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My Gains Seem Too Slow

I’ve been on Starting Strength for about 5 months. I’ve been doing everything right (eating over maintenance level for calories, sleeping 8+ hours per day, etc.), but I’ve been adding weight weight very slowly on the big 3 lifts. Only about 10 pounds a month for squatting and deadlifting, and about 5 pounds a month for bench pressing. What could I be doing wrong?

I started out lifting very small numbers btw. (barely over 100 for squatting and deadlifting, and well under 100 for benching). Could it be that I’m not lifting hard enough? Am I too young? (I’m turning 14 in a couple of weeks. But I’m pretty big for my age. I’m a little over 1.75 meters, and I weigh 68 kg)

Your young man, its good that you are being active and getting your strength up. Look at it this way. Rome wasn’t built in a day, it took years. Strength will come in time. Plus you may not be done growing.

Keep up the good work though

Awesome that you’re lifting so early, especially as you seem to be doing it way better than most beginners, but I must say, if you have to ask ‘am I not lifting hard enough?’ you’re probably not lifting hard enough

Agreed.

How much weight are you putting on every week? 1lb+ should get you going, and you have to push yourself to get the weight up - work up to 10reps with your current weights, then add more weight to the bar and start a 5 reps till you get to 10 again. Repeat.

You are young and growing, it takes time.

How much over maintenance are you eating? At your age, you’re growing fast anyway. You have to eat a lot more to gain muscle. Especially if you’re active other than lifting, eat everything you can get your hands on. If it’s edible, it’s gone.

Let’s be honest: You’ve been grinding on a good routine for five months. You’re to be commended. At this point, you may want to consider trying something else, preferably something other than 3x5.

How much have you gone up in the 5 months?

Have you read the book? I think he talks about this, but I’m not 100% sure.

But yeah, like above, eat more. Make sure your drinking enough water, and I mean the clear stuff, not Gatorade and shit. I’m also pretty sure the book mentions milk and to drink a lot of it, but I may be getting two things confused.

And don’t stress it, your only 14 and being very smart about your training. Stress will only further tax your CNS, which will slow your gains too. You may be stronger than you think. Try some singles with a spot that knows what he/she is doing. (for example, makes you do the work, and only stops you from killing yourself with the bar, NOT someone who is going to do half the lift for you.)

What do you think of powercleans?

I would STRONGLY recommend against singles at his age. There’s no need to max out, and to be honest, reps under 5 are probably not going to do him much good at this point.

Powercleans are great only as long as you have a proper coach–and proper coaches are few and far between. There’s a good chance it would do more harm than good if you were to try to teach yourself to clean, or if you were to pick a bad coach. I would also recommend against them at this time.

Unless you were able to find an olympic lifting coach that could accurately teach you, not a “personal trainer”.

[quote]Gigaman.EXE wrote:
I’ve been on Starting Strength for about 5 months. I’ve been doing everything right (eating over maintenance level for calories, sleeping 8+ hours per day, etc.), but I’ve been adding weight weight very slowly on the big 3 lifts. Only about 10 pounds a month for squatting and deadlifting, and about 5 pounds a month for bench pressing. What could I be doing wrong?

I started out lifting very small numbers btw. (barely over 100 for squatting and deadlifting, and well under 100 for benching). Could it be that I’m not lifting hard enough? Am I too young? (I’m turning 14 in a couple of weeks. But I’m pretty big for my age. I’m a little over 1.75 meters, and I weigh 68 kg)[/quote]

Hey man, It’s awesome you’re starting out that early. I started now at 16 and gained a bit faster but when you’re 16, you’ll be lightyears ahead of me if you just keep at it.

How hard are you pounding it in the weight room? Maybe you have too short rest? 2-3 minutes is usually good for the big 3 and shorter the smaller it is down to about 40 sec on really minor groups.

Also, if you’re going at it hard in the gym but not progressing, it is almost always your nutrition. Nutrition is pretty much the only thing I and my training partner do differently, and I have done over double the gain in almost every excercise. 10 pounds a week is pretty standard when you don’t gain weight.

[quote]colonelquack wrote:
Let’s be honest: You’ve been grinding on a good routine for five months. You’re to be commended. At this point, you may want to consider trying something else, preferably something other than 3x5.[/quote]

x2.

Also, how much has your weight gone up? This could tell whether or not you’ve really been eating that much. Maybe you need to eat more?

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
I would STRONGLY recommend against singles at his age. [/quote]

Good point…

Let me reword what I said. You may be stronger than you think. Find a spot that knows what he/she is doing, and see how strong you are. DON’T do this all the time.

And as far as the powercleans go, he said he was doing SS, and I like you, asked him about them out of concern.