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Classing lifting thread - Having trouble with weight-lifting.

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  • Classing lifting thread - Having trouble with weight-lifting.

    Here's the classic help-me-get-stronger thread. I will start with a little background information:

    - I weigh 175 pounds at 6'2.5"
    - I have been doing the classic starting strength lifting regimen, my current numbers are:
    Squat: 3x5x210
    Bench: 3x5x210 - my chest has always been as strong/stronger than my legs, which I find ridiculous.
    Deadlift: 1x5x225 - I know I can manage more, but I decided to drop the weight and really work on my form.
    Press: 3x5x130
    Cleans: 5x3x145 - same deal for deadlifts. Working on form.
    - supplement with weighted push-ups and chin-ups (5x5)
    - sprint session on Fridays along the lines of 10x100m sprints with 60s rest.
    - I consume 4,000-4,500 kcals on training days (M,W,F), and between 3,000-3,500 on rest days. Macro breakdown is approximately 65% fat, 20%protein, 15% carbs.

    So here's my story...I played football in high school and averaged around 190 pounds throughout all four seasons. I could bench-press 290lbs but only squat 300lbs. My legs have always been weak (possibly be due to an ACL reconstruction in which a portion of my left hamstring was used to replace the blown ligament). Anyway, I gave up football after high school and picked up competitive running for a little over two years. I would average between 50-70 miles per week. In this time period I lost virtually all strength I had.

    After becoming fed up with all the stupid injuries running caused me, I decided to attempt to return to my former stronger figure, and picked up weightlifting again about 5 months ago. However, it wasn't until the last two months that I picked up on starting strength. Which brings me to my current issues...

    The biggest issue for me right now is weight gain. I am struggling big time with this. One-hundred-eighty-five pounds is where I would like to be, but it's been a bear to get past 175. It seems as though every time I get to this point I take a step back and lose a couple pounds. I wouldn't be so concerned about this but it brings me to my next issue: I am stalling on squats, bench, and the press, and feel that I am not building the extra muscle required to move up in these exercises. Am I not being patient enough? It wasn't until recently that I began consciously counting my calories. So perhaps this was the issue to begin with. Another important aspect is that I never have a spotter, so I am slightly nervous about going for the last couple of reps on squat/bench.

    What do you guys think? Is there another routine that could help me out? I've been on this for about two months now and feel that something else might get me over that hump, but I'd like to see what has worked for other people that have found themselves in a situation like mine.

  • #2
    Classic* lifting thread. Stupid iPad...

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    • #3
      I guess the easy/stupid answer is "eat more" if you want to weigh more and aren't gaining weight. Maybe before you started tracking you were unknowingly eating less.

      I too consider myself a hardgainer (if such a thing can be said to actually exist). It takes me a long time to gain weight and it goes away fast if I don't maintain it for a few months on end. I've had to ramp up my food intake pretty considerably. For the first few months, I felt like I was stuffing myself every day. But over time I've gotten used to the increased food intake.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
        I guess the easy/stupid answer is "eat more"
        Just because it's easy doesn't mean it's not correct.
        The Champagne of Beards

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        • #5
          I've always had a great deal of upperbody strength in comparison to lower body as well.

          I can only think of a couple of things to help. One is that you have only been at this for 2 months, so yes it takes a while to gain muscle. The other is that you should eat as many calories on nonlift days that you are on lift days to ramp up your weight gain. Hell you rebuild as you rest so I never understood why people would cycle down on calories during rest days (while they are bulking that is).

          Oh, lastly is you give your numbers but not your routine. I.e. ...how often are you training these lifts (Edit: guess "classic SS prgram" means 3x a week right)? Could be you are overtraining if your strength gains are stalling.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
            I've always had a great deal of upperbody strength in comparison to lower body as well.

            I can only think of a couple of things to help. One is that you have only been at this for 2 months, so yes it takes a while to gain muscle. The other is that you should eat as many calories on nonlift days that you are on lift days to ramp up your weight gain. Hell you rebuild as you rest so I never understood why people would cycle down on calories during rest days (while they are bulking that is).

            Oh, lastly is you give your numbers but not your routine. I.e. ...how often are you training these lifts (Edit: guess "classic SS prgram" means 3x a week right)? Could be you are overtraining if your strength gains are stalling.
            Gosh, the thought of eating more makes me sick! Eating this many calories primally makes it so much more difficult.

            Anyway, I have a feeling I could be overtraining. I don't feel entirely refreshed with one day off between training days. And to answer your question, I do the standard SS routine. Squat three days a week, and the other lifts 1-2 times a week depending on if there's two A workouts or two B workouts within the week.

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            • #7
              I'm kinda in the same boat as far as 'eat moar' goes... it kinda gets to the point where it turns into a chore. I got from 142 to 170 doing SS and just drinking milk on top of what I already ate, but after having to back off on the weights for a few weeks due to a hip injury, and having stalled on most of my lifts prior to that, my current food intake just does not seem to cut it for noticable weight gain now. However, I remember reading somewhere (leangains? lyle mcdonald?) that after the first 30 or so pounds it slows down a lot.

              I'd agree with Neckhammer on not cutting back on rest days as far as calories go. Just keep it consistent every day and keep lifting.

              Comment


              • #8
                Of course, like the others mentioned, eating more is probably the first step as far as weight gain. If the scale is not moving on a week to week basis, gradually increase the calories. This could be either by adding a handful of mixed nuts or an extra egg or two for breakfast; nothing too drastic.

                If you don't feel that this is the problem, and you still are not making progress, take a week off or do a small deload week. Obviously if you are not making any progress in a caloric surplus then there is something wrong.

                Also, make sure you are sleeping enough (8-10 hours per night), and just resting enough in general.

                Hope this helps.
                My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jakejoh10 View Post
                  Of course, like the others mentioned, eating more is probably the first step as far as weight gain. If the scale is not moving on a week to week basis, gradually increase the calories. This could be either by adding a handful of mixed nuts or an extra egg or two for breakfast; nothing too drastic.

                  If you don't feel that this is the problem, and you still are not making progress, take a week off or do a small deload week. Obviously if you are not making any progress in a caloric surplus then there is something wrong.

                  Also, make sure you are sleeping enough (8-10 hours per night), and just resting enough in general.

                  Hope this helps.
                  Thanks for the advice everyone.

                  Just cooked up my first bit of liver. Can't say it will be added to my repertoire of food...but I'll certainly begin to eat more on my recovery days.

                  Anyway, I get plenty of sleep, fortunately. Probably between 9-10 hours a night. I have been lucky this semester in that aspect.

                  What do you guys think of starting strength? Would it be more beneficial for me to alternate between 4 weeks of the original SS plan with 4 weeks of 3x8 of the same exercises to change things up and work on explosiveness, or should I be content with the original regimen and focus more on diet?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Future_PB_Dr View Post
                    What do you guys think of starting strength?
                    My personal opinion (including myself in "you guys") is that it's the most effective novice program out there. And if you decide that's the way to go, you should actually buy the book, lurk around the forums, and follow the program to the letter.
                    The Champagne of Beards

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                    • #11
                      I've been sitting between 163-168 for months, but I know I'm not eating enough, and I really don't have the drive right now to eat what I need to get to 170 as I'd like.

                      You don't say how old you are, but if high school was more than a few years ago, you won't have as much testosterone and other muscle-building hormones as you used to. Lifting helps, but won't get rid of that problem entirely.

                      With age also comes reduced recovery ability, so if you are a bit older, you may consider spacing out your lifting a little more. That really helped with my squats a while back.

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                      • #12
                        I'm 22 years old. I feel like the sprint session that I do on Fridays is what slows down my recovery. But I may try spacing out my workouts more if this problem persists.

                        Rich - I am just curious and I don't want this question to sound condescending because that's not at all the tone I would use, but what would I get out of buying the book? I am by no means an expert in weightlifting but I am comfortable enough to do the basic Olympic lifts due to an exceptional strength and conditioning coach in high school football. What more would I gain from the book besides what the routine is, which I can already find on the Internet?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Future_PB_Dr View Post
                          I'm 22 years old. I feel like the sprint session that I do on Fridays is what slows down my recovery. But I may try spacing out my workouts more if this problem persists.

                          Rich - I am just curious and I don't want this question to sound condescending because that's not at all the tone I would use, but what would I get out of buying the book? I am by no means an expert in weightlifting but I am comfortable enough to do the basic Olympic lifts due to an exceptional strength and conditioning coach in high school football. What more would I gain from the book besides what the routine is, which I can already find on the Internet?
                          It's not a condescending question at all. There's a ton of valuable information in the book. You may think you understand the mechanics of the lifts, but the analysis in the book will have you understanding them better, and applying more muscle mass to them in a more effective way.

                          How about this: The Kindle version is $10. If you buy it and read the entire thing and don't think you learned $10 worth, send me a PM and I'll mail you a check for ten bucks.
                          The Champagne of Beards

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                          • #14
                            Ha, I appreciate the offer, but I am sure it'll be worth it. I am indeed a voracious reader so this will be the next on my list after I finish my current book. Thanks for the advice. Also, $30 for the paperback and $10 for the kindle edition? Crazy! Glad the kindle app on iPad is free...

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                            • #15
                              how about a shift in macros? less fat, more protein and way more carbs. with a 4000 calorie diet, 15% is 600 cals from carbs, i.e. 150 grams. and 20% protein is 200 grams. personally, id shift the marcos. another thing, and don't get me wrong, i LOVE starting strength. LOVE it for beginners. but it isn't necessarily the ideal program for hypertrophy, particularly if you aren't a novice lifter. possibly shifting to a joe defranco styled workout, or even a classic bodybuilding-styled training program might suit your goals better. how old are you? how much lifting have you done throughout your life?

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