Hi, I'm new to the forum, but I've been reading a lot of the posts for quite some time now. I'm a 21 year old college student, and I've been lifting somewhat seriously for about 1.5 years now.
I'm 5"11 155, 5% BF pretty CUT. But, I seem to be stuck in my routine. I don't make strides like I used to as I began to learn some nuances about technique and proper regimes in the early days. I feel like I'm stuck. Here's my current scenario (sorry for being so technical)
I do a MWF lift, TU/TH cardio
Monday: Shoulders and Tris
Military Press/Dumbell Press
Rotaor cuff extensions, dumbell flys (elbow in, straight up)
Reverse hammer curls (bar), sometimes resistance curls
Wed: Lats and Legs
Wide grip pullups with 15 lb weight
isometric extension/lat pull
reverse cable flies
Pre-Exhaustion Chest Flys (upper and lower)
Dumbell Bench (Flat/Incline) alternating each week with barbell bench flat/incl
Throw in Decline every once in a while
Dumbell curls standing/incline bench
Resistance Preacher Curls
Once in a while buddy curls (im not a big fan, my lifting partner usually twists my arm into it)
I am pretty much stuck in the following areas:
1.) Bench- I often feel inhibited by my shoulder when benching (especially with the barbell isntead of the dumbell). I've hurt my rotator cuff in the past, but I try to be careful and strech nowadays. For now, I'm stuck at 185 bench at low reps, or repping around 165. For the dumbells, I can't really breach 75...
I've been doing pre-exhaustion chest excersizes, because I've read some literature that states its the best way to isolate chest excersizes (thus the secondary and tertiary muscles do not give out before the chest does in excersizes such as bench etc)
2.) Triceps- I never feel like I'm moving up in weight in these excersizes. I can try and do more on rope pulldowns, but often times on reverse hammers, I feel stuck at 17.5s on each side of the curl bar...kind of frustrating?
3.) Lats- Granted, I'm pretty happy with my lats (I can do sets of 10 on widegrip pullups with a 15 lb weight attached), but I feel like I'm not making and strides forward...just maintenance?
I lift every week, rarely take any time off. I party on the weekends and if I go all out, I definitely don't get the type of recooperation that I normally get on the weekdays.
I feel like I've hit a wall and I refuse to really delve into supplements or drugs. I'm anti-creatine, strictly healthy protein heavy diet...
Any suggestions? Maybe I should change my routine up?
Thanks a lot, hope to keep posting on the forum,
Drop the "pre-exhaustion" chest flies (actually drop the flies altogether) if you want your bench to improve. Bench first thing on your chest day.
I'm not a fan of your overall choice of exercises to be honest. Your routine is missing deadlifts, barbell rows, weighted dips, lunges, good mornings and standing OH press. All very important exercises.
Oh, and you're not at 5% body fat.
Drop the wide grip pullups and go to close grip. Wide grip is potentially damaging to the rotator cuffs, and close grip works the lats just as well. The thing about wide grip=wide lats is a myth. Your muscles don't know if you are doing close or wide grip.
You're probably right about my BF. I'm not 100% sure hah I'm just really skinny (I guess 5% is way overload ).
Any suggestions on how to change the basic setup of my routine? I'm up for a pretty drastic change simply because I feel like my muscles are getting used to the same excersizes...
First you need some goals. Are you looking to get stronger? Bigger? Is there a sport you're training for?
Once you've answered that question, we can give you more advice on what you're routine should look like.
Well, my true athletic days are over, so the lifting is partly aesthetic and partly health oriented. I want a bit more size and strength is clearly a plus. I made a few goals for myself when I started lifting. They are as follows:
-Benching 1.5 my Body Weight. I weight 150-155 lbs (depending on what I ate that day hah) and I bench around 185 in a maxout 3 rep. So that's aprox 1.20. I'd love to get it to 225 (which is 2 plates).
-Proportionality: I try to be very conscious of my proportionality. I don't do one muscle group in excess of the others, so if I do increase my bench, everything else will have to come along with it. This is mostly a matter of aesthetics
-Legs: I have chicken leg-syndrome! Since the middle of the summer, I've begun doing squats and leg excersizes which in the past I really shyed away from (due to an ACL tear in H.S.). Right now I'm making big gains in this dept. I'm squating probably somwhere near 235 (not full range of motion, kinda scared about my knees) and I'd love to get that up maybe another 100 lbs? I'm a bit novice on the leg excersizes, but I'm focused on working on them.
-Not getting too big: I just don't want to be bloated. I want to retain my body build (which is extremely skinny but cut), so I keep my cardio up (twice 3-5mi runs+ abs, thinking about starting maui thai/bjj next year when I have some more free time?)
Hope that helps...just on reading the board, deadlift seems to be a big fav. amongst the posters. I need to research some of these lifting methods and maybe encorporate them into my routine,
Not using full ROM for squats actualy hurts your knees from what ive heard.
ANYONE can squat 235 if they go down 2 inches and come back up. I squat 145 now but I got further than 90 degrees (not quite ATG though). Youd get a better workout doing that than not using full ROM with heavy weights.
So you want to gain primarily strength and put on some size too. Seems reasonable (that's actually what I'm doing right now).
Unfortantely bench press is one of those exercises that just seems to take forever to increase. Work on your technique and strengthen all the muscles assocciated with the movement (pecs, tris, shoulders, upper back, lats) and your bench will increase.
Proportionality has a lot to do with genetics. Some people's arms just blow right up when they start exercising, but always seem to have chicken legs. Other are the exact opposite. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just keep getting stronger and bigger and it will kind of work itself out.
As for the squats, BFGUITAR is right. A full ROM is easier on the knees than stopping half way. Work on stretching out your hams, glutes and hips and you'll be able to get the full ROM.
Size is a result of diet. Eat more = bigger. Eat less = smaller. Eat same = same. It is actually that simple.