T Nation

Stalled for Months


Any program recommendations for someone at my level/goals? For the past few months I've completely stalled out on all my lifts and the worst part is some even seem to be going down. I've tried things like taking a week off but I seem to come back at the same level.

Weight 155

Lifts--> year's goals

Squat - 205x4 --> 225x5 below parallel
flat bench - 205x1 ---> 225x1
Deadlift 255x3 ---> 315x1
Weighted chinups 60lbx3 ---> 70x3

Personally, I'm more focused gaining strength over simply gaining body weight. I'm guessing I may be attacked for this but I would like to accomplish my year goals at around my weight, or something between 155-165. Long term lift goals are definitely much higher but at least by the end of my upcoming school year I would like to accomplish my short term goals.


Try a power lifting type of program. That should help you. I'm 150 lbs too.


Is there any particular reason you are against gaining weight?

It would help greatly if you would post exactly what your nutrition program is. Include exact times and also include when your workout is. Your nutrient timing could play a big role here.

You should consider gradually adding calories until your strength starts improving again.


The reason is a combination of having slight pseudo gyno (and being afraid of what it looks like at higher weights) and being a little vain in that I like the idea of being the smaller guy who unexpectedly lifts big weights. If I ever get gyno surgery I'm sure my perspective may change but for now strength + possible a little more weight is the goal.

1st morning meal 7:50ishAM)- MGN whey shake in 8oz of 2% milk + slice of sprouted bread + 2 tblspoons almond butter

2nd Meal (during work) 11AM- Metabolic Drive Complete shake (2 scoops instead of 3)

3rd Meal (during work) 3PM- Sardines (20g protein worth according to label) + banana

4th Meal (after work) 5:30-6-> Cottage Cheese (8oz), 1 kiwi, 1 slice sprouted bread, 2 tblspoons peanut butter

5th meal 8PM Pre Gym - 3 whole eggs, 1 serving steel cut oats, few frozen blueberries

Probably get started at gym at around 8:45 after driving and preparing for gym (pre gym dump, foam rolling etc etc). I also usually eat a banana just as im about to start lifting to make sure I don't start feeling a little hungry at the gym

Right after gym- 8 OZ 2% milk + MGN whey shake

Food I cram in before heading to sleep - 4 OZ greek yogurt, handful of walnuts, 2 more eggs, avocado.

The lack of meat apart from the sardines is because I have to sneak it in.. usually in can form since, unless it is during my university semester where I live in a dorm and can eat anything, I live with my parents who are vegetarians


I'm pretty damn sure the you can't gain strength if you don't gain muscle

you cant gain muscle without gaining weight

you cant gain either if you don't eat enough

And I don't think you are eating enough to gain - but I'm no expert

Be good to know if you are ramping your weights and if you are hitting 10/12 rep sets somewhere in there - not just 3-4 rep sets

Anyone have more solid experience to confirm?


Yes and no. Weight moves weight. As you gain weight, fat included, your leverages change. SO if you gain 75lbs, even if 50% is fat, your chest will stick out farther and the bar won't have to come down as far and makes you "stronger" because it shortens your stroke. BUT in general you are correct, as what I'm describing above isn't going to double your bench, where as gaining X amount if muscle will eventually double your bench.

A rank beginner can and will most likely lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, and can get "stronger" without gaining anything just due to adaption & learning good form and mental confidence. BUT again, in general you are correct, and will be better served to think in the terms you are.


If you always stay at a certain weight, you will reach strength limits eventually. I've sat at 200 for quite a while now, and have decided to gain another 10-15 lbs to boost my strength, because at 200 lbs, my strength was more or less maxed out.

Eat more food, put on some weight, keep lifting, get stronger.


That is pretty disappointing...but I guess if there is no other way to achieve my goals I have to do it. Anyone have tips on where and what to add in to my diet to make sure I put on some pounds as cleanly as possible?


From looking at your diet a couple things if you want to gain weight as cleanly as possible. I see about 20 oz of dairy which probably contains a lot of sugar and carbohydrates that could maybe be replaced with almond milk if you need to mix something with your shakes. I used to drink milk as well but found that the added sugar and carbohydrates was not really great for keeping my body fat down as it can spike insulin levels.

I would also keep track of the amount of fat in your diet. Not saying limit it just make observations based on higher fat days vs. lower fat intake days and how you feel. You have some good fat sources in your diet already, walnuts, almond butter, and avocado. Do you have access to fish oil or a plant based omega 3 oil? I think that would help you as well.

On lower body lift days try higher carbohydrates and then days with lower carbohydrates and see how that feels. I used to think that I should be eating a lot of carbohydrates for energy but in truth the body doesn't need as much as you think. When I deadlift and squat or when I run a sled/prowler I usually eat 100-200 grams more of carbohydrates on those days, then on non-lift or pressing days I eat moderate to lower carbs.

From your earlier post I don't really understand why you can't eat meat when your at your parents, are they against you bringing meat into the house all together? I'm not saying meat is essential for lifting weights but it can be a great lean protein source and provide healthy fats.

Also something else that I would certainly add to your diet is more veggies and fiber. Anyway hope this helps.


Why is that disappointing? In addition to getting you stronger, being bigger makes you...well, just that, BIGGER. Unless you're a marathon runner, I fail to see the problem here...

And are you saying your parents won't LET you have meat in the house? If so...wow. But hey, slam those eggs. I've been going through a dozen eggs a day every day for the last 6-7 months, it does great thing for a person in addition to the rest of the food you normally eat.


From what I've seen, gyno looks less pronounced at higher bodyfat percentages because the fat hides the gland.

"The little guy who lifts big weights" only counts if they can lift BIG WEIGHTS. Like some freak who can bench 315 raw at 160 lbs. If you weigh 155 and can't bench 225, you're still small and weak. You need to EAT and GROW, attain the strength you want, then think about cutting body weight.

You will not get there by staying small.




I'm at my university most of the year so the eating less meat now isn't too terrible.

The only issue I see with bumping up carbs but reducing my milk intake is that I would be taking in less protein. Is that still recommended?