T Nation

Stalled for Years, Help!!


#1

Hey guys first off 37 years old. Trained bodybuilding style on and off most my life. Found powerlifting 3-4 years ago and stuck with it. Trained 5/3/1 for most of it. Tried a few cycles of candito recently followed by https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/20-minute-muscle-builder with a powerlifting variation.

Anyway point is i can't seem to break a
dead 470-480, sumo over 500
bench 280-285
military 160-165(strict on knees, low roof in basement)
Squat 360-370

Stalled out on years of 531 around these numbers and still stuck around these numbers, not really sure what else i can do. Diets fine, sleep is fine, im just starting to think my age may be playing a part but i still feel i got a lot of gas in the tank. Ive also tried 3x3 and 5x5, westside, to be honest nothing quite brings me to the brink of my maxes as the linked program, then i stall, switch for 6-12 come back and stall at about the same spot.

Hopefully someone else that has been stuck in the same boat can lend me a lifeline.


#2

Your numbers are all respectable. You’ve said your diet is good - how many calories do you currently take in?


#3

One thing that leapt to my attention is the difference between your squat and DL. Its a pretty big gap. My DL is around the same as yours (500 conventional, also sumo on a really good day) but my squat is 425 (sleeves, walk-out) and 460 (wraps, monolift). The gap between bench and military is big-ish too (I’ve got about the same max on military, maybe a little more, but my bench is a good 10 to 15 lbs lower than yours).

Without having seen your lifts I’d hazard a guess that somewhere there’s an imbalance and that’s what is holding you back; or somehow you’ve adopted styles for each lift that really don’t suit you and just stuck with it (which seems unlikely since it’d feel like crap).

Given that I’m 30, and you say you feel fine and have the other key stuff dialled in I really doubt its an age thing.

I keep coming back to that squat/DL and BP/military difference. It occurs to me maybe your midsection isn’t strong enough all over? I mean, it isn’t going to be weak given your DL but perhaps you aren’t getting tight enough? I know for me in squat and press tightness is absolutely essential whereas with DP and DL I can get away with a tad less (especially for sumo).

Like I said, not having seen you lift I can’t do much other than guess but my top two guesses would be an imbalance or lack of tightness.

Hope that helps.


#4

Videos! Lets see your form.

Also, I noticed that those programs are relatively lower frequency. You may want to give a high frequency program a try. A lot of people on these forums swear by them. Something like Sheiko, or Mike Zourdos’s DUP. This is coming from someone using a modified Westside split so it’s not like I personally have a thing for high frequency but since other stuff isn’t working you might give it a try. Although, before doing anything different, I highly recommend getting some vids up for form critiques even if you think your form is okay.


#5

Could be a million things.

Maybe get away from powerlifting templates altogether for 3-6 months and try something like Kingbeefs routine to put on some new muscle.


#6

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:
Videos! Lets see your form.

Also, I noticed that those programs are relatively lower frequency. You may want to give a high frequency program a try. A lot of people on these forums swear by them. Something like Sheiko, or Mike Zourdos’s DUP. This is coming from someone using a modified Westside split so it’s not like I personally have a thing for high frequency but since other stuff isn’t working you might give it a try. Although, before doing anything different, I highly recommend getting some vids up for form critiques even if you think your form is okay. [/quote]
This^

Increase volume and frequency. If you’re not on any performance enhancing substances it’s the only way to continue progress. Even Westside has you benching and squatting twice a week.


#7

thanks for the tips guys decided to give ashman a shot


#8

Maybe look at the above for some training ammo…

Also, I was having a similar problem with squats, in that I stalled at 429lbs (deadlift was creeping up still to 500lbs+). I addressed it by focusing on Squats (Smolov) and can now squat 484lbs, and 440lbs for 2 sets of 5. Good program, highly recommended (get a foam roller!)

Good luck


#9

this is a perfect response,

Thanks, CT


#10

Switch it up. Do something different. Give the body a reason to change rather than adapt.


#11

video would help, but if you’re stalling on ALL your lifts, then diet is a more likely culprit than simply technique.

You said your diet is ‘fine’. This really gives us zero insight, it’s just your opinion. Although that being said, if it’s only ‘fine’, make it great. There’s always room to improve diet. Always. And for me, it’s almost always the biggest reason that my lifts stall. Everyone seems to underestimate this factor.


#12

There are tons of options. If you think it might be neural or psychological, supramax isometric holds can blast you past it almost instantly. So can rack lockouts.

If that doesn’t work, it could be that your recovery capacity isn’t up to snuff or your nutrition just isn’t good enough. Pushing your work capacity for a few weeks will boost your recovery capacity and test your nutrition as well. Basically, if you can work your way up to 16 sets or more per workout in the 8-15 rep range without losing strength, you’ll know you’re eating enough. Working up to it over the course of eight weeks or so, you’ll lose some fat, gain some mass, improve recovery, and set up for a big rebound effect. Check out John Meadows’ mountain dog training.


#13

[quote]societygangrape wrote:
Hey guys first off 37 years old. [/quote]
40yo here, making the best gains of my life in the past three years :wink: ! Assuming that:

  • your technique is improving every time you train (“Every time you get under the bar, it’s a chance to improve” John Broz);

  • your diet is nearly perfect;

  • your recovery is fine (did anyone say “sleep”?)

I’d consider an increase in training frequency; if you still like 5/3/1, maybe a “Full body full boring” template can be good for you, or since your squat is lagging behind DL, “More squatting” could be worth a try.