T Nation

New Guy

Hey I’m knew to T-Nation. I’ve been browsing the archives for a while now. I love all the information.

I’ve been lifting for about 6 months. I’ve gone from 150lbs to 175. I was very happy with my strength gains too, until I started a program from the Menshealth website called HGM. All my maxs dropped.

At the moment I can only bench 115 about 10 times. I know that must seem like a joke to you guys. My problem is that I haven’t really seen much strength improvement over these months. I know its a slow process but I’ve been benching the same this entire time. Have any of you guys had this happen?

My friends on the football team can bench over 200 and it doesn’t seem like they even workout very much. Is it possible that I’m doing something wrong? My diets pretty good and my sleep and lifestyle is decent. Other than that I cant think of what the problem is. Maybe I’m just cursed to be week.

Oh and what routines would you guys suggest?

Any advice appreciated, this site is the only place I trust for lifting info.

wait a second how would you know you have been benching 115 for 10 the hole time?

when you have been working on your reps with 120-125-130?

it seems like your eating enough if you gained 25 pounds when ever you get a set of 10 with something you should up the weigt the next time unless you want a set of 11 or 12 or what ever
you havent been working out verry long so train high volume on triceps next time like

close grip bench
3 x 20

scull crushers
3 x 20

pushdowns
3 x 20

take a few days off upper body pushing movements keep eating alot and try reps with 125

hope that helps some


n3wb

I’m no expert, but one of the things that has helped me in terms of increasing maximal strength has been doing a set/rep scheme that focuses on using a weight that’s near 80-85% of my one rep maximum lift for 5 sets of 5 reps. In other words, you should barely be able to perform the last rep of that fifth set with good form using the heaviest weight you can handle.

You increase weight as necessary, until you hit a plateau. At that point, using an even heavier load, say your 3 rep max, for 8-10 sets of 3 reps should help you break through that.

This isn’t something you’re going to want to do every workout if you’re just starting out, but throwing it in as a set-rep scheme once or twice a week would probably help a lot.

I would be willing to bet that simply doing 3x10 for as long as you have is a big reason why you aren’t progressing. Same stimulus, after your body has adjusted, just isn’t going to produce fantastic results.

That said, if you’ve made progress on all of your other lifts, it would seem odd to me that your bench did not also improve.

Anyone with a bit more experience got any thoughts?

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:
I was very happy with my strength gains too, until I started a program from the Menshealth website called HGM. All my maxs dropped.

At the moment I can only bench 115 about 10 times.

Any advice appreciated, this site is the only place I trust for lifting info. [/quote]

First and foremost…stop reading Men’s Health.

If you want your max’s to go up, you need to increase your weights and get away from the 10 rep range.

You made a nice jump from 150 to 175, but if you just started lifting and eating more, you could probably have made that same jump doing any program. Now you have hit a plateau, and need to get a real program.

Have you read Vroom’s article at the top of the page? There are a lot of good links in it for the beginner.

Long story short, whatever you were doing isn’t working anymore. It’s time for a change. You may want to get down to the 4-6 rep range for a while and occasionally throw in some doubles or triples once you get used to using the heavier weights.

How about posting your typical routine so we can pick it apart and put it back together for you?

[quote]Modi wrote:
Deadend66 wrote:
I was very happy with my strength gains too, until I started a program from the Menshealth website called HGM. All my maxs dropped.

At the moment I can only bench 115 about 10 times.

Any advice appreciated, this site is the only place I trust for lifting info.

First and foremost…stop reading Men’s Health.

If you want your max’s to go up, you need to increase your weights and get away from the 10 rep range.

You made a nice jump from 150 to 175, but if you just started lifting and eating more, you could probably have made that same jump doing any program. Now you have hit a plateau, and need to get a real program.

Have you read Vroom’s article at the top of the page? There are a lot of good links in it for the beginner.

Long story short, whatever you were doing isn’t working anymore. It’s time for a change. You may want to get down to the 4-6 rep range for a while and occasionally throw in some doubles or triples once you get used to using the heavier weights.

How about posting your typical routine so we can pick it apart and put it back together for you?[/quote]

Alright. Before I started the HGM program I wasn’t following any routine. I just kind of listened to my body. If something felt like it was ready to work out again I did. Like for example if I deadlifted one exercise, the next I would probably squat, then the next i’d see how my legs were feeling and go from there.

I would start with pullups, then I benched, Deadlift or squat, then shoulder
press. Then I would throw in little things after that. And that worked for a long while. It probably would have kept working if I didn’t start HGM. The first phase calls for you to do high reps low intensity full body workouts.

I’ll search around the top of the page to find something good. They can get very confusing to follow though.

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:

Alright. Before I started the HGM program I wasn’t following any routine. I just kind of listened to my body. If something felt like it was ready to work out again I did. Like for example if I deadlifted one exercise, the next I would probably squat, then the next i’d see how my legs were feeling and go from there.

I would start with pullups, then I benched, Deadlift or squat, then shoulder
press. Then I would throw in little things after that. And that worked for a long while. It probably would have kept working if I didn’t start HGM. The first phase calls for you to do high reps low intensity full body workouts.

I’ll search around the top of the page to find something good. They can get very confusing to follow though.[/quote]

Like I said, any program will probably work for a beginner, even if it’s not optimal. I would read Are You a Beginner II and pick a program. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Don’t just listen to your body, unless you know what you are doing. Doing so may result in a very unbalanced program. Once you know what you are doing, then ABSOLUTELY listen to your body. Good luck.

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:
Modi wrote:
Deadend66 wrote:
I was very happy with my strength gains too, until I started a program from the Menshealth website called HGM. All my maxs dropped.

At the moment I can only bench 115 about 10 times.

Any advice appreciated, this site is the only place I trust for lifting info.

First and foremost…stop reading Men’s Health.

If you want your max’s to go up, you need to increase your weights and get away from the 10 rep range.

You made a nice jump from 150 to 175, but if you just started lifting and eating more, you could probably have made that same jump doing any program. Now you have hit a plateau, and need to get a real program.

Have you read Vroom’s article at the top of the page? There are a lot of good links in it for the beginner.

Long story short, whatever you were doing isn’t working anymore. It’s time for a change. You may want to get down to the 4-6 rep range for a while and occasionally throw in some doubles or triples once you get used to using the heavier weights.

How about posting your typical routine so we can pick it apart and put it back together for you?

Alright. Before I started the HGM program I wasn’t following any routine. I just kind of listened to my body. If something felt like it was ready to work out again I did. Like for example if I deadlifted one exercise, the next I would probably squat, then the next i’d see how my legs were feeling and go from there.

I would start with pullups, then I benched, Deadlift or squat, then shoulder
press. Then I would throw in little things after that. And that worked for a long while. It probably would have kept working if I didn’t start HGM. The first phase calls for you to do high reps low intensity full body workouts.

I’ll search around the top of the page to find something good. They can get very confusing to follow though.[/quote]

Alright, see this is why you were making progress before you started reading Men’s Health. I’ll bet any amount of money I have in the bank right now that you were working out a lot harder before you started your HGM thing.

BUT listen to Modi. Don’t just listen to your body. You’re new, you need a plan. You can modify that plan if you feel really sore/run down/crappy, but you need a plan. When you get more experienced, you can make yourself an outline or template and gauge your readiness by listening to your body each day. But that is years (as in more than one more) down the road. And 1000s of hours of reading and experimenting down the road.

And STOP READING MEN’S HEALTH!! There ain’t nothing they’ve got that I want. Much better source material here.

Haha I never said I read mens health. The mens health forums are a little different from the magazine. There are alot of experianced lifters there.

I started the anti body builder routine yesterday. I made the mistake of thinking that my body was ready after getting no rest from the HGM full body routine. So I went to bench my 80 percent max and could barely get it up. Right after I figured that I wasn’t rested enough yet so I left. Should I continue on with the routine or start all over? How long should I wait if I restart?

I googled that program to check it out!

they do have a “strength” phase which seems to consist of higher rep exercises with each being superset with a similiar exercise.

you aren’t going to gain much strenth this way. just concentrate on lower reps and try things like pyramids for your weight to gradually increase how much you can handle. if you did it before, you should be able to get back to heavier wights fairly soon.

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:
Haha I never said I read mens health. The mens health forums are a little different from the magazine. There are alot of experianced lifters there.

I started the anti body builder routine yesterday. I made the mistake of thinking that my body was ready after getting no rest from the HGM full body routine. So I went to bench my 80 percent max and could barely get it up. Right after I figured that I wasn’t rested enough yet so I left. Should I continue on with the routine or start all over? How long should I wait if I restart?[/quote]

You could barely get 80% of your 1RM for a single or for 3 reps? Actually it really doesn’t matter. If that’s truly the case, it means one of two things. Either you are completely fried right now, and need to rest, or your 1RM isn’t what you think it is.

Try taking it easy for the remainder of the week, get a light workout in on Friday, take the weekend off, and then start the program on Monday. If you are still weak by Monday, then you need to re-evaluate your 1RM’s.

Anyways, I’m glad to see you chose a program. Just remember that those 10 sets of 3 are not max efforts. If you train them all as max efforts, your CNS will crash pretty hard.

I didn’t read your post in time. I went to the Y which is where I workout to play basketball. The basketball court was full so I decided to do some ab work just for the heck of it. But when I got down there I got a crazy urge to squat.

So I did and I squated 20 more pounds then I ever had before! Then I deadlifted and added 20 pounds the that also. I power cleaned for the first time too. Or at least thats what I think it was it might have been a snatch. I purposely didn’t bench though.

I bet if I did though I would have broken my max on that too I had a crazy surge of energy I had no idea where it came from. I’m pretty sure that I know what my 1 rep max is. That was just one terrible day. Tomarrow I’m going to restart the anti body building program. Or do you think I should wait until the day after tomarrow?

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:
I didn’t read your post in time. I went to the Y which is where I workout to play basketball. The basketball court was full so I decided to do some ab work just for the heck of it. But when I got down there I got a crazy urge to squat.

So I did and I squated 20 more pounds then I ever had before! Then I deadlifted and added 20 pounds the that also. I power cleaned for the first time too. Or at least thats what I think it was it might have been a snatch. I purposely didn’t bench though.

I bet if I did though I would have broken my max on that too I had a crazy surge of energy I had no idea where it came from. I’m pretty sure that I know what my 1 rep max is. That was just one terrible day. Tomarrow I’m going to restart the anti body building program. Or do you think I should wait until the day after tomarrow?[/quote]

If you felt strong yesterday, and you still feel strong today, you should be fine starting the program. If, however, you feel like you need the rest, then it certainly isn’t going to hurt to take the extra day off.

I started the program today, by accident sort of. I went to the Y to play basketball again. This time they wouldn’t let me play because I didn’t have the right damn shoes. But it ended up being a good thing. I started the program and it went great. I’m on my way. Thanks for the feedback.

Alright. Good luck, let us know how it works out for you.

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:
Haha I never said I read mens health. The mens health forums are a little different from the magazine. There are alot of experianced lifters there. [/quote]

Hmmm… Experienced lifters on the mens health forums? There is something wrong with that sentence. You need to examine the word “experienced”. I have been on those forums before (long time ago) and most, almost all, of those guys don’t have a damn clue about what actual lifting is. There are a couple sure.

One of the biggest topics on there is the best way to get a six-pack. Come on. The few guys that do know what they are talking about didn’t learn it there, but the hang out there to look like gods.

Theres something wrong with you. Like you said you were there a long time ago. Its changed alot. The training forums i’m talking about.

[quote]Deadend66 wrote:
Theres something wrong with you.[/quote]

If you are defending the men’s health forum you are officially not welcome at T-Nation.

Have a good day.

[quote]eengrms76 wrote:
Deadend66 wrote:
Theres something wrong with you.

If you are defending the men’s health forum you are officially not welcome at T-Nation.

Have a good day.[/quote]

And who made you grand keeper of the forum? I’ve been a member of MH since 2002. I also come here for some of the articles, and while I get good info here, I find the attitude of some pretty juvenile, as evidenced by your post. Are you here to help people or just boost your ego?

This could be pretty easy:

Step 1: Stop affiliations with MH. I read the magazine on long flights, but I have found that their readership seems to find success in showing up to the gym and “working out” by performing fancy gym parlor tricks rather than in reaching very serious physique / strength goals.

If the workout in question is making you weaker… while your relatively weak* friends are stronger, then that’s clearly not working.

*No offense but I think your friends are at best “suck” in the shit/suck/good/great continuum.

Step 2:
Try something quite simple that will make you strong / big.

One example is a program by Shadowzz4.

Here’s a link to the original thread:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1606801&pageNo=0#1607603


Below is a program. If you wont stick to a program at least similar to the one I have outlined below, your head is not in the right place. You need simple exercises that have a high ceiling for loading, compound movements, and I would imagine you need some work on your form as well.

Once you make good progress on movements like this you will be ready to add some extra work in, but not before. If you dont change your program to mirror something like this you have got some maturing to do and you are not ready to hear what Im saying, and it might take a year or two to become noticeable.

I am assuming your goals are to increase muscle mass and strength.

Check this out:

Day1- Squat
Overhead Press
Deadlift
Pronated Inverted Row

Day2- Squat
Bench Press
Power Clean

Day3- Squat
Overhead Press
Deadlift
Supinated Pullup

repeat… For the Squat, Bench Press, and overhead Press do not fatigue yourself with the warmup sets. Do sets of no more than 5 reps for the warmup sets. Work your way up to 3 challenging 6 rep sets.

For the deadlift work your way up to a challenging 6, 6, and 6 rep set but start out lighter making your last set the most difficult by far.

Do 4 sets of 5 for the power clean and do 3 sets of as many reps as you can get for the inverted row and pullup.

This is a program you can progress on.