T Nation

Urgent Programming Problem

About a year ago, I started strength training with starting strength. I was able to get to a bench of 230, a squat of 350, and a deadlift of 415 for 5 reps. Afterwards, I moved on to the Texas Method, but this is where my problems started. During my workouts, I added my sets to whatever exercise i was doing if I did not make them(Yes, I did not know what I was doing that well). I still made gains in muscle, as I have seen that as I gained strength in starting strength, I also gained muscle, but my strength has taken a nosedive.

As my strength dropped, I reassured myself that I would just get it back with a long recovery stage. But, I then got a moving heavy equipment around for hours at a time that made my strength plummet even faster. Now, I can barely deadlift 200 and bench press 150 for reps. Adding to that, my whole body feels extremely sore in the morning when I wake up.

So, even though I am still making muscle gains, I am really scared now as I might not ever recover back to my original strength. I am planning to take a huge calorie deficit of about 1500 calories and am considering stop working out for a few weeks to recover. Is this the right course of action or do you all recommend something different?

I don’t see the urgent problem here, but you’re undertrained (as evident by your soreness) and your recovery is shit (as evident by your soreness) so you’re cutting out training and food.

Nope, I don’t see any issues with that.

Describe your muscle gain and current food intake.

[quote]black_angus1 wrote:
I don’t see the urgent problem here, but you’re undertrained (as evident by your soreness) and your recovery is shit (as evident by your soreness) so you’re cutting out training and food.

Nope, I don’t see any issues with that.[/quote]

I am pretty sure I am not under-trained as I increased my training days to six days when I started the Texas Method and added sets whenever I felt like it. But then I started to lose strength, but still gained muscle. So, I just started taking off days and sets to try to get enough recovery and still work out. But, the aforementioned decrease in strength still progressed and now I am at the point where just doing the bar for squats, deadlifts, and bench presses for just two days is too much.

And, you say in your post that I should eat the same or more to recover. So, should just stop working out for a few days or weeks along with the increase in calories to recover?

Sorry if I am bothering you with my lack of knowledge about this. I just did the programs without looking up the intricacies of them, such as how much you are suppose to be eating when doing them, and am scared that I might not ever gain back my original strength.

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Describe your muscle gain and current food intake. [/quote]

I have gained about 15lbs of muscle while on starting strength and the muscle gains are still happening on the Texas Method, just not strength gains.

Also, I eat about 2500 calories a day as I am taking that from the few days that I measured what I ate. I also try to eat many protein-rich foods, like eggs and hamburgers.

[quote]mhat wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Describe your muscle gain and current food intake. [/quote]

I have gained about 15lbs of muscle while on starting strength and the muscle gains are still happening on the Texas Method, just not strength gains.

Also, I eat about 2500 calories a day as I am taking that from the few days that I measured what I ate. I also try to eat many protein-rich foods, like eggs and hamburgers.[/quote]

Need more detail. Height, weight, and specifically and exactly what your meals have been for the last 2 days. Also how long this decrease in strength has been consistently happening and how long you have been using the Texas Method.

Off the top of my head, you’re not eating enough or sleeping enough, and you’re not supposed to train 6 days/week on the Texas Method.

Other data that is useful includes: the amount of coffee/energy drinks you have every day and how long it has been that way, any pre-workout stimulants you use and how long you have used them.

2500 calories is not enough.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]mhat wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Describe your muscle gain and current food intake. [/quote]

I have gained about 15lbs of muscle while on starting strength and the muscle gains are still happening on the Texas Method, just not strength gains.

Also, I eat about 2500 calories a day as I am taking that from the few days that I measured what I ate. I also try to eat many protein-rich foods, like eggs and hamburgers.[/quote]

Need more detail. Height, weight, and specifically and exactly what your meals have been for the last 2 days. Also how long this decrease in strength has been consistently happening and how long you have been using the Texas Method.

Off the top of my head, you’re not eating enough or sleeping enough, and you’re not supposed to train 6 days/week on the Texas Method.

Other data that is useful includes: the amount of coffee/energy drinks you have every day and how long it has been that way, any pre-workout stimulants you use and how long you have used them.

2500 calories is not enough. [/quote]

height:5’11
weight:175
meals: breakfast yesterday :apple, banana, doughnut, two glasses of milk
lunch: omelet, two pieces of bacon, about two cups of eggs, sliced potatoes glass of milk
dinner: two hotdogs, two glasses of milk
today is about the same except a had a poptart instead of a doughnut in the morning

I was on starting strength for a year, and for about three months till now I have been on the Texas Method. The decline started at about the end of my starting strength period. I was at my best lifts when I stalled for about three times in a row. From that, it was almost a year on the program and, I though it was time to move on to the Texas Method. So, I increased the work volume and am now where I am at.

I do not use energy drinks or workout supplements of any kind. Also, I do not drink coffee and get 8-10 hours of sleep each night.

[quote]mhat wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]mhat wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Describe your muscle gain and current food intake. [/quote]

I have gained about 15lbs of muscle while on starting strength and the muscle gains are still happening on the Texas Method, just not strength gains.

Also, I eat about 2500 calories a day as I am taking that from the few days that I measured what I ate. I also try to eat many protein-rich foods, like eggs and hamburgers.[/quote]

Need more detail. Height, weight, and specifically and exactly what your meals have been for the last 2 days. Also how long this decrease in strength has been consistently happening and how long you have been using the Texas Method.

Off the top of my head, you’re not eating enough or sleeping enough, and you’re not supposed to train 6 days/week on the Texas Method.

Other data that is useful includes: the amount of coffee/energy drinks you have every day and how long it has been that way, any pre-workout stimulants you use and how long you have used them.

2500 calories is not enough. [/quote]

height:5’11
weight:175
meals: breakfast yesterday :apple, banana, doughnut, two glasses of milk
lunch: omelet, two pieces of bacon, about two cups of eggs, sliced potatoes glass of milk
dinner: two hotdogs, two glasses of milk
today is about the same except a had a poptart instead of a doughnut in the morning

I was on starting strength for a year, and for about three months till now I have been on the Texas Method. The decline started at about the end of my starting strength period. I was at my best lifts when I stalled for about three times in a row. From that, it was almost a year on the program and, I though it was time to move on to the Texas Method. So, I increased the work volume and am now where I am at.

I do not use energy drinks or workout supplements of any kind. Also, I do not drink coffee and get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. [/quote]

Thank you. If I read you correctly it seems you are training 6x a week currently under the Texas Method. There is absolutely no way that you should have increased to 6 training days a week under the Texas Method–it is a 3x a week program, NOT a daily program. There is no reason you should not be able to recover from that 3x a week load.

Your calorie intake is not sufficient and neither is your protein intake. This is why I asked for your specific meal choices. You, like many people, are assuming you are eating more than you really are. I have trained figure girls who cut for stage competitions at the amount of calories you are eating trying to grow muscle and strength. One of the girls I trained consumed 1800 calories the last two weeks of her stage prep and came ripped to shreds…and you are eating about as much hoping to get strong and big. She weighted almost 50 lbs less than you.

For reference, here was my last day:

breakfast: 6 eggs, 4 slices bacon, 2 glasses whole milk, 2 slices toast = 900 cals or so

PWO shake = 400 cals

meal 2: 2 cups whole milk + 2 scoops protein (~600 cals, about 50g protein)

lunch: Steak Alfredo --6 oz flank steak + cream sauce + pasta= 700 cal

meal 4: protein shake, same as before 600 cal

supper, 8 oz hamburger or steak, rice, veggies, pico. Or chipotle (another 900 cals)

Days I cut down I skip one of the shakes, or substitute a shake for my last meal of the day. In other words, I eat almost twice as much as you do on low calorie days. Food is all the more important when you work a physical job in addition to your training. If you think that my current food intake is high, there was a point in my life at which I was working about 12 hours a day outside in the sun (full time construction + baseball umpiring) and lifting at the same time. I was literally eating almost 7000 calories a day and I ended up still losing ~18 lbs over the course of the summer owing to the intense work in the sun + keeping up with my training. It was not fun.

Eat food. More food.

There is an outside possibility that some how you under-ate and over-trained your way into a severe overtraining phase–if that happens to be the case, the only thing that will fix it is time off and lots of food during your time off. You are undereating everything, including protein. Start back by training only 3x a week and logging everything you eat, making sure to get up your calories to 3500 daily. Do not undereat. If that doesn’t improve in a month you probably will have to take time off, but I think it is possible more calories will solve much of the problem given enough time.

It might be best to take 1 week completely off and just eat and then re-start. Also, you are NOT to fail any repetitions with the Texas Method. Do not fail a set, so be conservative if you have to be to make them.

Aragorn is spot on.

You also might independently be sick. Going from 415 for 5 reps to “now I am at the point where just doing the bar for squats, deadlifts, and bench presses for just two days is too much” sounds pretty fucking extreme to the point where I would consider getting a physical and getting some blood work done.

I agree, a loss of 40-50% in max strength is hugely abnormal unless an injury has occurred. As Aragon said your diet sucks big time (doughnuts and Poptarts, WTF?). I would also drop the Texas Method completely, it has apparently ruined your strength. Go back to Starting Strength or do something else, if you do a lot of manual labor pick a low volume routine like 5/3/1 or whatever you want. You should get a physical if you have any other weird symptoms (night sweats, ill, etc). Good luck with it

[quote]mhat wrote:

meals: breakfast yesterday :apple, banana, doughnut, two glasses of milk
lunch: omelet, two pieces of bacon, about two cups of eggs, sliced potatoes glass of milk
dinner: two hotdogs, two glasses of milk
today is about the same except a had a poptart instead of a doughnut in the morning
[/quote]

And you wonder why you aren’t seeing the results you are needed.

Yes, you are undertrained. Train more, work on recovery, and all of a sudden those big work loads won’t seem so big. Remember that recovery and work capacity are trainable qualities, just like maximal strength or power.

I like donuts…not a huge fan of poptarts though.

Ill put this simply you have to eat huge on starting strength and the texas method like 5000 calories a day seriously. The exception is if you started off fat you then adjust your calories down. Fst would be around 30% bodyfat.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]mhat wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]mhat wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:
Describe your muscle gain and current food intake. [/quote]

I have gained about 15lbs of muscle while on starting strength and the muscle gains are still happening on the Texas Method, just not strength gains.

Also, I eat about 2500 calories a day as I am taking that from the few days that I measured what I ate. I also try to eat many protein-rich foods, like eggs and hamburgers.[/quote]

Need more detail. Height, weight, and specifically and exactly what your meals have been for the last 2 days. Also how long this decrease in strength has been consistently happening and how long you have been using the Texas Method.

Off the top of my head, you’re not eating enough or sleeping enough, and you’re not supposed to train 6 days/week on the Texas Method.

Other data that is useful includes: the amount of coffee/energy drinks you have every day and how long it has been that way, any pre-workout stimulants you use and how long you have used them.

2500 calories is not enough. [/quote]

height:5’11
weight:175
meals: breakfast yesterday :apple, banana, doughnut, two glasses of milk
lunch: omelet, two pieces of bacon, about two cups of eggs, sliced potatoes glass of milk
dinner: two hotdogs, two glasses of milk
today is about the same except a had a poptart instead of a doughnut in the morning

I was on starting strength for a year, and for about three months till now I have been on the Texas Method. The decline started at about the end of my starting strength period. I was at my best lifts when I stalled for about three times in a row. From that, it was almost a year on the program and, I though it was time to move on to the Texas Method. So, I increased the work volume and am now where I am at.

I do not use energy drinks or workout supplements of any kind. Also, I do not drink coffee and get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. [/quote]

Thank you. If I read you correctly it seems you are training 6x a week currently under the Texas Method. There is absolutely no way that you should have increased to 6 training days a week under the Texas Method–it is a 3x a week program, NOT a daily program. There is no reason you should not be able to recover from that 3x a week load.

Your calorie intake is not sufficient and neither is your protein intake. This is why I asked for your specific meal choices. You, like many people, are assuming you are eating more than you really are. I have trained figure girls who cut for stage competitions at the amount of calories you are eating trying to grow muscle and strength. One of the girls I trained consumed 1800 calories the last two weeks of her stage prep and came ripped to shreds…and you are eating about as much hoping to get strong and big. She weighted almost 50 lbs less than you.

For reference, here was my last day:

breakfast: 6 eggs, 4 slices bacon, 2 glasses whole milk, 2 slices toast = 900 cals or so

PWO shake = 400 cals

meal 2: 2 cups whole milk + 2 scoops protein (~600 cals, about 50g protein)

lunch: Steak Alfredo --6 oz flank steak + cream sauce + pasta= 700 cal

meal 4: protein shake, same as before 600 cal

supper, 8 oz hamburger or steak, rice, veggies, pico. Or chipotle (another 900 cals)

Days I cut down I skip one of the shakes, or substitute a shake for my last meal of the day. In other words, I eat almost twice as much as you do on low calorie days. Food is all the more important when you work a physical job in addition to your training. If you think that my current food intake is high, there was a point in my life at which I was working about 12 hours a day outside in the sun (full time construction + baseball umpiring) and lifting at the same time. I was literally eating almost 7000 calories a day and I ended up still losing ~18 lbs over the course of the summer owing to the intense work in the sun + keeping up with my training. It was not fun.

Eat food. More food.

There is an outside possibility that some how you under-ate and over-trained your way into a severe overtraining phase–if that happens to be the case, the only thing that will fix it is time off and lots of food during your time off. You are undereating everything, including protein. Start back by training only 3x a week and logging everything you eat, making sure to get up your calories to 3500 daily. Do not undereat. If that doesn’t improve in a month you probably will have to take time off, but I think it is possible more calories will solve much of the problem given enough time.

It might be best to take 1 week completely off and just eat and then re-start. Also, you are NOT to fail any repetitions with the Texas Method. Do not fail a set, so be conservative if you have to be to make them.[/quote]

Sorry for not getting back to this thread in the past few days. I had lots of stuff to do. As for your information Aragorn, it was spot on.

I stopped exercising for this week and ate about 5000 calories for each of the days. My shoulders, biceps and other muscles exploded in size, more than any other times I have gained muscle, and are continuing to do so. It even feels like some of my strength is coming back, but I cannot be sure until I go back to the gym. However, some of my soreness still remains, so I might take other week off just to be sure and then work up slowly from there.

So you replenished your glycogen stores, retained a bit more water, and now you’re hyooooge?