T Nation

Plateau Busters

Just wanted some opinions from people on this board.

I’m in the middle of a gaining phase that I began just under 10 weeks ago. In that time I have put on somewhere around 20-25 pounds (I don’t know exactly because my dumbass didn’t record my starting weight). However, now I’m at a sticking point of 172 pounds (that’s first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom). From personal experience of those that have been in this situation, what have you found to be the best solution? Is it best to keep upping the calories? I’ve tried that and it’s not doing anything…I’ve read that going on “maintenance” for two weeks (1 g/lb protein, light weights), then making a huge jump in calories again might also work. What do you guys think?

By the way, I don’t expect to ever put on 20 lbs in a 10 week period again. I know that’s mostly “newbie gains,” but I figure at least a half pound each week isn’t too unreasonable (my scale actually measures half-pounds).

Minor details of diet:
kcal 4000-4500
p ~300
c ~500
f ~130
These are obviously very rough numbers, but they’re close.

I forgot to mention that I’m not having problems as fars as strength goes. My lifts are continuing to go up about every time I hit the gym. Just the weight…

Hey CC,
Sweet gains man.
What do your workouts look like?
What supps do you use?
Peace,
T-Ren

Thats good work, man!
What do you think the beef/blubber-ratio is?
I would just bumb up my calories according to the Massive Eating-formula.
(At www.johnberardi.com you just have to type in the numbers! =)

Hey there CC,
I’ve personally found that dropping my calories for 1-2 weeks and then upping my calories has worked great for me. I would say going to maintanence isn’t an absolute method. For example, I recently dropped from 4100 to 3500 for a week, and then upped to 4500 cals. My maintenance is 2700 cals.

20 lbs is impressive bud. Keep it up.

Best of luck.

just keep doing what you are doing. weight gain is not linear. it comes in bunches.

I’ve known people who backed off the calories for 1-2 weeks, then slowly upped it gain and started to gain weight. During this period they also went on a strength maintenance phase for recuperation purposes, not just muscular, but neurological too.

The Growth Surge Project has a Priming Stage that lasts two weeks and primes you for intense training/massive eating. Check it out if you plan to go that route.

My workouts are as follows:

Day 1 - Back (focused on deadlifts)
Day 2 - Chest (bench focus)
Day 3 - Legs (usually leg press, sometimes squats)
Day 4 - Shoulders (military press focus)

I didn’t include a specific routine because it changes all the time. But I always include the movements listed, no matter what. I haven’t done any direct arm work for a while. I find that the deadlifts and other indirect movements have helped my arms grow quite well. Deadlifts are by far my favorite movement in the gym now. Talk about a total body workout. I’m sure a lot of people won’t like that I do leg presses instead of squats, but I honestly feel like I’m doing quite well with those as long as I keep deadlifting (if I wasn’t doing the deads it might be another story).

I do periodize my training, however. I like to do three four-week cycles. The first is reps in the 10-12 range, second is 8-10 range, third 4-5 range. Obviously going down in reps has allowed my numbers to increase, but I still find myself lifting weights these days I could never do before in my life. I’m currently finishing up the second week of the 4-5 rep range cycle. I think when I’m done with this I’m going to cut my calories down quite a bit, take a week off to let my body recuperate (both physically and neurologically, as JWright said), then start all over again. Hopefully it will work!!

The only supps I use are creatine (5g on workout days) and R-ala (100mg three times a day with big carb meals).

I haven’t done any testing, but I would guess maybe 15lb of what I gained is muscle, mostly in my legs and back from the deadlifts. I would say I might be in the 10-15% bodyfat range (I can still see my abs).

Goldberg, this is just out of curiosity…what are your calorie numbers like. I know you’ve had quite a bit of success using powerlifting routines and 4ad for awhile, but I was just wondering what your diet consists of.

Thanks guys for all the help and encouragement.

i like to break up bulking cycles with hardening cycles. not exactally like a diet phase but do change the volume (ie increase), go on some methoxy, drop the cals by about 300 and do some energy sysytem work. do that for 2 weeks then back into bulking. I normally do 6 weeks bulking then 2 weeks hardening. it keeps the fat gain at bay somewhat as well.