View Full Version : I'm not progressing with my workouts at all

12-13-2010, 11:39 PM
I used to bench 230 lbs as a one rep max. Got hit by a car and couldn't go to the gym for 3 months. I started going back to the gym 5 months ago, lifting 3-4 times a week. Visually I'm getting more muscular, but strength-wise I haven't been able to lift more than 185, and I've been stuck at that max for 3 months. My workout is usually whatever weight I can do for 10-12 reps. My appetite is always low and it's hard for me to get a lot of solid foods in. If I want to be stronger should I change my sets to 5 reps with higher weights, or lower my weight load and do higher reps? I briefly looked over the HCT-12 program, but is it something I should be doing at a 140 lb bodyweight with low strength? Any advice would be appreciated.

12-14-2010, 02:17 AM
whats your current routine? eating food is very critical (if not, the most important factor) if your goal is to gain size and/or strength. Assuming you're looking to get stronger (since you posted in the PL section) I would look into a DE and ME bench days. Something you may be interested in checking out: http://www.wannabebig.com/training/powerlifting-and-functional-strength-for-athletics/up-your-bench-press-30lbs-in-30-days/

Joe Black
12-14-2010, 02:28 AM
I know this is a bit of a short and sweet answer to your question, but do one of the following:

1. Read and fully understand HCT-12 and then do this program consistently for 12 weeks.

2. Read and fully understand the Westside Barbell Program (check out the Westside Barbell Book of Methods (http://atlargenutrition.com/nutrition_detail.php?products_id=26)) or the articles on www.westside-barbell.com) and then do this program consistently for 12 weeks.

If you're priority is aesthetics, go for HCT-12.

If you're priority is pure strength, go for Westside Barbell.

It just takes the guess work out of poor training and nutrition choices as these programs are tried and tested with many, many people.

12-14-2010, 08:09 AM
Hey bro just remember REST and NUTRITION is as important as hitting the gym. I think you should read up on Dynamic workouts and Max Effort workouts. You can read my journal to get an idea. But remember you need to rest and eat to get bigger and lift bigger.

12-14-2010, 08:11 AM
eating food is very critical (if not, the most important factor)


12-14-2010, 08:17 AM
Do Madcow's 5x5 until you plateau. Reset the weights and run again. Reset the weights and run again.
Zero need to get fancy, keep it simple at your level.
Getting hurt and not lifting for three months will obviously affect your lifts, not to mention your lack of a plan
Eat more and more. You're 148 and 5'10" and bench more than you squat and pull.

Dan Fanelli
12-14-2010, 08:30 AM
Is setting a goal for a higher BW and option for you? Id shoot for at LEAST 175-185.

Also, you need some SPECIFIC strength goals. Maybe bench 250, squat 300, deadlift 350.

That would be a very good start.

12-14-2010, 09:59 AM
Squatting and deadlifting are hard for me personally. I have the knees of an 80 year old man with the balance of a 2 year old. I've been trying to gain weight for a while, but its hard for me to gain weight, I cant really get above the 150-160 range, but its definitely something I want to do, I'd be much happier at 175 pounds :/.

12-14-2010, 10:15 AM
Unless you are running daily marathons and are undereating, gaining weight with your frame shouldn't be difficult. If solid foods are hard to get down, start throwing in 3-4 "snacks" a day to up your calories. These could be shakes (oats/protein/milk/olive oil/PB/fruits etc), fruits, PB or other nut butters, nuts, etc. You don't have to eat garbage to gain weight (although it's alot easier and fun!). If you have the stomach for it, GOMAD....gallon of milk a day. It's old-fashioned but for any person that told me they couldn't gain weight, a gallon of milk and a half-tub of PB a day will put weight on you. The idea of a hard-gainer is complete BS.

Squatting and deadlifting are hard exercises period. But the gains you can reap far outweigh the hassle, even for someone who doesn't compete in them. Full squats and deadlifts BUILD mass. Mass moves mass period. It sounds funny, but when gym rats ask powerlifters how to bench more, many times you'll hear the response "squat more."

Start out slow, full squats done correctly, will help your legs grow. I know of two men in their late seventies and eighties who still squat twice a week at their age, no knee problems. They also do Glute Hams and both have indestructible legs while many of their friends at their ages can't even walk without a cane or get up a flight of stairs.

12-14-2010, 11:49 AM
Did your accident involve a spinal injury? One of the symptoms of a spinal injury is low testosterone. Needless to say that won't help your strength or weight gains.

Start small and build strength in your ankles, so you can squat and deadlift. I have grade-4 OA (bone on bone arthritis) in my left knee. I still squat and deadlift.

12-14-2010, 12:08 PM
ya seriously I would do something simple, some form of 5x5. bill star comes to mind. work out 2-3 times a week, and be more dedicated with your diet.

12-14-2010, 07:32 PM
Lots of good advice already. I'd also recommend 5x5 or Starting Strength. The big compound movements don;t have to start out with huge weights. Have you undergone any PT since the accident? If you've been given the all clear for physical activity, start light and go from there. ANd be sure to set realistic goals with timelines.

12-16-2010, 07:34 PM
Yeah, I was in PT for 2 months and I've been weight lifting since.

Dan Fanelli
12-16-2010, 07:44 PM
Squatting and deadlifting are hard for me personally. I have the knees of an 80 year old man with the balance of a 2 year old. I've been trying to gain weight for a while, but its hard for me to gain weight, I cant really get above the 150-160 range, but its definitely something I want to do, I'd be much happier at 175 pounds :/.

All good achievements are hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would be walking around Hyuge and ripped. [Rule of thumb: The harder something is, the more likely thats the right thing to do.]

If you are cleared to start PROGRESSIVE resistance training then start out light and work on getting stronger. You need to learn these exercises correctly, do a search on youtube for "squatRX" and as soon as possible get someone to film you for others to critique.

But squatting and deadlifting are essential movements that need to be developed and maintained throughout your life, unless you are permanently hadicapped.

12-16-2010, 08:49 PM
The idea of a hard-gainer is complete BS.


That depends. Certainly not if we are talking about gaining muscle as opposed to any kind of weight.

That said, eating more will help just about anyone gain weight.

OP, you state that your appetite is low and it's hard to get a lot of food in. That might have some bearing on the problem. If diet (or rest) is holding you back then no training program is going to work as well as it could.

Dan Fanelli
12-16-2010, 09:27 PM
Well, there are definately "easy gainers" so by logic there must be "hard gainers".... The thing is, they are still gainers. Its just harder. Less options will work for them, and progress will be slower, but progress is progress.

The hardest thing about being a hard gainer, is you have to know yourself and what works for you. You need to be more consistant, and more determined, and more realistic with expectations.

And unless you want to spend years experimenting, you are best off listening to the guys that have made a ton of progress and aren't giving contradictory information. Stick with the simplest basic methods. The methods that rarely work for anyone will not work for a hardgainer.

As a "hard gainer" myself, I had to accept that if I wanted to gain a reasonable amount of weight/muscle, I'd have to do what it takes to get the required caloires in, even if they aren't "clean", and even if I must gain some fat in the process. I also had to accept that being >220lbs and <10% BF probably isn't in my future.

......Woh.... Kinda a random rant there.