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View Full Version : Getting stronger in some exercises, not in others



cpa5oh
01-28-2011, 08:06 PM
I'm struggling to get stronger. Don't think I've gotten stronger in the squat or bench press in a year or more. They go up a little and down a little and back up and down, but no breakthrough into new PR territory.

One mystery to me is that when I add new exercises to my routine I make progress in them...but not in the big three. For example, I added glute ham raises back into my program and I made rapid progress in them...but my squat didn't go up. I added hip thrusts to my program and made rapid progress in them...but my squat didn't go up. I added chest supported rows to my program and made good progress...but my bench didn't move. And there's no question I'm working the squat and bench harder than these supplemental/accessory/however you want to classify them exercises...and I've made alot of adjustments to my bench and squat (cambered bar, safety squat bar, fat grips, changing grip width, box squat, free squat, etc.) - I don't just do the bench and squat the same week in and week out, though I don't jump around week to week with different variations, either.

I'm not understanding this - if I'm focusing most of my work on the squat and bench press, then I'm doing supplemental stuff but not making them a focus, why am I getting stronger on these supplemental things but not on the exercises I'm focusing most of my work on? I would think me getting stronger at *something* means my body isn't overtaxed as far as its ability to adapt...and I would think that the strength would come in the exercises I focus more on versus the stuff that I'm doing as supplemental work. And these supplemental exercises are exercises that are said to help build the big three lifts...it's not like they're completely unrelated to the big three.

(For reference, and not because I'm particularly proud of my lifts, I'm about 205 lbs bodyweight and best lifts are 500 squat, 340 bench, 565 deadlift with no suits or shirts. Been training consistently in a powerlifting style for about 7 years, using everything from "Westside" to linear periodization to RTS. At any given time I think I'm usually at or about 5% below those lifts.)

Thank you for any thoughts you might share.

Ermantroudt
01-29-2011, 08:03 AM
You get "stronger" on the new things as you are getting better at doing them.

Sean S
01-29-2011, 09:00 AM
You get "stronger" on the new things as you are getting better at doing them.

Exactly. Your neuro-muscular patterning and efficiency improve rapidly at a particular movement when it's new. That's why you see a rapid strength increase in a particular movement when it's new. Obviously your assistance work isn't carrying over to strength in main movements.
You might consider re-examining your progression scheme and planning for your main lifts and see if you can get things moving again.