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A790
07-15-2009, 11:03 PM
Looks like I've hit a plateau. Unfortunately, I can only hit the gym twice a week at the moment due to my work schedule. I literally work four days a week, 12 hours a day. I hit the gym on my days off.

So, of course, all my lifts are stagnating.

Current routine is an upper/lower split, with a focus on chins, squats, deads, bench, and press. Would switching to a push/pull routine get my strength/size gains going again?

Or am I being a little unrealistic in terms of what my lifts should be at this point?

My lifts in October were:

+ Bench press: 135lbs 2 x 8
+ Hammer curl: 30lbs 2 x 8
+ Chin ups: could do 4 if I was lucky.
+ Pull ups: 1, maybe.
+ Dead lifts: 45lbs (bar) 2 x 8
+ Squats: 115lbs 2 x 8

They are now:

+ Bench press: 225lbs 2 x 8
+ Hammer curl: 55lbs 2 x 8
+ Chin ups: 4 x 8
+ Pull ups: 3 x 6
+ Dead lifts: 245lbs 2 x 8
+ Squats: 285lbs 2 x 8

I've been training for roughly 8 months solid, though my diet lately has been slacking a bit. I'd like to up my lifts by 10% before the end of September, but things just aren't progressing as fast as I'd like.

I was thinking about re-tooling my diet. I'm currently 213lbs @ 13% body fat, so I was going to focus on a high-protein diet (around 225g or so) and eat around 3,000 calories per day (maintenance is 2,800). Growth would be sweet.

Suggestions?

KRyn
07-15-2009, 11:08 PM
Change your program up! You say you want to increase your lifts, so I assume you are looking for a bigger bench, squat and deadlift? If this is the case you should try out a powerlifting routine! Maybe something like a 5x5? Also get your self a lifting partner, having some one to push you is always a great tool.

lint
07-15-2009, 11:43 PM
have you been using the same 8 rep range the entire time? 3-5 is more optimal for strength. If you're only hitting the gym twice a week and using a split, 2x8 doesn't seem like enough volume either.

A790
07-16-2009, 12:06 AM
What would be a good routine/rep scheme considering my two day workout schedule?

max_boost
07-16-2009, 12:10 AM
5/3/1

Add me on MSN and I'll send you the pdf. :thumbsup:

PM me.

liquidboi69
07-16-2009, 12:15 AM
You could do:

Day 1 upper body:
Bench (3sets x 8reps)
Shoulder press (3sets x 8reps)
Chin ups (3sets x 10reps)
Bent over rows (3sets x 8reps)
Peck flies//curls//shrug//situp superset (3sets x 10reps lighter weight you know for sure you can do 10 of)

Day 2 lower body:
Squat (3sets x 8reps)
Front squats not to super low depth, but just enough to work quads (3sets x 8reps)
Deadlifts (3sets x 8reps)
Zercher squats (3sets x 8reps)
Pullthrough//quad extensions//hamstring curl//back extensions superset (3sets of 10reps lighter weight you know for sure you can do 10 of)

Switch the rep range from 3x8 to 5x5 if you are stalling. Like people are saying, do more of a intense powerlifting type workout. Also, for a bodybuilding workout you are missing alot of volume imo.

Anyway back to the subject...anecdotal evidence says that 3 weeks is the max you can do something before you stall. So switch rep ranges between 5x5 to 3x8 etc etc every 3 weeks. Switch up the super-set exercises every 3 weeks, not the rep ranges. It's more important to get the volume out of these, than to go super intense.

Try that out. Also since you're not in the gym that much...make up for it with effort. Put 5 days worth of effort into your 2 days. You'll have 5 days to recover...so work so hard that you use those 5 days.

lint
07-16-2009, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by A790
What would be a good routine/rep scheme considering my two day workout schedule?

back to the age old question, what's your goal?

you mention you've plateau'd, is this the first? have you deloaded? what was your progression at the start? linear? what is it now?

in those 2 days, how much time do you have to work out? how much time do you want to work out?

A790
07-16-2009, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by lint


back to the age old question, what's your goal?

you mention you've plateau'd, is this the first? have you deloaded? what was your progression at the start? linear? what is it now?

in those 2 days, how much time do you have to work out? how much time do you want to work out?
Goal: increase lifts by 25% over the next year. Looking for size gains as well.

I deload every 4th week, but have stopped since I started working out twice a week.

On those two days I have up to two hours to be at the gym.

Any ideas?

liquidboi69
07-16-2009, 02:32 AM
Don't deload unless you peak in my opinion.

ZorroAMG
07-16-2009, 09:13 AM
Try this:

Day 1 - Upper Body - all exercises to be done 4 sets of 8 (other than core stuff) - alternating sets between the two exercises (go back and forth)

Dumbell press- fuck bench, this is the goods!
Seated wide grip rows

Neutral grip standing dumbell shoulder press
clos grip pull ups, palms facing forward.

Crunches
Plank

Day 2 - Lower body - all exercises to be done 5 sets of 5 reps (other than core stuff) - alternating sets between the two exercises (go back and forth)

Squat
Step ups (with dumbells)

Leg curl
Cable wood chop

Side plank

Day Upper Body - all exercises to be done 3 sets of 12 (other than core stuff) - alternating sets between the two exercises (go back and forth)

etc....going 4x8 - 5x5 - 3x12 - 4x8 - 5x5 - 3x12 etc so all parts have a variety of weight load.

Try that for a month and go back to your other routine..

lint
07-16-2009, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by A790

Goal: increase lifts by 25% over the next year. Looking for size gains as well.

I deload every 4th week, but have stopped since I started working out twice a week.

On those two days I have up to two hours to be at the gym.

Any ideas?

So you arbitrarily deloaded every 4th week... just cause? did you hit limits or stall? What did your increases look like? did you add weight every workout until you stalled? How long have you been working out twice a week, what type of increases have you been trying to do? You say you're frustrated, but is it because of slow progress or because you've stalled? has it been the same for all lifts or are some still progressing while stalling on others?

max_boost
07-16-2009, 11:22 AM
I think A790 likes 5/3/1. He wants to move north of vag haha

civic_rida
07-16-2009, 11:22 AM
great lifts.

pinoyhero
07-17-2009, 06:23 AM
Hows the diet? Sounds like lots of protien but is it all shakes? Where's the shoulder work? Dumb the curls and shoulder press. Your balance is getting better but you should be deading much more than you squat and squatting much more than you bench.

kutt3r
07-17-2009, 06:37 AM
Wow some terrible advice here.

1. Get your diet in check. Don't bother with anything till you do this. If it is tough, just make sure you are getting enough PRO at least. (225gr is not 'high' I would suggest at least 300 at your size, at [email protected]% I do close to 400/day or 65gr/mealx6)
2. Figure out what you want, strength, shape, size, pick one to focus on to keep it simple. They are 3 very different things.
3. Get rid of the 8 rep scheme if you are wanting to gain strength.
4. 2 days is fine, just be intense, don't train to failure.
5. 4 week deloads are a good idea, if you are feeling burnt you already have gone to far.
6. Your noob gains are gone, welcome to the real world things are going to slow down. I think your long term goals are certainly attainable, 10% by Sept might be more difficult on your upper body exercises.
7. I enjoy 5/3/1 seems to be a good balance and I have made steady progression on it for the last 6 months.
8. If you are in the gym for 2hrs you are wasting an hour of your life.
9. I don't think you are ready for volume, you need to get your strength up.. but that is a personal choice for you.

Cheers!
:thumbsup:

lint
07-17-2009, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by kutt3r
Wow some terrible advice here.

1. Get your diet in check. Don't bother with anything till you do this. If it is tough, just make sure you are getting enough PRO at least. (225gr is not 'high' I would suggest at least 300 at your size, at [email protected]% I do close to 400/day or 65gr/mealx6)
9. I don't think you are ready for volume, you need to get your strength up.. but that is a personal choice for you.

Cheers!
:thumbsup:

Agree with everything but these 2 points.
1) 1.5-2g protein/lb bw is going to to be hard on the kidneys and may be a case of diminishing returns vs 1g protein/lb bw.
9) Volume may be needed to disrupt homeostasis in order to stimulate adaptation and supercompensation, which in turn brings about strength increases.

Darkane
07-17-2009, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by lint


Agree with everything but these 2 points.
1) 1.5-2g protein/lb bw is going to to be hard on the kidneys and may be a case of diminishing returns vs 1g protein/lb bw.

Don't you agree more calories in the form of protein would lead to a greater ratio of lean mass/fat than carbs? It's not always about getting max protein for muscle repair, but it's about getting the most efficient caloric surplus to build lean mass while minimizing fat. Sure a caloric surplus heavy in all macros would lead to the most MASS gained, but how much is now fat?

9) Volume may be needed to disrupt homeostasis in order to stimulate adaptation and supercompensation, which in turn brings about strength increases.

Agreed. A 10x3 routine sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Christian Thibaudeau has claims many times that high intensity lifting (80%+ 1RM) will lead to some of the best hypertrophy gains when paired with volume. Finding the correct rep scheme is key.

lint
07-17-2009, 10:32 PM
^^^ I'm just pointing out that that much protein can be very hard on the kidneys. By diminishing returns, I refer to strength gains, since that was the OPs main concern. Adding 75g of protein a day doesn't automatically mean you're going to lift more.

A790
07-18-2009, 10:51 AM
So, I'm thinking about following a 5 x 5 routine, basic powerlifting exercises. Think it will do the trick?

I've also reset my diet so I'm now taking in 3,200 calories per day at 260g/prot (I weigh 214lbs as of this morning).

kutt3r
07-20-2009, 06:26 AM
Originally posted by lint
^^^ I'm just pointing out that that much protein can be very hard on the kidneys. By diminishing returns, I refer to strength gains, since that was the OPs main concern. Adding 75g of protein a day doesn't automatically mean you're going to lift more.


The articles that you will find will be with diabetic test subjects.

It is always subjective, but pro is certainly more metabolic that carb/fat and there are a ton of medical journals that say that is bunk. As always if you are concerned then consult a doctor, who will give you the RDA table which is a load of sh!t.

kutt3r
07-20-2009, 06:34 AM
Originally posted by A790
So, I'm thinking about following a 5 x 5 routine, basic powerlifting exercises. Think it will do the trick?

I've also reset my diet so I'm now taking in 3,200 calories per day at 260g/prot (I weigh 214lbs as of this morning).

5x5 is a classic, should never be an issue with it.

Keep an eye on your bf and see if it works, if you are gaining to much bf cut calories.

If size is your goal, you might want to try a x10, but I still don't think your strength is high enough.
I am squating and dl'ing over [email protected] and I don't think my strength is high enough for hypertrophy.

A790
07-21-2009, 09:37 AM
Working on a 5 x 5 now and have already increased my lifts for decline bench, bent over row, and squat. Hopefully I can get another 20% strength gain on this over the next six weeks or so before I stagnate again... hopefully :P

bigbadboss101
07-21-2009, 09:42 AM
:thumbsup:

Good stuff. Keep up the good work.

lint
07-21-2009, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by kutt3r



The articles that you will find will be with diabetic test subjects.

It is always subjective, but pro is certainly more metabolic that carb/fat and there are a ton of medical journals that say that is bunk. As always if you are concerned then consult a doctor, who will give you the RDA table which is a load of sh!t.

Do you have references that ~2g protein/lb bw gave significant strength increases vs ~1g protein/lb bw with all other factors the same? Most strength literature references ~1g, I've not seen 2g. Maybe for an elite athlete who is training 5-6 times week. The OP is working out twice a week. What is his body going to be doing with the excess protein 5/7 days when he's not working out?

Given that his caloric (and protein) intake is adequate, I still contend that there are other, more relevant considerations that may be affecting his strength than simply adding another 50-60g of protein to his diet. Sleep, routine (volume and intensity) and stress.

A790
07-21-2009, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by lint


Do you have references that ~2g protein/lb bw gave significant strength increases vs ~1g protein/lb bw with all other factors the same? Most strength literature references ~1g, I've not seen 2g. Maybe for an elite athlete who is training 5-6 times week. The OP is working out twice a week. What is his body going to be doing with the excess protein 5/7 days when he's not working out?

Given that his caloric (and protein) intake is adequate, I still contend that there are other, more relevant considerations that may be affecting his strength than simply adding another 50-60g of protein to his diet. Sleep, routine (volume and intensity) and stress.
My sleep and stress levels are fine. I get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night, and there's nothing in my life that's vexing me right now. I'd say that the hinderance was my routine. I'm going to closely watch my results over the next 6 weeks following this 5 x 5 routine to see how it does. As well, I'll be going to the gym Mon/Wed/Sat now, alternating upper/lower each day.

Upper A:
+ Flat bench
+ Chins
+ Decline bench
+ Bent over row
+ Alt. hammer curls
+ Should press

Upper B:
+ Incline bench
+ Pull ups
+ One arm row
+ Military press
+ Straight bar curl
+ Vertical row

Lower A:
+ Squat
+ Dead lift
+ Lunge
+ Standing calf raises
+ Weighted crunch
+ Standing calf hops w/ weight

Lower B:
+ Front squat
+ SL dead lift
+ Seated calf raise
+ Hanging leg raise
+ Alt. lunge

Should be good.

kutt3r
07-23-2009, 06:36 AM
Originally posted by lint


Do you have references that ~2g protein/lb bw gave significant strength increases vs ~1g protein/lb bw with all other factors the same? Most strength literature references ~1g, I've not seen 2g. Maybe for an elite athlete who is training 5-6 times week. The OP is working out twice a week. What is his body going to be doing with the excess protein 5/7 days when he's not working out?

Given that his caloric (and protein) intake is adequate, I still contend that there are other, more relevant considerations that may be affecting his strength than simply adding another 50-60g of protein to his diet. Sleep, routine (volume and intensity) and stress.

Not once did I state that 2gr would make you stronger.
It is padding, simple as that. 1gr is fine, but depending on the damage you are doing, it could be marginal. Everyone knows you grow when you rest, if the nutrients are not there, you don't grow/get stronger. I stick with the guys that practice what they preach. I am a DC fan boy, but I dont even take in the amount that he recommends.

Without getting ridiculous and scientific PRO are just calories, your body uses and processes... I prefer pro/fat over carb if I can, I feel better.. it is all about personal choice, I have been doing this for years and know what works for me, some guys can do high carb just fine 90% cant. Right now I am eating too many carbs and paying for it... lifting is great with excess carbs, but the weight/energy isnt

The point was get the diet in check first, if it is not all the factors you point out will be heightened for sure.

hattonlynch
07-25-2009, 12:06 AM
your program sucks, work that one out.

A790
07-25-2009, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by hattonlynch
your program sucks, work that one out.
What's wrong with it?

hattonlynch
07-25-2009, 12:09 AM
i think OP should do a volume intensive workout.

OP look up OVT....do a 4 week split. GUARANTEE you wont plateau. i gained 25 lbs on my bench, 50 on my dead, and 30 on my squat with this program. it is tough as hell, but its no joke. 4 weeks or longer and it will kill u

A790
08-03-2009, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by hattonlynch
i think OP should do a volume intensive workout.

OP look up OVT....do a 4 week split. GUARANTEE you wont plateau. i gained 25 lbs on my bench, 50 on my dead, and 30 on my squat with this program. it is tough as hell, but its no joke. 4 weeks or longer and it will kill u
I've been seeing solid gains since I switched to a 5x5. So far BP is up 10lbs for reps and squats are up 25lbs.

Me = happy :)

403Gemini
08-13-2009, 01:50 AM
Sorry for the nub question, what exactally is 5/3/1?

max_boost
08-13-2009, 03:52 AM
5/3/1 is an intermediate lifting program by Jim Wendler. It's fucking awesome.

403Gemini
08-17-2009, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by max_boost
5/3/1 is an intermediate lifting program by Jim Wendler. It's fucking awesome.

This a book I can pick up or website I can read it from?

Cheers!

lint
08-17-2009, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by 403Gemini


This a book I can pick up or website I can read it from?

Cheers!

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=370&pid=2976

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=112382761