T Nation

Stuck in a Rut


Hello everyone, nice to be on board here! I know this question has probably been asked a million times... Just wondering if anyone can give me some insight on number of sets. I started doing about 12-16 sets per muscle group about 4 or 5 months ago and saw great gains in strength and size. Now im stuck in a rut and can't break through it!

Should I try lowering my sets to about 7 per muscle group. I somtimes feel that I spend too much time in the gym and might be working past my calorie intake ratio (If that's what you call it) Thanks guys!



So, when you say "stuck in a rut", do you mean you aren't gaining weight? If that's the case, you need to eat more.


you hit platue... re check you diet first. change your training instensity

try this program-

H.I.T program designed by Adyn

Workout a

Super set 1:
Flat db press 6 reps
Incline fly?s 10 reps
Cross overs 30 reps

Super set 2:
E z bar curls 6 reps
Incline db 10 reps
Preacher 30 reps

Super set 3:
Squats 6 reps
Leg ext 10 reps

Workout b

Super set 1:
Bent over row 6 reps
Wide lat pull 10 reps
Seated row 30 reps

Super set 2:
Dips -failure
Over head ext 10 reps
Rope pushdowns 30 reps

do each super set 3 times. all up your doing reps of 46 in each set.
this should work well, it is very hardcore and you must go light on the 30 reps, its more about the contraction. but with the 6 and 10 reps go as heavy as you can.
do this program EOD eg
mon- workout a
tue- rest
wed- workout b
thurs- rest
fri-workout a
sat- rest
sun- workout b
tue- workout a

and so on and so forth. let me know what you think?


I mean more with my strength.. I eat like crazy... I've come to a point where I can't get that one more rep or increase weight every couple weeks... I'm stuck lifting the same weight, same reps....


aydn: thanks, looks pretty interesting.. il try it out..


What kind of weights are you pushing, and how is your training set up right now? And how long have you been stuck? And how long at the same bodyweight?


Sounds to me like someone needs to switch out some lifts for others, possibly the rep scheme, and use the search engine (look up "Plateau Busters")


Size and strength program
Designed by adyn
GOAL: Muscle Size, Strength

Monday: Chest/Biceps
? Flat Bench Presses
? Incline Bench Presses
? Incline Dumbbell Presses
? Bicep Curls (Straight Bar)
? Preacher Curls
? Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curls
? 1 set bent over rows

Tuesday: Quads/Hams
? Squats
? Leg Curls
? Leg Extensions
? Abs

Thursday: Back/Triceps
? Deadlift
? Front Lat Pulldowns
- Shrugs
? Seated Rows
? Dips
? Tricep Cable Pushdowns
? 1 set cross overs

? Friday: Mondays workout again
? on the next week start with Thursdays ruitine and do the same

you?ll perform 5 sets for each exercise. Each successive set gets progressively heavier and you?ll follow this pattern: 1st set, 8 reps; 2nd set, 6 reps; 3rd set, 4 reps; fourth set, 2 reps; and fifth set, 50% of the weight of the 1st set to failure
ten minutes of stretching before and after you finish training.?????


itchy: im doin low reps aroudn 4-6. I'm a hard gainer so I've found this works best for me. I shot up from about 85 kilos to 95 kilos in about 4 months maybe 5, and my strength shot up fast as well. Iv'e been stuck now for a few weeks.. Here is my training:

I do about 12 sets for each muscle group, wait about 3 min between sets and im usually in the gym for about 1 hour maybe 1 hour and a half which I think might be the problem..


i would definatly go the h.i.t program if you want a platue buster. you will see strength gains as well as size gains.


If you've been stuck at the same poundages AND the same bodweight for several weeks, I would strongly suggest eating more food. Make sure every week your scale is moving up. Even though you are probably eating a shitload of food now, you will see more gains if you eat more.

As for training, if you've been stuck at the same weight on your main lifts, I'd switch those out for a different, similar exercise, spend a few weeks getting strong on the new movement, then switch back when progress on that exercise stalls. When you do the switch-back, you will likely blow right past your old personal best within a matter of weeks.


What is up with just posting random programs all over the place, without knowing anything about the OP? If your current program brought you up in strength, you should try to adapt it when you stop gaining. A revolution is not a wise choice.


itchy: yea ur right.. i just get nervous with the eating, cuz i bulked up once and went up to about 250lbs but i got really fat.. i know if i do it right il be ok though... yea il stick to my routine but maybe just switch up the exercised a bit.. PS: got a question kinda off topic... close grip bench, wats harder decline or flat? decline bench in the general rule is easier than flat but for close grip i find it to be the opposite... ?


Yes. Tweak, don't overhaul.


I wouldn't know. Incline CG bench hurts my shoulders.

As far as eating goes, just try to get the scale moving up about a pound per week and make try to add poundage each week on those new exercises. Also, if you do think you are gaining fat too quickly, I would suggest just adding in a little bit of cardio rather than reducing calories.


Whats the point of doing decline or incline for close grip bench? Its a tricep exercise so why do it any other way than flat.

I went up in my bench pretty steady and good using a 5x5 program. Went from 205 Bench to 275 but then got stuck at 275 for almost 2 months. To break out of the plateau I upped my calories from around 3000 to 4000 and did heavy close grip bench as explosively as possible. All my lifts went up in the last 10 days and added 15 lbs on my bench and feel the gains are going to keep coming.

Read topic #2. Progress comes in spurts. Great article.


I wondered the same thing the first time I heard about it. Didn't make sense, but I gave it a whirl and found it too uncomfortable. I know some people like them, though.


i find decline has a larger range of motion, but only for close grip... im still a fan of flat though... just thinkin about what i can do to switch up my routine a bit...


Decline close grips are superior to flat, requires the most muscle activation for triceps


Interesting. I'll have to try it out for the fuck of it.