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  1. #1
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Finally 12 straight weeks of lifting done...nothing to show for it lol

    This was my 12th week, it's been a low stress week after performance finally started to decline last week, been yawing between sets. I remember being told here to first lift for at least 12 or so weeks before making any conclusions and that was my main focus-to show up every time and never miss a workout. First 6 or so weeks was full body 3x a week, then U/L 4x a week for the rest. I've been doing 12 sets a week for the most part. Started with 6 sets first two weeks, then 9 third week, then 12 up until 9 weeks or so. I was more or less stalling the entire time so I went down to 8 sets for these last few weeks to see what would happen, and still stalled. All in all, 3 months of stalling. Last week I added some weight and reps to all my lifts to see what would happen after lifting the same old thing forever and it ended up being a bad idea as recovery took a hit. Only change was some fat gain and that's it really. Wife said I still look the same, all my lifts have basically stayed the same (they only fluctuated due to exertion levels). Started with a 185lb squat for 10 reps, ended with a 185lb squat for 10 reps. I used to take every set to failure the first 2 weeks. People said that was terrible. So after that, I began taking every set about 2 reps shy of failure instead.

    I'm thinking of avoiding grinding any reps altogether, stopping right when velocity slows as a clear marker. You would think just going in and lifting consistently would alone cause progress but not at all in this situation.

    I've been considering getting on an actual routine and following it to the T to see what would happen then. The one I have in mind is the original Greyskull LP (not Phrak's), but I don't know how good it would be for hypertrophy alone since it seems to stem from powerlifting? On paper my routine more or less ended up looking like fierce 5 as far as structure goes but obviously I've been doing something wrong the entire time. This is what it looks like:

    Upper A
    Db bench 4
    V bar pull down 4
    Rope biceps/triceps 2
    Face pulls/lateral raises 2

    Upper B
    Seated db press 4
    Chest supported db row 4
    Cable flyes 4
    Rope biceps/triceps 2
    Face pulls/lateral raises 2

    Lower A
    Squat 2
    Rdl 2
    Leg extension 2
    Lying leg curl 2
    Standing calf raise 3
    Ab crunches 3

    Lower B
    Leg press 2
    Rdl 2
    Leg extension 2
    Lying leg curl 2
    Standing calf raise 3
    Ab crunches 3
    Last edited by Animal2692; 05-07-2021 at 05:26 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User kharneth's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    all my lifts have basically stayed the same (they only fluctuated due to exertion levels). Started with a 185lb squat for 10 reps, ended with a 185lb squat for 10 reps. I used to take every set to failure the first 2 weeks. People said that was terrible. So after that, I began taking every set about 2 reps shy of failure instead.

    I'm thinking of avoiding grinding any reps altogether, stopping right when velocity slows as a clear marker. You would think just going in and lifting consistently would alone cause progress but not at all in this situation.

    I've been considering getting on an actual routine and following it to the T to see what would happen then.
    Those are probably some of the places to look for making changes. You don't want to keep lifting the same amount week after week. You don't need to add sets, you should increase the weight instead while keeping the sets, reps, and exercises the same. Definitely don't work to failure frequently, only on occasion.

    Lifting consistently does not cause progress, it cause stalling. Progressively overloading your lifts is what causes progress. Lifting the same weight week after week does not cause your body to adapt to higher intensity and instead your body will get used to the weight it's lifting and it can even start to feel heavier as your body basically gets lazy.

    Follow a program and follow it to the T. I don't know anything about the program you mentioned, but I'm sure others will have valuable insights.

    Remember, in order to make changes you need to make changes. If you're doing the same thing over and over again you can't expect to grow. Don't be discouraged, though.
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  3. #3
    Registered User safcpaul's Avatar
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    Mate you always change chit up. What else do you expect? Why don't you just follow a simple set up and get your numbers up... Strength correlates with size.

    Workout a
    Bench 3x5
    Rows 3x5
    Squats 3x5
    Calf raises 2x20
    Dumbbell curls 2x10


    Workout b
    Overhead press 3x5
    Close grip bench 3x8
    Pull ups 3 x 8
    Rdl 3 x 8
    Rear delt flies 2x20

    Do this eod or m/w/f

    Eat to gain weight. You get your main lifts up while gaining weight and your whole body will hypertrophy. Grit your teeth and push through. You're complicating everything when all it takes is attention to diet and good old hard work. Do that or continue making posts that you're getting nowhere
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    Only change was some fat gain and that's it really. Wife said I still look the same, all my lifts have basically stayed the same (they only fluctuated due to exertion levels).
    What has your weight been doing during this time? Following a proven program is a good idea, but up to you since you've been resistant to the idea in the past.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    What has your weight been doing during this time? Following a proven program is a good idea, but up to you since you've been resistant to the idea in the past.
    I started at 150, ended at 160. I've been lifting the same thing not because I want to, but because it's all I could do week to week. Anytime I'd try to add anything, it would only cause that set to become an RPE 10 from an 8.5. How good is the original greyskull for hypertrophy? Is it more for powerlifters instead?
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    I started at 150, ended at 160. I've been lifting the same thing not because I want to, but because it's all I could do week to week. Anytime I'd try to add anything, it would only cause that set to become an RPE 10 from an 8.5. How good is the original greyskull for hypertrophy? Is it more for powerlifters instead?
    Then lift the weight at an rpe 10 and grind it out. Honestly mate. Strength is correlated with hypertrophy. You need to learn the basics mate and stop complicating stuff with your rpe crap when you're a beginner
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  7. #7
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    I started at 150, ended at 160. I've been lifting the same thing not because I want to, but because it's all I could do week to week. Anytime I'd try to add anything, it would only cause that set to become an RPE 10 from an 8.5. How good is the original greyskull for hypertrophy? Is it more for powerlifters instead?
    Greyskull is good - it's not a powerlifting only program. And you'd like the AMRAP sets. Really up to you if you're ok with following someone else's program.
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  8. #8
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    From a PM I sent you some time ago which may bear repeating in case you didn't try this out:

    perhaps RPE is not where you think it is. Squats never feel easy exactly but you might be a lot further from true failure than you think. I would suggest verifying your own assumptions by occasionally doing a true maximal set.

    Perhaps you should try a radical shift of parameters. Perhaps first try a powerlifting oriented routine and focus on getting strength up. If that doesn't work, try the BB route again but with like 16 sets per BP per week...
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  9. #9
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    If you want to get strong do something like 5,3,1 BBB and stick with it for a while. If not run a solid program like phat,PPL and keep pushing yourself and get your nutrition dialed in.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Greyskull is good - it's not a powerlifting only program. And you'd like the AMRAP sets. Really up to you if you're ok with following someone else's program.
    The amrap sets is exactly why I've considered it over other programs lol. I think a proven routine would just manage fatigue better than I can since everything else would just be arbitrary.
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  11. #11
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    The amrap sets is exactly why I've considered it over other programs lol. I think a proven routine would just manage fatigue better than I can since everything else would just be arbitrary.
    Not holding my breath that you're going to stop doing your own programming. But we'll see! :P
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  12. #12
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    From a PM I sent you some time ago which may bear repeating in case you didn't try this out:
    I tried pushing harder on everything especially squats. I was doing 185 for 10, went up to 195 for 10 and was closer to failure. Did that for a few weeks, then went to 205 where the last rep was more or less 1 rep from failure. Next lower body workout I was still feeling drained so I went back to 195 knowing I wouldn't be able to handle 205.
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    It would have been better if you did AMRAP with 185 - then you would know your true RIR. Nothing magic about 10 reps. I bet you could have got 15-18...

    If you do follow a routine like Greyskull, you'll actually find it less exhausting to do high RPE with lower reps - even though the weight is heavier.
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    1- nothing wrong with training to failure. Did it every workout for 40 years.
    2- what are you eating?
    3- try lower reps, I know that my own body responds much better and much faster to 5-6 rep sets vs 8-10.
    4- what are you eating?
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    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    1- nothing wrong with training to failure. Did it every workout for 40 years.
    2- what are you eating?
    3- try lower reps, I know that my own body responds much better and much faster to 5-6 rep sets vs 8-10.
    4- what are you eating?
    I started out doing 5-7 rep sets. I just eat whatever as long as I get in enough protein and calories. .7g protein per pound a day, 2000 calories a day. I went from 150 to 160 at 2200 calories a day. Tried 2600 before and gained too much fat.
    Last edited by Animal2692; 05-07-2021 at 08:02 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    I started out doing 5-7 rep sets. I just eat whatever as long as I get in enough protein and calories. .7g protein per pound a day, 2000 calories a day. I went from 150 to 160 at 2200 calories a day. Tried 2600 before and gained too much fat.
    Well, you’re going to get many different suggestions.
    Fact is, none of this stuff makes you smaller or weaker but not all will make you bigger and stronger.

    8-12 sets per body part, every set to failure, anywhere from 3-12 reps. Hitting each body part twice in an 8 day period, eating enough to add half a pound per week at 1 G protein per lb wb is simple enough.

    If you’re not pushing for more weight and or more reps it’s all gonna grind to a halt.

    Focus on big pushes and big pulls and big compounds for the lower body too....rest, eat, sleep, grow.

    It’s not all that difficult and there’s little mystery behind progression in weights, reps and food.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    Started with 6 sets first two weeks, then 9 third week, then 12 up until 9 weeks or so
    For me, that progression would be too fast. Maybe it's suitable for you? Can't tell directly for sure from your post, but it sounds like you started doing 12 sets in the 4th week. You did 6 sets the first 2 weeks. 9 sets the 3rd week. Then 12 sets starting the 4th week. There is no way I could double my volume in a month. Maybe in 4-6 months, but not one month. I would stall faster than a lead zeppelin.

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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    For me, that progression would be too fast. Maybe it's suitable for you? Can't tell directly for sure from your post, but it sounds like you started doing 12 sets in the 4th week. You did 6 sets the first 2 weeks. 9 sets the 3rd week. Then 12 sets starting the 4th week. There is no way I could double my volume in a month. Maybe in 4-6 months, but not one month. I would stall faster than a lead zeppelin.

    Zeppelin def: A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship named after the German inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
    Well the low end of volume is 8-10 hard sets a week. So if you're starting out doing less than that, there should be no issue jumping up to 8-10 sets since that's considered the minimum for hypertrophy?
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    It's hard to add weight to sets of 10, definitely not a rep range you choose for getting stronger specifically.

    In terms of hypertrophy. Statistically significant hypertrophy doesn't show for 8 weeks on average, and that's statistically significant, with full body comp measurements, you're not going to notice hypertrophy changes in 3 months...
    That's the main reason logical hypertrophy training still uses progressive overload as a guide that hypertrophy has possibly occurred.

    Finally, whether this is actually relevant or not.
    I ****ing hate adding sets weekly, especially several sets a week. You're starting to low and wasting time, and then adding loads of fatigue that you never give yourself time to adjust too, burn out. Deload to much and start to low again?.
    A lot of Dr israetel fans do this and suffer because of it Id say, personally I don't think you sjpild volume ramp at all, but if you are then keep it to 1 set a week.


    I'll also add, some training blocks are as much learning what not to do as what works.
    My last dev block of bench did almost nothing for it, high volume low rpe seemed to not be the way to go, at least at the moment.
    By contrast I added weight to my squat damn near every week and continue to do so this week, but my squat was easy to pin down.
    Heavy moderate intensity comp and hard direct assistance and quad and glute hypertrophy to supplement.
    If I'd only done 10s and no direct assistance my squat would suck (ever more so)
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Mate you always change chit up. What else do you expect? Why don't you just follow a simple set up and get your numbers up... Strength correlates with size.

    Workout a
    Bench 3x5
    Rows 3x5
    Squats 3x5
    Calf raises 2x20
    Dumbbell curls 2x10


    Workout b
    Overhead press 3x5
    Close grip bench 3x8
    Pull ups 3 x 8
    Rdl 3 x 8
    Rear delt flies 2x20

    Do this eod or m/w/f

    Eat to gain weight. You get your main lifts up while gaining weight and your whole body will hypertrophy. Grit your teeth and push through. You're complicating everything when all it takes is attention to diet and good old hard work. Do that or continue making posts that you're getting nowhere
    I like that set up actually. I could use a change anyways and go back to lower reps for compounds and back to barbell movements. Is there supposed to be a rep range of say 5-7 or you just stick with sets across?

    I'm thinking that dynamic double progression has been making me constantly overreach which has been causing the non-stop stalling whereas with sets across, you're essentially sandbagging until the last couple sets or so.
    Last edited by Animal2692; 05-07-2021 at 11:19 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    I like that set up actually. I could use a change anyways and go back to lower reps for compounds and back to barbell movements. Is there supposed to be a rep range of say 5-7 or you just stick with sets across?
    Have a look at the proper GZLP, ranges to work in and solid variation and progression.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    It's hard to add weight to sets of 10, definitely not a rep range you choose for getting stronger specifically.

    In terms of hypertrophy. Statistically significant hypertrophy doesn't show for 8 weeks on average, and that's statistically significant, with full body comp measurements, you're not going to notice hypertrophy changes in 3 months...
    That's the main reason logical hypertrophy training still uses progressive overload as a guide that hypertrophy has possibly occurred.

    Finally, whether this is actually relevant or not.
    I ****ing hate adding sets weekly, especially several sets a week. You're starting to low and wasting time, and then adding loads of fatigue that you never give yourself time to adjust too, burn out. Deload to much and start to low again?.
    A lot of Dr israetel fans do this and suffer because of it Id say, personally I don't think you sjpild volume ramp at all, but if you are then keep it to 1 set a week.


    I'll also add, some training blocks are as much learning what not to do as what works.
    My last dev block of bench did almost nothing for it, high volume low rpe seemed to not be the way to go, at least at the moment.
    By contrast I added weight to my squat damn near every week and continue to do so this week, but my squat was easy to pin down.
    Heavy moderate intensity comp and hard direct assistance and quad and glute hypertrophy to supplement.
    If I'd only done 10s and no direct assistance my squat would suck (ever more so)
    There’s nothing wrong with adding sets and having a week or 2 with lower sets isn’t wasting time if you’re working in the proper RIR/RPE.

    Also the whole notion of “too low” of sets isn’t super accurate I’d say. If someone has an MEV of 13-16 sets for a body part and what’s where you start and then ramp up to like 17-19 I don’t see an issue with that.

    Sometimes adding reps or load can be tough, but adding an extra set can be done.

    I train this way so take my words with a caveat of course.

    I personally have always responded well to accumulation/overreaching and then backing off.

    Even back when I trained strictly for strength I saw the best benefits from it and for hypertrophy too.

    In the end the ramping of sets isn’t that different from other methods provided someone isn’t an idiot.
    the latest and greatest in training...or whatever.

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    Animal I still think you have zero clue how to program and even less of a clue about your actual RIR/RPE on your lifts.

    So definitely hop on any of the suggestions people are giving.
    the latest and greatest in training...or whatever.

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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Have a look at the proper GZLP, ranges to work in and solid variation and progression.
    Are you saying GZLP is essentially the routine he was suggesting?
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    Are you saying GZLP is essentially the routine he was suggesting?
    It's similar enough you'll probably like it as well, and it gives you lots to work with and roll with for a while
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    There’s nothing wrong with adding sets and having a week or 2 with lower sets isn’t wasting time if you’re working in the proper RIR/RPE.

    Also the whole notion of “too low” of sets isn’t super accurate I’d say. If someone has an MEV of 13-16 sets for a body part and what’s where you start and then ramp up to like 17-19 I don’t see an issue with that.

    Sometimes adding reps or load can be tough, but adding an extra set can be done.

    I train this way so take my words with a caveat of course.

    I personally have always responded well to accumulation/overreaching and then backing off.

    Even back when I trained strictly for strength I saw the best benefits from it and for hypertrophy too.

    In the end the ramping of sets isn’t that different from other methods provided someone isn’t an idiot.
    The debate rages on, I won't do it the justice others have so I'll just refer anyone to the Helms Israetel debates on this..
    I'm very much with Helms and your with Israetel on it, and that's okay, we have both found what works for us, for the msot part and thats the main battle.
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    Try drinking some of Vince Gironda's Hormone Precursor shake. It's in the Nutrition forum.
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    Animal I still think you have zero clue how to program and even less of a clue about your actual RIR/RPE on your lifts.

    So definitely hop on any of the suggestions people are giving.
    Yeah I'm definitely going to just get on a proven routine after these rest days. I need something a lot more arbitrary.
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    Honestly, maybe DDP has something to do with 12 straight weeks of stalling. Even though it's very autoregulated, the exertion levels stay the same regardless of whether you're fatigued or not. Even without going to failure, every single set is still pretty damn hard. Because I've tried different weekly volumes (nothing above 12) and that didn't seem to fix the problem. I went down to 8 sets from 12 and my performance has decreased last week which is very strange as a decrease in volume should improve recovery...so I had to strip some weight this week and take it easy.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    I like that set up actually. I could use a change anyways and go back to lower reps for compounds and back to barbell movements. Is there supposed to be a rep range of say 5-7 or you just stick with sets across?

    I'm thinking that dynamic double progression has been making me constantly overreach which has been causing the non-stop stalling whereas with sets across, you're essentially sandbagging until the last couple sets or so.
    I'm a big believer in pushing through and if you're feeling fatigued take an extra day off rather than lowering intensity. You're not at the stage where you need to complicate stuff. You need to just grit your teeth and grind your numbers up. Expect it to be hard every time you train with the aim of lifting more. It doesn't matter what progression you use as long as you're progressing but save the rir for when you're more advanced. It's just a recipe for going through the motions
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