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New to Bodybuilding


I am new to the game. Have been around weights for years ( football, track, basketball) but have always trained for performance. Recently ( 6 months )have made some very nice gains, going from 165 to 190. I have gained a little fat, lost my abs, but am still fairly lean.
Diet is on point, very organic, high calories and protein, 5-8 small meals a day.

Traning is based around compounds Squats, Deads, bench, Power clean, followed by high rep iso movements.
My questions… Will cutting for 2 weeks, then going back to bulking increase gains due to muscle memory?
Should i just ignore the cutting aspect until i’m the weight i want? ( 200lbs).
I also think i’ve plateued, can anyone recommend a training article on here that will make gains?
Thanks, feel free to be assholes I just want some good advice.
stats: 20 yrs, 190lbs, 5’10
Any help is greatly appreciated.

anyone?

Take this with a grain of salt coming from someone who’s never been 190 but… At some point, gains will slow down. The most stupid thing to do at this point would be to just eat more since food is not the stimulant for hypertrophy. Also understand that ‘cutting’ for two weeks will be pointless - you simply can’t lose a substantial amount of weight in that timeframe without sacrificing lean tissue. What I would advise you to do is…

step 1 (OPTIONAL) - cut down for a bit to see where you’re at, improve insulin sensitivity etc
step 2 - change your training. Increase frequency, change the rep range etc. Two radically different programs that come to mind are Dan John’s Mass Made Simple and this http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/my_greatest_gains_ever_dave_tate
step 3 - accept that gains slow down the more advanced you get. Gaining a pound of muscle each week is unlikely to happen at your stage - that’s kind of a compliment, by the way.

Oh, also - what do you squat/bench/deadlift?

Thanks for the reply. I will check out those programs
Squats 1rm is 265
Bench 1rm is 245
Deads: ( highest ive pulled is 405 ) right now 315, having back issues.

These aren’t incredible by powerlifting standards but they are well into advanced intermediate territory… So yeah, be patient.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
These aren’t incredible by powerlifting standards but they are well into advanced intermediate territory… So yeah, be patient.[/quote]

I would disagree that he is “well into advanced intermediate territory”. A 265 squat isn’t that high really, neither is his bench or deadlift. That said, I agree with being patient. He is far enough along that he’s probably not going to be setting a PR every workout or something like that. Everything else you mentioned in your earlier posts I would agree with though.

OP, if you’ve added 25 lbs in the past 6 months and don’t look like you’ve just gotten fat (which you don’t, you look like you’ve done it right) then keep doing what you’re doing.

I would advise against a 2 week cut. Not really going to make a significant difference. As for routine, again what you’re doing seems to be working. Keep doing it. No reason to change for change’s sake.

If you are plateauing at these numbers it probably has something to do with your training or recovery rather than your level of training advancement. You still have plenty of room to grow.

Without knowing exactly what your training looks like, my advice would be to take a solid week off to make sure you aren’t just getting stale (by stale I mean not fully recovered but not quite overtrained either), then get back to it and see if you don’t see an instant bump in strength. If you do then you know what the problem is. If not, then you may have simply adapted as much as you are going to given your current training protocol and might need more volume and/or intensity strategies to spur further adaptation. It’s good to build regular breaks into your training, once you pass the novice stage, for this reason. You can’t show progress without recovery.

I really like Wendler’s 5/3/1 because it has built in breaks every month so you know that if 1) you feel stronger after a break you may have just been a little under-recovered and if 2) you don’t get any stronger after the break then you just aren’t pushing yourself enough to adapt any further and then can assess your options such as adding back-off sets for added volume or throwing in a drop set at the end of an exercise, etc.

I also tend to agree with CT about training for performance, even for your isolation exercises. If you’re lifting more reps or more weight then most likely you are building muscle. Building muscle takes time, and isn’t easily gauged by what you see in the mirror, but you can watch the numbers in your log move regularly, and if they don’t then you know something is wrong.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
These aren’t incredible by powerlifting standards but they are well into advanced beginner territory… So yeah, be patient.[/quote]

Fixed.

Not trying to be a dick, just trying to make the point that your numbers still have a long way to go. And that’s a good thing! You’ve already got a good start on size (which I’m assuming is what you’re after), and if you focus on your numbers for a bit, it’ll probably give you a big help in your quest to look bloody huge. Which you most certainly will.

Your squat 1RM is especially low, comparatively speaking. Is this a result of your back issue? If squats don’t bother you back, I’d probably start squatting twice a week, at least until you can squat 330 or so.

Also, while we’re on the topic of your back, probably the most important thing you can do right now is work on fixing it.

Best of luck :slight_smile:

I won’t argue with those who put him closer to the beginner category - arguing about semantics is stupid and you guys know more about weights than I do. According to Rippetoe (God, I’m using Rippetoe for an argument), ‘intermediate’ at 190 would mean a 280 squat, 205 bench and 325 dead… So there’s that. And no, I do not intend to start an argument about this. It simply isn’t important enough.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
I won’t argue with those who put him closer to the beginner category - arguing about semantics is stupid and you guys know more about weights than I do. According to Rippetoe (God, I’m using Rippetoe for an argument), ‘intermediate’ at 190 would mean a 280 squat, 205 bench and 325 dead… So there’s that. And no, I do not intend to start an argument about this. It simply isn’t important enough.[/quote]

No worries man, I wasn’t trying to be mean or start an argument. It’s just one of those things that if the OP or someone similar starts believing their advanced then they start convincing themselves they shouldn’t be progressing that fast. Truth is, the OP is still at a level where he should be making fairly decent progress (that doesn’t necessarily mean a PR every week) and I just wanted to help keep the OP’s mind in the right place…if that makes sense.

Thanks for all the responses. Apo, i agree with the squat portion. I used to do legs 2-3 times a week. often widow makers or 5x5 for strength. I usually would pick a week and make it a squat week or a deadlift week. However, my back has been tight, going low is tough and im thinking i have tendentious in my thorocolumbar fascia. So i have backed off and been hitting uppers more.
To everyone else thanks for the responses, i think patience is the key here

I’ve had something similar to what I think you’re describing in your back. I found that laying off the heavy lifts while doing plenty of high rep, low intensity back extensions on a GHD helped tremendously. Helps get synovial fluid in the joints, while also increasing blood flow and recovery. It also helps to stretch the hell out of every muscle surrounding the hips. Hip flexors and hamstrings especially, but glutes, groin, quads, etc. as well. It’s really hard to tell what is causing the issue, so it’s usually best to address every possible cause. How is your abdominal stength?