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Thread: Are you supposed to keep adding weight to the bar forever? page

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    PrimalHunter's Avatar
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    Are you supposed to keep adding weight to the bar forever?

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    In Rippetoe Throws Down, I found this part a bit strange:

    "Look in your notebook and ask yourself these questions: How long have I been able to add weight on a weekly or even monthly basis to my back extensions? My triceps pressdowns? My sit-ups, curls, lunges, dumbbell rows, and behind-the-neck lat pulldowns?"

    I agree that you can't keep adding weight to these exercises for very long, but I don't see how that's different from squats, deadlifts, and presses.

    I started StrongLifts in April 2012, after many years of training that wasn't exactly "fuckarounditis," but far from optimal. My lifts went up considerably over the next three months, then peaked and declined sharply. At this point I was halfway through losing 30 pounds of mostly fat, so I figured that was why my strength dropped.

    But now it's 9 months later, and all my lifts are still below their July 2012 peak (except for squats, which are up 10 pounds since then). Monthly progress stopped months ago. I'm 38 years old, male, an ectomorph, on a bulking diet, with plenty of protein and carbs.

    This seems normal to me. When you pass the newbie stage, gains come much harder, and not everyone has the ability to get strong. But some comments I see are making me wonder how normal it is.
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    Leida's Avatar
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    Yes, that's correct. Linear gains exhaust themselves. For males, it is normal to reach about 1.5 BW SQT on the linear gains, which takes about a year-1.5 years. For women it's less. Once LGs are exhausted, an intermediate programming, such as MadCow, 5x3x1 or other is normally recommended, with an expectation of less gains a year. How much you gain during intermediate (opr advanced) stage depends on your age and talent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    Yes, that's correct. Linear gains exhaust themselves. For males, it is normal to reach about 1.5 BW SQT on the linear gains, which takes about a year-1.5 years. For women it's less. Once LGs are exhausted, an intermediate programming, such as MadCow, 5x3x1 or other is normally recommended, with an expectation of less gains a year. How much you gain during intermediate (opr advanced) stage depends on your age and talent.
    This is true, but you should still be making progress. If not, you might be overtrained. What's your current bodyweight and lifts?

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    No one program is the holy grail. Once your past being a novice you do need to switch things up.

    On that note there are two theories as to capacity to build muscle. Both seem to recognize genetic giftedness, but it goes something like this:

    Theory 1: As long as you eat enough and train right you will continue to gain muscle indefinitely, however the pace may be slower if your not genetically gifted.

    Theory 2: Your going to reach your genetic peak after a certain number of years of hard training with optimal nutrition at which point you have likely put all the muscle onto your frame that you have the capacity for.

    I don't think that there is a definitive answer as to one or the other, but I sure have trouble putting muscle on my frame beyond about 165lbs and not getting flabby.

    That all said I know there are lots of older lifters that do seem to gain strength each year.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-22-2013 at 08:49 AM.

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    My experience is similar. I got up to around 55lbs on overhead press and that's about as good as it gets. Can't seem to get beyond 75lbs on bench press either. Adding more weight doesn't seem to result in any adaptation at all. I struggle just the same or even worse the week after adding weight. If anything, I've mostly gotten less strong rather than more, although I can do more reps, not more weight.

    I'm going to try 531 even though I'm hardly strong enough for their calculations. On my 5+ set of squats today (95lbs) I managed 20 squats before the exertion headache hit me. Ugh, that's another limiting factor for me. Felt like a good workout though. Got a good case of the jelly legs.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

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    Gorbag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    In Rippetoe Throws Down, I found this part a bit strange:

    "Look in your notebook and ask yourself these questions: How long have I been able to add weight on a weekly or even monthly basis to my back extensions? My triceps pressdowns? My sit-ups, curls, lunges, dumbbell rows, and behind-the-neck lat pulldowns?"

    I agree that you can't keep adding weight to these exercises for very long, but I don't see how that's different from squats, deadlifts, and presses.
    You can usually progress for a longer time on the big compound lifts because you have more possibilities to learn how to implement and improve tecnique and to fire more musclefibers to assist the lift. Rippetoe is still wrong though in his fundamentalist crusade agaist "inferior" assistant lifts...

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    RichMahogany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    Rippetoe is still wrong though in his fundamentalist crusade agaist "inferior" assistant lifts...
    Did you even read that article?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    I started StrongLifts in April 2012, after many years of training that wasn't exactly "fuckarounditis," but far from optimal. My lifts went up considerably over the next three months, then peaked and declined sharply. At this point I was halfway through losing 30 pounds of mostly fat, so I figured that was why my strength dropped.
    You lost or started losing 30lb and you're wondering why your strength declined?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    But now it's 9 months later, and all my lifts are still below their July 2012 peak (except for squats, which are up 10 pounds since then). Monthly progress stopped months ago. I'm 38 years old, male, an ectomorph, on a bulking diet, with plenty of protein and carbs.
    Are you doing StrongLifts? What are your current lifts and weight? What was your starting body weight and lifts numbers when you started your "bulk diet"?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    This seems normal to me. When you pass the newbie stage, gains come much harder, and not everyone has the ability to get strong. But some comments I see are making me wonder how normal it is.
    What do you mean "not everyone has the ability to get strong"? What do you consider strong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Did you even read that article?
    Yep, did I overlook some profound hidden message in it?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    Yep, did I overlook some profound hidden message in it?
    No, I think you inserted your own

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag
    fundamentalist crusade agaist "inferior" assistant lifts...

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