T Nation

Tired of Going Nowhere


Hey guys, first time poster! Been on the site for a while but just decided to make an account and post.

I’ve lifted a little over a year and a half and feel like I just can’t go anywhere. My lifts are stagnant and no weight gain. I really want to get serious about my body, because when I first started lifting the initial gain boosted my confidence through the roof.

I would love for you guys to point out what you think would be the best overall plan for me, where I’d prefer strength over size as I could achieve more size once I have more strength. I’ll be home for the summer from college so days per week don’t matter. It’d be much appreciated if someone could point me in the direction of such a program, as I know there are many out there.

Here are my stats
20 y/o 170 pounds

1 rep maxes
bench 190
deadlift 340
squat 225
ohp 135

Thanks in advance!


There is always 5/3/1

Work hard eat big to fuel the muscle growth. What are you eating what’s your job are you stressed or recovering enough. Are you powerlifting or body building. Need more details if you want more help. At 20 your body is primed to grow.


forgot how many exact calories it was but its 175 protein 300 carb and 70 fat. Job is working at a body shop so there is some lifting involved. Not stressed as school just got out, maybe sleep was my problem these last couple weeks because of finals and such. I only got maybe 5 or 6 hours because of that.

I was looking at starting strength or texas method or something with faster progression because from what I’ve read I’m still at beginner numbers so could I still do a beginner linear progression like that?


Linear progression is fun. Thats what i’m doing right now actually - getting my strength back up to what it used to be.

You have a nice support group here for 5/3/1 though. My main beef with 5/3/1 is the frequency of the lifts. Hitting a core lift 3x a month is not enough practice for my liking. For instance right now i’m hitting just 2 big lifts - front squat and push press - and i’m training them 3x per week with short and heavy sessions. I should have my old strength levels backup in 2 months max.

Whatever you choose i would stick with it at least 2-3 months.


How fast is the progression in 5/3/1? I have never seen that charted or documented. I would figure it was all individual due to the final set being as many reps as possible.


You get five pounds stronger every month you run 5/3/1. Luckily we have Youtube pioneers who have developed innovative methods that get you five pounds stronger every workout.

As you may have guessed, scientists HATE them.


Man, I have been running 5/3/1 so wrong, because I was getting stronger way too fast.


Hey - thought I would weigh in since my bench and ohp are the same as yours. I’m older (52) and fatter (195) than you so the comparisons may not be that valid. I started SS five weeks ago and set my numbers lower and am currently squatting 245 and dead lifting 250. All of those are up significantly (albeit still woefully low).

I think any linear program is going to work. I like SS but I’m sure others would work too. Just start your program at a level that allows you to go a while before stalling and stick with the program for at least three months. If you have stalled by then, you can switch to a periodized program (5/3/1 for example).

I’m no expert, still learning, but this is what I think works - use an established program, recover (food and sleep), be patient.

Good luck.


That is a problem with not eating enough to gain weight.

No, this is nonsense. Complete nonsense. Gain size while gaining strength.


If your goal is upping your numbers in the compounds you have listed, I think Texas Method is a fucking wonderful choice for you at the level you’re at.

Not gaining weight is something that needs to be addressed, though. You’re getting just over 2500cal right now, which probably isn’t enough to support gaining LBM for a young 170lb man who lifts and has a moderately physical job. Don’t be afraid to get more cals from fat if you need to. Your protein intake is decent, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to bump it up slightly. Getting in an extra large snack/small meal with a decent protein content every day could make a world of difference.