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Breaking through a plateau

jamesakrobinsonjamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151Member Member Posts: 2,151Member Member
I'll listen to any ideas here... My problem MAY be age related... Don't like to contemplate the possibility that I have peaked but time stands still for nobody.

Background... I turned 52 in May. 5'11" 175 pounds at the time and in that month I cracked into the thousand pound club (275 bench, 385 dead, 340 squat) and I also pulled off a 7.9% body fat reading!

Here we are 8 months later and my bench has lost 10 pounds, my squat has lost 5 pounds, and I have have gained 11 pounds (and sitting in the mid teens body fat).

I usually work a modified "bro split" but took deads out of back/biceps and squats out of leg day and give each of those their own day... making a 5 day split.

I eat 3000 to 4000 calories a day. Lower carb in summer when I am trying to stay lean and around 200 to 300g/day in fall and winter. I try to consume 180 to 200g protein every day (actually way over today).

Would love to entertain any suggestions to get out of my rut. (lol joined another gym for additional variety last week and that's helped mentally but no physical change)

Replies

  • pinggolfer96pinggolfer96 Posts: 2,255Member Member Posts: 2,255Member Member
    Just based off your age....ever get a hormone panel done? Your test could be dropping
  • jdog022jdog022 Posts: 597Member Member Posts: 597Member Member
    Agree to above but what about deloads? Drops could be early signs of over training. In fact that’s where I am right now because i ignored signs of it and now have to deal with shoulder impingement.
  • jdog022jdog022 Posts: 597Member Member Posts: 597Member Member
    Just based off your age....ever get a hormone panel done? Your test could be dropping

    I think your earned yourself a “woo” stalker
  • pinggolfer96pinggolfer96 Posts: 2,255Member Member Posts: 2,255Member Member
    jdog022 wrote: »
    Just based off your age....ever get a hormone panel done? Your test could be dropping

    I think your earned yourself a “woo” stalker

    Lol what’s that?😂 my comment was serious
  • jamesakrobinsonjamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151Member Member Posts: 2,151Member Member
    Haven't done any blood work. I don't think I would take any action from results anyway... if I were in a deficiency state for my age I would probably have other symptoms... and unless it was terribly low and obvious I wouldn't go on HRT anyway... I may be old but that's an even better reason to try to protect my HPTA function LOL I hope I have another 2 or 3 decades left in me.

    A deload may actually be a good idea. I'll finish out this week's workouts and figure out a reduced week or two.
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 1,030Member Member Posts: 1,030Member Member
    Maybe try a different split? How many times are you benching each week? I also stalled at 275 a few months ago. I dropped back to 225 and worked that up to 4x12 and I’m slowly moving it up keeping the higher rep targets before I add weight. Will see if this works but I’m hopeful... I also bench three times a week now compare to twice a week before. I really wanted a 3 plate bench this year but not going to make it.
  • MDC2957MDC2957 Posts: 132Member Member Posts: 132Member Member
    That's just insane.. I struggle with 150
  • jamesakrobinsonjamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151Member Member Posts: 2,151Member Member
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    Maybe try a different split? How many times are you benching each week? I also stalled at 275 a few months ago. I dropped back to 225 and worked that up to 4x12 and I’m slowly moving it up keeping the higher rep targets before I add weight. Will see if this works but I’m hopeful... I also bench three times a week now compare to twice a week before. I really wanted a 3 plate bench this year but not going to make it.

    The elusive 3 plate bench has been my goal too, and I thought this was my year until I stalled at 275...then lost 5 of that! 😒
  • jdog022jdog022 Posts: 597Member Member Posts: 597Member Member
    jdog022 wrote: »
    Just based off your age....ever get a hormone panel done? Your test could be dropping

    I think your earned yourself a “woo” stalker

    Lol what’s that?😂 my comment was serious

    Meaning someone seems to woo every post you make no matter what you say
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,677Member Member Posts: 7,677Member Member
    It doesn't have to do with age specifically. Many people much older than you train and progress.

    Nor is it overtraing as that term is misused commonly. Overtraining is when your body CNS shuts down and very hard to do unless running a marathon or something of the like. The body is remarkable at adapting and won't let that happen & rarely does it occur because of how the body operates.

    The info you posted is lacking.

    How long have you been training?

    What was your programming specifically before and after dip?

    What adjustments did you make to volume? Are you adding sets, weight, or both? When?

    What means are you monitoring short and long term fatigue specifically?

    Are you constantly going near failure?

    Have you added any other new physically activity during the eight months?

    Answering these questions will give indication(s) of what is going on.







    edited December 2018
  • jamesakrobinsonjamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151Member Member Posts: 2,151Member Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    It doesn't have to do with age specifically. Many people much older than you train and progress.

    Nor is it overtraing as that term is misused commonly. Overtraining is when your body CNS shuts down and very hard to do unless running a marathon or something of the like. The body is remarkable at adapting and won't let that happen & rarely does it occur because of how the body operates.

    The info you posted is lacking.

    How long have you been training?

    What was your programming specifically before and after dip?

    What adjustments did you make to volume? Are you adding sets, weight, or both? When?

    What means are you monitoring short and long term fatigue specifically?

    Are you constantly going near failure?

    Have you added any other new physically activity during the eight months?

    Answering these questions will give indication(s) of what is going on.







    I will answer as much as I can but there's a lot to unpack here...

    Training for several decades with the odd sidetrack for a few months at a time but serious in the past 5 years.

    I used to use a standard "bro split" (back and biceps, chest and triceps, legs working every second day and HIIT on the alternate days) then about 2 years ago I pulled deads out of back day, and squats out of leg day because I found myself with very little in the tank after either of those two big compounds and gave them their own day... So then it was a 5 day split with 2 HIIT days. Made good progress up to the point where I stalled.

    I do 5 sets of pretty much everything, 10 reps, 8 reps, 3 reps, 8 reps, then rep out to failure pyramiding up in weight to peak on the 3rd set. About once a month I do a higher intensity heavier workout and challenge my PR.

    I have never done well with high volume... I consider it to be just really inefficient cardio LOL.

    No significant changes pre and post dip except a forced 3 week deload of all of my "push" exercises due to a bout of biceps tendonitis making my right shoulder really grouchy.

    Yes I hit or at least flirt with failure every week.

    Not sure what you mean by monitoring fatigue... I have taken the odd rest day when I just couldn't drag my lazy rear to the gym but it's rare.
  • billkansasbillkansas Posts: 213Member Member Posts: 213Member Member
    Hi James,

    I feel your pain as I started my first cut in April and have lost only 15 lbs but ALL my lifts are down substantially. My long term goal is also the 1000 lb club and I'd like to do that on two strength training sessions per week. I'm currently taking a detour and trying to lose another 20 lbs (get to about 180 or so) before I reset and try a slower, cleaner bulk as a means to smash the 1000 lb club next year. All that said, it looks like you've already accomplished my reduced body fat and strength goals. I tip my hat to you.

    Maybe you should hire a coach such as the good doctors at Barbell Medicine? In my quick skim of your notes above it sounds like your goal is "making primary lifts go up"... is that really what you want?? Maybe you need to give up some of the bodybuilding stuff and get serious about the basics then... just a thought. It sounds like you've hit the big bucket list items of 1000 lb and low body fat and you're wondering where to go next. I think I'd like to consider competing in masters powerlifting events someday... maybe you should give that a whirl.
    edited December 2018
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,677Member Member Posts: 7,677Member Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    It doesn't have to do with age specifically. Many people much older than you train and progress.

    Nor is it overtraing as that term is misused commonly. Overtraining is when your body CNS shuts down and very hard to do unless running a marathon or something of the like. The body is remarkable at adapting and won't let that happen & rarely does it occur because of how the body operates.

    The info you posted is lacking.

    How long have you been training?

    What was your programming specifically before and after dip?

    What adjustments did you make to volume? Are you adding sets, weight, or both? When?

    What means are you monitoring short and long term fatigue specifically?

    Are you constantly going near failure?

    Have you added any other new physically activity during the eight months?

    Answering these questions will give indication(s) of what is going on.







    I will answer as much as I can but there's a lot to unpack here...

    Training for several decades with the odd sidetrack for a few months at a time but serious in the past 5 years.

    I used to use a standard "bro split" (back and biceps, chest and triceps, legs working every second day and HIIT on the alternate days) then about 2 years ago I pulled deads out of back day, and squats out of leg day because I found myself with very little in the tank after either of those two big compounds and gave them their own day... So then it was a 5 day split with 2 HIIT days. Made good progress up to the point where I stalled.

    I do 5 sets of pretty much everything, 10 reps, 8 reps, 3 reps, 8 reps, then rep out to failure pyramiding up in weight to peak on the 3rd set. About once a month I do a higher intensity heavier workout and challenge my PR.

    I have never done well with high volume... I consider it to be just really inefficient cardio LOL.

    No significant changes pre and post dip except a forced 3 week deloadof all of my "push" exercises due to a bout of biceps tendonitis making my right shoulder really grouchy.

    Yes I hit or at least flirt with failure every week.

    Not sure what you mean by monitoring fatigue... I have taken the odd rest day when I just couldn't drag my lazy rear to the gym but it's rare.

    Besides still not knowing how you increase your volume, these are definitely some issues.

    Deloading every three weeks is simply going to effect your progress on any lift. I suggest you read up on the ariticles on tendinopathy over at Barbellmedicine.

    If you are chasing PRs once a month, it's not exactly ideal for recovery. To give an example I chase PRs 2-3 times a year when I compete. This leaves my training in a more usefully average intensity so my lifts can go up. In other words think long term.

    Failure every week? Another red flag for the same reasons as above.

    The stress you apply to your body is already monitored in some way subconsciously...(i.e. that was a good/tough session). Its not only a good idea to go a step further, I propose monitoring you session every time by a session RPE and keeping it in the 8 range would be invalueable to progress and training. This is not just good advice but well documented and established evidence.

    Lastly if your lift has stalled over months, it is almost always lack of volume. In your case I would decrease the intensity slightly and add a set at a useful intensity.

    I was stuck in my late 40s on a horrible program with low volume a couple years back. Once I addressed my training, volume, and recovery issue...my bench started to move. Currently I bench 315 in my training for volume and am chasing 1400lbs in competition meets. It's not by accident, it's by design with everything I mentioned towards long term.
    edited December 2018
  • jamesakrobinsonjamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151Member Member Posts: 2,151Member Member
    Lots of good insights and ideas. Thanks!
    @Chieflrg, I think you may have misread my deload... It was a single 3 week deliad of push exercises only. I got hit by a bout of biceps tendonitis that made my left shoulder really grouchy. I learned my lesson the previous year with the other shoulder... don't try to work through or around the pain! That lasted 12 weeks and took a cortisone shot to get over! This time I babied it and quit all pushing the second I started to feel symptoms and wore a tight sling to bed to immobilize it. Worked a treat. Three weeks and good as new.

    Next week I will switch up by increasing volume and lowering the intensity for a couple of weeks and look for a structured program. I have been working out and eating usung the "instinct method" LOL (decades of experience with what works on me and what doesn't behind that too) Obviously I need to change something so a structured program is on the menu now.

    Thanks again All,
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,677Member Member Posts: 7,677Member Member
    Lots of good insights and ideas. Thanks!
    @Chieflrg, I think you may have misread my deload... It was a single 3 week deliad of push exercises only. I got hit by a bout of biceps tendonitis that made my left shoulder really grouchy. I learned my lesson the previous year with the other shoulder... don't try to work through or around the pain! That lasted 12 weeks and took a cortisone shot to get over! This time I babied it and quit all pushing the second I started to feel symptoms and wore a tight sling to bed to immobilize it. Worked a treat. Three weeks and good as new.

    Next week I will switch up by increasing volume and lowering the intensity for a couple of weeks and look for a structured program. I have been working out and eating usung the "instinct method" LOL (decades of experience with what works on me and what doesn't behind that too) Obviously I need to change something so a structured program is on the menu now.

    Thanks again All,

    Yes indeed I did though the info at Barbellmedicine will give you how to rehab the tendonitis by some extremely smart doctors who train. Buraki himself deals with tendinopathy quite a bit.

    Also there is alot of top shelf info on how to train with perceived pain and tackles the misconception of what pain actually is and the doos and don'ts.

    Also how load management is eccential.

    Good luck.
  • daveed925daveed925 Posts: 4Member, Premium Member Posts: 4Member, Premium Member
    Awesome info here!!
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Posts: 1,665Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,665Member, Premium Member
    Add me to the deload comment crowd.

    I trained heavy barbell about 6 years ago and learned that volume is great for hypertrophy but not for strength. One workout day I really enjoy was what I call singles progression.

    After warming up, I’d do about 8 to 10 single rep sets gradually increasing my weight with a goal that my to set would be 95 percent of my one-rep max or a PR attempt. Then, I’d wrap up with a final set using 70 percent of one-rep max for reps to failure for a nice hypertrophy closing feeling.

    I made nice gains and peaked at a 175 lb. overhead press at age 58 weighing in the 190’s.

    Watch the volume young man and know that rest and recovery are your friend. Spend quality time with your friends.

  • Jacinda_cJacinda_c Posts: 14Member Member Posts: 14Member Member
    Hello!
    Why would you take deads out of back/bi day and squats out of your leg day routine? Perhaps because you get more rest/recovery and your thinking is the numbers will go up if you do this? IMO and something I have tried. After a REALLY good warmup; you could superset your squats with a press for about 3 weeks then on the 4th week take out the press. It’s a gradual process but it works. Second question would be; where does your fat in grams stand? We all know just because you’re gaining weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting stronger.

    Happy lifting!
  • jamesakrobinsonjamesakrobinson Posts: 2,151Member Member Posts: 2,151Member Member
    Jacinda_c wrote: »
    Hello!
    Why would you take deads out of back/bi day and squats out of your leg day routine? Perhaps because you get more rest/recovery and your thinking is the numbers will go up if you do this? IMO and something I have tried. After a REALLY good warmup; you could superset your squats with a press for about 3 weeks then on the 4th week take out the press. It’s a gradual process but it works. Second question would be; where does your fat in grams stand? We all know just because you’re gaining weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting stronger.

    Happy lifting!

    I am spent after squats or deads. I do 5 sets (plus 1 warmup set and one burnout set) and then any other heavy lifts are a complete waste of energy. I will do 5 sets of lateral raises, 5 sets of weighted crunches, and 5 sets of leg lifts and that's my hour. LOL age will eventually sap some of your endurance! I still do an upper back day and a "rest of legs" day... 6 lifting days per week.
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 1,030Member Member Posts: 1,030Member Member
    @jamesakrobinson - I’ve worked my way back up and was able to rep 265 (and some change for the collars) for 8 reps for a couple of sets before I had to drop it to 7 and finally 5 reps... I’ve broken through finally. I’m not planning on testing my 1RM for a while longer - maybe at the end of this bulk before my next cut. I’m pretty confident I’ll get it this year now. :smile:
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