T Nation

Not Sure What to do Next


Hey all, to keep this short, last December I was squatting 315lbs for reps with a PR of 355lbs, deadlifting 380lbs for reps(5x5) with a PR of 415lbs, and benching 175 for reps(5x5) with PR of 225lb, OHP 140lbs (5x5) for reps with PR of 175lb.

Fast forward to today: I can BARELY squat 300lbs for 3 reps, it feels like a house on my back, 315lb deadlift feels awful, I can now bench 220lbs for reps(5x5) and OHP 155lbs for reps. The only difference between these two dates is that as of last month I started to train again in the martial arts. So my training days look like this:

MWSat martials arts
TThSat: Weight training

I believe the martial arts are stressing my lower body (lots of kicking, jumping, etc) and that is affecting my ability to do lower body weight training the day after, since my upper body lifts are increasing. I should also add that I am on week 4 of creatine supplementation.
So I think I may need a split routine. Please leave some suggestions for known splits. I've read some on this site, but they seem geared more toward mass gains. I'd like to continue to focus on strength gains with mass gains as a side effect.

For reference, my diet and work regime:
Meal 1: 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg cooked, 2 slices wheat bread w/ peanut butter and tea
2: muscle milk 25-28g protein shake
3: Pasta with veggies and half can black beans with baked chicken thigh and leg
4: ON PRO whey 60g protein shake
5: 3 oz Salmon fillet, plantains, potatoes, tea
6: Cassien 30g protein shake

Day 1: weighted pullups, squat, bench, curls
Day 2: weighted chinups, weighted dips, deadlift, over head press
Day 3: try for 1-3 rep PR on squat, deadlift, bench, OHP



When was the last time you had a rest period?


Well if you count the sundays, I rest once a week, lol. Naw, but I took this week off to figure out a better routine/fix whatever needs to be fixed. I've missed a workout here and there since Decemeber, but no real period of not lifting heavy at least 1 day a week.


For reference, my diet and work regime:
Meal 1: 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg cooked, 2 slices wheat bread w/ peanut butter and tea
2: muscle milk 25-28g protein shake
3: Pasta with veggies and half can black beans with baked chicken thigh and leg
4: ON PRO whey 60g protein shake
5: 3 oz Salmon fillet, plantains, potatoes, tea
6: Cassien 30g protein shake

No offense, but you eat like a pre-pubescent school girl.


Take this and next week off from lifting, give your body a chance to recover. When you get back to the gym you may notice a slight drop in strength performance, but once you've got your program and nutrition nailed you'll be back making progress in no time.
Just don't forget to schedule recovery periods


None taken, but add to it. Right now, I'm 5'8 with bodyweight of 165lbs. December I was bordering 180lbs. This meal plan is giving around 210g protein a day, not quite 1.5 bodyweight, but more than 1.
What would you add to it, what your current diet? Maybe I could take some things from yours.




First off, are you trying to lose weight? Losing 15 lbs could definitely be a reason why you can't lift as much.

Clarify your goals as much as possible, what exactly are you trying to accomplish? It's going to be pretty damned tough to gain a significant amount of strength while you're losing weight.

And try to ingnore the TYPE2B guy as much as possible.


yo Gorilla, I'm not trying to lose weight at all. I've been pretty sad since I dropped from 180, cuz I was one damn goodlookin sob at 180, lol. But my goals are for strength. I want beastly strength, pick up 300lb guy and throw him across the room strength. I understand that the stronger you get the more mass you acquire, and have no problem with that(its a plus in my book). I should also add that I work full time, and go to Grad school part time, so i'm limited on time. I barely get 7 hours of sleep, and that may be one of the causes as well... but not a big cause, since I am seeing my upper body lifts increase weekly.

I think the weight loss is from my martial arts( I push myself just as hard when training in martial arts as I do when lifting, so i guess it could be seen as extreme cardio). I think my current diet has enough caloric surplus that the cardio wouldn't increase my BMR to the point where there is actually a deficit. But the fact that its my lower body lifts that are falling off makes me believe I need to change my routine. I'm just not sure how I'll be able to hit major muscle groups twice a week with my limited time.


Well, you may very well need a new routine now that you're MMA training, but the fact that you started taking martial arts 3x/wk, subsequently dropped 15 lbs, and still think your diet is adequate is troubling to me. You're doing more activity and have increased your caloric demands. You weren't trying to drop weight, but you did.

Adding calories is necessary to recoup your losses and subsequently gain and your strength should go up as well. Eat more whole eggs in the morning, drink whole milk, add nuts and nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, eat more red meat, even pizza and burgers occassionally etc to get extra cals into the diet. As far as how many more cals to eat, add 1000.

Then monitor the mirror, the scale, and your strength. Your weight, strength, and muscularity should all be increasing. If not, add more cals until you start gaining.


excellent... I'll see what i can come up with and post back for critique. This loss of strength is really annoying me


In addition to the dietary changes you may have to manipulate your training to compensate for the martial arts training. It's quite curious to me that you've managed to increase your 5RM on the bench while losing 15 lbs--which I'm assuming were fairly lean based on what you've already stated. The only strength loss is in the lower extremities.

How long have you been training? How long have you trained in the manner you outlined above? Can you also weight train on MA days? Go into more detail about how you structure your workouts...sets/reps, are you performing straight sets or pyramiding, etc...


Although I've been involved with both weights and martials arts from young, I didn't start weight training intelligently until 2006. By intelligently I mean, used a known program, worked on my diet, etc. I started with ripptoes 5x5 with squat, bench, deadlift, and ohp each workout day and did that until I got my squat up to 1.5x bodyweight (took a long time as I had to continually drop weight to fix techniques).

Then I plataued and couldn't increase the load with each workout, and moved on to a Texas method approach with day 1 being heavy, day 2 being light, day 3 being either for speed or PR.

I can't train on MA days simply because there is no time, get out of work at 6 pm and lift/train from 6 to 8-8:30 Pm. My lifts stick to the 5x5 mentality, with progessive loading weekly. I don't really pyramid, just do straight sets with same weight.

Since my MA days are monday, wednesday, saturday. I was thinking maybe a split routine like this:
Tuesday: Chest/Back
Thursday: Legs
Friday: Shoulder arms
Sat: Legs

Still iffy on this though, as its been 3 years now that I've been doing total body workouts. I'm not sure if this kind of split would give the strenght increases the TBW did.


6:00 to 8-8:30? Does it take you that long to finish weight training? Same with MA?

What has your rep range been like? From what I gather, 5x5 on Mon; unsure about Wed; 1-3RM on Fri.