T Nation

Not Getting Stronger


Hey TMUSCLE, ive recently started up Rippetoes Starting Strength and its going well but the problem is that i dont seem to be getting stronger every workout or every other workout.

For the last 2 weeks i have been really stressed out on homework and tests and have had less than 7 hours of sleep for all the days. Can this be one of the factors in why im not getting stronger?

Also, if insufficient protein is the case, im not sure on how to eat more protein than iam already. right now here is basically my diet


3-4 eggs
some slices of bacon
milk / milk protein shake

between morning and lunch

a protein shake with milk or an egg/bacon sandwich that i buy from the cafe in my school


bento box (rice, chicken, tempura shrimp and vegetables, bean sprouts
white milk

before workout

protein shake with milk

after workout

protein shake with milk


stir fry beef/chicken

im just really confused right now because im really trying hard to get stronger and i dont know why its not happening so any advice will be appreciated.

Also, i was wondering why the workout after the weekend break, my lifts are always lower than it was the previous friday. if i lift friday and on monday i come back to lift, my lifts are not only not higher but they are lower than they were on friday. why does this occur?

also im 16 years old and i weigh roughly 200 pounds

thank you


you dont need to get stronger every workout. just keep working hard


but if im making no progress, then i have to adapt or change right


What do you mean youre not sure how to eat more protein? Cook more meat and put it in your mouth.

Or quit.

Those are the choices.

If you arent gaining weight at all you need to eat more. If you are gaining weight but arent getting stronger than theres something else going on. More details about the workout.


you are on a roll Bonez. Some classic one liners lately


hey man i feel your pain. im also doing starting strength. and im also 16 and going to school. i know school is a bitch. sometimes its a bitch in a good mood, and sometimes its a bitch on its period. the last two weeks it was my schools time of the month and it really took a toll on me.i had a bunch of tests and projects and it stressed me the hell out. stress always gives me insomnia. and that always makes my gains slow down. i dont normally get weaker, though it has happened to me before. i would say that the stress and lack of sleep is your main problem.

it seems to me also that even if even i've been sleeping badly for a few nights i cant just get one good night of sleep and then be back on track. it takes a couple of days at least to make up for the lost sleep. also you should remember that as teenagers sleep is very important. we're still growing and developing and whatnot so sleep is probably more important to our recovery than to adults. and don't beleive it when anyone tells you that you need eight hours of sleep. because the truth is that we as teens need at least nine hours. on top of that teenagers' circadian rhythms (biological clocks) are different than adults' or childrens'. it is basically set up so that we naturally want to go to sleep and wake up later. i just read also that quality of sleep may actually be much more important than sheer quantity. hope this is all helpful.


Dont take this post the wrong way, i.e. adding more stress to your life, BUT youre in high school. School and life will only get harder. And if you plan to stick with lifting you have to learn to just make things happen. Understand that tasks dont disappear until you complete them. When crazy shit is going on take a day off the gym so you dont fail out of school but do not use "life stress" as an excuse to not lift or make progress. Stress will always be there in one way or another.

I agree that teenagers need more sleep than adults. I used to get 8 hours + a nap before lifting in high school


These 1 liners are the reason I cruise the beginner section.


okay thanks for the input guys.

i understand that its as simple as putting more protein in my mouth, but the only two times that im eating cooked meat is when im home which is in the morning and at dinner times and during those 2 times im eating exactly that.

so should i be drinking more protein shakes, or what kinds of tips/techniques can i go from here


true, true. but i personally have a lot of other things going on in my life which make it harder. ap teachers are a bitch when i comes to putting pressure on you, plus i need to get a job which is proving impossible in Miami. in the neighborhood i live in i would say a good 75 percent of the population doesnt speak english. this and some personal stuff would make me in my opinion one stressed out dude. not to bitch or anything. just sayin.


I'm in no position to give advice, but if you added AMOUNTS of meat it would help those who can. You don't really differentiate whether you're eating 2oz of chicken or 8oz of chicken at a time (nor do you stipulate the amount of protein per shake). I don't see how anyone could estimate your daily protein intake.


If you aren't gaining bodyweight, you need to eat more CALORIES, not just focusing on protein alone.

You could eat nothing but meat, eggs, and protein shakes in a day and consume 400 grams of protein, but you would still be eating under 2000 calories unless you were eating 2lbs of prime rib slathered in olive oil or something.

You need some carbs in your life.

Also, the program you are doing is atrocious, both for strength and for building muscle... just fyi


Nice. This reminds me of that kid posting about his girlfriend leaving him a couple weeks ago. There needs to be a section called "The Cold Truth" for teenagers, so when they're adolescent bitching starts to occur they can read inspirational fuck yous from men.


All of these overly simple workout programs have created alot of this.

Sure a program of squats, deads, bench presses, cleans and presses will work fantastic for most people, especially teenage guys.

However, these programs make a huge assumption.

1- that everyone's body works well enough, initially to perform these lifts


2- someone who either wasn't performing the exercises properly, or couldnt perform them properly would know.

There are reasons strength coaches are employed. I would say the average teenage boy is not going to have the ability/knowhow to perform a deadlift or squat good enough to progress on even after reading all the in depth information in Starting Strength. It will probably take ALOT of trial and error. Id post some vids of your squat and deadlift so we can see if your even close to doing them correctly, which I highly doubt.


hey evolv. fuck you. i was trying to put up some helpful information for someone else.


Pipe down.

Dude honestly. If youre stressed about AP tests and a job NOW at 16 years old what are you going to do when real life happens. Seriously. Youre stressing yourself out. If its worth it then do youre thing.


i didnt teach myself how to squat or deadlift, my brother taught me how to properly do the lifts


Relax kid, I didn't even read what you wrote, I was responding to what Bonez wrote. I know you were trying to put helpful information, and you did. Just remember this in about 8 years or so, "teenage life was easy, and why did I fret over stupid shit?" Best of luck to you at school and in the gym man.


Oh your brother taught you... ok then nevermind. Unless your brother is Charles Poliquin I'm going to go with you not knowing how to do the lifts properly first before I start looking at other problems.


yeah im sorry man, i was just having a rough couple of weeks and i was actin like a bitch and i felt like everyone was talkin shit to me.