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Stuck in the Big Three


Hello Guys.
Its been a year since i started doing powerlifting training. But for the past 3 months i got stuck on the big three. I been addin box squats, pause squat, different grips for the bench press, skullcrushers, good mornings and stiff deadlift; i have increased the calorie intake. But nothing seems to help me improve. I think is to early for thinking on roids. So i really could use some help for most experienced guys.

I was thinking on buy some rubber bands or chains. But i really want to now your opinions on the matter.

BTW. I am 25 year old, 6foot and 240lb (about 20% BF). I eat 4300 (clean) calories a day.


what program are you doing at this moment?


i am following the bill starr - glenn pendlay advanced powerlifting routine. Plus some add, like box squads, different grips an the bench, stiff leg deadlift and snatch grip deadlifts. The no powerlifting training days (tuesday and thursday) i do some assistan movements, goodmorning. barbell shoulder presses, lat pulldowns, tricep extensions and light weight front squat( 40% of my front squat PR).


So you aren't following the Bill Starr - Glenn Pendlay program.


Pretty much. I never understand why people do this.

If you know better, make your own program. Many people do this and there's nothing wrong with it.

But if you don't, and follow someone else's, then actually follow it.

What sucks about this is, all you've really learned is that some bastardized incarnation of what used to be the Starr/Pendlay program doesn't work for you. If you'd kept the program pure it probably would have worked, and if it didn't, that would be more valuable information than what you have.

So I recommend you do one or the other. Good luck either way.


Reset your weights and work more on your technique.

Don't change programs you don't fully understand, don't use tools (boxes, chains, bands) you don't know what they were made for, don't overcomplicate things, don't search for excuses to start juicing, don't get training ADD.

Pendlay's program is a good one, especizlly for a beginner, run it as it's written.


Only a year and you're thinking of getting on gear? You haven't lifted long enough and you better do TONS of research.

Find a program you can stick with. Focus on main lifts. There are lots of programs out there. Here's a real easy and boring way to get strong that works very well -

Week 1 - do 5's starting at 50% of your max adding weight each set
Week 2 - same thing only using 3's
Week 3 - same thing only using 2's

  • then repeat the cycle

Your strength level will determine how much weight to add each set. A more experienced lifter will use 45/25/10 lb plates only. Others will make 10-20lb jumps. Once you hit a weight you know you won't get for the required reps, do the last weight you got the reps on for two more sets.

Seems easy and stupid because it isn't complex - but it works and that's what matters.


OSU posted this template over a year ago...super simple and works. Just put the work in.


I hit some really major plateaus the past couple of years too, and I find what worked for me was just switching up programs. Focusing on one lift at a time with a program like Smolov, or Smolov JR for bench press. You train one lift above and beyond for a few weeks while working on just maintaining the others, and then after hitting your new PR in that lift, you switch your focus. This has worked great for me in the past when I get stuck!

Good luck!