Planning Deloads and Stalled Press

So I’ve been doing the big lifts for a month now, making some good progress on starting strength. My stats have been (all 3 sets of 5):

Squat 185 - 220
DL 255 - 275
MP 90 - 95
BP 145 - 160

Overall not a drastic change in stats, but I also do conditioning, yoga, and martial arts so any steady improvement is good. I will admit I’ve been making most of that progress in the last 2 weeks as I was battling some technique issues previously, especially the deadlift. However, my Military Press seems to be stalled, I know this is the one of the hardest to improve on, however if I try to up the weight to 100, I can usually get a set, maybe a set and a half but then I have to drop back down to 95.

I know usually in 4 - 6 weeks some people take a deload week. I’m wondering if maybe deloading would help with my Military Press being stalled and help me make more progress with my lifts. If I do deload, how much should I drop the weight by? I think I would just count these last weeks as 2 instead of the full 4 since the first 2, as I said, was limited by technique.

Main goal is to get stronger and gain some weight (roughly 30 pounds as lean as possible).

Opinions suggestions?

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:
So I’ve been doing the big lifts for a month now, making some good progress on starting strength. My stats have been (all 3 sets of 5):

Squat 185 - 220
DL 255 - 275
MP 90 - 95
BP 145 - 160[/quote]
How has your bodyweight changed in the last month?

What about your clean?

I’m confused.

You’ve pressed 100 for a set of five, “maybe a set and a half”? What is “a set and a half?” That’s not how you state your strength gains. I totally understand that Starting Strength is based on 3x5, but if you can press 100 for 1x5, that’s your strength.

I don’t think you need a deload right now. I think you need to stick with it in the gym, and be consistent in the kitchen.

“What diet is that? For a guy that currently weighs 165 lbs., stands 5’ 10” and is 20 years old, that diet will be much more food than he’ll think he needs if his information has come from the typical sources of misinformation.

He’ll need 300 grams of protein, plenty of good fat, and moderate glycemic carbs for a total of perhaps 5-6000 calories per day. I typically advise that 4 big meals and a gallon of whole milk per day will get the job done better than just about any other approach for a novice.

How much fat will you accumulate during this initial growth? A 20-year-old guy that starts out at 165 pounds and 5’ 10" at a typical 15% bodyfat will usually end up at about 205 pounds and 20% bodyfat at the end of 4-5 months. This represents a gain of 40 pounds, 24 of which (60%) is lean body mass. Every time we’ve measured it, this is about what happens.

About 60-65% of the gains experienced on this type of program are lean body mass, and this seems to be about the best you can do to balance rapid growth in strength and size with some fat accumulation.

So the question becomes this, can you tolerate a 5% increase in bodyfat if it means an immediate increase in lean body mass? Most guys can, because a) it can be taken off with a bit of effort, and b) since you know this, you can just calm the fuck down and enjoy the immediate benefits of being bigger and stronger."

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:
So I’ve been doing the big lifts for a month now, making some good progress on starting strength. My stats have been (all 3 sets of 5):

Squat 185 - 220
DL 255 - 275
MP 90 - 95
BP 145 - 160

Overall not a drastic change in stats, but I also do conditioning, yoga, and martial arts so any steady improvement is good. I will admit I’ve been making most of that progress in the last 2 weeks as I was battling some technique issues previously, especially the deadlift. However, my Military Press seems to be stalled, I know this is the one of the hardest to improve on, however if I try to up the weight to 100, I can usually get a set, maybe a set and a half but then I have to drop back down to 95.

I know usually in 4 - 6 weeks some people take a deload week. I’m wondering if maybe deloading would help with my Military Press being stalled and help me make more progress with my lifts. If I do deload, how much should I drop the weight by? I think I would just count these last weeks as 2 instead of the full 4 since the first 2, as I said, was limited by technique.

Main goal is to get stronger and gain some weight (roughly 30 pounds as lean as possible).

Opinions suggestions? [/quote]

Deload is an option but I would say that if you have stalled after only a month than maybe you started with too high of a weight on your press. Sometimes it’s a bit of a kick to the ego but start light and you will progress longer before stalling. if you are stalling at 95 I would start with around 60lbs or under and progress from there. If you are adding 5 lbs per workout you will be back to 95 and past in no time.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:
So I’ve been doing the big lifts for a month now, making some good progress on starting strength. My stats have been (all 3 sets of 5):

Squat 185 - 220
DL 255 - 275
MP 90 - 95
BP 145 - 160[/quote]
How has your bodyweight changed in the last month?

What about your clean?

I’m confused.

You’ve pressed 100 for a set of five, “maybe a set and a half”? What is “a set and a half?” That’s not how you state your strength gains. I totally understand that Starting Strength is based on 3x5, but if you can press 100 for 1x5, that’s your strength.

I don’t think you need a deload right now. I think you need to stick with it in the gym, and be consistent in the kitchen.

“What diet is that? For a guy that currently weighs 165 lbs., stands 5’ 10” and is 20 years old, that diet will be much more food than he’ll think he needs if his information has come from the typical sources of misinformation.

He’ll need 300 grams of protein, plenty of good fat, and moderate glycemic carbs for a total of perhaps 5-6000 calories per day. I typically advise that 4 big meals and a gallon of whole milk per day will get the job done better than just about any other approach for a novice.

How much fat will you accumulate during this initial growth? A 20-year-old guy that starts out at 165 pounds and 5’ 10" at a typical 15% bodyfat will usually end up at about 205 pounds and 20% bodyfat at the end of 4-5 months. This represents a gain of 40 pounds, 24 of which (60%) is lean body mass. Every time we’ve measured it, this is about what happens.

About 60-65% of the gains experienced on this type of program are lean body mass, and this seems to be about the best you can do to balance rapid growth in strength and size with some fat accumulation.

So the question becomes this, can you tolerate a 5% increase in bodyfat if it means an immediate increase in lean body mass? Most guys can, because a) it can be taken off with a bit of effort, and b) since you know this, you can just calm the fuck down and enjoy the immediate benefits of being bigger and stronger."[/quote]

My clean is a disaster, really more of a technique problem.

By set and a half I mean I do the first set at 100, then I try the second and I get about halfway through it and can’t possibly grind out another rep, so I then lower back to 95.

Heres my day:

530am - wake up
545am (maybe 6) - begin workout, either weight lifting or conditioning depending on the day
830am - eat breakfast, 3/4lbs wild salmon, 1 large sweet potato cut and baked, 2 eggs scrambled with milk and olive oil, shake (1 - 1 1/2 scoop Optimum nutrition pro complex and 1 scoop garden of life perfect food with milk)
1pm - lunch 1 large bowl of soba noodles, a kind bar and/or lara bar, shake (1 - 2 scoops Optimum nutrition pro complex, 2 scoops garden of life perfect food, some bcaa powder, a bit of nordic naturals ultimate omega, milk, kefir).
6pm - 4 eggs, vegetable dumplings or equivalent serving of vegetables
730 (or 8) - Yoga or Martial arts practice
10pm - bedtime shake (1 - 2 scoops Optimum nutrition pro complex with milk)

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:
My clean is a disaster, really more of a technique problem.[/quote]
Gotcha. So if you’ve been basically learning the exercises for the first few weeks, I’d go with your gut and not “count them” as true, legit hard training weeks.

[quote]Heres my day:

530am - wake up
545am (maybe 6) - begin workout, either weight lifting or conditioning depending on the day
830am - eat breakfast, 3/4lbs wild salmon, 1 large sweet potato cut and baked, 2 eggs scrambled with milk and olive oil, shake (1 - 1 1/2 scoop Optimum nutrition pro complex and 1 scoop garden of life perfect food with milk)
1pm - lunch 1 large bowl of soba noodles, a kind bar and/or lara bar, shake (1 - 2 scoops Optimum nutrition pro complex, 2 scoops garden of life perfect food, some bcaa powder, a bit of nordic naturals ultimate omega, milk, kefir).
6pm - 4 eggs, vegetable dumplings or equivalent serving of vegetables
730 (or 8) - Yoga or Martial arts practice
10pm - bedtime shake (1 - 2 scoops Optimum nutrition pro complex with milk) [/quote]
Sounds like an okay general day, but what, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

And again, how has your bodyweight changed in the last month? That can be a factor as well.

My body weight the last month stayed roughly the same, the last two days I had:

Breakfast: 3/4 lbs fish, 2 large sweet potatoes
Lunch: Soba Noodles and shake (1 - 2 scoops Optimum nutrition pro complex, 2 scoops garden of life perfect food, some bcaa powder, a bit of nordic naturals ultimate omega, coconut cream, kefir).
Dinner: 5 eggs, 1/3 cup steel cut oatmeal cooked with milk
bedtime shake (1 - 2 scoops Optimum nutrition pro complex with milk)

When I did Starting Strength I did it for about 6 months and never did a deload. For squats what I did was keep trying to increase the weight every workout. Eventually I started not getting all 3x5 so my next goal was every workout try to add at least 1 rep to each set, then when I get 3x5 add weight. The thing that really helped me was when I started adding a bunch of weight to the squat i would pay attention to my form.

If I felt i was rounding my back too much i would drop like 20-30 lbs off my squat then start adding 5 lbs each workout again. By the time I got back to the same weight I was stronger and my form was much better at the same weight. Not a true deload but it helps sometimes to drop the weight and work back up.

As for Military press, yeah it sucks hard to try to improve. One reason looking back I don’t like SS is I don’t feel like it gives you enough stimulation for your upper body to help make progress. To help that, I recommend doing some assistance work. Like add in an exercise for arms and another shoulder exercise (like lateral raises or DB military press), and do them each workout for higher reps (8-12 reps). I think that will help some as it will give some more work for those muscles.

The Starting Strength Wiki has details on when and how to deload. I forget what the exact protocol is, but you’re not supposed to drop weight because you don’t make a set. Like fisch said, keep trying to add reps each workout, and when you hit the 3 x 5 add weight. Make sure you’re resting enough between sets. I think 3-5 minutes is recommended.

And you need to be gaining weight to make progress on Starting Strength. It’s good that you’re tracking your eating. But now you have to eat more. Also, training fasted is not going to help you gain optimally. If you absolutely have to train first thing in the morning, try having a shake either before or during training (protein + carbs)

[quote]themumbler wrote:
The Starting Strength Wiki has details on when and how to deload. I forget what the exact protocol is, but you’re not supposed to drop weight because you don’t make a set. Like fisch said, keep trying to add reps each workout, and when you hit the 3 x 5 add weight. Make sure you’re resting enough between sets. I think 3-5 minutes is recommended.

And you need to be gaining weight to make progress on Starting Strength. It’s good that you’re tracking your eating. But now you have to eat more. Also, training fasted is not going to help you gain optimally. If you absolutely have to train first thing in the morning, try having a shake either before or during training (protein + carbs)[/quote]

I have a morning shake before weight training, usually two scoops of ON natural whey. Can I get the link to the SS wiki?

[quote]fisch wrote:
When I did Starting Strength I did it for about 6 months and never did a deload. For squats what I did was keep trying to increase the weight every workout. Eventually I started not getting all 3x5 so my next goal was every workout try to add at least 1 rep to each set, then when I get 3x5 add weight. The thing that really helped me was when I started adding a bunch of weight to the squat i would pay attention to my form.

If I felt i was rounding my back too much i would drop like 20-30 lbs off my squat then start adding 5 lbs each workout again. By the time I got back to the same weight I was stronger and my form was much better at the same weight. Not a true deload but it helps sometimes to drop the weight and work back up.

As for Military press, yeah it sucks hard to try to improve. One reason looking back I don’t like SS is I don’t feel like it gives you enough stimulation for your upper body to help make progress. To help that, I recommend doing some assistance work. Like add in an exercise for arms and another shoulder exercise (like lateral raises or DB military press), and do them each workout for higher reps (8-12 reps). I think that will help some as it will give some more work for those muscles.[/quote]

I might do this with the OP and SQT, I feel like my SQT depth isn’t as good as it should be either and I feel as if I’m pressing off the ground too much. my DL and BP are the only two I feel I have well.

[quote]dreadlocks1221 wrote:

[quote]fisch wrote:
When I did Starting Strength I did it for about 6 months and never did a deload. For squats what I did was keep trying to increase the weight every workout. Eventually I started not getting all 3x5 so my next goal was every workout try to add at least 1 rep to each set, then when I get 3x5 add weight. The thing that really helped me was when I started adding a bunch of weight to the squat i would pay attention to my form.

If I felt i was rounding my back too much i would drop like 20-30 lbs off my squat then start adding 5 lbs each workout again. By the time I got back to the same weight I was stronger and my form was much better at the same weight. Not a true deload but it helps sometimes to drop the weight and work back up.

As for Military press, yeah it sucks hard to try to improve. One reason looking back I don’t like SS is I don’t feel like it gives you enough stimulation for your upper body to help make progress. To help that, I recommend doing some assistance work. Like add in an exercise for arms and another shoulder exercise (like lateral raises or DB military press), and do them each workout for higher reps (8-12 reps). I think that will help some as it will give some more work for those muscles.[/quote]

I might do this with the OP and SQT, I feel like my SQT depth isn’t as good as it should be either and I feel as if I’m pressing off the ground too much. my DL and BP are the only two I feel I have well. [/quote]

I actually just realized my training log from back then was sitting right next to me so I have all my notes written down.

Try video taping your squat if you can, I did that sometimes to check my back rounding. It would work for depth also. Deadlift was really easy for me to progress, I made 10 lb jumps often and never really had to reset it, it just felt easier and more natural to progress on then the other lifts. Everybody has lifts they’re more naturally better at then others, depends on mentality and body structure.

My records show that for Overhead press I tried to drop weight and work back up and that didn’t work that well FOR ME. For some reason, I could do 3x5 on a weight then add 5 lbs and I could barely do 3 reps on the first set. Confused the hell out of me.

What I started doing was adding reps instead of weight. So when I got 3x5, I went for 3x6 next time, then 3x7 the time after. Once I got 3x7 I added 5 lbs and repeated. I learned it was easier for me to add a rep on that lift then add weight, something to do with leverages and just the lift itself, so to progress I took the easier route. It worked, the weight started going up again.

Also, lets say your doing them stricter (like written in the book) and you get 3 reps. For the last 2 reps try doing a push press, where you add some leg drive. Don’t count it for “actual reps”, meaning if you get 5 reps this way don’t add weight next week. The purpose of doing this is to give your muscles some more work, to try and help get past that sticking point.

Those two strategies helped me on overhead press. I never had to do anything like this for the other lifts, but im sure it would work fairly well if you start having issues on those lifts.