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  • Not Making Many Gains, Options?

    Hello everyone,

    My goal is to become as healthy as I can possibly be. Im 42, somewhere around 70kg and carrying a little extra fat around the middle.

    I've been lifting heavy for a couple of months and seem to have reached my max weights. Roughly the same as when I was lifting a couple of years back:
    • Press: 30kg (3x5)
    • Chest Press: 40kg (3x5)
    • Deadlift: 70kg x 5
    • I dont currently do heavy squats as I dont have a rack (got one on order though!)


    I seem to have stopped making gains. This is not necessarily a bad thing (or is it?) but I dont know what to do now?

    Do I keep doing this stuff at the weights I can lift and increase reps until i can add a little more weight? Do I start eating a ton? (remember, my goal is not size, it's health) or do i stop lifting and do bodyweight stuff for a while? Or work on other big exercises like chin-ups, one arm rows, lunges etc for a while?

    Some expert advise would be really appreciated.

    Many thanks,

  • #2
    What program are you following? Perhaps take a look at a program with a slower increase?

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    • #3
      If your goal is health just lifting at an intensity that is "hard" for you is enough to keep you metabolically fit and to stress your various systems in a manner that will generally promote health.

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      • #4
        You need a different program. It's clear you've gone as far as you can go with this one, since it seems you've maxed it out twice at this level. Are you male?

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        • #5
          Hi Katherine, thanks for answering. Yes I'm male.

          Thanks Neckhammer, Teach, Im not really doing a program as such. Just deads, cpress, press and light squats and chin-ups
          Last edited by Chorlton; 05-10-2013, 01:32 PM.

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          • #6
            You're ready for a program. I bench more than you do.

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            • #7
              I bench more than you do.
              Well done.

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              • #8
                Yeah, that's not a very high bench weight (I'm a 30yo female). Check out Starting Strength or a similar program to help you push the limit. You don't have to eat like he suggests. But following a program should help you to build more strength. You should at least be able to get your bench over 100lbs I would think.

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                • #9
                  Thanks Teach. Yes, my build is quite small. I have some potential health issues going on that I can't really diagnose so I wonder if I am still "healing" after being paleo since last august. It certainly seems I should be able to bench more. I eat really well at the moment (eggs, bacon, steak, veggies) but am only lifting 1 day on, 2 days off so I have plenty of recovery time. Maybe it's time to try less recovery time...?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chorlton View Post
                    Thanks Teach. Yes, my build is quite small. I have some potential health issues going on that I can't really diagnose so I wonder if I am still "healing" after being paleo since last august. It certainly seems I should be able to bench more. I eat really well at the moment (eggs, bacon, steak, veggies) but am only lifting 1 day on, 2 days off so I have plenty of recovery time. Maybe it's time to try less recovery time...?
                    I would suggest more recovery time in fact. Or perhaps you aren't eating enough carbs ? Are you doing full body each of those days? I would seriously look into some programs that off you a set schedule. SS has you rotate through 2 sets of exercises 2-3 days a week. Other programs have you pick 1 main lift each day and lift 4 days a week. You can pick what suits your schedule.

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                    • #11
                      full body?

                      I can lift every day if I want to. Im just not sure I could handle it I have SS, so could pick up the program but I prefer to do just one lift in a workout. Else I find I do poorly on the final lifts... I know that Jason Sieb who I like to listen to as well as many others advocate 3 days a week max.. what do you think?

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                      • #12
                        If you want to pick 1 lift at a time, I would look into Wendler's 5-3-1. You're not worried about how fast you make gains and he only has you adding weight once a month. You would need to lift 4 days a week to get in all the lifts, but you would have a week's recovery time in between each one.

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                        • #13
                          Full body is the stuff you are doing. The squats and pulls and presses.

                          Give the Wendler's a try. There's an online calculator out there that shows how the program can be done in various ways, different amounts of days per week and different amounts of reps each week.
                          blackironbeast.com - 5/3/1 Calculator

                          Also, it might be worth your while to read Practical Programming by Mark Rippetoe. He explains the stress/recovery process. The basic gist is that the recovery period is really important. If you don't have enough recovery you can't get stronger and if you have too much recovery you can't get stronger. You have to have the right amount. Sometimes once a week on an individual life is the right amounts. Sometimes it can be too much (heavy deadlifts) and other times too little. And it doesn't seem to correspond to how you feel the day you are lifting.
                          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                          • #14
                            The only question that hasn't really been asked is how exactly have you decided that you've stopped making gains? I guarantee that I could add 1kg to all of your lifts and you'd hit the same numbers - that's a gain. Linear progression is about making small incremental changes to the loading and I don't think you need to worry about anything else until you get that right.
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                            • #15
                              Hi Coach.

                              I mean that I have trouble doing 5-5-5 when I add the minimum I can to my bench (1.5kg) I end up doing 5-4-4 then 5-5-4, etc. which considering it's not very heavy to start with and I am not a veteran lifter seems a very tiny gain indeed.

                              Re Wendler - his approach seems very interesting. I've started reading his ebook so thanks for the recommendations!

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