T Nation

Why Do I Keep Stalling on Strength?


#1

I've been lifting on and off for over 8 years now, and when I mean on and off I mean usually I would come home from HS/college and sign up for the 3 month YMCA summer program for access to the gym, and work out during those three months with no real direction. Since graduating, I have had a strong desire to improve upon myself and really push my body to the limits, and luckily stumbled on the site just over a year ago.

I have attempted several programs from TTT, to Starting Strength, to now WS4SB3, and not seeing the gains I expected to. My biggest problem is that I continue to add weight to the bar the first few weeks of the program, perhaps finding my max weights, and then just stall for weeks on end. I can perhaps push out an additional rep or two over those weeks, but how will I ever obtain the look I want with only adding 2.5lb plates every 3-4 months? Shouldn't I be putting on more mass at this stage? I consider myself extremely weak, and have incorrectly assumed I should be seeing great newbie gains at this point.

I'd be glad to break down my daily nutrition if that would be the issue, but I'm eating up to 9 times a day right now (very clean) and don't think that's the true problem. Pre and post workout shakes, protein at each meal, carbs around workout, cut off carbs at night, etc.

My progress over the last year has been almost next to none, and I'm extremely frustrated.

I've attached a 10 month progress picture...can you tell which one was taken first? That's exactly why I'm frustrated. I didn't think it was needed to include all angles of a performance thread, since I'm not asking to be critiqued. Just thought it would be easy to show my problem with one simple picture.

Perhaps I'm overthinking it. Perhaps someone that starts out weak and skinny has to put in 20plus years to look like Christian Thibaudeau in the Training for Newbies Part 1 thread...that's fine if it's true. I just feel like I'm spinning my wheels in the mud right now.


#2

You’re probably not eating enough, usually if I start to stall out, I’ll take a couple unscheduled days off and up my calorie intake. Plus it seems pretty common sense that if you look the same after 7 months that you’re not eating enough.

Sure you’re eating 9 times a day, but what most people do when they try to live this lifestyle is they eat “too clean”, just not getting in enough calories. Use a tool like fitday.com to track your calorie intake so you can know for certain how many calories you’re taking in, then you can adjust it from there.


#3

First, don’t get down on yourself. Your situation can be fixed very easily.

  1. You’re not eating enough. I can tell instantly when I look at your pic. I don’t care how much or how often you’re eating, it’s not enough.

  2. You need not be afraid of carbs or fat. You obviously don’t have the body type to hang on to fat too much. Eating very clean is unnecessary and may be holding you back.

  3. Pull your pants up :slight_smile:

Post that diet breakdown. We’ll be able to give you some help with the details.


#4

These guys say:

“There is no such thing as overtraining, only undereating.”


#5
  1. I agree with JayPierce “I also don’t care if you’re eating 9 times a day” It’s simply not enough. Please keep a log of what you’re eating for the next 3 days…Log everything, even if it’s just one peanut…heck even keep a record of how many glasses of water you’re drinking…Just do it and post it here and we’ll be able to help much more.

  2. You look like you could really use the help of some supplements since you’re clearly not getting all the nutrients you need from your food right now… Are you taking any right now? If so what are you taking and how much of it are you consuming everyday.

  3. How are you training right now? When you say you’re stalling…on what movements are you stalling? Please give us some details on how you’re training. At this stage…in my humble opinion, you should be squatting and deadlifting almost religiously.

  4. Don’t give up mate… give us the info we’ve requested and trust me your gym’s gonna have to order extra weight plates for you very soon. We’re here to help!


#6
  1. I agree with JayPierce “I also don’t care if you’re eating 9 times a day” It’s simply not enough. Please keep a log of what you’re eating for the next 3 days…Log everything, even if it’s just one peanut…heck even keep a record of how many glasses of water you’re drinking…Just do it and post it here and we’ll be able to help much more.

  2. You look like you could really use the help of some supplements since you’re clearly not getting all the nutrients you need from your food right now… Are you taking any right now? If so what are you taking and how much of it are you consuming everyday.

  3. How are you training right now? When you say you’re stalling…on what movements are you stalling? Please give us some details on how you’re training. At this stage…in my humble opinion, you should be squatting and deadlifting almost religiously.

  4. Don’t give up mate… give us the info we’ve requested and trust me your gym’s gonna have to order extra weight plates for you very soon. We’re here to help!


#7
  1. what you eating in a day?

  2. whats your training split like?

  3. Also, if your pic on the left is the beginning pic (before you ever touched a weight) then you’re not training with ANY kind of intensity.


#8

2.5 pound plates every 3-4 months? lol, thats a HUGE part of your problem right there.

PUSH the weights up from session to session at your current level…no matter how hard you have to grind out the rep. Get a training partner who will push you.,…down an espresso or two before lifting and ask someone to bitchslap you a few times if thats what it takes.

A 20 rep squats program and diet routine will help you some - and chances are you’ll learn to push yourself.


#9

Look…I’m going to be extremely blunt. You are dense. You’re no longer ignorant. You are flat-out dense. How many threads have you already created asking the same damned thing? (I counted about 3.) How many times have you gotten the same damned responses? (Every f’ing time–EAT, EAT, EAT.) How many times have you listened? (Not f’ing once.) What do you do?

Change the program, change the program, change the program…News flash, genius, it’s not the program. Inspite of you claiming you eat 9 times/day and not thinking it’s the problem, unless you do in fact have a medical problem (which I seriously doubt) you are DEAD F’ING WRONG!!! And, what boggles my mind is that even though people have told you this umpteen bazillion times, is that you needed to ask in the first place. I fully recognize that the is the Beginner’s Forum, but how’s about using a smidgen of common f’ing sense? If you aren’t gaining weight, eat more. Still not gaining weight? EAT MORE!!! Still, not gaining weight? EAT EVEN MORE!!! This isn’t rocket science.

How in the hell can you train for a solid 10 months in an effort to get bigger and stronger, and do neither? Answer: You must be mad, because you’re doing the same shit over and over and expecting a different result. A sane person would have made adjustments after a couple of weeks.

Solution: Take in an additional 1000 cals/day. Pick a beginner program (if you can’t even begin to figure out how to gain weight after training off-and-on for eight years you’re probably a hell of a lot better off making this shit as simple as possible). And, try to improve upon your previous bests every time you set foot in the gym.

If you find this post offensive in tone, too damned bad. I’m not going to be all sweet about this, like some of these other guys. I don’t think you’ll respond to that; you haven’t yet. You need a kick in the ass, a wake-up call, because so far you’ve failed miserably.


#10

I had no idea you had been told this so many times. If you’re looking for a different answer, there is none. If you won’t accept what we’re telling you, just give up now.

By the time I hit ten months, I had gained 35lbs and greatly improved my lifts. Guess how I did that?


#11

damn boy go eat a cheesecake or something.

You’re not paying your workers enough. They’re on strike.


#12

[quote]Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
Look…I’m going to be extremely blunt. You are dense. You’re no longer ignorant. You are flat-out dense. How many threads have you already created asking the same damned thing? (I counted about 3.) How many times have you gotten the same damned responses? (Every f’ing time–EAT, EAT, EAT.) How many times have you listened? (Not f’ing once.) What do you do?

Change the program, change the program, change the program…News flash, genius, it’s not the program. Inspite of you claiming you eat 9 times/day and not thinking it’s the problem, unless you do in fact have a medical problem (which I seriously doubt) you are DEAD F’ING WRONG!!! And, what boggles my mind is that even though people have told you this umpteen bazillion times, is that you needed to ask in the first place. I fully recognize that the is the Beginner’s Forum, but how’s about using a smidgen of common f’ing sense? If you aren’t gaining weight, eat more. Still not gaining weight? EAT MORE!!! Still, not gaining weight? EAT EVEN MORE!!! This isn’t rocket science.

How in the hell can you train for a solid 10 months in an effort to get bigger and stronger, and do neither? Answer: You must be mad, because you’re doing the same shit over and over and expecting a different result. A sane person would have made adjustments after a couple of weeks.

Solution: Take in an additional 1000 cals/day. Pick a beginner program (if you can’t even begin to figure out how to gain weight after training off-and-on for eight years you’re probably a hell of a lot better off making this shit as simple as possible). And, try to improve upon your previous bests every time you set foot in the gym.

If you find this post offensive in tone, too damned bad. I’m not going to be all sweet about this, like some of these other guys. I don’t think you’ll respond to that; you haven’t yet. You need a kick in the ass, a wake-up call, because so far you’ve failed miserably.
[/quote]

x2

At first I thought Gorilla’s response was a little harsh for the Beginner’s section. Then I read the rest of your posts…

What the hell do you not understand about eating more? Look at you. You look like you are starving. You look like a stiff breeze might tip you over. If eating “clean” as you call it hasn’t worked so far, then I have some advice: STOP EATING SO FUCKING CLEAN!!!


#13

Well, there’s always the possibility he’s a speed addict…

Joking. Kinda. Really man, either post up your diet and take the advice, or quit posting the same question. I like to be patient with newbs because I was there once (as were we all), but you need to either cowboy the fuck up, or shut the fuck up. Log diet. Post diet. Take the advice here. If you don’t want to, fine. Just don’t complain when you get nowhere. Making progress is not a comfortable act. It is a dedicated, uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and PROLONGED act of will and physical labor.


#14

[quote]CrookedCrown wrote:
Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
Look…I’m going to be extremely blunt. You are dense. You’re no longer ignorant. You are flat-out dense. How many threads have you already created asking the same damned thing? (I counted about 3.) How many times have you gotten the same damned responses? (Every f’ing time–EAT, EAT, EAT.) How many times have you listened? (Not f’ing once.) What do you do?

Change the program, change the program, change the program…News flash, genius, it’s not the program. Inspite of you claiming you eat 9 times/day and not thinking it’s the problem, unless you do in fact have a medical problem (which I seriously doubt) you are DEAD F’ING WRONG!!! And, what boggles my mind is that even though people have told you this umpteen bazillion times, is that you needed to ask in the first place. I fully recognize that the is the Beginner’s Forum, but how’s about using a smidgen of common f’ing sense? If you aren’t gaining weight, eat more. Still not gaining weight? EAT MORE!!! Still, not gaining weight? EAT EVEN MORE!!! This isn’t rocket science.

How in the hell can you train for a solid 10 months in an effort to get bigger and stronger, and do neither? Answer: You must be mad, because you’re doing the same shit over and over and expecting a different result. A sane person would have made adjustments after a couple of weeks.

Solution: Take in an additional 1000 cals/day. Pick a beginner program (if you can’t even begin to figure out how to gain weight after training off-and-on for eight years you’re probably a hell of a lot better off making this shit as simple as possible). And, try to improve upon your previous bests every time you set foot in the gym.

If you find this post offensive in tone, too damned bad. I’m not going to be all sweet about this, like some of these other guys. I don’t think you’ll respond to that; you haven’t yet. You need a kick in the ass, a wake-up call, because so far you’ve failed miserably.

x2

At first I thought Gorilla’s response was a little harsh for the Beginner’s section. Then I read the rest of your posts…

What the hell do you not understand about eating more? Look at you. You look like you are starving. You look like a stiff breeze might tip you over. If eating “clean” as you call it hasn’t worked so far, then I have some advice: STOP EATING SO FUCKING CLEAN!!![/quote]

I was fully aware of this being the Beginner’s section when I made my post, but I also checked the OP’s post history and this is not his first thread about this. He’s been told the same thing several times, yet in his post he says he eats 9 times so that’s not the problem. Bullshit! That’s definitely the problem…possibly coupled with a lack of effort in the gym.

What’s equally confusing is why he needs anyone to tell him to eat in the first place. Look around. How do fat people gain weight? They eat a lot. The only difference between bodybuilders and the fat guys, is that the bodybuilders train sufficiently to use those extra calories to build muscle.

Even if he were asking HOW to cram additional calories into his diet, I doubt I’d be sympathetic. All he needs to is use the search function and he’ll probably find more information than he can assimilate.

To the OP: If, after all of this, you still think your diet is NOT the problem, then you aren’t the “skinny-fat hardgainer” you thought you were in your previous thread. You are a “clueless no-gainer” who should find a different hobby.


#15

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Well, there’s always the possibility he’s a speed addict…

Joking. Kinda. Really man, either post up your diet and take the advice, or quit posting the same question. I like to be patient with newbs because I was there once (as were we all), but you need to either cowboy the fuck up, or shut the fuck up. Log diet. Post diet. Take the advice here. If you don’t want to, fine. Just don’t complain when you get nowhere. Making progress is not a comfortable act. It is a dedicated, uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and PROLONGED act of will and physical labor.[/quote]

He’s posted the diet before, on two occassion, I believe. And it was the same both times in spite of people telling him to eat more when he first posted it. He doesn’t need to post that shit again, he just needs to add 1000 cals to it. And if that doesn’t do the trick, add more.

I understand being patient with the newbs; I really do. But how many times can we keep repeating the same mantra in the same composed tone? I think we either try to beat the message home, or just give up on this guy completely, because he just doesn’t get it.


#16

Here OP a diet plan:

Keep eating whatever you are currently eating but add in +18 whole eggs. You can hard boil them and bring them around with you all day.

Then take a gallon tub of Milk and just chug that constantly all day. In fact try and get two gallon tubs each day.


#17

[quote]Vanilla-Gorilla wrote:
Look…I’m going to be extremely blunt. You are dense. You’re no longer ignorant. You are flat-out dense. How many threads have you already created asking the same damned thing? (I counted about 3.) How many times have you gotten the same damned responses? (Every f’ing time–EAT, EAT, EAT.) How many times have you listened? (Not f’ing once.) What do you do?

Change the program, change the program, change the program…News flash, genius, it’s not the program. Inspite of you claiming you eat 9 times/day and not thinking it’s the problem, unless you do in fact have a medical problem (which I seriously doubt) you are DEAD F’ING WRONG!!! And, what boggles my mind is that even though people have told you this umpteen bazillion times, is that you needed to ask in the first place. I fully recognize that the is the Beginner’s Forum, but how’s about using a smidgen of common f’ing sense? If you aren’t gaining weight, eat more. Still not gaining weight? EAT MORE!!! Still, not gaining weight? EAT EVEN MORE!!! This isn’t rocket science.

How in the hell can you train for a solid 10 months in an effort to get bigger and stronger, and do neither? Answer: You must be mad, because you’re doing the same shit over and over and expecting a different result. A sane person would have made adjustments after a couple of weeks.

Solution: Take in an additional 1000 cals/day. Pick a beginner program (if you can’t even begin to figure out how to gain weight after training off-and-on for eight years you’re probably a hell of a lot better off making this shit as simple as possible). And, try to improve upon your previous bests every time you set foot in the gym.

If you find this post offensive in tone, too damned bad. I’m not going to be all sweet about this, like some of these other guys. I don’t think you’ll respond to that; you haven’t yet. You need a kick in the ass, a wake-up call, because so far you’ve failed miserably.
[/quote]

Well, I had a response typed out, but this was pretty blunt. Point taken.


#18

You need to read starting str. again. When Rip recommends drinking a gallon of whole milk a day it’s directed at people like you.


#19

Mate, first of all - 8 years?! That must be some serious frustration! What i’d suggest you do is open an account in http://www.fitday.com and log EVERYTHING you eat. It will calculate your exact calorie and macronutrient intake (and it’s free to join). You probably feel like you’re eating enough but you’re clearly not. A very rough calculation for calorie intake to gain weight is 20 x BW (lbs). Although you’ll probably find more accurate calculations on this site.

In my first 2 weeks of doing stronglifts beginner I gained 6.5lbs and 1% bodyfat. This is conservative, one guy gained 25lbs in 25 days (he was drinking 1 gallon of milk a day). You could make serious gains in a short piece of time if you put your mind to it. Thinks like milk and peanuts are you friends. Some protein/weight gain shakes won’t hurt either.


#20

Look for types of pizza that have no more than about 1/3 or 35% of their calories from fat. Examples are CiCi’s Beef, Hungry Howie’s no toppings (or with toppings such as green peppers, onions, that sort of thing) and many others. But hey, if you really like something that’s 40% calories from fat, go for it. It will help you as well.

This pizza will be your friend. Eat lots and lots. For example, after a workout hit the CiCi’s and have five or six slices. If you’re cheap, bring a book and eat 5 or 6 slices, hang out 2 hours, then eat another four or five. More bang for the buck, or for your 5 bucks.

If cost is an issue, there’s a thread elsewhere where someone in that business explains how to get this for $1.99 (wait for a sale on the cut he mentions, have the butcher trim it and grind it for you, store in freezer.)

As mentioned, milk can be your friend as well.

As can, for example, 90% beef. (By which I mean for example ground meat that is 10% fat by weight.)

If you were at this level of development and had gotten fat in the process as well then it could be possible that you had indeed been eating enough.

But as is, it remains entirely likely that you could have, and should have, afforded to eat a lot more.