T Nation

When to Quit a Program?


#1

I am currently running Juggernaut Method 2.0 (inverted) by chad wesley smith. I am currently on the 5s wave intensification week. Week by week i find myself getting weaker. Weights that used to be a warm-up for my warm up now feel heavy. I have always finished programs regardless if i feel like it is effective or not. However, this one has been the most unfortunate as so far. So, should i just continue and trust the process? Or should i drop it and start one a program that suits me more.


#2

Its usually not the program.

If you believe a certain program will work, you have to trust the process it takes to get results. If you don’t believe the program will work, then find something you believe will work and do it. At some point, you have to trust the process. If not, make up your own program based on what works for you and ditch the rest.


#3

It’s probably fatigue catching up with you, Chad warns of a potential strength drop off over the first half of the program.

If you’re in the 5s wave, then you should only have 4-6 weeks left. I would say push through to the end, take a deload and test maxes, you may be surprised.

That said, if you lost faith then you may have dropped your intensity unconsciously which is going to undermine everything. If that is the case you may as well move on.


#4

Like the posters above said it’s probably not the program. If you’ve run it properly then you shouldn’t be having issues. Is this your first time running the program?

If you have followed the program properly ask Chad Wesley Smith for a refund. Look into his cute little baby blue eyes and tell him" Your program is rubbish you teddy bear arse looking motherfucker."

Possibly is just fatigue catching up to you: Fatigue masks fitness and all that jazz

Sounds like you’re overly fatigued or overreached tho. Probably a bit of fatigue mismanagement going on. Is your diet and sleep on point? Are outside stressors e.g. Work, personal, health etc. taking away from your recovery abilities?

Fatigue mismanagement also includes training i.e not doing the program properly and thus accummating excessive fatigue and not dissipating it successfully.

May as well finish what you’ve started. Hell throw in a random deload if it’s already so fucked.

Most importantly take as long as you need to reflect on why you’ve not performed as well as you’d like and learn from it. You have your training logs, the program and your memory which should be plenty to go off of.

It’s not particularly complicated look at the when/where and why/how you went off the rails whether that be from the vey start or just one week that was fucked up.

If you have a history or doing poorly on programs either you picked shit like bodybuilding.com’s bigger biceps in 10 days or you’ve messed up in running popular well proven programs. If you can determine why then you can avoid messing up future programs.


#5

Juggernaut Method is basically linear periodization and has you doing lots of volume with light weights for the first few months so it’s no surprise if your old warm up weights feel heavy. Maybe the volume is not appropriate for you, do you feel beat up or does the program seem too easy? Has your estimated 1rm gone up or down?

I have done hypertrophy phases in the past and felt weaker after, but if you need to gain muscle then it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. Nowadays I would rather do volume blocks with the heaviest weights at 80% and gradually working back up to 85 or so, maybe a bit heavier on bench. You can’t be at peak strength all the time.


#6

Thanks for the input guys. Ill extend a few details that will hopefully aid you all in your personal diagnosis. Current 1RMs (@ 155lbs)= 340 squat, 375 deadlift (could of hit more), 230 bench. To be conservative i used these 1RMS: Squat 325, deadlift 375, bench 225. I then used 90% of these maxes as my training maxes. After 10s wave i added 10lbs to my deadlift training max, 5lbs to bench training max, and 0 for my squat. After 8s wave i added 10lbs to my deadlift training max, 0 to my bench and 10lbs to my squat. During this time i developed a medical problem that is now under control. However, i ended up losing 10lbs through the ordeal (mostly fat i think). Clearly, this weight loss was a contributing factor to my issue. This is why im wondering if the program is soiled for me. I feel like the first waves are essential for building the foundation upon the next waves.
A couple more notes:

  • i am much better at being super explosive with 1 rep compared to endurance with lighter weight (ex. i could squat 340 cleanly but probably couldnt squat 275 for 5)
    -I find that higher frequency for me does wonders (jug lacks this)
  • I am 5`5

#7

I’d say being sick is a pretty significant detail which may have contributed to your progress (or lack of)

There is some merit to improving what you suck at.


#8

You should have asked a completely different question in the beginning. It’s not about the program working or not, clearly you were making some progress. The question now is what do you do if you get sick and lose a whole bunch of weight in the middle of a training cycle. I would say that it depends on what your short term goals are, if you have a meet coming up at the end of the cycle then you should finish it. Otherwise the best bet would be to try and gain back some of the muscle that you lost, and probably some more if you weigh 155 at 5’5". Your program doesn’t have to focus exclusively on hypertrophy either.

Not unless your medical problem was caused by liposuction. More likely that you lost water weight and muscle tissue. When you lose weight quickly, your body holds onto fat so that you are less likely to starve to death.

Why did you choose this program then? Most people should be squatting and benching at least twice a week, if you’re bigger and stronger or old then maybe you can’t recover as easily but in your case it would make sense to do a higher frequency program for sure.


#9

Hmm interesting points. So, overall, would you suggest i stop the program? Also, the medical condition was a esophagus disease. Lastly, i chose juggernaut simply to try it. I am only 20 years old and have the opportunity to experiment. I felt like trying the major popular programs would help me develop a good sense of what does and does not work for me.


#10

Linear periodization + high volume requires:

  1. The CORRECT selection of training poundages
  2. Serious discipline and mental toughness
  3. Management of external factors

And most importantly:
4. The ability to understand the program enough so when shit happens, you are able to make the APPROPRIATE changes to the program to get you back on track. This is not easy and beyond the abilities of lifters with limited experience. Unless you can control all your factors, Juggernaut will bury you.

My OPINION (emphasized for those who can’t read), is that you need a simple beginner’s program and run it for a year or so until you learn how your body responds to volume, load, intensity, diet, sleep, illnesses, unforeseen circumstances, etc


#11

You would have been better off with another program from the start, so I suppose you might as well quit this one. But what do you have planned next? If you need maxes to work off of then finish this training block and start a new program after the deload.


#13

The next program is a standard linear periodization program that has a higher frequency in the lifts. However, the intensity is designed to vary day by day you you are not taxing your body completely. The “split” would look like this
Day 1: Deads, Bench
Day 2: Front squats,OHP
Day 3:Deficit Deadlifts, Pause Bench (this day might be changed to simply just a bench day depending how beat it makes me)
Day 4: squats and bench
-this program has minimal accessory work which i honestly like.
-Ill probably have a rest day in between every workout but 100% have one after days 1 and 3.
-I know it may seem like a lot but the way the intensities vary are pretty comprehensive to the point where i think it will be OK.


#15

Buy Rippetoes Books:

Starting Strength
Practical Programming

Follow the novice progression, then the texas method. After you milk the texas method, decide if you want to specialize in powerlifting. By the time you have done this (1-2 years), you will be knowledgeable enough to know what you need. This is a long term quest.


#16

It would make more sense to squat the day before deadlifting, you are going to squat before deadlifting in a meet and being slightly fatigued is more likely to affect your squat than your deadlift. I would set it up like this:
Monday - squat, paused bench
Tuesday- deadlift. ohp
Wednesday-off
Thursday- front squat (or some other variation), bench
Friday- deficit dl, some other bench variation
Weekend-off

As long as you don’t do too much volume in any single workout you should be fine, I have used a similar template in the past but I prefer upper/lower mostly because you don’t spend so much time warming up and I don’t always have a lot of time to spare. Seeing as you are coming from an upper/lower program it might take a few weeks to adjust so don’t go crazy with intensity and volume or you will regret it.

Also consider what jbackos said. I don’t know what programs you did in the past and if that includes linear progression but I don’t think you would get too far on SS right now based on your numbers and body weight. The Texas Method would be a good choice though, and there is a 4 day template for that. Aside from simply training for strength, you should aim to add muscle mass. Somewhere around 165-185 would be better at your height.


#17

Hatfield always recommended that beginners bodybuild seriously for about a year prior to beginning powerlifting.


#18

I have been lifting 5 years. Just power lifting specific for over a year.


#19

Coincidentally, that’s exactly what I did. Although I somewhat neglected lower body (one “leg day”, a few deadlifts before upper back/lats) and it shows in my numbers.


#20

Out of curiosity, what do you have planned in terms of sets and reps? Are you going to do rows and chin ups as well? Did you come up with this program or did you find it elsewhere?


#21

Is your technique on point?

To clarify, can you perform and push hard under heavy load (90%+) for a single without thinking about your body positioning? IF and only IF you are at this stage study Westside conjugate in great detail. DO NOT try it if your technique is not at that level yet.


#22

Chris go onto youtube and look up “brian alsrue powerbody building program”. I am essentially taking that free program and modifying it. I am keeping his form of undulating periodization the same. As well as his wave progression the same. The only thing i am altering is the basis of the exercises being performed. For example, instead of his Bench-Bench assistance movement-Endurance
mine would be: Squat-Bench-Assistance movement. I will not be using his giant set premise. Since the workout is solely based on 3 main movements i will do little accessory work. However, example accessories i would do would be: rows (on days i bench), vertical back movements (I.E pullups) on OHP day, step ups, lunges, glute ham raises etc. Basically if i am doing accessory work, it will be the bread and butter compound movements.