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No Strength Gains!


I just finished the full-body workout plan by Chad Waterbury. I am doing the plan again because I want to see if I have gained any strength. I am a little frustrated because it seems I am not any stronger. I never miss a workout, and I am eating very well. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. The only thing I can think is that I am not getting enough sleep. I get about 5 hours of sleep per night. Would this be enough to keep me from making any significant strength gains?




This vague isnt it?

You're saying the weight you began CW's workout with is the SAME EXACT weight you ended with?


Pretty much.
Throughout the plan, a person is supposed to change the lifts along with the number of sets and reps for each workout. It is never really the same. So it was difficult to tell whether I was gaining any strength through out the eight weeks. I thought by starting over again and keeping everything the same I could see a difference in strength.
For example:
The second week of the plan, one of my exercises is DB flat bench at 3 sets, 5 reps. Using 85lb DB?s.
I am now in the second week again and the weight is the same. I could not do any more. It almost felt heavier.
Other lifts are about the same. Some I have noticed a very small increase.
Maybe I am being too impatient. I just want to feel like I am making some significant progress.


I think the problem is you're not reaching hard enough. Even after nearly 35 yrs of training and being nearly 49 y/o, I am still able to add strength about every 3 to 4 weeks on various lifts.

You have to dig down deep each training session to force one more rep than last time and then when you reach your target max reps then the next session add weight and go for at least the low end of your rep range with the new weight.

Every time I hear someone complain about not making strength gains it's because they aren't pushing themselves hard enough.

Muscle adapts to whatever stimulus you expose it to, eventually. You just have to expose it to heavier weight. There's no magic to it. You have to have the right mindset when you approach your training. Focus and determination is the key.

Good luck.



I always felt like I was pushing myself. But I can see where I could push a little more.

Thanks for your feedback.


That's a common goal for most lifters. Here's what I would recommend:

1.) Don't do the same workout program twice in a row. Switch to a different program, possibly even one with an entirely different focus. For example it can work really well to switch back-and-forth from a strength program and a hypertrophy program.

2.) Make sure the program you're doing matches what gains you want to make. I.e. if all you want is strength, go for a strength-focused program

3.) Test yourself before/after a program. Most lifters take a week or so of rest between programs. I'd suggest testing your strength during this time. Pick a couple of lifts, such as squat, deadlift, bench-press and weighted chin-up. Decide on a rep-max to test, i.e. test your 5 rep-max for all lifts. Get warmed-up and start building up to your 5RM, taking plenty of rest (3-5 minutes) between each set. Do the EXACT same test before and after a program. Write this stuff down in a workout log. THEN you can actually tell if you're making progress or not.


I didn?t realize there was a difference between a strength program and a hypertrophy program. I guess CW?s total body program is more of a hypertrophy program. I just figured if I am gaining size then I should be getting stronger.
What you are saying makes sense though. Do you know of any good strength programs?

Thanks for your help.


There's a ton of subtle variation in programs that can alter the results signifigantly. Size and strength are two different things. You can gain strength without gaining size, and gain size without gaining strength. Certainly they are linked, but they are not one-in-the-same.

(FYI: I'm defining strength in this context as a lifter's 1RM)

Westside for skinny bastards is a good starting point. Other than that, I might suggest looking into other Westside methods. Or check-out "The New Rules of Lifting" by Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler