Stalling on Lifts. Could Use Some Advice

I was just curious how some of you deal with being stuck on a lift for a couple of weeks, or a month.

I myself have been stuck on 140kg squats for 3-4 weeks now, and can’t seem to squeeze out another rep and get that fucker to budge.

I squat without a belt, I figured if I had one I could get another 1-2 reps, but I think that my body should capable of it without any aid.

Here’s how my training log for legs has looked like for the past 4 weeks:
Leg session 1: March 10th
squats: 80kg x 7, 90kg x 5, 100kg x 3, 120kg x 3, 140kg x 3, 140kg x 3

leg press: worked up to 16 plates for 10
leg extensions: 4 sets of 12-15 for pump
leg curl: 3-4 sets of 8-10 with slight ramp

Leg session 2: March 17th
squats: 80kg x 8, 90kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 120kg x 3, 140kg x 5, 140kg x 5

leg press: worked up to 16 plates for 12
leg extensions: 4 sets of 12-15 for pump (added quite a bit of weight)
leg curl: 4 sets of 12

Leg session 3: March 24th
I felt like fuck that week. I did deadlifts & leg press etc. didn’t manage to add any weight/reps on leg press. I only pulled 160kg for 1 on deadlifts.

Leg session 4: March 31st
squats: 60kg x 15, 80kg x 10, 100kg x 5, 120kg x 5, 140kg x 5, 140kg x 4, 100kg x 12 + 4 + 4 (RP)

Leg press: worked up to 16 plates for 6 (different machine)
leg extension: again, 4-5 sets 10+ reps for pump
leg curl: 5 sets of 6-8

Leg session 5: April 7th
Just got home from this, and I quit my job from putting weights away, so i wont have to do that shit this upcoming week.
squats: 60kg x 10, 80kg x 8, 110kg x 8, 120kg x 6, 140kg x 5, 140kg x 4

leg press: 16 plates for 8
leg curl: 4 sets
leg ext: 4 sets
seated leg curl: 4 sets

During this time i’ve gained 2-3lbs and i’ve lost some visible fat around waist.

On March 12-15th I started a real shit job at my gym, it involved me clearing all the weights away at the end of each day. It’d take me 2 hours to do it, and i’d go home at 10:30pm exhausted out of my mind.

I quit it yesterday and got another one.

I know this thread was supposed to ask how you yourselves change up your programming to keep progressing on lifts, and i’d like to hear what you do.

Just thought i’d get some advice at the same time :stuck_out_tongue:

Dave Tate 40 Movements for Rapid Strength read all the parts, all you will ever need to know.


I got stuck on my bench for about a month and a half, I switched from doing dips to 2 failure sets of close grip bench at the end of my training session, I also bumped up my calories about 200.

It finally moved after this.

Changing up other exercises is a good point.

I really think I need to incorporate more heavy abs/lower back work.

Adding in deadlifts on back day should help, I may just even move away from the bodybuilding type split for a while.

I agree I need to change some supplemental exercises, especially in the form of lower back/ab work.

Maybe adding in deadlifts on back day will be enough, if that doesn’t work i might just drop the body-part type split and focus on the exercises that way.

Less reps on the warmups, maybe adding a second set after your heaviest with less weight, more reps, to work on form.

I dont suppose 2 maximal effort sets are helping the situation much either.

if i stall for a couple of weeks i will add in an additional workout in the evening of that day where i only do that movement. like 15 sets of squats, or whichever the movement is.
then next week it usually goes up again, if not ill add in more accessory exercises.

Goodfellow, do you squat in the Olympic style (narrow/shoulder stance and deep/ATG)? I was wondering if you do Olympic style, could you change it to a powerlifting-wide style (for a training period) and wear powerlifting brief (to protect the hips). I know that the depth will be decreased, but the increase in the weight on the bar should later transfer to your regular Olympic style squats? (That is what I am going to do after my lower back heals up).

Good luck.

If your main goal is muscle, then i would be too concerned. It looks like over the weeks, your doing more weight and reps as you ramp up. Overall your doing more work per session. Thats stimulus right there.

If you really trying to work the top sets, then minimise, and i suppose standardise your warm up sets. Say, after 100kg your just gonna do sets of 3. As long as you feel ready to go on your top sets, dont sweat the warm ups.

If your really stuck, then maybe think about some form of periodisation to get it moving.

Goodmornings, heavy abs and low back are all going to help too.

Shit, i just saw your post regarding periodisation! Forget that bit then!

just keep doing the exercise my man. in time your body will blow past the plateau. howabout changing your second set of 140lb to a lighter set (maybe 100lb?) and repping out.

it seems like youre doing low volume now, yes?

i would suggest doing some higher volume stuff for a couple weeks or longer.

when youre done with that

come back and try to incorporate A/B weeks so do however your regular split is but make one an A split and one a B split (NOT to be confused with A/B SETS)

that way say you did decline bench, the next time you do DB bench, youll be getting a different kind of stimulation each week and it will make it less likely to stagnate b/c your improvements from one lift will carry to the next and vice versa

i think youll be better off doing 1 set to failure/ME whatever you want to call it. you can do more than one in your workout of course but on different lifts and if possible seperate them with another bodybart so if youre doing back and chest, do a row then do press dont do all your back exercises one after another that way you will be able to let the muscle recover some for the next exercise.

personally i use 2 ME sets per muscle and one hi-rep finisher.

I’ve been stuck in a situation pretty similar to yours before. It helps to rotate exercises or rep ranges. For example, go over to front squats for a little while, or bump the reps up to 8 and try to progress in that rep range. You can’t keep doing the same exercise and rep number week after week and expect to progress in perpetuity. Never worked for me, at least.

I have been hovering on ~100 kg bench press for 3 months myself, btw. Technically, that’s because I stopped dropping and bouncing and started lowering it slowly and under control, but it’s still f*cking irritating.

I think that, aside from anything else, you just need to figure out where you’re weakest and attack that weakness. e.g. I lack acceleration from the bottom position on my bench, and my chest and shoulders are weak. So once I’m done dieting down, I’m gonna focus on higher reps for speed, pressing from pins in bottom position, increasing my military press, and just getting my technique down to switch as much work to the tris as possible.

Find the weak link in the chain.

From now on i’m going to do the following:

  1. less reps on warm up sets
  2. more warm up sets
  3. only 1 top max effort set.
  4. adding in deadlifts on back day

1 & 2, i really should of been doing that anyway. I think my weak point for squats is my lower back, so if i bring my deadlift up that should solve the problem.

here’s the exercises I currently do:

Leg day:
Squats, leg press, leg extension, 2 types of leg curl

Back day:
lat pulldown, hs row, close-grip pulldown, seated cable row

So yeah, looking at it I don’t have any other exercises to help my lower back. I’m going to change it up to this:

Leg day:
Squats, Leg press, Leg curl, stiff-leg deads

Back day:
deadlift, pull ups, bent over barbell row, seated cable row, back extensions

That should help quite a bit, if not, I have lots of other good info from you guys to use, cheers.

I think number 2 on your list is a good shout. Ive always felt better with more warm up sets, as long as the reps are kept lower.

Also, good advice regarding changing up rep ranges and exercises.

One thing i would say, is that your lower back has gone from getting too little work to getting a ton!

The body will obviously adapt, but if your low back is a weak point, you may find that deadlifting every week will negatively effect your squat. Just a thought.

Switch your exercise and come back to it later if you’ve been stuck for more than 2 consecutive weeks…

[quote]Goodfellow wrote:
I dont suppose 2 maximal effort sets are helping the situation much either. [/quote]

It depends, are they more than 90% of your 1RM?

[quote]plateau wrote:
Goodfellow wrote:
I dont suppose 2 maximal effort sets are helping the situation much either.

It depends, are they more than 90% of your 1RM?[/quote]

I don’t know… It’s 2 sets with my 5RM.

[quote]zraw wrote:
Switch your exercise and come back to it later if you’ve been stuck for more than 2 consecutive weeks…


Yip what i do to, take out the lift i stall on and put in 2 assistance excercises for that lift for 1 month then go back.

Problem solved ^^