T Nation

New, Need Advice


Hi guys,

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.


meh I train 6 or 7 days a week and go to failure on a lot of stuff and I dont have any problems recovering or progressing

eat more.


how much are you eating now compared to that year when you gained 30 lb?

if it's the same total amount of calories, it won't be enough to keep you gaining. for instance, 3200-4000 kcal a day got me from 170 to 205, but since I hit 205 in December my weight gain has pretty much stopped.


170 is still light, sounds like you need to eat more as fr0IVIan said, i would also recommend only maxing out on deadlifts 3/4 times a year not every week. chose a tried and tested plan and stick to it religiously and you should have no problems


Going to failure is not optimal, imo. At least not so often. Although it depends on your goals.

This study basically says training to failure is better for muscle endurance. Muscle endurance is a great tool for building mass and strength on top of, but its not worth the risk/drain on recovery, imo.

What I would recommend is to take a proven program, run it for 6-12 months minimum, and learn how/why it does/doesn't work for you.

And as already stated, get your diet in line with your goals (Eat more)


+1 on not maxing out on deadlifts so often. even just working up to 85% of my max on 531 can affect my progress on other lifts. I think I tested my deadlift max twice in December and that had a huge negative impact on other lifts... weak back arch and leg drive for any upper body press for instance, or I fatigued sooner when rowing or squatting.


Instead of doing research on over training, do research on diets and programs that will get you to your goal. You do have a goal, right?

Speaking of which, can you post your diet (be honest here) and your program.