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Why Am I Plateauing?

I’ve only been lifting for six months and I’ve already hit a plateau. My bench got stuck at 150 from August to October, then i improved for a couple of weeks and hit 160. Six weeks later (including a Smolov Jr cycle) I barely hit 170. The same thing is true for squat; I hit 240 this morning after Smolov Jr., which is only a 15 pound improvement in the past six or seven weeks.

I haven’t deadlifted in four weeks because I was running Smolov Jr. for squat and bench, but it was still slowly improving before I started Smolov Jr.

I ran Smolov Jr. because I figured that linear progression (i.e. adding five pounds a week and hitting 5x5) wasn’t working anymore. Unfortunately my gains were pretty marginal with it. Where should I go from here? Any suggestions for programs would be appreciated.

You lift baby weights buddy, don’t need anything special

Go back to linear progression and milk it for everything its worth then move to intermediate when you stall out on that you could worry about smolov. Make sure you eat a lot can’t stress this enough. Get calories via milk and/or mass gaining shakes.

Your form is something that needs to be checked for stalling at those weights… That and your diet. You should at least have another 40+ pounds that you can milk out of linear progression for your squatting depending on how heavy you are.

Weight/Height?

Friend, re-read what you wrote. You said you hit a bench plateau at 150, but now your bench is 170. That’s 20 lb improvement. And you put 15 lbs on your squat in the past few weeks. That’s not a plateau, that’s progress.

Maybe it’s not as much as you are used to, but gains are gains. They are going to slow down the longer you lift. The trick is to keep your eyes to the future. As long as you are improving, keep at it. Work on improving form and always push yourself to work harder. There will be times when you make BIG gains, and times when your gains are going to be FAR worse than 15 lbs in 6 or 7 weeks. But if you keep at it and stick to a good program, in a year your maxes will be warmups.

That being said, I would commit to 5/3/1 if I were you. I think it is the best program for someone like you, with a few solid months to work on lifting, but still a LOT of room to grow. If you commit to the program and work your ass off, you WILL get stronger and bigger. You just need to listen to jim, check your ego, and remember that time is key.

[quote]Alexkennedy3000 wrote:
Weight/Height?[/quote]
5’6 160

[quote]N.K. wrote:
That being said, I would commit to 5/3/1 if I were you. I think it is the best program for someone like you, with a few solid months to work on lifting, but still a LOT of room to grow. If you commit to the program and work your ass off, you WILL get stronger and bigger. You just need to listen to jim, check your ego, and remember that time is key. [/quote]

Thanks. I think I will give 5/3/1 a try. How do you find it works for deadlifts? I feel like its structure would suit squat and bench better

[quote]RonSwanson wrote:

[quote]N.K. wrote:
That being said, I would commit to 5/3/1 if I were you. I think it is the best program for someone like you, with a few solid months to work on lifting, but still a LOT of room to grow. If you commit to the program and work your ass off, you WILL get stronger and bigger. You just need to listen to jim, check your ego, and remember that time is key. [/quote]

Thanks. I think I will give 5/3/1 a try. How do you find it works for deadlifts? I feel like its structure would suit squat and bench better[/quote]

Actually a top set for reps usually works for most people for deadlift IMO a lot better than it does for bench and squat

You’ll need to gain some weight. 20lbs would be nice.

Personally for me, it actually did not work very well for deadlifts. However, for almost everyone else I know who does it it works fine for deads. And considering you are still a beginner with a lot of gains to make, I think it will work fine.

If it doesn’t, the way that I fixed my deadlift problem was to just add another squat day, and then pull speed deads on monday and heavy singles on thursday. It’s been working very well. However, I would give the written program at least 6 months or more of your time before you make any changes. I bet it will work fine for all of your lifts.

Learn to use prilepins chart.

I’m probably say what others have said.

But your form probably sucks and you probably aren’t eating enough.

You don’t stall at those light weights if you are eating and lifting right.

And to only gain ten pounds out of smolov jr is enough for me to think you aren’t eating enough.

Add 1,000 calories on to your diet and go back to 5x5 and see what happens.

Eat more. I learned that the hard way.

Crossfit and Vibrams 5Finger shoes. Should fix ya right up!

[quote]TheTexican wrote:
Crossfit and Vibrams 5Finger shoes. Should fix ya right up![/quote]
lolz

need more Lemon Pledge

[quote]spar4tee wrote:
need more Lemon Pledge[/quote]

x2

You might be over doing it if your numbers are stalling. It’s called cumulative fatigue. Take 12 days off then retest your lifts. Your body gets stronger during recovery.