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December 15, 2017


Minor updates on my end. Which I'd like to hear some advice about.

I'm continuing Stronglifts 5x5, occasionally doing 3x5 on squats because they make my knees ache. In terms of how I look, I'm happy with the program. I'm seeing incremental results.

However, I'm not really progressing very quickly at all on actual strength GAINZZZ. I keep plateauing, or even going backwards, on squats (though I had a strained medius glute muscle partly responsible for that -- foam rolling and deep tissue release with a lacrosse ball helped a lot), and I have barely budged at all -- at all -- on overhead presses.

I'm making slow-but-steady GAINZZZ on the bench, deadlift, and a very modified partial-movement pendlay-style row I switched to because I don't know how to control my form on the real pendlay row, and I don't want to snap up my back.

On these, I'm making GAINZZZ a heck of lot slower than I expected, or that the "add 5 or ten pounds per session" protocol suggested I'd make them.

But squats I frequently get stuck on one weight on, and overhead presses? Honestly, I am barely overhead pressing five or ten pounds more than I started at.

I mean, damn, it's embarrassing. I don't think I can answer the age-old question "Bro, do you even lift?" in the affirmative.

I know that's the lift people usually have the most trouble improving, but... I mean, five or six months, I would expect to be putting up more than five or ten pounds than my starting weight.

As a wise man said, many of us struggled with serious insecurities, like if we'll ever be able to put up two plates.

I guessed maybe I wasn't getting enough protein for GAINZZZ so I've jacked that up but I haven't been doing high-protein long enough to know if that's fixed things. I do microloading and such but still. No real GAINZZZ. (Though maybe I have to invest in an even smaller microload set.)

Anyone got any suggestions? I was thinking of maybe alternating high-volume sessions with higher-weight sessions to try to try to hit these muscles a different way. I've also been thinking about trying to do some kind of overhead press every day -- maybe try overtraining -- but I don't know about that. I really don't know if I could take it, endurance and recovery-wise. Three days a week (often just two) is already kicking my ass.

I've also thought about just ditching the bench for now to work only on overhead presses and the incline bench press (which may assist with the overhead press) and maybe tricep isolation stuff, but I don't know.

I'm looking for some GAINZZZ in advice here. I think someone mentioned pyramiding, but what kind -- going upwards in weight or downwards?

BTW, I've been doing high rack pulls to work my traps, and they seem to work pretty well. I think those might be my favorite.

Oh, and this is amusing: When Christopher Reeve was cast as Superman, he was 6' 5" but only 170 pounds -- a "beanpole" and "skinny little kid" as director Dick Donner described him. But he claimed that he was previously a jock and could gain muscle quickly. Dick Donner took a chance that he could, and hired, as Reeve's strength coach, Darth Vader.

No seriously, Dave Prowse was a bodybuilder and was called in to help Reeves bulk up in only six weeks.

This just makes me further frustrated, as, allegedly, without steroids, Reeve gained forty two pounds of muscle in six weeks, going from 170 to 212, which does not sound at all possible to me. (I always read that 2 pounds per week is the most someone can gain.)

Anyway. Maybe a little exaggerated as to how skinny he was at first and how much he weighed at the end. But still -- that is... a lot.

So: Tell me about yo GAINZZZZZ.

PS, I know most people don't care about these threads, so I'll put up another thread shortly after this one. However, do consider this one "live," even though there'll be another thread above it in a bit.

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posted by Ace at 06:39 PM

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