Strenght gains have ceased, what now?

Discussion in 'Powerlifting Forum' started by beast117, May 2, 2018.

  1. beast117

    beast117 Junior Member

    Basically, I've been floating around the same spot for a year with barely any progression.

    I'm a 21year old who weight around 185lbs, and have been lifting for 4+ years. Id say around 3 years seriously dedicated.

    Best lifts
    Squat: 295lbs
    Bench: 245lbs
    Deadlift: 405lbs

    I try to hit around 3000cals a day and generally take 2-3 rest days per week for recovery. I used to do a bro split and take like 1 rest day per week but i found myself being way too exhausted as i spend on minimum an hour and a half at the gym.

    my workouts are always varied as I've never followed a program ( been considering) but i always push myself as much as i can. I stretch quite often, but never right before a workout. I do a lot of strenght and hypertrophy training but also try to implement body weight movements. For instance i can hold a handstand or do muscle ups.

    I know compared to a lot of you guys im weak af, which is why im asking for advice.

    I'd like to get close to my genetic limit before i consider cycling but it's getting more and more tempting. Is it possible im already close or am i just not serious enough?

    I want nothing but to continue making gains, any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated.
    Inquiring Mind likes this.
  2. Gbro

    Gbro Member

    Why not drop the bro split and get on a real program?
    Dr JIM, Ironlord, Xlgx and 1 other person like this.
  3. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara Member

    The difference between just winging it and running a real program is like night and day. In the beginning anything works to make gains and many people mistakenly believe their made up program is actually effective because of that. Unless you're genetically gifted simply pushing yourself really hard won't cut it, you have to train intelligently.
  4. Eman

    Eman Member

    How tall are you?

    Aside from that, you just need a program... You need a plan. Going in and winging it is reserved for fuck around days here and there. Otherwise, you have to train with intent.
  5. Perrin Aybara

    Perrin Aybara Member

    But to answer your question you need to get more serious about learning how to train. I doubt you're anywhere near your genetic limit either. It's my opinion that almost every healthy adult male of average size or better should be able to squat 405lbs, bench 315lbs, and deadlift 495lbs natty with the right training.

    Run some beginner linear progression to start out. You might be able to get a few pounds through that. Then run a few intermediate programs and learn what works for you. During that time read some books on training and programming. Follow some logs here and see what some of us do. In a few years you'll have an awesome strength base and understanding of how to set up your training. At that point you can think about running a cycle.

    Also, I have a link to dozens of ebooks on training. If you'd like me to PM them to you let me know.
  6. Gain Train

    Gain Train Member

    Learn to periodise your training. Constantly hammering at one goal will crush you (metaphorically and physiologically). Got my squat up to 700lbs but couldn't keep going at it because I plateaued and began to dip in strength so I took a year to work on deadlift, bench and hypertrophy work. Working at one goal too long will leave massive chinks in your armour (another metaphor for setting you up for injury).

    You need to set a goal and work at it and then step back, look at progress and trends then refocus your goal again. I do this roughly every 8-12 weeks.

    First of all, drop the bro split.

    Second, you cannot train strength and hypertrophy at the same time that's simply too much stimulus for your body to make any sensible adaptation to in a reasonable amount of time.

    Last, get on a plan or structured workout shooting in the dark with no goal in mind will get you nowhere.
  7. beast117

    beast117 Junior Member

    Yeah, ive been looking into getting the Athlean-X program when im on summer break and have an income.
  8. beast117

    beast117 Junior Member

    im 5'11", Yeah i definitely agree.
    I don't think i fuck around in the gym by any means but clearly im doing something wrong.
  9. Eman

    Eman Member

    I'm not saying you're fucking around... I just mean that if you're going in and not following a plan you're cutting yourself short. It should be mentally exhausting to stay organized with strength programming... Go in and wing it when you need a break IE a break to fuck around. Even fuck around days don't mean you're not working hard.
  10. beast117

    beast117 Junior Member

    Yeah, seems like a plan is the way to go. I just don't have the cash to spit out right now on a student budget.

    I guess my way of looking at it was always more=better, i kinda always just killed myself and then try and do hypertrophy afterwards in the same workout, usually resulting in workout 2hours long.

    I plan on investing in Athlean-X's program but in the mean time any chance you got any recommendations on a free program?
  11. Eman

    Eman Member

    You don't need to invest in an expensive program, there are tons for free. has a review on tons of different programs. Juggernaut training systems has a video series on lots of different powerlifting programs.

    I also highly disagree with the notion that hypertrophy and strength building cannot be achieved simultaneously. That is simply not true and has been demonstrated time and time again... They are not exclusive of one another.
    Xlgx likes this.
  12. beast117

    beast117 Junior Member

    Oh, thanks for clearing that up.

    I guess my mentality has always been kill myself as much as i can in the gym, heavy lifting followed by hypertrophy is what i usually do.

    From what everyone's been telling me the problem is the lack of structure in my training, definitely going to address this.

    Would you happen to have any recommendations on free programs? Im on a student budget currently but if i could spit out the money id get a program from Athlean-X since ive been following him for quite a while.

    Thanks for the help
  13. Eman

    Eman Member

    You would do fine with a linear program at your level more than likely. Keep it simple. Any beginner program will work fine.

    Don't kill yourself every workout. The strongest motherfuckers are often the most disciplined when trying to prevent over exertion.
  14. Ironlyfe80

    Ironlyfe80 Member

    You could always eat more too...
  15. I saw it mentioned before. But you need a structured program. I have tried to do strength and Hypertrophy training/PowerBuilding. It worked but didn't make me really strong.

    I am of the school of thought that if you want to get strong, big bench, big squat big deadlift you need to really focus and hammer that lift. The saying "Jack of all Trades; Master of Nothing". Find the goal you want to achieve the most and go for it. Take a weekend right your goals, then prioritize them. Attack them in that order.

    Good luck
    Eman likes this.
  16. Eman

    Eman Member

    After reading your post, I feel inclined to qualify my previous statement about hypertrophy + strength training being possible by adding that prioritization is still a big factor.
    Cobra_Clutch69 likes this.
  17. Dr JIM

    Dr JIM Member

    Yep and what’s almost always missing in “gains” posts of this nature is the absence of a well defined GOAL.

    I wanna be a big, no massive, no
    so fucking huge Ronnie Coleman
    would be afraid to look at me!

    In the absence of competition, such short sighted gym speak almost always leads nowhere except a life laden with PED complications, a shrinking wallet
    and burnout.
    Gain Train, Eman and Cobra_Clutch69 like this.
  18. beast117

    beast117 Junior Member

    Hmm so for instance i should focus on getting my squats up and only work another goal once that small milestone is achieved instead of just go in and try to get big and strong.

    still working on finding a program. Havent had much time to search around.
    Thanks for the help guys
  19. @Eman mentioned you can do both. A good beginner program is something like 5x5. Or you can make it 6x6. Your choice. Something like this should build a nice foundation of size and strength. But to get bigger you also have to eat big. Lol I laugh because I want to get a little bigger. I'm just a little out off that it will fuck with my setup on my deadlifts.
  20. Brandaddy

    Brandaddy Member

    I think one thing that has always helped me structure my training and get results is by thinking of what makes you stronger. There are really two ways you lift more.

    1. Getting more efficient at the lifts. That could be as simple as working on your form and cues and just getting in a lot of "quality" reps and increasing your central nervous systems efficiency.

    2. Getting bigger. Either muscle or fat, the extra weight will help you lift more.

    So when sorting out your training, you want to structure a program that specifically focuses on the lifts you are trying to improve. From there you can add in accessory work for legging body parts that you may need to strengthen as long as it doesn't compromise recovery.

    One of the main keys is progressive overload. I personally find it easiest to get that from increased sets and split volume through the week. It isn't quite as common, but for instance one of the people I trained went from a 335 questionable depth squat to 405 atg in less than 6 weeks.