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  1. #1
    Registered User Bremster1's Avatar
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    Not progressing whatsoever with Fierce 5 as a beginner after 2-3 months.

    Dear,

    I am becoming increasingly frustrated by working out, because for some reason I am simply not getting stronger. As adviced by an earlier post on this forum, I have stuck with the Fierce 5 routine since the end of June. I took a break halfway through because I went on vacation for 2 weeks, although I did do some pushups, pull ups, planks and a lot of walking. After this I figured I would do a "reset" because even before that vacation, I wasn't really progressing. I picked up again, resetting, starting the 1st of August, and after 2 weeks I was back to my previous numbers.

    The Fierce 5 program advices increments of 5lbs upper and 10 lbs lower weekly. I think over the course of 2-3 months, I have gained maybe a total of 5 lbs upper and 10 lbs lower: more than that I simply cannot lift. I cannot figure out why. Some numbers of my progress, over 2-3 months:

    bench press 45 kg --> 50 kg
    squat 50 --> 55
    pendlay row 30 --> 32
    front squat 30 --> 40
    overhead lift: 20 --> 25

    Ive kept my nutrition in check, and consistently eat between 2500 to 3200 kcal a day. My average fats are around 95g, protein around 140g, carbs 180g. I am 188cm & 77kg.

    I have also attached pictures of 2,5months ago and today. Everywhere online I read about the "noob gains" you should supposedly get when starting out, meanwhile I am getting literally no gains. At the same time, I have more belly fat than I've ever had before. I know you automatically gain fat when you build muscle, but its not translating back to increased strength/muscle it seems. Could this be a problem with testosterone? Can someone please give me some advice as to what is wrong with me? All advice is appreciated!

    Kind regards,
    Bremster1
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    If you start at a weight and can only add 2-5kg before stalling then you probably started too high.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Bremster1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    If you start at a weight and can only add 2-5kg before stalling then you probably started too high.
    But then shouldn't that be resolved after resetting? I took 70% of my 1RM, as adviced by the programme.
    Im taking bench press for my best reference, I used to do it 45 kg with 3x8 reps, before I switched over to Fierce 5 where I started doing 45kg 3x5 which is already a lot less reps, and my 1 rep max was about 60 kg.

    Also, shouldn't I be seeing and feeling changes even if my starting number was high? Its not like my reps are becoming easier either. Ive consistenly worked out 3 times a week, why am I not getting stronger?
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Switching rep ranges doesn't mean you will perform the same. if you can only add 1 or 2 increments, it's not enough to make the ramping mechanism work. It's better to err on the lighter side.

    Also, have you gained bodyweight during this time? If not, you probably need to eat more.
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    How are you measuring your calories and macros? A scale or eyeball? Maybe you're not getting as many cals as you think.
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    Dear,

    I am becoming increasingly frustrated by working out, because for some reason I am simply not getting stronger. As adviced by an earlier post on this forum, I have stuck with the Fierce 5 routine since the end of June. I took a break halfway through because I went on vacation for 2 weeks, although I did do some pushups, pull ups, planks and a lot of walking. After this I figured I would do a "reset" because even before that vacation, I wasn't really progressing. I picked up again, resetting, starting the 1st of August, and after 2 weeks I was back to my previous numbers.

    The Fierce 5 program advices increments of 5lbs upper and 10 lbs lower weekly. I think over the course of 2-3 months, I have gained maybe a total of 5 lbs upper and 10 lbs lower: more than that I simply cannot lift. I cannot figure out why. Some numbers of my progress, over 2-3 months:

    bench press 45 kg --> 50 kg
    squat 50 --> 55
    pendlay row 30 --> 32
    front squat 30 --> 40
    overhead lift: 20 --> 25

    Ive kept my nutrition in check, and consistently eat between 2500 to 3200 kcal a day. My average fats are around 95g, protein around 140g, carbs 180g. I am 188cm & 77kg.

    I have also attached pictures of 2,5months ago and today. Everywhere online I read about the "noob gains" you should supposedly get when starting out, meanwhile I am getting literally no gains. At the same time, I have more belly fat than I've ever had before. I know you automatically gain fat when you build muscle, but its not translating back to increased strength/muscle it seems. Could this be a problem with testosterone? Can someone please give me some advice as to what is wrong with me? All advice is appreciated!

    Kind regards,
    Bremster1

    Might not get me any “likes” but here is my suggestion:

    1- train 4 sets to failure in rep range 5-8 for big lifts like bench, incline, shoulder press, upright rows, rows, pulldowns, squats, leg press
    Pick two to three movements per body part and get after it!

    2- train to failure on isolation movement in 6-10 rep range- flyes, side laterals, leg ext and leg curls

    3- add weight every time…every time..you reach the upper guide number with perfect form…keep a log of your progress which will be fast. Keep adjusting weight to hit the mass building rep range.

    4- eat more calories and get all the meat and eggs, fish etc you can get your hands on. Try more like 3500-4000 cals and actually grow! Eat every 3 hours

    5- stop all excuses to miss workouts- has to be a priority. Hit each body part twice a week or once every 3-4 days depending on recovery needs. Upper lowers are the best because you train hard and you also have more rest days for recovery.

    6- you should grow FAST at this stage so go do it!
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Might not get me any “likes” but here is my suggestion:

    1- train 4 sets to failure in rep range 5-8 for big lifts like bench, incline, shoulder press, upright rows, rows, pulldowns, squats, leg press
    Pick two to three movements per body part and get after it!

    2- train to failure on isolation movement in 6-10 rep range- flyes, side laterals, leg ext and leg curls

    3- add weight every time…every time..you reach the upper guide number with perfect form…keep a log of your progress which will be fast. Keep adjusting weight to hit the mass building rep range.

    4- eat more calories and get all the meat and eggs, fish etc you can get your hands on. Try more like 3500-4000 cals and actually grow! Eat every 3 hours

    5- stop all excuses to miss workouts- has to be a priority. Hit each body part twice a week or once every 3-4 days depending on recovery needs. Upper lowers are the best because you train hard and you also have more rest days for recovery.

    6- you should grow FAST at this stage so go do it!
    This right here op. @coachcalande I don't think I've ever seen a post from you that I disagree with
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  8. #8
    Registered User Bremster1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Switching rep ranges doesn't mean you will perform the same. if you can only add 1 or 2 increments, it's not enough to make the ramping mechanism work. It's better to err on the lighter side.

    Also, have you gained bodyweight during this time? If not, you probably need to eat more.
    Yes, I went from 74-75 to 77 kg. What do u think of abovementioned post?

    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    How are you measuring your calories and macros? A scale or eyeball? Maybe you're not getting as many cals as you think.
    my breakfast and lunch are always the same, i measured those with a scale and fill them in in an application. I fill it up with snacks etc untill im at 1800-2000 kcal, and then eat whatever my parents cook for dinner, which is a little harder to measure so I eyeball that.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Bremster1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Might not get me any “likes” but here is my suggestion:

    1- train 4 sets to failure in rep range 5-8 for big lifts like bench, incline, shoulder press, upright rows, rows, pulldowns, squats, leg press
    Pick two to three movements per body part and get after it!

    2- train to failure on isolation movement in 6-10 rep range- flyes, side laterals, leg ext and leg curls

    3- add weight every time…every time..you reach the upper guide number with perfect form…keep a log of your progress which will be fast. Keep adjusting weight to hit the mass building rep range.

    4- eat more calories and get all the meat and eggs, fish etc you can get your hands on. Try more like 3500-4000 cals and actually grow! Eat every 3 hours

    5- stop all excuses to miss workouts- has to be a priority. Hit each body part twice a week or once every 3-4 days depending on recovery needs. Upper lowers are the best because you train hard and you also have more rest days for recovery.

    6- you should grow FAST at this stage so go do it!
    I dont miss any workouts. Are you sure about 3500-4000? that seems like a ****load... wont I just end up getting fat?
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    You started lifting at the end of June and took a break. This is the first part of September. You're not going to see tremendous gains in 2 months. I've only been lifting for 3 years and 11 days.
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    1800-2000k is what my 5'5" tall gf is cutting on..
    Got a booty but ain't fat.

    I'm Cutting on 3200..6' admittedly Im not lean..
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  12. #12
    Registered User Bremster1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    1800-2000k is what my 5'5" tall gf is cutting on..
    Got a booty but ain't fat.

    I'm Cutting on 3200..6' admittedly Im not lean..
    Nono I meant I eat 1800-2000 guaranteed, and then on top of that however much i get from dinner or extra snacks, which is usually around 700 kcal. So you think I should get more kcal's?
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    So you think I should get more kcal's?
    Get more calories. Back when I was in grad school I was taking 5000-7000 cals a day. But I was lifting for 90 minutes 5x a week and running.
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  14. #14
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    my breakfast and lunch are always the same, i measured those with a scale and fill them in in an application. I fill it up with snacks etc untill im at 1800-2000 kcal, and then eat whatever my parents cook for dinner, which is a little harder to measure so I eyeball that.
    Add a protein shake or big bowl of cereal + protein scoop before bed. Should be around an extra 400 cals / 30 grams of protein. See what happens after a month.
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    Nono I meant I eat 1800-2000 guaranteed, and then on top of that however much i get from dinner or extra snacks, which is usually around 700 kcal. So you think I should get more kcal's?
    Probably. You should be guaranteeing at least your tdee. Ideally hitting a small surplus almost always.

    While I don't like Calande's method overly, something with a bit more autoregulation could be good.
    Personally I'd rather see a focus on mostly quality sets not to failure on compounds with maybe a rep out to gauge where you truly are on the last set (greyskull LP).
    By all means go ham on single joint stuff though.
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    Registered User Bremster1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Add a protein shake or big bowl of cereal + protein scoop before bed. Should be around an extra 400 cals / 30 grams of protein. See what happens after a month.
    Im already eating a protein shake after my workouts/ around 4am between lunch and dinner. Should i add another one, before bed as youre saying?

    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Probably. You should be guaranteeing at least your tdee. Ideally hitting a small surplus almost always.

    While I don't like Calande's method overly, something with a bit more autoregulation could be good.
    Personally I'd rather see a focus on mostly quality sets not to failure on compounds with maybe a rep out to gauge where you truly are on the last set (greyskull LP).
    By all means go ham on single joint stuff though.
    What do you mean by more autoregulation? Also how does that differ from fierce 5?
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    Im already eating a protein shake after my workouts/ around 4am between lunch and dinner. Should i add another one, before bed as youre saying?



    What do you mean by more autoregulation? Also how does that differ from fierce 5?
    Set progression is just that. Predetermined.
    Autoregulation is where you adjust something based on the performance of the day, or week. In this case progression with amrap targets. If you hit target you add a bit of weight, if your below you don't, if you massively succeed you add more weight. It might and probably will be different session to session and week to week as training isn't linear in real life.

    Another form is rpe/rir targets. A single with 2 reps in reserve for example. Any given day the weight you end up working up to will be different and based on your true strength and abilities that day rather than a set number on a sheet.
    I wouldn't necessarily worry about the latter just yet, though its never a bad time to learn how to rate difficulty, amraps also help with this as you can rate your 2nd to last set and then immediately find out 5m later how accurate that rating was and that leads to more awareness of bar speed and how hard certain reps from failure feel.

    Nearly all decent bodybuilders and serious lifters do this in some way even if they don't label the processes, it's just something you pick up over time.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    I dont miss any workouts. Are you sure about 3500-4000? that seems like a ****load... wont I just end up getting fat?

    Youll get swole if you’re lifting hard.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    This right here op. @coachcalande I don't think I've ever seen a post from you that I disagree with
    You will. Be patient.

    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    I dont miss any workouts. Are you sure about 3500-4000? that seems like a ****load... wont I just end up getting fat?
    With a shirt on to the untrained eye, fat's as good as muscle.
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    Originally Posted by Bremster1 View Post
    my breakfast and lunch are always the same, i measured those with a scale and fill them in in an application. I fill it up with snacks etc until im at 1800-2000 kcal, and then eat whatever my parents cook for dinner, which is a little harder to measure so I eyeball that.
    if you are only using a scale for 2/3 of your day or maybe only 50% of your intake - you don't really know what you are taking in....cant speak to the lifting side of things - but you wont be able to gain without a surplus - and you really cant know what you are taking in....

    even when my hubs cooks a meal - i can weigh it on a scale and get pretty damn close to exact (way better than an eyeball) - i use cronometer and i will enter entire recipes, for example - hubs makes a killer tater tot casserole. i put ALL ingredients for the whole recipe in - and then weigh my portion - no reason you can't do the same....just takes a bit more time and commitment.

    assuming you have already done your tdee calculation, for real, and know what your maintenance cals are?
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    With a shirt on to the untrained eye, fat's as good as muscle.
    I can't tell if you're being serious or not... There is of course an element of truth to this, but only to a point, and only in the event that it's spread over plenty of muscle already. Obese people who don't train and aren't strong don't look like they are, but strong people with lots of muscle who are still pushing legitimate obesity in terms of bodyfat levels alone might look more imposing in clothes than lean people with the same amount of muscle.

    But... judging from other posts, you might just be amusing yourself by telling OP to gain weight indiscriminately when getting fat at all isn't a good idea. However, a "dirty bulk" from someone who really works hard will most likely make them look like a lineman or a bouncer, and these aren't altogether undesirable images to have...
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I can't tell if you're being serious or not... There is of course an element of truth to this, but only to a point, and only in the event that it's spread over plenty of muscle already. Obese people who don't train and aren't strong don't look like they are, but strong people with lots of muscle who are still pushing legitimate obesity in terms of bodyfat levels alone might look more imposing in clothes than lean people with the same amount of muscle.

    But... judging from other posts, you might just be amusing yourself by telling OP to gain weight indiscriminately when getting fat at all isn't a good idea. However, a "dirty bulk" from someone who really works hard will most likely make them look like a lineman or a bouncer, and these aren't altogether undesirable images to have...
    Well I'm being serious with the statement as written, but definitely didn't endorse anything.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Well I'm being serious with the statement as written, but definitely didn't endorse anything.
    Fair enough, but do you really think that to the general "untrained eye" of the public a muscular yet pudgy guy filling out a shirt looks just as good as someone shredded with less muscle absolutely? There is obviously a pretty different shape even at the same height and weight, if fat and muscle are the only differences we're considering.

    I agree though, that someone of normal absolute weight yet completely shredded will have much of the appeal hidden by regularly fitted modern clothing, which someone slightly fat could pretty well hide by the same means.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Fair enough, but do you really think that to the general "untrained eye" of the public a muscular yet pudgy guy filling out a shirt looks just as good as someone shredded with less muscle absolutely? There is obviously a pretty different shape even at the same height and weight, if fat and muscle are the only differences we're considering.

    I agree though, that someone of normal absolute weight yet completely shredded will have much of the appeal hidden by regularly fitted modern clothing, which someone slightly fat could pretty well hide by the same means.
    I think you're reading a lot into my brief statement that isn't there, and its level of seriousness.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I think you're reading a lot into my brief statement that isn't there, and its level of seriousness.
    I'm one of those guys who tend to be too literal and miss both sarcasm and greyer shades of meaning. Hence the questions.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I'm one of those guys who tend to be too literal and miss both sarcasm and greyer shades of meaning. Hence the questions.
    No worries - I'm used to it. :P I don't write out long responses when I don't have much to say, wasn't trying to be curt to you.

    My initial statement was really to OPs specific circumstances & concern, without endorsing the suggested approach either.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    With a shirt on to the untrained eye, fat's as good as muscle.
    Doesn't even need to be an untrained eye.

    A guy at 20% bf will absolutely size mog a guy at 12% bodyfat with similar amounts of muscle in clothes.

    It Won't even be close.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    Doesn't even need to be an untrained eye.

    A guy at 20% bf will absolutely size mog a guy at 12% bodyfat with similar amounts of muscle in clothes.

    It Won't even be close.
    Yep. Natty brahs at contest lean don't even look like they lift in clothing.
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    Originally Posted by TAWS6 View Post
    Yep. Natty brahs at contest lean don't even look like they lift in clothing.
    The skinny face is real.
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