T Nation

Strength Gain Question


This is something that has been bothering me for quite some time.
About two years ago, when I first started lifting, I received a bench press and squat rack for Christmas from my folks. When I first started lifting, I was a small, skinny scrawny ass kid. To give you an idea how small I was, I weighted around 90 lbs at 5'8. Well, I wanted to get stronger and gain some mass like many of the contributors from this site.

For about a month, I bench pressed in my garage every single day for 3-4 hours. During this month, I gained 5 lbs, and my bench, believe it went from around 85 lbs to 245 lbs. After this month, my shoulder started to give me some pains, and I quit bench pressing all together.

Keep in mind, when I first started lifting, I had no knowledge of weight lifting at all.
My question is this. Everyone on this site, for the most part, is emphasizing fast weight training session (around an hour), with 3-4 sessions max a week for strength gains. I have been doing this, and I have been sticking with compound exercises (squat and dead); And keeping reps relatively low. While I have gained decent mass doing this, my strength has not increased very much.

I currently sit at 5'8 at 210 lbs @ 20% body fat and my total is at a ridiculous 900 lbs (for squat, bench, dead). My main focus is to get as strong as I possibly can. Why is it wrong to train with long training sessions more than 4 to 5 times a week?


Somehow, I calculated that wrong. My current total is around 1,100.


basically keeping your workout under an hour while fitting in all the exercises will condition your body, so when you do the heavy ME day, your body will be able to handle it. So there is no reason why you can not extend your workout to even 2 hours if you use it properly and do the right exercises. My partner and i will do ME bench today and it will take 2 hours because of rest periods between attempts and accessory/supplemental work. What is your workouts like now/ what exercises???


Isnt it proven that your testosterone levels drop after about an hours training?


You gained 120 pounds in two years?



You benched 245 while weighing 95?

I call bullshit.


This is why, overtraining leads to injury and strength loss. As you progress you can increase voulme depending on intensity, but only to an extent.

As a beginner to intermidiate, if you are training hard enough and heavy enough, you dont need to spend all day in the gym.


My workout right now, is compound exercises, four days a week. I only do the exercises once a week. and I have been generally told do keep my workouts on a 4 week program, then switch them up. the first week, I do 80% effort, the next week, I do 90% effort, the following week, my unloading week, I do about 60% effort, and my final week I do 100% effort.


Yes, two close to three years.


Swear to god buddy and ina month. No joke, no lies.


Yes, but shouldn't be able to train 6 days a week for long periods, use back off week every 4 week, and be able to get stronger than you would on a four day weight training split with workouts around an hour?


Where does that come in as being ridiculous?
2x bw for dl, 1.5x bw for sq and bp = 5x bw ~= 1050.


I can't help but think that you either counted the plates wrong, or used very questionable form... or both. That much of a change is unheard of, and if you can manage that, you should have been doing squats. You'd be a freakin' monster.

That said, sounds like you'd benefit from a high frequency program, with alternating heavy and light days. Sounds like your body responds very favourably to volume and frequent training.


as mentioned before, 245lbs bench at 95lbs bodyweight in a month, there are so many factors that make that impossible, tendons especially in the elbow would not have developed fast enough to accomodate such an insane increase either developing tendonitis or a complete rupture, as much as you say its true i dont think there is a person on this site that could agree with you increasing that fast, and if by some freak of nature this is possible im a piece of trash and should stop lifting because my progress is laughable in comparision


Buddy, you can think what you want, but honestly I have no reason to lie to you. I counted the plates correctly, and I did make that progress in a month, but, keep in mind, I did end up hurting my shoulder at the end.


i stopped reading when i got to the part where you said that you went from an 85 pound bench to a 245 pound bench in a single month... and at a bodyweight of 95 pounds, nonetheless.

who do you think you're kidding?


As I said before, I really have no reason to lie. I could care less how much you guys think I bench presses. I could care less whether you think I am macho for putting up the kind of weight at my bw. All I told you was the truth, so I could get an honest answer.



If you are having shoulder problems, you should start doing rotator cuff work to keep shoulders healthy, also standing shoulder presses or seated if you have to. work your back, chest supported rows are great. also work triceps, floor presses or pin presses. Lock out work. This will all help your bench press.


I believe what you said about the bench press. What most of these guys dont realize is that when you start lifting from ZERO, your nervous system has to adapt before your muscles do. I bet the first 20 days that you lifted, that you were shaking like a leaf. Anyway, if you want to get stronger, build the entire machine. Start working your back, shoulders, calves, trapezius, biceps, blah blah blah. You get the idea. A split routine works best for advanced lifters. You should stick to full body for now.