T Nation

Unexplained Gains?


Okay, so noob here, this is like my third post, but at least I've used quite a few forums before and am a long time lurker.

So, here's my situation. I've been lifting since 7th grade football offseason. Made pretty good gains for several years after, hitting a plateau senior year at 320 on bench at 235 pounds bodyweight. I was stuck there for a really long time. I've been lifting on and off since graduating and stayed at roughly the same maxes (bench 320, squat 425). Then I dieted down to 195 (bench 295, squat 385) and have been slowing building back up to my current weight of 205-210 depending on the day.

Over the last six weeks or so, I've been awesome gains, but I haven't been doing anything that I can think might cause them. I eat close to a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight but have always done that. Sleep 6-8 hours per night most nights (4 or so if I procrastinate on a paper). I haven't been following a specific program, just lifting how I feel (I know not the best idea, but this is a hobby now; I'm no longer in competitive sports). So, over the course of about six weeks I've gone from about 315 bench to 335. I can do 295 for five reps, did maybe 2 before. Squatted 410 for seven reps last workout. 405 for seven the time before that. My squat max has gone from 425 to at least 465 (maxed about 2 weeks ago, thats 10 pounds per week!)

I'm not trying to toot my own horn or anything, and I'm really enjoying this. Anyone had a dramatic, unexplained increase in their strength? I want to know what I'm getting right so that I can hopefully replicated this in the future. Thanks in advance for the replies :slightly_smiling:


Sometimes strengh gains are really unpredictible and just happen out of nowhere with no good logical explanation. I once had my bench max go up by like 40lbs in a short period of time with no change in training or diet or anything.



I find that my gains come in waves. Also, sometimes after I've been lifting for a few weeks with no discernible progress I'll take a week off (or deload) and come back noticably stronger.


I had the same thing happen to me recently. I had a meet so I deloaded the week before the meet. At the meet I lifted realy well and then I deloaded for a week after the meet. I expected to come back to the gym feeling weak since I hadn't lifted anything heavy (except for the meet) for two weeks. I came back and hit a nice PR on squats.

I think training day in day out realy taxes my CNS, joints, muscles etc... A little break every now and then seems to help. I'd say you are doing everything right just enjoy the gains.


Just wanted to update on the progress. Things have been going great. Last Friday I was able to squat 425 for 11 reps, which is by far my personal best. Yesterday I squatted 455 for 5 reps. I'm taking a break from benching though, because my left pec has been hurting a little. I think it is mildly strained. I cant wait to lift again!


OP, yea man a few years back, my squat jumped 65lbs within about 8 months I believe. And shortly before that, my deadlift jumped about 40lbs with 6 months. Nothing had changed at all in terms of training or diet. I wish this happened more often! LOL


somebody is adding something to your PWO shakes.


get a log book


Its been a couple weeks and the gains have continued to be awesome. Over the weekend I maxed 345 on bench and 515 on squat, both of which are by far the best Ive ever done :slight_smile: I want to keep going, but it's definitely break time because my left pec is strained pretty bad and all my joints feel a little achey. I put a lot of muscle on too. I'll try and get some videos when I start lifting again so I'm not just another guy on the internet claiming random numbers.