I've visited this website for a long time and finally made an account because I've hit a bit of a snag with training.
Basically started hitting the gym at 5'9 130lbs about 2 years ago. I messed around for my first year and just worked my upper body before I finally got serious and started eating right and developed a decent program that included lower body where I went from 140 one year ago to now 170lbs.
I'm basically not really making any progress and have been stuck at 170 with no strength gain for 3 months. I feel rundown and lethargic and I pretty much force myself to go consistently about 3-5 times a week.
I started doing research and read about overtraining but have a hard time believing that's my issue because so many other guys work out twice as much. I still decided to take a one week break which resulted in me feeling refreshed but then I find myself hitting the wall really quickly - about 2-3 weeks after the rest. In the last 3 months I've probably taken a one week break on 3 occasions. In my reading, most of the guys take breaks maybe 3 times a year.
So I did more research and read about how training to failure fatigues the CNS and elevates cortisol. Pretty much every set I've done for the last 2 years has been to failure. I use weights heavy enough so that my first set fails at my 10th rep, then my 8th rep on my second set, and 6 or 7th on my 3rd set. For deadlifts I just work up to my 1rm and then work back down. Everything else is the pseudo 3x10 that I just described. Could this be my issue? In my reading, the guys had to take nearly 6 weeks off to fully recover but I can't fathom being away for that long and knowing my bitchy genetics, I will probably drop like 25 lbs and lose a lot of strength in that time.