T Nation

Why Am I Getting Smaller But Improving Strength?

This does not happen all the time, lets say in a period of one week i gained x isize to my arms and then i lost 50% of it in one two days after that but my strength always get better but slowly slowly i managed to get bigger, i am 20 years old and i tested my testosterone when i was 15yr the results showed i had below borderline low just a bit but the day that i tested it i didn’t sleep at night at all nevertheless i have some symptoms of low t except few like depression and energy levels and some others and only grow facial hair on my chin and mustache i bring this up as maybe thats the problem and if it is how can i counteract this??

I consume 3300 kcal on my training days and 2800-3000 kcal on my non training days depending on my activity the given day and i consume 160-210 gr of protein every day with a big fraction of it coming from complete proteins, and this is my split(the one below is the base program that i gotten from the internet but i slightly altered it):

Week 1

  1. Monday: Push
  2. Tuesday: Pull
  3. Wednesday: off
  4. Thursday: Legs
  5. Friday: off
  6. Saturday: Push
  7. Sunday: Pull

Week 2

  1. Monday: off
  2. Tuesday: Legs
  3. Wednesday: off
  4. Thursday: Push
  5. Friday: Pull
  6. Saturday: off
  7. Sunday: Legs

Week 3

  1. Monday: off
  2. Tuesday: Push
  3. Wednesday: Pull
  4. Thursday: off
  5. Friday: Legs
  6. Saturday: off
  7. Sunday: Push

Week 4

  1. Monday: Pull
  2. Tuesday: off
  3. Wednesday: Legs
  4. Thursday: off
  5. Friday: Push
  6. Saturday: Pull
  7. Sunday: off

my strength grows very fast as i do proper progressive overload but my size fluctuates a lot and in a way that i don’t know what causes it, whats your opinion in this?? also i managed to hold on some size that i gained nevertheless but the fluctuation happens a lot and i believe it hinders my progress.

That is called inflammation.

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that explains a lot then building muscle is slower that i thought.

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Dude you’ll be fine. I HIGHLY doubt that you’ve gained such great strength that it actually warrants a real change in physique. What are your lifting numbers right now?

If your bench goes from 225 pounds to 315 pounds, there’ll be a guaranteed positive change in your physique. Minor strength improvements wouldn’t make a difference.

Unless you are specializing in either extreme, one being pure bodybuilding with relatively lighter weights and chasing the pump, the other being some kind of very heavy lifting with five reps each set and below for pure strength, you’ll get bigger. At your age, you should really only worry about your five-rep max on key lifts. Come back when your squat is 405, deadlift 495, and bench press 315.

You’re on the right path. You got a good training split and you’re getting enough protein and calories. Just keep it up and keep getting stronger.

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i failed to mention that my numbers are impressive to my eyes because i never saw such progress on my lifting career for example after 3 months of consistent effort i have gotten my bent over row from 40kg/88lbs 10 reps to 80kg/176lbs for 12 reps and another lift the dumbbell flat bench press i started 20kg/44lbs for 6 reps to 25kg/55lbs for 8 reps, my rep ranges depend on my mood and what i lifted previously some times i may make a 5 kg jump or 10kg jump some times i may just increase the reps which may make me do over 12 reps provided that in my last session i didn’t did more than 12 reps on that given exercise with the same weight, so my rep ranges are between 8-12 most of the time but i indent to change that to 5-8 reps as it aligns more to my goals.

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You have been lifting how long?

close to 3 months but i have trained inconsistently from 15yr till 18yr so i have a bit of experience.

What lifts and sets/reps do you do in a “Push” or a “Pull” workout?

High reps, low weights and Pumping Up causes big swings in muscle swelling and deflating.

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On my push days i do push ups 2 sets close to failure,dumbbell bench flat/incline 3 sets of 7-12 reps each,OHP 5 sets of 5-8 reps,skull crushers 3 sets of 11-16 reps and tricep rope push down 3 sets of 14-15 reps.

And on my pull days usually pull ups 2 sets to failure, bent over rows 3 sets of 10-15 reps,t-bar rows 3 sets 12-15, dumbbell rows 3 sets of 12-16 reps, incline dumbbell curls 2 sets 7-10 reps, barbell curl 4 sets with the first 3 being 6-12 reps and the last one 15+ and then back extensions and face pulls.

And again you see i go over 12 reps because i intend with the weight increase on certain exercise to stay within the 12 rep range but i just don’t calculate it correctly from now on i should try to make bigger weight jumps to keep a lower rep range.

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Bigger weight jumps and lower rep ranges are good for “Heavy” or “Intense” training. I definitely think you should consider doing Some lifting like that.

Some guys do great using that style all the time, for all the lifts. Other guys like to go heavy on 1 or 2 lifts, then use higher reps for other lifts. Like Bench Press and T Bar Row heavier, for sets of 6-8. Dumbbell presses and dumbbell rows for medium reps (8-12) Then something pullups or pushups for higher reps (12-15+).

Personally, big weights all the time beat me up and make my joints hurt. And light weights/high reps all the time don’t always produce great gains. But mixing them up let’s me train more, and keeps me feeling good.

Or Push Day 1 Heavy for lower reps and the next Push Day lighter for higher reps.

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Yes i am gonna mix it up, i will go with some compound exercises on low rep ranges while still try to have max 12 reps on other exercises where i will go “lighter”, you gave me good ideas i may also try to go all heavy to see how my body will respond but that after i get pass the beginner stages.