your CNS is still recovering from the leg day, etc. etc…

You had a shitty workout, it happens. It’s not a big deal. You’ll be fine.


Thanks mate! :slight_smile: Actually really needed to hear this haha I’m always so quick to beat myself up and think I’m doing something wrong :pray: Thank you! Best advice I’ve gotten in ages


What type of training/program are you on?

do you do intensity techniques/beyond failure stuff like drop sets, rest pause etc?


I do an 8 day microcycle: 3 days of strength/power (push, pull and lower) rest one day, 3 days of hypertrophy (push, pull and lower) then I rest another day.
been taking most thing to failure as well


This could easily be your problem.


Have you recently had a hair cut? I know this one guy that got a hair cut then lost all his strength

or it could just be a bad day as mentioned above :smiley:


perhaps a dumb question… but I’ve been doing this most of my training “career”, is that bad to do too often? how often should I?


hahah I have heard the tales :joy: rest assured I am weary of the scissors


My opinion:

It, of course, depends on the individual’s ability to recover, what “supplements” they are or are not on, and other factors like nutrition, sleep, programming, etc… Generally, though, intensification techniques should be used sparingly because they’re a lot tougher on the body than other methods.

This is especially true when training for strength and will become even more evident the stronger you get.


so then perhaps with this split I shouldn’t be maxing out on everything… maybe more like the 70% zone then over a matter of weeks working my way up to 100%? or just always sit around 80 to 90%.

Because, if I’m understanding you correctly, I will otherwise burn out too quick and because of the gains in strength my body will take longer to recover (as it is overall more taxing).


Personally, I wouldn’t max out on anything. You’re a bodybuilder, right? So, there’s really no purpose behind maxing out for your goals.

I also don’t really get why you have 3 straight days of strength training and then 3 straight days of hypertrophy work. Are you emulating someone else’s program or is that just your training philosophy?

It would be helpful if you typed out what your split looks like in detail.


Jacob Wilson’s Project Mass is the program I’m following - currently into the second microcycle of hypertrophy. I’ve gained and gained up to now, and just plummeted today completely.

Training for shear mass is a relatively new concept to me, in the past I have always trained lean gains and sat around 10%bf all year… but yes ultimately bodybuilding is the goal so I’ve accepted that a period concentrated upon mass gain is necessary.


I’m not familiar, but it could just be a matter of your body not being accustomed to this style of training or maybe you’re not doing the RM loading right.

I did notice a couple of things, though. For starters, the 2nd microcycle - hypertrophy only calls for 4x10 in the incline press. Are you following the protocol right?

The second thing I noticed is that the program says advanced techniques are built into the program. I don’t see where the program calls for training to failure.

I would also re-read the “Training Overview” section. Specifically where it goes over the Seyles’ Model of Adaptation. You’re probably experiencing what they term the “Alarm Reaction”.


Starting to think I’ve jumped into it without properly reading the overview. I’ve followed the rep scheme, diet and exercises perfectly but have been doing everything to failure… since I’ve always trained like this I guess I thought it was a given. Though the more i discuss it the clearer it seems that transposing that training philosophy into this training regime would be far too taxing no matter how many extra carbs and protein I indulge in. Do you think that has been where I have slipped up?




I think if you stop taking all of your sets to failure and make sure you follow the protocol to a T then you’ll be fine.


Jumping in late here… Don’t expect to experience constant strength gains on any program unless it is designed for peaking. Look at a competitive lifter’s program and you will see that volume decreases as they approach a competition. This is necessary to let the body (tissue & CNS) recover.

Most of us don’t need to peak so we just keep grinding away. I think that’s why most programs you find online don’t program for peaking. If you really want to see how strong you’ve become then dial it down, taper appropriately and max out. Otherwise just enjoy the journey. Good days with random PRs when you feel like crap. Bad days when you’re pumped up and ready to crush everything. It happens. The key is to keep returning to the gym day in and day out. It’s a lifetime pursuit; not an eight week cycle of Tren to glory.

I do 5/3/1 and last week I was supposed to do 3 reps @ 70, 80, & 90% of my training max. I got 3 @70, 3@80, & 1@90. Bad day.


more calories, nutrition, and recovery.


Obviously you can’t lose significant muscle mass in a day, or even a week. You could in a month if you got really sick and basically didn’t eat. But honestly, it takes a while for muscle to go away, and for that to happen, your diet needs to be complete shit, or you need to be ill. Proper hydration contributes significantly to strength on a day to day basis significantly, so if your salt intake happened to be way too low that day, or you just didn’t drink enough, you could have felt fine but been weak in the gym.

As for your overall training, I don’t think hitting failure or close to it is a problem for the smaller lifts, particularly in higher rep ranges. I’ll do things like curls to failure in the 10-15 rep range on a regular basis. What you DON’T want to do is hit heavy compound movements in lower rep ranges regularly.

Anyway, my overall opinion is that the first paragraph I wrote is more applicable than the need to alter your training. Chalk it up to a bad day, and keep working!