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New 6'5", 246. Wilks 285.5

I just started seriously lifting 6 months ago. I’m 28, 6’5, and 246lbs. For the last three months I’ve using the Sheiko App. I just totaled a disappointing 1065 when I was shooting for 1100. My squat was 345, bench 335, and deadlift 385. I’d like to do a meet in the next three years. Clearly my deadlift and squat need some serious work and I’m trying to get my bench to 405. Any advice would be awesome!

Welcome to T Nation

With a a ratio of bench squat/deadlift like that I’m visualising a guy with all the muscle on his body concentrated in his upper body and T Rex style three foot long arms lol

Advice wise I think Sheiko does decent enough programming so I’ll say these:

  • Perfect technique like posting a formcheck video from a few angles of your heavy lifts on the forum to get tips

  • Recover gooder. Sleep enough (or more). Eat to fuel performance so like enough protein to maintain or gain muscle, carbs to fuel high intensity activity and calories depending on your goal

The eating right now is hard. I’m currently deployed so I’m only getting three meals a day but I’ve been trying to supplement with a meal replacement and an extra protein shake. I like to think I’m proportioned. I’ll have to post some videos with I get better internet. Thanks for the advice! @guineapig

From what I’ve been told by mates in the Australian Defence force (assuming it would be close enough for our purposes) getting in enough calories is difficult.

Meal replacements are a good idea even if we’d rather be eating whole foods if possible. I’m not sure how viable snacking/grazing throughout the day would be for you e.g. protein bars or a pack of trail mix but worst case you can smash half a day’s calories in a monster Shake morning and night. Definitely not optimal but you do what you gotta

If you have access to scales you can weigh yourself frequently and see how your body weight is trending to determine if you’ve been in a deficit, maintenance or surplus on average.

I’m currently taking Redcon1 MRE between meals which helps. My weigh for the last six months has been pretty steady at 246-250.

How lean are you? I’m guessing pretty lean since you’re in the military but just checking since that would change things.

The only way I have to check BF% is by taping at the moment. So if I go by that I’m at 12% body fat. @tasty_nate

At your height it’s going to be hard to really get your squat and deadlift up without gaining some weight. Bench would benefit from that as well, but if your arms aren’t too long then it’s not such a major limitation. Realistically, for powerlifting at 6’5" you would probably have to be well over 300lbs to be competitive, that is something to consider. Some of the top strongman competitors like Thor and Brian Shaw are real tall but they weight around 400lbs.

If you can’t get enough food to gain weight then just do what you can do.

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My current goal is to get my three lifts over the 405 mark. If I need to gain weight to do it I will once I get off this ship. Thanks for the advice. @chris_ottawa

Probably worth noting that a 405 bench is plenty respectable at any weight; but at 246 lbs a 405 squat and dead are not. A more ‘proportioned’ balance would be 650/405/700.

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No fishing allowed or what?

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Unless you have the most chickenist chicken legs ever, I think it’s completely realistic to get your squat and dead above 400 without weight gain. There’s a relatively new guy at our gym that’s even taller than you, similar weight, and he’s put on ~100 lbs to his squat and dead in the last 6 months with them now being over 400 and 450, respectively. When you’re trying to get stronger without gaining muscle/body weight, you’re doing two things…

  1. learning to keep your body in correct position throughout the movement and
  2. learning to engage all the appropriate muscle groups to a high level and at the correct times.

Since you just started lifting seriously, I’m guessing you are nowhere near maximizing either of these. Any decent coach can take a new lifter and have them demonstrate “correct form” with an empty barbell, but correct form at 85%+ weights while exerting as much force into the bar as possible is a whole other issue. Learning to do that is what will get you stronger without simply packing on more mass.

Can you give an example of a typical week’s training you’ve been doing?

One week of my training log
Day 1
Bench Press Squat Bench Press Incline Dumbbell Press Seated Goodmornings
180x5 5 RIR 170x5 5 RIR 165x4 5 RIR 200x6 2 RIR 50x5
210x4 4 RIR 215x4 5 RIR 195x4 5 RIR 200x6 2 RIR 50x5
245x4 3 RIR 245x4 4 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 200x6 1 RIR 50x5
275x3 2 RIR 280x2 2 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 200x6 1 RIR 50x5
275x3 2 RIR 280x2 2 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 50x5
275x3 2 RIR 280x2 2 RIR 230x4 4 RIR
280x3 2 RIR 280x2 2 RIR 230x4 4 RIR

Day 2
Arms

Day 3
Deficit DL Bench Press Deadlift (From Knees) Dips Standing Goodmornings
200x3 5 RIR 165x5 5 RIR 275x3 3 RIR 90x10 50x8
235x3 5 RIR 195x4 5 RIR 315x3 3 RIR 90x10 50x8
255x3 4 RIR 230x3 4 RIR 355x2 2 RIR 90x10 50x8
275x2 4 RIR 245x3 3 RIR 355x2 2 RIR 90x10 50x8
275x2 3 RIR 245x2 3 RIR 375x1 1 RIR 90x10
275x2 3 RIR 245x2 2 RIR 375x1 1 RIR
275x2 3 RIR 245x2 2 RIR 375x1 0 RIR

Day 4
Shoulders

Day 5
Squat Bench Press Squat Decline Dumbbell Press
170x5 5 RIR 165x6 5 RIR 185x3 4 RIR 100x6 3 RIR
205x4 5 RIR 195x6 4 RIR 220x3 3 RIR 100x6 2 RIR
240x3 4 RIR 230x6 4 RIR 255x3 2 RIR 110x6 2 RIR
275x2 1 RIR 230x6 3 RIR 255x3 2 RIR 120x6 2 RIR
275x2 1 RIR 230x6 3 RIR 255x3 2 RIR 120x6 2 RIR
275x2 1 RIR 230x6 2 RIR 255x3 2 RIR
275x2 1 RIR 230x6 2 RIR
225x14 0 RIR

Day 6
Arms

Day 7
DL to knees Close Grip Bench DL(blocks below knees) Dips Skull Crushers
200x3 5 RIR 165x4 5 RIR 215x3 5 RIR 100x8 100x6
235x3 5 RIR 195x4 5 RIR 255x3 4 RIR 100x8 100x6
275x3 4 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 295x3 4 RIR 100x8 110x6
295x3 3 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 335x3 3 RIR 100x8 120x6
295x3 2 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 335x3 2 RIR 100x8 120x6
295x3 2 RIR 230x4 4 RIR 335x3 2 RIR
335x3 1 RIR
Days I’m supposed to take off I alternate arms and shoulders and I take off every eighth day.

@tasty_nate That came out as a jumbled mess. Not sure how to fix that.

you’re not, really. At least in terms of what can generally be expected in terms of powerlifting numbers, ratio-wise. That deadlift is really, really bad. Your bench is waaaay better, relatively speaking, than the other 2 lifts.

I agree. Squat will be tougher, but there are PLENTY of tall, lanky dudes pulling much heavier weights.

So I would suggest doing some higher rep sets on your main lifts. You’re below 6 reps on every set you’re doing of the big 3. Figure out a way to work that in. Particularly on squats. Nothing has made my squats stronger than a whole lot of sets at 10+ reps.

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What sort of other physical activity do you do throughout the week?

What sort of weights were you squatting and pulling, say… 4 months ago?

If you’re not progressing I’ve got some ideas of what might be going on, but trying to rule things out as they come to mind.

Also, before you started using the Shieko app were you still lifting 6+ days a week?

I get the impression that right now your squat and deadlift would make some fast progress if you did some sort of linear progression, like a basic 5x5 program. Sheiko programs have you lifting the same weights for around 4 months, they do work but if you can make faster progress then I don’t see why you shouldn’t. Once you stall then a Sheiko program would be more appropriate.

Also, doing multiple shoulder and arm workouts on top of benching 4 days a week is too much. Add a couple sets of curls once or twice a week and you should be fine.

This right here. At your size and experience you could literally walk into a gym and squat 2-3 times a week deadlift 2 times a week and bench 3 times a week and get somewhere in a few months. Drop the small muscle days and hit large groups.

Four months ago I was benching 325, squatting 315, and deadlifting around 340. I hit the treadmill and stationary bike a couple times a week. I was still lifting 6+ days a week. I would do 5x5s in the big three and split shoulders and arms the same as I do now. I’m currently on a ship so working out is the best way to pass my off time.