T Nation

Old, Weak, Nerd - Stalling

I have a question about progressing in weight ( I seem to have stalled ).

Related info:

  • 37 y/o Male 185 lbs ~25% BF (home scale)

  • I have been ‘lifting’ about a year. (free weights at home)

  • Sticking to basics: Squat DL Bench Row Press

  • So I had been dieting (for 1 yr prior) and recently started trying to gain mass.

  • I have been increasing my calories each week slowly

  • I am trying to use a program like Rippetoe’s Starting Strength

So, here are weights for some box squats I was doing.

M 130 3x5
W 135 3x5
F 140 3x5
M 145 3x5
W 150 3x5
F 155 3x5
M 160 3x5
W 165 3x5
F 170 3x5
M 175 1x4
W
F 145 3x5
M 145 3x5
W 145 3x5

  • Everything was going fine.
  • 160 and 165 felt heavy but I got through it fine (seemingly safely)
  • 170 felt fine
  • on 175 I hit a wall where I just couldn’t do another rep
  • I took a lifting day off and tried to reset
    (down to 145 and start climbing again BUT…)

Now 145 feels heavy (form getting iffy) and instead of climbing I still feel I need to drop weight (to maybe 130 and start over)

  1. Anyone have a sensible explanation for this? Is it normal to climb so much and drop so much or?

  2. How often do advanced trainees add weight? (e.g bench 300 in Jan, 305 in Feb, 310 in March? faster/slower?)

As an old, fat, weak, nerd I just have no idea what type of expectations to have for progression.

So far I love lifting, but occasionally I feel like “maybe I wasn’t built to lift” or else that I’m missing something obvious along the way (i.e. weights retarded)
(or just have mistaken ideas about how it should work).

I also recently had my T tested, thinking this was maybe a culprit, but I guess it’s normal.

I would avoid that mindset that you “weren’t built to lift” at all costs. It won’t be a good mindset for success.

SO, you stalled, and you did the right thing: reset.

Eat more food and keep at it. If you got 145 for 3x5 fine, put more weight on the bar. Just quit being a pussy about it.

Strength gaining is not linear. It doesn’t happen all at once, and it doesn’t increase a steady rate. At least it hasn’t with me. So yeah, it’s normal to have strength fluctuations.

I’m not “advanced” so I can’t answer your second question.

How are the other lifts doing? And if you’re not doing rippetoes specific program, do it, not your own take on it.

same thing happened for me when I got to 210. I was doing regular squats to parallel, and I couldn’t get in all the reps but 205 was a breeze. I switched to squatting to a box at parrallel and i blew through 210. So, my suggestion would be switch to a different style of squatting for a few weeks. “cylcle” your training.

+1 to eating more. If you aren’t getting 8 hrs of sleep and getting enough cals and protein you are going to stall. If you’re going to be squating 3x/week for 4-5 weeks, you need to do some serious eating.

[quote]c5000 wrote:
I have a question about progressing in weight ( I seem to have stalled ).

Related info:

  • 37 y/o Male 185 lbs ~25% BF (home scale)

  • I have been ‘lifting’ about a year. (free weights at home)

  • Sticking to basics: Squat DL Bench Row Press

  • So I had been dieting (for 1 yr prior) and recently started trying to gain mass.

  • I have been increasing my calories each week slowly

  • I am trying to use a program like Rippetoe’s Starting Strength

So, here are weights for some box squats I was doing.

M 130 3x5
W 135 3x5
F 140 3x5
M 145 3x5
W 150 3x5
F 155 3x5
M 160 3x5
W 165 3x5
F 170 3x5
M 175 1x4
W
F 145 3x5
M 145 3x5
W 145 3x5

  • Everything was going fine.
  • 160 and 165 felt heavy but I got through it fine (seemingly safely)
  • 170 felt fine
  • on 175 I hit a wall where I just couldn’t do another rep
  • I took a lifting day off and tried to reset
    (down to 145 and start climbing again BUT…)

Now 145 feels heavy (form getting iffy) and instead of climbing I still feel I need to drop weight (to maybe 130 and start over)

  1. Anyone have a sensible explanation for this? Is it normal to climb so much and drop so much or?
    [/quote]

You dropped the weight. That’s the explanation. Maybe you are not pushing yourself hard enough? I have found numerous times that I am capable of more than I thought, and then some.

[quote]c5000 wrote:2. How often do advanced trainees add weight? (e.g bench 300 in Jan, 305 in Feb, 310 in March? faster/slower?)
[/quote]

As frequently as possible. :wink: Recently, I have taken 4 weeks of lifting to reach a new PR on the fifth week, then try and beat that PR each week after until I stall or regress. Sorta. :slight_smile: Progression really starts to slow down, but you shouldn’t be anywhere near that point.

switch to a different program for a month