T Nation

Noob Gains? When Will They Stop?

What’s up guys, just joined, and I have a few questions. So, long story short (kinda), for the past 2-3 years, I was a “weekend warrior” at the gym, at best. I would go 3-4x a week for 2-3 weeks, and get lazy and lay off for a month or two. Last July I had surgery on my ankle and was unable to to any form of exercise for the next 3 weeks.

I got into “lazy mode” and over the next month, gained 10+lbs of fat and lost most of the little muscle that I had. I was 155lbs and felt like crap all the time. I left for a new College in late August, and decided to change that. I started lifting 3-4x a week, consistently, in a bodybuilding fashion, but like most new lifters, I neglected legs. I gained a massive amount of strength and size, ALL of my lifts went up 150-200%, along with losing a lot of the fat that I had accumulated at the same time, and went from 155-175lbs. (I have beginning and end progress pictures if anyone’s interested).

My upper body had gotten quite big (at least compared to what I started at), buy I had pencil legs, so I decided to change that. I’ve added “leg day,” but the only things I do on that day are squats, deadlifts, and shrugs, and sometimes lunges if I have the energy at the end.

Onto the main question. I started Deadlifting light for a few weeks, not going over 185lbs, until I perfected the form. I then tried maxing out for 5 reps, (shoulda done a 1RM too), and in early January, Barely got 215x5. I set my sights high and made a goal of 405x5 by the end of the semester, which is May 15th.

Since then, my strength gains have exploded. Two weeks after starting going heavy, on superbowl sunday, I was up to 275x4. I also tried 315 that day and couldn’t get it more than 3 inches off the ground. Just three weeks later, I was up to 315x5, and 345x1 that same day. Last weekend, I did 300x5, 350x1, and then got 370x1. I was feeling overzealous yesterday and tried to max out at 390, and couldn’t get it more than a foot off the ground.

I went down to 380, and again, failed. I got pretty upset, so I lowered the weight down to just 340, and went HAM. After exhausting myself trying the 390 and then 380, my adrenaline shot through the roof and I got 340x5 without going close to failure. Two weeks ago I barely got 345x1, Yesterday I got 340x5.

My gains have gone up exponentially fast, at least in my eyes. How long will this trend continue? I’ve been having squat/DL day every 4-6 days, depending on how my body has been feeling, and have hit a new PR EVERY SINGLE TIME, whether it’s been for 1 or 5 reps. Is this normal? Any Idea when I’ll start to plateau?

For all you TL;DR people,
I’m a noob to Deadlifts. I started mid January at 215x5, and now do 340x5 with 370 as my 1RM so far. No signs of slowed progress. How long will this continue?

Of you did go through everything and read it, you rock. Let me know if you have any questions or just comments.

No telling how long it will last. And honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. You seem to be having fun and doing well, so just keep at it. What’s the point of stressing over when you might plateau?

Eventually, you are going to get stuck, whether it’s a form issue or a strength issue. You need to be prepared for that. you are having a ton of fun and kicking ass right now, so it’s easy to keep going in and lifting hard. But there will be a time when gains are HARD to come by, and if you aren’t ready for that than you will quickly get discouraged and stop going in and pushing yourself every time you train, and THAT will be the end of your gains. You need to be prepared to be consistant, and keep training no matter how frustrating and slow your gains will be compared to how they are right now.

Haha I know that is kind of answering a differrent question than the one you are asking. But truly, nobody can tell you when your “beginner gains” are going to end, so don’t stress it. Just have fun, push yourself, and make the most of this time when strength is coming easily. But we have all seen plenty of beginners who fall in love with powerlifting when they are slapping 20-30lbs on he bar every week - but then, as progress slows, the hard work and consistancy become too much for them and they fall off. So as you are riding out these noob gains, really try and cultivate a love NOT of the strength, but of the hard work. That is what will make you strong over the years.

Asking “How long until gains stop?” Is an easy cop out. It’s asking “How long until I no longer have to work hard?”
Don’t plan on failing! It’s unrealistic to go on forever without slumps, but for fucks sake don’t look forward to it and limit yourself.