How to progress???

Home of strength: powerlifting, olympic lifting, grip strength, strongman, odd object lifting, explosive power...

Moderators: hardcore iv, bronco, fredrikw, JP, Rochellita

How to progress???

Postby Goob » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:45 am

All the things I've read suggest that beginners should have pretty much linear improvement, but that is far from the case with me over the past 7.5 months. It's very much a stair step with long plateaus sometimes, and pressing is more of just a straight line that goes up and down sometimes.

In February my max bench press was 130 lbs for 1 rep, 6 months later and ~10 pounds heavier bodyweight I can probably bench press 140 lbs for 1 rep. I work up to 5 reps at 115-125 lbs then fail a bunch, back off and start over. I've done that lots of times and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

I'm having similar problems with squatting just not as bad, but only recently have been failing to progress with dead lifts, which I'm not worried about because I think that lift is way ahead of the others maybe. I'm not really sure which lift is ahead or behind actually, but it just seems that there is a massive gap between dead lift (250 lbs/113.4 kg) and squat (175 lbs/79.4 kg) numbers.

This is already longer than I was planning :lol: , but anyway, besides gaining a ton of weight which I am working on, what should I be doing to progress? Is this how things normally go for people or am I just not very strong?
Mikhail Koklyaev wrote:Benedikt he is deadlift god , I'm only amateur
User avatar
Goob
Active Member
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: How to progress???

Postby chewybaws » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:47 am

There's so many factors that it can be hard to tell.

First off, don't worry about gap between lifts. Everyone has different levers and are due to be better/worse at some lifts than others.

Weight gain is important, however if you're not consistent with this then it doesn't do anything. For example, say over a year period over a couple of weeks I gained 20lbs, then nothing after that for the rest of the year. This is useless, most likely just packed on a shit ton of fat. It needs to be slow and consistent over the whole period. Maintaining weight for most of a period isn't useful.

Then programming as well. The problem I had when doing Stronglifts was I was always chasing maxes all the time. I was obsessed and thought if I'm not doing near my max all the time then I'm not going to be able to handle these weights and my strength will go down. You'll get to a point where attempting 5x5 maxes (or any other max) even once every 2 or 3 weeks is just going to bury you into a hole.

Find a program that has you mixing things up, that makes you peak but for the bulk of it you're doing higher volume (multiple sets, higher reps).

If you need a hand making one, send me a PM.

I found something that helps as well is just trying different stances/grips/equipment (shoes/belts) mixes things up well. Pausing at the bottom on bench for more explosive power, controlling the negative portion better.
was there a time we weren't at war; when we knew what our hearts and hands were for?
User avatar
chewybaws
Active Member
 
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:03 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: How to progress???

Postby baldy » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:09 am

Don't loose heart, you are making progress and I am sure your form is way better than it was when you started.
Your squat and deadlift aren't miles apart so wouldn't stress too much about that.

Pressing is always tough, I think its in part because the weight is so much less, so even a 5% increase is hard to notice.
You dont mention your bodyweight, but 5x5 stuff is a good beginner program and once you can squat 1.5xbw, deadlift 2xbw and bench bodyweight then its time to mix it up with different programs. I don't know what your bodyweight is, so this might not be relevant.

Two things that always jump up my progress are competition and training partners. Competitions don't need to powerlifting comp it can just be some trash talking online with a race to 100kg squat for example. Training partners are treasures and if you can find someone stronger or more experience to train with then do it! Don't underestimate the extra reps you get when someone is shouting in your ear.
"A wise man once said, "It's easier to buy smaller clothes, than to put on 5kg." ... Buzz
User avatar
baldy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7308
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 10:23 am
Location: St Albans UK

Re: How to progress???

Postby Goob » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:04 pm

chewybaws wrote:First off, don't worry about gap between lifts. Everyone has different levers and are due to be better/worse at some lifts than others.


I have horrible levers apparently :lol: tall, long arms and long torso

chewybaws wrote:....You'll get to a point where attempting 5x5 maxes (or any other max) even once every 2 or 3 weeks is just going to bury you into a hole.

I found something that helps as well is just trying different stances/grips/equipment (shoes/belts) mixes things up well. Pausing at the bottom on bench for more explosive power, controlling the negative portion better.


I feel like I am already buried in a hole sometimes. When I first started everything was heavy, then it got heavier and more difficult every session till I just wasn't strong enough to lift it anymore. That is how it's been all of this year. Everything just keeps getting harder till I can't do it, then I back off and work up to maybe a little bit more the next time.

I've changed lots of things with my squat and bench press recently and want to get one of those belts from buzz's shop, but it's a bit too much for me to spend right now. When I do use a belt it's one of those shitty velcro types, so I'm sure a good one would help. I'm focusing on not using a belt for squats though because my core needs to get stronger, so I'm going to force it to.

baldy wrote:Don't loose heart, you are making progress and I am sure your form is way better than it was when you started.
Your squat and deadlift aren't miles apart so wouldn't stress too much about that.

Pressing is always tough, I think its in part because the weight is so much less, so even a 5% increase is hard to notice.
You dont mention your bodyweight, but 5x5 stuff is a good beginner program and once you can squat 1.5xbw, deadlift 2xbw and bench bodyweight then its time to mix it up with different programs. I don't know what your bodyweight is, so this might not be relevant.

Two things that always jump up my progress are competition and training partners. Competitions don't need to powerlifting comp it can just be some trash talking online with a race to 100kg squat for example. Training partners are treasures and if you can find someone stronger or more experience to train with then do it! Don't underestimate the extra reps you get when someone is shouting in your ear.


I'm very skinny, 169 lbs at 6'3" :oops: , so still some time till I get 1.5x bw squat, 2x bodyweight deadlift i think will be a lot closer, but bodyweight bench may take years, especially if I can stick with eating this much.

There is a bench press and deadlift contest at my gym the 1st of october that I will probably enter, but that is more just buying an overpriced T-shirt and spending a saturday at the gym than a real contest, seeing as I don't know anyone that would be in my weight class to compete with.

Training partners would definitely help, but nobody I know is interested in weight training at all. Even the people I've met at the gym aren't very interested. Mostly they are talking about low carbs, which new supplements they are taking and how yesterday was legs, today is chest and biceps. That and I just don't like most of them. Seems to be all republicans and lots of juiced up police/bodybuilders.
Mikhail Koklyaev wrote:Benedikt he is deadlift god , I'm only amateur
User avatar
Goob
Active Member
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: How to progress???

Postby Lordmuppet » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:04 pm

Goob wrote:All the things I've read suggest that beginners should have pretty much linear improvement, but that is far from the case with me over the past 7.5 months. It's very much a stair step with long plateaus sometimes, and pressing is more of just a straight line that goes up and down sometimes.

In February my max bench press was 130 lbs for 1 rep, 6 months later and ~10 pounds heavier bodyweight I can probably bench press 140 lbs for 1 rep. I work up to 5 reps at 115-125 lbs then fail a bunch, back off and start over. I've done that lots of times and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.


Have a look at Rippetoe's Texas Method (Stronglifts has an article on it, also over a the Starting Strength wiki). If you are constantly deloading then you might as well just switch to Texas. Texas has weekly increases not workout by workout but it adds up! Lifts are the stuff you are doing just now mostly.

I'm on Texas just now (well will be when i finish my recovery program).
JS - They think it will open the door to folk like LordMuppet campaigning for a threeway?
User avatar
Lordmuppet
Muppet Moderator
 
Posts: 1899
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:19 pm

Re: How to progress???

Postby ninearms » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:37 am

Texas method is too much. TBH at your bodyweight and numbers you'd be better served by doing simple, like something Dan John would do. Most people would be better served by doing something simple, like Dan John would do. Have a read of this for example.

Or you could always do the standard 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps in the big lifts. I benched 110kg off the back to sets of 8-12, before I realised benching was crippling me.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”
User avatar
ninearms
Perked Member
 
Posts: 6045
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: Leicester, UK

Re: How to progress???

Postby xJimx » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:44 am

Some good advice already. Just posting to say hang on in there & don't lose heart. I have times when my training really sucks & I don't make progress for weeks, then I have other times (like the last few weeks) where I'm hitting some nice repping maxes on a weekly basis & I LOVE working out.

Also don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other people, especially those on the juice. The majority of folk in my gym use gear & I can't realistically expect to measure up to those guys (although I do like it when I see a juicer who's noticably smaller & weaker than my middle-aged 'natural' vegan self :) ).
DYEL
xJimx
Active Member
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:51 pm
Location: Derby, UK

Re: How to progress???

Postby Mellos » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:36 am

Hang in there is the right advice.

In my first real powerlifting year I jumped from 260 to 390 Kg total.
Then I went down to ~340 and back up to 435 in the following year.
This year I lost a lot of power once again and I was at about 390 Kg and now I am at 440 and hoping to use the 4 months left to gain some strength.

I might not be the best powerlifter but that´s how it goes sometimes.
Current PBs:
195 kg SQ, 130 kg Bench, 245 kg DL, 200 kg SQ w/ wraps

Long Term Goals:
@ 75 kg: SQ - 252,5 kg, SQ w/ Wraps - 267,5 kg, DL - 307,5 kg, Total (w/ and w/o Wraps) - 710
@ 82,5 kg: SQ - 275 kg, SQ w/ Wraps - 277,5 kg, Total (w/ and w/o Wraps) - 772,5 kg

Team Insanity - The Laws of Physics are Merely a Suggestion
User avatar
Mellos
Active Member
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:50 am
Location: Münster, Germany

Re: How to progress???

Postby veganlifter » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:38 pm

Just to say like the other guys don't lose heart and keep going. Also try not to get too hung up on your numbers I think if you do you will hit a psychological stumbling block. I have only been training seriously for a few weeks, but find I train best when another person loads the bar and I don't know how much is on there. I also think it is good if you can train with someone else. I have just joined a club and really benefit from a kick up the arse and a structured program. Are there any clubs in your area?
User avatar
veganlifter
Member
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:06 am

Re: How to progress???

Postby Goob » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:38 am

Thanks for the replies peoples. Have been busy, so not much time on the computer this past week.

@Lordmuppet
I have read about that texas method before and will look it up again tomorrow because I don't remember what it is exactly.

@ninearms
Will check that link tomorrow as well. Simple is best.

@xJimx
everyone always says not to measure myself against other people but how else am I going to find out how weak I really am :lol: It's just that all the articles I've read say linear improvement for as much as 2 years, so either that's bullshit or I'm not as good as other people because I'm sure as hell a beginner.

@Mellos
Going from 260 to 390 kg total in 1 year seems quick to me. Right now if I maxed out on all lifts I think it would be close to 260 kg total, so in a year will see if I make 390 kg.

@veganlifter
I only care about the numbers, so it's hard for me to not get hung up on them. I'm not interested in looking a certain way as long as I'm not fat enough to be gross, so it doesn't give me anything else to focus on. My reason for weight training is to get as strong as I can and the numbers going up show me that I'm getting stronger.

Knowing the weight on the bar has no effect whatsoever on whether I will lift it. The number doesn't really mean anything, because sometimes 145 lbs feels really heavy on my back and sometimes it's almost light.

As for clubs, there really isn't anything here. The population of the town I live in now was 4,316 on the most recent census. The closest powerlifting and weightlifting clubs are way too far for me to go. I'm just going to have to deal with training alone till I can afford to move somewhere nicer.
Mikhail Koklyaev wrote:Benedikt he is deadlift god , I'm only amateur
User avatar
Goob
Active Member
 
Posts: 593
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:27 pm


Return to Power and Strength

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest