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  1. #1
    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    I am stalling with linear progression, do I go back, forwards, or stay where I am?

    I started working out seriously in August 2019. I spent some time before messing around and not really getting anywhere. I ran with ICF until quarantine hit in March 2020. I saw good progress, even though towards the end I was deloading several times on bench and spinning my wheels a bit. Here were my stats:

    18M
    BW: 152--176 lbs
    Bench: 70lbs 5x5 -- 130lbs 5x5
    Squat: 100lbs 5x5 -- 220lbs 5x5
    DL: 130lbs 1x5 -- 220lbs 1x5
    OHP: 35lbs 5x5 -- 60lbs 5x5
    Row: 60lbs 5x5 -- 110lbs 5x5

    I knew I had some more in the tank to progress weekly, but I also started to make the gym a lifestyle and enjoyed my workouts. When I got out of quarantine, I jumped on a 6 day PPL but continued to progress every workout, which seemed to allow me to work out every morning and see gains like on ICF. I've been running this for 7 weeks, and I'm starting to stall. On my bench I have deloaded 2 times at 135 yet can't progress past it. Admittedly, I lost a substantial amount of weight during quarantine, but I didn't think that would stop me from progressing on my lifts. I have been eating at a 200-400 calorie surplus a day, gaining 0.25-0.5 lbs a week. I have tried focusing on my diet and sleep very hard, with no results. Current stats:

    BW: 156 lbs
    Bench: 130lbs 5x5
    Squat: 225lbs 3x5
    DL: 240lbs 1x5
    OHP: 75lbs 5x5
    Row: 140lbs 5x5

    Have I reached the end of the line for linear progression? Given some other people's numbers, It would seem like I'm no where near done with being a beginner. Other have also said when you can't increase the weight every workout, you're an intermediate. Looking at my progression, since March I really haven't made any substantial improvements, except maybe lifting the same/a little more at around 20 lbs lighter. I am looking for what program I should do next. I enjoy working out 5-6 days a week, but is it best if I go back to ICF and try to force some improvements there? Or am I intermediate enough to jump on something like nSuns CAP3 or 5/3/1 BBB. Am I overthinking things, and should I just keep doing what I am now? My current goal is to build strength before focusing on bodybuilding.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    Am I overthinking things, and should I just keep doing what I am now?
    You shouldn't continue running a 6-day PPL with a linear progression scheme.
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    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    ^ Yes PPL is not enough recovery for most people. UL is so much better, but at your numbers you could still grow on a 5x5 for some time.

    Many people do well on 531 BBB or one of the other variations.

    Program hopping is the worst thing you can do for your training.
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    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    ^ Yes PPL is not enough recovery for most people. UL is so much better, but at your numbers you could still grow on a 5x5 for some time.

    Many people do well on 531 BBB or one of the other variations.

    Program hopping is the worst thing you can do for your training.
    Ok. I will get off the PPL and stick with something that I can progress properly with. Any ULs you recommend? I'd rather do that than a 3 day 5x5 just because the frequency is more fun.
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    Wait, you’re 20lbs lighter and wonder why your lifts aren’t going up? You say you’re eating at a surplus yet your weight has lowered, unless it’s a typo or I missed something?
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    If it were me, I'd take a clear 1-2 weeks off to reset and start back with an intermediate routine. As mentioned an U/L with moderate volume would be good. Leave yourself room to add volume further down the road otherwise you'll have to reset again.
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    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TonedJordan View Post
    Wait, you’re 20lbs lighter and wonder why your lifts aren’t going up? You say you’re eating at a surplus yet your weight has lowered, unless it’s a typo or I missed something?
    Yeah that was definitely a little confusing. Over quarantine I ate like **** and didn’t work out, I dropped to a bit under 150 lbs before I started working out again in mid-July. So basically a 5 month break where I dropped a bunch of weight and restarted at slight surplus.
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    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    If it were me, I'd take a clear 1-2 weeks off to reset and start back with an intermediate routine. As mentioned an U/L with moderate volume would be good. Leave yourself room to add volume further down the road otherwise you'll have to reset again.
    Moderate volume— would this more likely lead to a 4 or 5 day UL program?
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    Moderate volume— would this more likely lead to a 4 or 5 day UL program?
    Volume depends more on what you do for the whole week. You could lift 7 days, 1 set of 6 for each exercise every day, and it would be low volume because of the total weekly volume. Don't do that.

    Candito linear is a solid UL
    Fierce 5 UL
    Viking's UL

    Are all good free ones. Most ULs are 4 days a week
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    To your question concerning linear periodization, hard to say without seeing your routine and the way your cycle is structured. If you wanna drop me a pm of your current routine I would be happy to help where I can.
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    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    I decided to go with Candito's Linear Strength/Control Program, with a few changes. I made the 1x6 and 1x10 exercises to 3x6 and 3x10, and I also added an extra optional exercise to each upper day. I chose the optional exercises just based on what felt best in the past. What do you guys think?

    Monday - Heavy Lower
    3x6 Squat
    2x6 Deadlift
    3x8-12 Leg Press
    3x8-12 Hamstring Curls

    Tuesday - Heavy Upper
    3x6 Bench Press
    3x6 DB Rows
    3x6 Seated DB Press
    3x6 Pulldowns/Chinups/Pullups
    3x8-12 Close Grip Bench Press
    3x8-12 Overhead DB Ext. SS Lat Raise
    3x8-12 Barbell Bicep Curls

    Thursday - Control Lower
    6x4 Pause Squat
    3x4 Pause Deadlifts
    3x8-12 Romanian Deadlifts
    3x8-12 Hamstring Curls

    Friday - Control Upper
    6x4 Spoto Press
    6x4 Pause DB Rows
    3x10 Seated DB Press
    3x10 Pulldowns
    3x8-12 Close Grip Bench Press
    3x8-12 Overhead DB Ext. SS Lat Raise
    3x8-12 Barbell Bicep Curls
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  12. #12
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    I decided to go with Candito's Linear Strength/Control Program, with a few changes. I made the 1x6 and 1x10 exercises to 3x6 and 3x10, and I also added an extra optional exercise to each upper day. I chose the optional exercises just based on what felt best in the past. What do you guys think?
    Why run a program as-is from the start when you can add more volume? Try it out with your changes and see how it goes I guess.
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    I decided to go with Candito's Linear Strength/Control Program, with a few changes. I made the 1x6 and 1x10 exercises to 3x6 and 3x10, and I also added an extra optional exercise to each upper day. I chose the optional exercises just based on what felt best in the past. What do you guys think?

    Monday - Heavy Lower
    3x6 Squat
    2x6 Deadlift
    3x8-12 Leg Press
    3x8-12 Hamstring Curls

    Tuesday - Heavy Upper
    3x6 Bench Press
    3x6 DB Rows
    3x6 Seated DB Press
    3x6 Pulldowns/Chinups/Pullups
    3x8-12 Close Grip Bench Press
    3x8-12 Overhead DB Ext. SS Lat Raise
    3x8-12 Barbell Bicep Curls

    Thursday - Control Lower
    6x4 Pause Squat
    3x4 Pause Deadlifts
    3x8-12 Romanian Deadlifts
    3x8-12 Hamstring Curls

    Friday - Control Upper
    6x4 Spoto Press
    6x4 Pause DB Rows
    3x10 Seated DB Press
    3x10 Pulldowns
    3x8-12 Close Grip Bench Press
    3x8-12 Overhead DB Ext. SS Lat Raise
    3x8-12 Barbell Bicep Curls
    You've kinda overloaded the upper days..
    Not sure why.

    Probably be fine.
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    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Why run a program as-is from the start when you can add more volume? Try it out with your changes and see how it goes I guess.
    I get that. But a 1x6/10 DB overhead press and 1x6/10 pulldown per week seemed low. I’m sure there’s reasoning behind it, but I didn’t see any harm in upping those.
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    Registered User Rohan340's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    You've kinda overloaded the upper days..
    Not sure why.

    Probably be fine.
    Think it’d be better to remove the extra upper optional for a bit (so it’s run with the same number of exercises as the program calls for), see how it feels, and add it back if it seems like it’ll fit easily?
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    Think it’d be better to remove the extra upper optional for a bit (so it’s run with the same number of exercises as the program calls for), see how it feels, and add it back if it seems like it’ll fit easily?
    Yes
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  17. #17
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    I decided to go with Candito's Linear Strength/Control Program, with a few changes. I made the 1x6 and 1x10 exercises to 3x6 and 3x10, and I also added an extra optional exercise to each upper day. I chose the optional exercises just based on what felt best in the past. What do you guys think?

    Monday - Heavy Lower
    3x6 Squat
    2x6 Deadlift
    3x8-12 Leg Press
    3x8-12 Hamstring Curls

    Tuesday - Heavy Upper
    3x6 Bench Press
    3x6 DB Rows
    3x6 Seated DB Press
    3x6 Pulldowns/Chinups/Pullups
    3x8-12 Close Grip Bench Press
    3x8-12 Overhead DB Ext. SS Lat Raise
    3x8-12 Barbell Bicep Curls

    Thursday - Control Lower
    6x4 Pause Squat
    3x4 Pause Deadlifts
    3x8-12 Romanian Deadlifts
    3x8-12 Hamstring Curls

    Friday - Control Upper
    6x4 Spoto Press
    6x4 Pause DB Rows
    3x10 Seated DB Press
    3x10 Pulldowns
    3x8-12 Close Grip Bench Press
    3x8-12 Overhead DB Ext. SS Lat Raise
    3x8-12 Barbell Bicep Curls
    Adding close grip bench is a bit too much.
    The 3x6 shoulder work is fine. I think Candito says in the notes that he made those 1x6 in order to avoid overloading the shoulders and triceps, since they get hit during bench.
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    I get that. But a 1x6/10 DB overhead press and 1x6/10 pulldown per week seemed low. I’m sure there’s reasoning behind it, but I didn’t see any harm in upping those.
    Well you prob know better than the creator how his program works best, so go for the extra sets and extra exercises from the start.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Adding close grip bench is a bit too much.
    The 3x6 shoulder work is fine. I think Candito says in the notes that he made those 1x6 in order to avoid overloading the shoulders and triceps, since they get hit during bench.
    Makes sense. In that case I’ll run the program without CGBP in the upper days and reevaluate later. Thanks everyone
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    Originally Posted by Rohan340 View Post
    Makes sense. In that case I’ll run the program without CGBP in the upper days and reevaluate later. Thanks everyone
    Good decision. Keep volume lower now so that you can add volume later if the lift starts to stall.
    Currently cutting: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1616872851&viewfull=1#post1616872851
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Well you prob know better than the creator how his program works best, so go for the extra sets and extra exercises from the start.
    You're right... I'll at least start with the program's prescribed sets and see how it goes first
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