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More strength/mass = more fatigue?

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:18 am
by RobertB
Hey guys,

1 year in and im finally achieving some decent goals, my deadlift is at 1.5 bodyweight and my squat I estimate will be two weeks until 1.5 - my bench sucks so so bad but I've conceeded it is a weak point, overhead press is fine too.

Im on strong lifts...

Anyway - point of the post.

I am shocked now how much a 1 hour session of just squats/dead(or Irows)/press(bench OR overhead) and chins can be - I am really tired! I've been trying to bulk up so have been having a lot of dairy/fat so im thinking it could be that, but I'm also wondering

As you got stronger, did you get more tired for the *same* workout?

I remember seing x1 set of x5 for deadlift and thinking *sigh* I do 3x8, but now... oh lord... im so so glad after 5x5 squats and 5x5 overhead that its only x1 deadlift... I'd consider it torture to do 5x5 deads after those now.. so I get their point, that once it gets to be a decent weight you will be plenty worked out.

Have you experienced this drain in comparison to your newbie days? I'm still in the novice area IMO but I'd like to start calling myself somewhere between newbie and intermediate when I hit the multiples listed ;)


Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:59 am
by hoosegow
I'm only speculating here. 1st, you could actually be working harder. As a newb, you might have just been playing around. Now you are in there with a purpose, have confidence in your lifts and consequently are able to push yourself to the point of exhaustion.

The second point, and I'm really going out on a limb here, is that the more weight you pick up the harder your body has to work. Regardless of your strength level, picking up 200 pounds takes more work than 100 pounds. It might be easier to pick up 200 now than it was when you first started and 100 was difficult, but the work required is still more. Consequently, you are expending more energy and getting tired.

These are just my musings and I have no scientific information to back it up.

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:23 pm
by stuward
You're moving from beginner to intermediate. It doesn't matter where you are on the strength chart. I'm a novice in strength but have to train like advanced due to my recovery requirements. You are pushing more weight than before so it will take longer to recover from the "same" workout. You probably want to switch to some sort of heavy/light cycle. I'm sure Strong Lifts has a plan for that transition. I used Madcow 5x5. Texas Method or WSFSB would also work. Instead of going for a max lift every workout you'll do that every second or third workout.

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:06 pm
by GTO
I would also highly suggest that you read Practical Programing by Rippetoe and Kilgore, I believe this would help you tremendously in determining where you are, and what happens as you go from beginner to intermediate, and how this changes the way you workout.

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:07 pm
by Jungledoc
I agree that it's probably time for you to move to some sort of periodized approach. But in the meantime, think about the basics, like sleep. Are you getting enough? Also, at nutrition--have some source of energy on board when you lift. Some people like to lift hungry, but it doesn't work for me. I have to have some food within the previous few hours. My protein shake (with a little carb) helps me in this.

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:24 am
by RobertB
Sleeps a tiny bit of an issue, but no more than a busy family mans would be or someone with a hard job - Im going to bed at 11pm and waking 5:30am and I think I could use an extra hour, maybe two, but weekend Ill get home maybe 2-3am and get up when I like - usually 10-11.

Diet wise, Its not the cleanest but I definately eaaaaat at the moment, so I do have energy in the gym ncluding carbs, its more getting home later and thinking I could go bed at 7:30. I added a touch more fibre to go with the fat too recently.

I guess a little further down the line (2 months? *shrug*) I will change programs but I want to make sure its a true plateu and not just a slowdown/light stall (i.e. it's literally been the first time/week [on this routine] that things have levelled off)

those are pretty much my thoughts too Hoosegow, but like you I can't really say I know.

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:07 am
by RobertB
GTO wrote:I would also highly suggest that you read Practical Programing by Rippetoe and Kilgore, I believe this would help you tremendously in determining where you are, and what happens as you go from beginner to intermediate, and how this changes the way you workout.
Haha just checked amazon uk for this book and its like [1 million dollars] ($110 aprox)

I realise thats likely to be due to the print being rare, I vaguely recall there being a newer/amended version though that I can only assume is the logical/reasonably priced one.

amazon link

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:26 am
by stuward
That's a crazy price. It's a good book but it's not that good. I have a periodization reading list up someplace. Check your library.

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:07 am
by GTO
$21 here ... ap_title_0

If you shopped around a little you could probably find it for less, I wouldn't pay that much for it either.

I didn't realize you were in the UK, hopefully you can find the book for a reasonable price, it really helped me, I wish I had something like it 20 years ago.

Anyway, I'll through in my 2 cents (which aint worth much) and say that your not a beginner anymore, that your body needs more time to adapt as the weight goes up. You sound like your a hard worker and I would look into Stuwards suggestions for workouts. If I were a young guy, I think I would give the Texas method a go for a cycle or two.

Here's a link for the Texas method, I'ms sure there are many more.

Good luck

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:30 am
by RobertB
Thanks for the link GTO I've bought that now, little pricey on shipping but I'll just forgoe my weekly random spend :)

And cheers all - I think I've got enough to go at now, good to know its relativley common for everyone to be suprised at this point.

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:00 am
by GTO
Hey Robert, Let me know what you think of it. I found it to be a valuable reference. It goes into a lot of detail about what actually happens to your body on a cellular level when you lift, how different types of lifting build different types of muscle, why as a beginner you can squat 3x a week and why when you start getting stronger you need more rest. I knew bits and pieces of this but it really helped me get a better picture, I hope it does the same for you.

As for your spending money, if your ever in SW Virginia, I'll buy you a beer or two.

Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:23 am
by ApolytonGP
I know what you are talking about. Had the same sensation happen as well. Not sure the cause.

I'm just speculating and JD will be along to spank me, but...maybe consider a deload or just not going up on the weights as fast (slowing the rate of progression even if "ready").

Also, maybe allow yourself a little more interworkout rest. Like grab a drink of water every now and then instead of circuiting the whole thing and just grinding yourself down.