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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:01 pm 
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So I have been stuck at 195 on my BP now and its driving me crazy. I was doing a 5x5 (across) for about 8 weeks, and now i ahve switched it up to a WS4SB template (with about a week off in between the two).

My last week doing the 5x5 across i did 190 for five sets of five. I took a week off and came back figuring I was safe to ramp up to 195 (starting with 135 and working my way up), and I wasn't able to complete the 195 set. That didnt bother me too much, but a week later on my max effort upped body day I was only able to complete 3. Same again yesterday, but this time I had tweaked my sets and started with 115x8, adding 20 lbs every set figuring that starting a bit lower I would save a bit for the last set.
is this a normal plateau (I am a relative newb and have only been lifting regularly since January) or is there somethig I am missing?

Also, I was a little sick during my week off, but nothing major, a cold, but the type of cold I would have pushed through at the gym if it had beena normal week.

Advice Needed!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:21 pm 
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How tall are you?

Have any other lifts been going up?

Have you dropped Calories lately?

Hows your sleep been?

How about life stress, is work a pain in the a$$ these days?

What was your starting 5 rep max?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:58 pm 
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I am 5 foot 11 and weigh about 175

All my lifts were going up pretty stedily on the 5x5 (except my squat which was moving really slow, but that was a problem with my knees and form I think so I am taking a few weeks off from squatting), But since i have just switched up my routine I am doing quite a few new movements so nothing solid to compare against - deadlift has continued to go up (but that was lagging anyway). BB row still going up (in context because I switched up my rep scheme there).

I don't think I have dropped calories, but I did stop taking protein supplements (just wasn't happy with the one I was taking for unrelated reasons), but I make sure to get loads of protein in, well over 100g a day (mostly). My caloric intake has fluctuated, but in general been pretty good the last few weeks. That and it was fluctuating before as well.

Sleep - maybe slightly less than before, but still 6-8 hours a night

Life stress - new job, but only part time, start late in the morning and not really stressful - it does leave me a little more tired than ususal, but its a desk job so nothing crazy.

When I started doing the 5x5 cycle I was doing 155 for 5x5 across


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Bacchus1979 wrote:
I am 5 foot 11 and weigh about 175


you pressing over your body weight, no worries there (although, your a tad skinny, I wouldn't stress it.)

Quote:
All my lifts were going up pretty stedily on the 5x5 (except my squat which was moving really slow, but that was a problem with my knees and form I think so I am taking a few weeks off from squatting), But since i have just switched up my routine I am doing quite a few new movements so nothing solid to compare against - deadlift has continued to go up (but that was lagging anyway). BB row still going up (in context because I switched up my rep scheme there).


I take a lot of breaks from squatting too. So I can't harp on you for that, but better to drop the weight and work on form then take time off. What about shoulders? How are they doing these days?

Quote:
I dont't think I have dropped calories, but I did stop taking protein supplements (just wasn't happy with the one I was taking for unrelated reasons), but I make sure to get loads of protein in, well over 100g a day (mostly). My caloric intake has fluctuates, but in general been pretty good the last few weeks, but it was fluctuating before too.


If your looking for hypertrophy, up the protein. (My breakfast has roughly 100g's) I found a whey that is great, just shop around. But at any rate, at 5'7" & 170lbs you can afford to eat a bit more. So before next bench day, eat a big lunch & a big snack and see if that helps.

Quote:
Sleep - maybe slightly less than before, but still 6-8 hours a night


No issues here IMO.

Quote:
Life stress - new job, but only part time, start late inthe morning and not really stressful - it does leave me a little more tired than ususal, but its a desk job so nothing crazy.


This could have more of an effect than you think. But not a huge issue IMO.

Quote:
When I started doing the 5x5 cycle I was doing 155 for 5x5 across


Eh, you went up 40lbs in 5 months, your doing fine. You due for a stall, just keep pushing and you'll bust it up in no time.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Hey man -

Thanks for the feedback.


Quote:
What about shoulders? How are they doing these days?


Shoulders feeling OK, have just switched to dumbell presses from military presses so nothing to compare it against though.


Quote:
You due for a stall, just keep pushing and you'll bust it up in no time.


Any value in mixing it up to get through, switching to DB Bench, or going to an 8-12 rep range for a little bit to try to gain a little mass for a few weeks before going back and working up to a max again, or do you think it is best to just stick with what I'm doing?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:37 pm 
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There's lots of value in mixing it up in any of the ways you mention! You could also "reset" (reduce your working sets by 20%) and then work your way back up.

Are you doing some pull work? Chins? Lat Pull-downs? Rows?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:49 pm 
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Thanks!

Quote:
Are you doing some pull work? Chins? Lat Pull-downs? Rows?

Yup, i am doing Barbell rows and Chins :)

EDIT: How about doing CG Benches for a while and working up on those, I have heard of people getting good results from that, thoughts?


Last edited by Bacchus1979 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:50 pm 
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I don't have a lot of time to answer, but you can flip through my journal to see how the "work up" goes for bench pressing on WS4SB. That's what I do, basically, so that might give you an idea. It might be that you're doing too many reps at too high of a weight during your warmup. Might not, but you didn't really list how you've been working up so it's hard to tell.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:01 pm 
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Quote:
It might be that you're doing too many reps at too high of a weight during your warmup.


I thought that might be the problem as well (even though it doesn't totally make sense since I did 190 5x5 across without too much difuculty.) So I did adjust my warmup - first two times I did 5x135, 5x155, 5x175,5x185 for my 4 warm-up sets, last time I tweaked that to 8x115, 5x135, 5x155, 5x175 - figurrethat should have been enough to solve it if that was the problem - but still couldnt complete the final 5 at 195.

I guess its probably just a normal plateau - but it is F*ing frustrating, especially that it happened at right UNDER 200 which is kind of a personal goal.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Close grips will torch you Tri's, which you need to bench, so no problem there. & like Doc said, switching things up really can't hurt. But if the program is still working, I probably wouldn't divate too much.

I'm not overly familiar with WS4SB, but that seems like a ton of volume. 20+ reps in warmup & then 15 more? My hats off to you.

Thr frustration is a pain, but I've had the same problem with bench, hit a PR, then can't touch it again... Such is life with long arms I guess...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:23 pm 
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Quote:
20+ reps in warmup & then 15 more?


Not quite that much, but I am working up to a single 5 rep max - so really I would count my last 2 sets as work sets, so 15 warm up reps & 10 work reps - does that sound about right?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:02 pm 
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Bacchus1979 wrote:
Quote:
20+ reps in warmup & then 15 more?


Not quite that much, but I am working up to a single 5 rep max - so really I would count my last 2 sets as work sets, so 15 warm up reps & 10 work reps - does that sound about right?


I don't have a calculator, but you come up with 10 less reps than me. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:47 pm 
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eh - who's counting right :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:30 am 
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Bacchus1979 wrote:
I thought that might be the problem as well (even though it doesn't totally make sense since I did 190 5x5 across without too much difuculty.) So I did adjust my warmup - first two times I did 5x135, 5x155, 5x175,5x185 for my 4 warm-up sets, last time I tweaked that to 8x115, 5x135, 5x155, 5x175 - figurrethat should have been enough to solve it if that was the problem - but still couldnt complete the final 5 at 195.


The thing with the "work up" technique is that you do spend a bit of energy working your way up to the weights. You get lots of sub-maximal volume before you get to the higher weights.

Based on doing it myself, my only recommendations would be:

- rest more. Doing 5 x 45# and 5 x 95# without any break is fine, it's light. But then start slowing down a little. Take 2-3+ minutes between your "warmup sets" as you get close to your goal for the day.

- vary the reps every week. If you do a 5-RM this week, do a 3-RM the week after and a 2-RM or 1-RM the week after that. In any case start with a few 5-rep sets light, then down to 3 (for the 3RM) or singles (for the 1RM).

- If you're really having difficulty with the "work up" method, ditch it. Go back to doing 5 x 5 for the main lift and then do the accessory work...just don't go nuts on the sets for the stuff afterwards. 3 sets instead of 4, for example. This isn't crazy - some weeks I do Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 method for my ME lift and then do the rest of the WS4SB template.


Here are a couple recent "work up" days I had, you can see the progression. We're in the same weight range but you're stronger and doing more reps.

5/18/09
2-Board Press - 5 x 45#, 5 x 95#, 3 x 135# (no boards up to here), 3 x 165#, 1 x 175#, 1 x 185#, 2 x 5 x 155#

This day we worked full-range bench press for the first three sets, and then tapered down to singles. Followed with two sets of 5 for more volume at a weight my singles demonstrated would be reasonable. Followed this with 3 x 8 Dumbbell bench press

5/26/09
Bench Press - 5 x 45#, 5 x 95#, 5 x 135#, 5 x 155#, 3 x 165#, 2-3 minutes rest between last 3 sets

Again, worked up from 5s. I was supposed to do 5+ of 165# but I didn't manage it at all, which sucked, but there you go. Not a lot of space between my work set weights. No additional pushing work after this.

5/28/09
Box Squats - 5 x 45#, 5 x 95#, 1 x 105#, 1 x 115#, 1 x 125#, 1 x 135#, 2 x 1 x 155#, 1 x 165#, rest 2-3 minutes between sets starting at 135

This one is squatting, aiming for a heavy but not maximal single. Deliberately did lots and lots of singles for volume, technique practice, etc., even re-taking 155# again so my coach could get a good look at it.


Hope those help.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:33 pm 
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Hey man - thanks for the feedback! I guess Ill try an easier build up on Monday, then if I don't break through that'll be 4 times in a row so maybe time to mix it up or reset.

Thanks again!


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