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  1. #31
    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    So, OP has two workout journals (Eric Helms inspired 5-day FB) - science, science, full body, the science. He has also done Fierce 5, quite respected here.
    People here said his workouts are quite good - actually, quite many known users

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=179849563

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=179834313

    Also, OP received 3 advices from 3 different people:
    - stop using RPE, grind his teeth and work harder, push himself
    - seek advice from other sources (replace Helms and Fierce5 with Mike Israetel and Greg Nuckols) and not grinding to failure
    - do Starting Strength

    So, OP... what will you choose?


    OP, your photo progress is decent, in my opinion, given the fact that you started quite poorly in this department (skinny fat, barely benching the bar, injuries), so congratulations, keep going.
    At least you look more f******* than Rippetoe and Nuckols (for women, not for me), even if your bench sucks... and the other lifts too.

    By the way, do you workout at home or in a gym? If a gym, have you seen anything weird there/ Something like "guys that know **** about lifting/rpe bench at least twice as much as me"?
    When you cannot do one more rep, what stops you? Breathing, your joints hurt or the actual muscles you are trying to grow are failing to do one more rep?

    Also this - genetics, busy family guy, injuries, 5 times full body a la Helms - it adds up

    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    I typically train from 5:30 to 6:15am, if I'm lucky both of my daughters are still asleep then, if not, I am changing nappies and making their breakfasts in between sets. After work I am just too damn tired to train.
    Last edited by jaxqen; 09-08-2021 at 03:59 AM.
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  2. #32
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    So, OP has two workout journals (Eric Helms inspired 5-day FB) - science, science, full body, the science. He has also done Fierce 5, quite respected here.
    People here said his workouts are quite good - actually, quite many known users

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=179849563

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=179834313

    Also, OP received 3 advices from 3 different people:
    - stop using RPE, grind his teeth and work harder, push himself
    - seek advice from other sources (replace Helms and Fierce5 with Mike Israetel and Greg Nuckols) and not grinding to failure
    - do Starting Strength

    So, OP... what will you choose?


    OP, your photo progress is decent, in my opinion, given the fact that you started quite poorly in this department (skinny fat, barely benching the bar, injuries), so congratulations, keep going.
    At least you look more f******* than Rippetoe and Nuckols (for women, not for me), even if your bench sucks... and the other lifts too.

    By the way, do you workout at home or in a gym? If a gym, have you seen anything weird there/ Something like "guys that know **** about lifting/rpe bench at least twice as much as me"?
    When you cannot do one more rep, what stops you? Breathing, your joints hurt or the actual muscles you are trying to grow are failing to do one more rep?

    Also this - genetics, busy family guy, injuries, 5 times full body a la Helms - it adds up
    GREAT post man, thank you!

    Which will I choose?
    - Well I won't be doing Starting Strength - doing a beginner program with half the volume I'm currently doing when I've already maxed outed my noob gains makes no sense to me.
    - Using RPE or RIR is a useful metric, but certainly not essential - it doesn't direct my training. Grinding to failure is something I already do on occasion for isolation exercises (and sometimes on bench and chins) but it's not worth the injury risk for squats and deadlifts.
    - I'm already a big fan of Mike Israetel and Greg Nuckols. I've listened to all the SBS podcasts and most of the RP stuff on YouTube as well as the Hypertrophy book. Still a big fan of Eric Helms though - I'll be sticking with his full body style of training, but plan on incorporating some of the RP ideas.

    I train in my home gym. I have a squat rack with a chin up bar, barbell, flat bench and plates, spin-lock dumbbells and bands that I only use for leg curls. I know there are millions of guys out there who are much stronger than me and have never heard of RPE - it's not something that causes me to lose sleep, I'm not competing with anyone and just want to be the best I can be.

    What stops me from doing one more rep?
    Breathing - only a factor when doing higher rep squats when I can get light headed, but I try not to let it be a limiting factor.
    Joints hurt - rarely a problem, except with some isolation exercises, but I see that as a reason to work on my form or change exercises or loading.
    I generally don't give too much thought to mind muscle connection. For compound exercises, I will usually lift until I get a really slow rep with good form, where I question my ability to do another rep with good enough form. Sometimes, for certain lifts, I will try for another, but generally my judgement is good and I will either fail to complete the rep or have to use shonky form.
    Last edited by RapidFail; 09-08-2021 at 06:33 AM.
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  3. #33
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Camarija View Post
    Solid approach to your training!

    I'm a fan of block reviews too. Good to see what works, what doesn't work, and look into any changes to improve.

    If you could make changes going forward, is there anything that comes to mind? Either programming or nutrition-wise?

    You're at a stage where you're going to have to fight for improvement and gains so any changes that could give you an edge is worth trying out for a couple mesocycles.

    Cheers RapidSuccess!
    Thanks mate - I just noticed that I never addressed your post.

    Nutrition wise I'm not sure what I could do differently. I could try eating five daily meals instead of four, but I don't think that would make a noticeable difference. I'm currently using a higher carb, lower (but still at least 0.4g per lb) fat approach. I would definitely enjoy my diet more with a bit more fats.

    Training-wise, I'm planning on continuing with my full body programming, but want to try ramping the volume. I've noticed that I'm always very sore from training in the week after a deload, so I think starting lower and ramping up higher makes sense. Finding the time for longer sessions will be a challenge, though.
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  4. #34
    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by safcpaul View Post
    Mate I'm not trying to be funny but you need to put more effort in. You're at a stage with your lifts where you should be fighting every single session to put weight on the bar or add reps. Youve made the mistake of using rpe as a beginner and you're failing to push yourself to the maximum. You should be doing a simple 3x5 or 5x5 based around compound movements and gritting your teeth and working hard every session trying to beat the last workout. You should then be following the workouts up with plenty food to recover from the intense sessions. I myself havent got the best genetics for lifting. (Skinny wrists and ankles at 6 foot 2) but I push myself to the maximum. In 11 months I've went from similar starting weights to 188b bench 5x5, 260lb squat 3x5, pull ups + 40lbs 5x5. Next year I'll be well over 300lb squat for reps and over 225lb bench for reps. You should be alot further along
    IMO, this.

    Second of all, great job on your progress so far. You've got good definition and that's more than a lot of strong people can say.

    However, I agree and think you're not pushing yourself hard enough. Even though you've been training for a while, I don't think RPE is an especially applicable concept beneath an intermediate strength level. As TolerantLactose referred to, the nervous system has lots of internal inhibitors (and apparently the experience of a muscle cramp is the temporary failure of this system, resulting in a maximal firing of only a small portion of the tissue, evidence of what you're physically capable of but not able to voluntarily summon without deliberately removing these inhibitions by training). Much of the beginner and novice level seems to be removing these via the building of motor skill, whereas the recovery demanded by intermediate/advanced training and regulated by RPE is more of tissue damage which will be the underwhelming factor between the two until that strength level is achieved.

    What I would do honestly, is forgot minute counting of things and add some meat to your diet and also just aim to put weight on the bar each time with your big lifts. It's not heavy enough yet for the minor details to be that important IMO.

    Also, I'd recommend putting the premium on weight and reduce the volume as you're on your way up to higher numbers. 3 x 5s and 5 x 5s are great and I wouldn't shun them.
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  5. #35
    Registered User mdonnelly80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    1. I did Fierce 5 (which is really a more balanced version of SS) for six months in 2019 when I began lifting. I made rapid improvements in the first three months, them started stalling. I made the mistake of grinding and compromising form in the name of adding weight to the bar which got me injured. A novice program won't work for me now because my noob gains are long behind me.

    2. 200-300 calorie surplus, 0.8-1g per lb of protein, 0.4-0.5g per lb of fat and the rest carbs is my usual diet. I eat at least 80% whole foods and usually eat four meals per day, each with at least 30g protein. 2-3 beers per day on Fri, Sat, Sun, very rarely more. I think my nutrition is pretty good.
    You aren't close to pushing intermediate numbers. You should be on an a novice program. Your "noob gains" aren't behind you; you need to be patient with the programs.
    "The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds." -Henry Rollins
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  6. #36
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    Originally Posted by mdonnelly80 View Post
    You aren't close to pushing intermediate numbers. You should be on an a novice program. Your "noob gains" aren't behind you; you need to be patient with the programs.
    I think this might be an exception. Numbers can be deceiving. In this case I think a novice program will only grind him into the dust. Id probably suggest something like this https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/the-...rkout-routine/. I will say that this is a tough one to solve online lol
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  7. #37
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mdonnelly80 View Post
    You aren't close to pushing intermediate numbers. You should be on an a novice program. Your "noob gains" aren't behind you; you need to be patient with the programs.
    Perhaps they are intermediate numbers for me? I'm not trying to argue that I am pushing intermediate numbers by traditional strength standards - obviously that isn't the case. TBH I don't think strength standards are particularly useful for anyone with poor (or good) genetics for strength - Greg Nuckols admits he was still a beginner (able to progress linearly) when he was squatting and deadlifting 500lb. My younger brother followed a beginner program for a year and didn't progress past a 110lb squat for 5 reps.

    Six months of diligently following Fierce 5 and six months of Eric Helms UL isn't patient? To be honest I could have stuck with the Helms 4-day U/L bodybuilding program (with intermediate progression) for a lot longer, I only switched to Outlift for motivation reasons. I can promise that I milked Fierce 5 for everything it could give me, but ultimately I couldn't keep up with the progression after 3-4 months and trying to force it when I was still learning proper form got me injured.
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  8. #38
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    IMO, this.

    Second of all, great job on your progress so far. You've got good definition and that's more than a lot of strong people can say.

    However, I agree and think you're not pushing yourself hard enough. Even though you've been training for a while, I don't think RPE is an especially applicable concept beneath an intermediate strength level. As TolerantLactose referred to, the nervous system has lots of internal inhibitors (and apparently the experience of a muscle cramp is the temporary failure of this system, resulting in a maximal firing of only a small portion of the tissue, evidence of what you're physically capable of but not able to voluntarily summon without deliberately removing these inhibitions by training). Much of the beginner and novice level seems to be removing these via the building of motor skill, whereas the recovery demanded by intermediate/advanced training and regulated by RPE is more of tissue damage which will be the underwhelming factor between the two until that strength level is achieved.

    What I would do honestly, is forgot minute counting of things and add some meat to your diet and also just aim to put weight on the bar each time with your big lifts. It's not heavy enough yet for the minor details to be that important IMO.

    Also, I'd recommend putting the premium on weight and reduce the volume as you're on your way up to higher numbers. 3 x 5s and 5 x 5s are great and I wouldn't shun them.
    I think it's worth clarifying my use of RPE for anyone who think it might be holding me back (it isn't). I used RPE (as well as my performance at the end of the last program I finished) to determine my starting weights for compound lifts for the program I used for the last six months. For example, I wanted to start benching using 60kg (132lb) for 5 reps, but on the first set, I recognised that I only had one good rep left in me and that trying to push that weight for four sets was not going to work. So I backed the weight off to 57.5kg (127lb), which was an appropriate starting weight. After that, I never lifted with a target RPE in mind - always just tried my best to lift the weight for the target reps with good form - I noted the RPE after completing each set, which helped me compare my performance from meso to meso (keeping in mind other factors such as fatigue and injury). Ultimately, trying to add weight to the bar as often as possible is exactly what I did - RPE was just a bit of extra data.

    Believe me - if I could simply add 5lb to the bar every week, I would! Oh, and I already eat plenty of meat
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  9. #39
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    You, like the other guys not happy with strength, might consider the simplest immediate feedback training known to mankind.

    Double progression.

    1- choose a rep range.
    2- push every set as far as you can take it with good form
    3- when you hit the upper guide number with good form, you graduate.
    4- never reduce weight, only add. Reps can be 3-8 for fast strength gains or if you want to really be patient and make slower progress, wait until you can do 10 or even 12.
    5- when you “stall”…eat a couple of baconators and try again in a few days.
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  10. #40
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    You, like the other guys not happy with strength, might consider the simplest immediate feedback training known to mankind.

    Double progression.

    1- choose a rep range.
    2- push every set as far as you can take it with good form
    3- when you hit the upper guide number with good form, you graduate.
    4- never reduce weight, only add. Reps can be 3-8 for fast strength gains or if you want to really be patient and make slower progress, wait until you can do 10 or even 12.
    5- when you “stall”…eat a couple of baconators and try again in a few days.
    I like double progression - it's the form of progression I've used for my isolation exercises for most of my lifting 'career'. I've been using wave loading for compounds, which has worked well mostly. The program I used for all of 2020 used a final set AMRAP to determine weights, which I don't think was ideal, because I tend to accrue a lot of fatigue set-to-set even with 3 minutes rest between sets.
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  11. #41
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    With double progression the rest doesn’t need to be that long, your first set is your feedback set…its really a test of your gains. Subsequent sets are
    Just volume .
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  12. #42
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post

    a) Still a big fan of Eric Helms though - I'll be sticking with his full body style of training, but plan on incorporating some of the RP ideas.


    b) I know there are millions of guys out there who are much stronger than me and have never heard of RPE - it's not something that causes me to lose sleep, I'm not competing with anyone and just want to be the best I can be.

    c) For compound exercises, I will usually lift until I get a really slow rep with good form, where I question my ability to do another rep with good enough form. Sometimes, for certain lifts, I will try for another, but generally my judgement is good and I will either fail to complete the rep or have to use shonky form.
    a) Not an advice, not an expert, do what you want, but TAWS6's workout recommendation sounds better, imo.

    b) I didn't said it in a condescending way. Some people have better genetics than others. No knowledge about lifting, no RPE, no "what is my 1RM and let's do some percentages now", benching once a week = they will be able to bench 2 plates much faster than someone who still struggles with 1 plate.
    Some people suck at long distance running, they will never run a marathon, even with the best coaches and resources. Some at running fast. Some at different 'intellectual' tasks. I don't why some believe everybody should be lifting at least X amount after X months/years. And like you said, you're not competiting with anyone so just keep doing it. There is a clear progress in your photos, this is what matters.

    c) Now and then you'll have to push harder. What EliKoehn said!


    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Subsequent sets are
    Just volume .
    Quite important for hypertrophy, though.
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  13. #43
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    a) Not an advice, not an expert, do what you want, but TAWS6's workout recommendation sounds better, imo.

    b) I didn't said it in a condescending way. Some people have better genetics than others. No knowledge about lifting, no RPE, no "what is my 1RM and let's do some percentages now", benching once a week = they will be able to bench 2 plates much faster than someone who still struggles with 1 plate.
    Some people suck at long distance running, they will never run a marathon, even with the best coaches and resources. Some at running fast. Some at different 'intellectual' tasks. I don't why some believe everybody should be lifting at least X amount after X months/years. And like you said, you're not competiting with anyone so just keep doing it. There is a clear progress in your photos, this is what matters.

    c) Now and then you'll have to push harder. What EliKoehn said!




    Quite important for hypertrophy, though.

    Yes, for sure. The rest variable can be taken off the table for progression as it relates to strength while manipulation of it instead now used to create metabolic stress for hypertrophic response.
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  14. #44
    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    a) Not an advice, not an expert, do what you want, but TAWS6's workout recommendation sounds better, imo.

    b) I didn't said it in a condescending way. Some people have better genetics than others. No knowledge about lifting, no RPE, no "what is my 1RM and let's do some percentages now", benching once a week = they will be able to bench 2 plates much faster than someone who still struggles with 1 plate.
    Some people suck at long distance running, they will never run a marathon, even with the best coaches and resources. Some at running fast. Some at different 'intellectual' tasks. I don't why some believe everybody should be lifting at least X amount after X months/years. And like you said, you're not competiting with anyone so just keep doing it. There is a clear progress in your photos, this is what matters.

    c) Now and then you'll have to push harder. What EliKoehn said!




    Quite important for hypertrophy, though.
    a) It looks like a good program to me too. I've done an UL before but am finding 4 or 5 day full body to be more enjoyable because there isn't a leg or lower day that I dread.

    b) I didn't think you were being condescending, sorry if it came across that way. I know what you mean - I'm a decent runner and once entered a 12km race with a friend who is built more for strength. He trained twice a week, building up to the race distance over about three months. I did ZERO training and beat him by over a minute.

    c) Of course. Believe me, I want to progress and add weight to the bar as often as possible - I'm just not capable of a fast rate of progress at this stage, even while bulking. If I can add 5lb to a compound lift in a 5 week meso, I consider it a big win.
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    Perhaps they are intermediate numbers for me? I'm not trying to argue that I am pushing intermediate numbers by traditional strength standards - obviously that isn't the case. TBH I don't think strength standards are particularly useful for anyone with poor (or good) genetics for strength - Greg Nuckols admits he was still a beginner (able to progress linearly) when he was squatting and deadlifting 500lb. My younger brother followed a beginner program for a year and didn't progress past a 110lb squat for 5 reps.

    Six months of diligently following Fierce 5 and six months of Eric Helms UL isn't patient? To be honest I could have stuck with the Helms 4-day U/L bodybuilding program (with intermediate progression) for a lot longer, I only switched to Outlift for motivation reasons. I can promise that I milked Fierce 5 for everything it could give me, but ultimately I couldn't keep up with the progression after 3-4 months and trying to force it when I was still learning proper form got me injured.
    By "patient", I mean don't hesitate to drop weight off of the bar when you find yourself struggling to get five reps for each set. That is one of the major keys to the linear progression in novice programs. Take a step back when you're having to grind through sets; one step back, two steps forward. Rippetoe recommends dropping the weight when you can't hit five reps for each set. For me, that's too late. If I'm hitting my five reps for every set but it's at an RPE of 10, I'm not adding more weight. I'm staying where I'm at or dropping down a bit.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    a) It looks like a good program to me too. I've done an UL before but am finding 4 or 5 day full body to be more enjoyable because there isn't a leg or lower day that I dread.

    b) I didn't think you were being condescending, sorry if it came across that way. I know what you mean - I'm a decent runner and once entered a 12km race with a friend who is built more for strength. He trained twice a week, building up to the race distance over about three months. I did ZERO training and beat him by over a minute.

    c) Of course. Believe me, I want to progress and add weight to the bar as often as possible - I'm just not capable of a fast rate of progress at this stage, even while bulking. If I can add 5lb to a compound lift in a 5 week meso, I consider it a big win.
    Try ramping. That is what worked for me and I know many others that had success with it

    The approach primes your CNS without wasting energy. Each set of 3 is progressively heavier until you get to what your normal 3-5 RM is. You'll have gas left in the tank. One more set with an extra 10 lbs then drop down and perform a working set of 6-8. Average overall sets will be about 5-6 with everything. No warmup. The first set is the warmup

    bench example:

    135x3-5
    185x3
    225x3
    315x3
    325x3
    225x 6-8

    your weight and approach may vary.

    Done
    Last edited by Tommy W.; 09-09-2021 at 07:33 AM.
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    I think it's worth clarifying my use of RPE for anyone who think it might be holding me back (it isn't). I used RPE (as well as my performance at the end of the last program I finished) to determine my starting weights for compound lifts for the program I used for the last six months. For example, I wanted to start benching using 60kg (132lb) for 5 reps, but on the first set, I recognised that I only had one good rep left in me and that trying to push that weight for four sets was not going to work. So I backed the weight off to 57.5kg (127lb), which was an appropriate starting weight. After that, I never lifted with a target RPE in mind - always just tried my best to lift the weight for the target reps with good form - I noted the RPE after completing each set, which helped me compare my performance from meso to meso (keeping in mind other factors such as fatigue and injury). Ultimately, trying to add weight to the bar as often as possible is exactly what I did - RPE was just a bit of extra data.

    Believe me - if I could simply add 5lb to the bar every week, I would! Oh, and I already eat plenty of meat
    Gotcha.

    By the way, you might come upon a random, seemingly unaccounted for burst of strength gains. I won't pretend to know how it works, but I don't think anyone who is able-bodied and isn't too far along the downhill side of aging would remain stuck forever, provided that all the basics are accounted for.

    No intention of being condescending towards your approach, either. I was stuck at one plate on the bench for an embarrassingly long time, and that was even past my teens. Always wished I was like those guys that just seem to put up impressive numbers almost immediately after starting.

    So, I'm not saying that you aren't trying, but rather that trying harder seems to be the only obvious goalpost for the time being, unless you're willing to eat even more and risk significant weight gain to get over the hurdle, which I'm 90% sure the combination would yield.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Try ramping. That is what worked for me and I know many others that had success with it

    The approach primes your CNS without wasting energy. Each set of 3 is progressively heavier until you get to what your normal 3-5 RM is. You'll have gas left in the tank. One more set with an extra 10 lbs then drop down and perform a working set of 6-8. Average overall sets will be about 5-6 with everything. No warmup. The first set is the warmup

    bench example:

    135x3-5
    185x3
    225x3
    315x3
    325x3
    225x 6-8

    your weight and approach may vary.

    Done
    Ramps with higher rep back off are life.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    Ramps with higher rep back off are life.
    I was just bummed it took so long for me to discover it. Not only does your 1-5 RM go up but your working sets also
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    Originally Posted by mdonnelly80 View Post
    By "patient", I mean don't hesitate to drop weight off of the bar when you find yourself struggling to get five reps for each set. That is one of the major keys to the linear progression in novice programs. Take a step back when you're having to grind through sets; one step back, two steps forward. Rippetoe recommends dropping the weight when you can't hit five reps for each set. For me, that's too late. If I'm hitting my five reps for every set but it's at an RPE of 10, I'm not adding more weight. I'm staying where I'm at or dropping down a bit.
    Of course - that sort of thing is written into good beginner programs and is exactly what I did. I was able to progress linearly for nearly 3 months on Fierce 5. After that I was fighting for every weight addition and I often failed to get the target reps two workouts straight, reduced the load by 15% and built back up. Looking back now, I know that my form for the squat wasn't good enough and I should have been working with lighter weight and focusing on good form.
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    RF - I understand where you're coming from. I read through all of the thread yesterday and kept on thinking about it. Like you, my linear progress also stopped at relatively very low weights, at least compared to what people state they lift online.

    What I don't entirely understand is how should one measure the quality of progress? The OP increased in size of all his body measurements. True his waist also increased, but I mean I've never managed to increase calories and not gain size on my waist. I think sometimes people forget the extent of influence genetics has on lifting (to be honest, on every aspect in life and not just lifting).

    If you track your calories, follow a 'good' program and try to lift close to failure on all sets, and try to get enough sleep, you have to be happy with what you get.

    Lately, I've listened to a recent podcast and read the article by Data Driven Strength (https://www.data-drivenstrength.com/...r-rir-accuracy) and it's helped me realise I may have been lifting further than failure than I initially thought. I've now been trying to eek out more reps, as long as the rep quality is good. Maybe this article can help you as it helped me.
    Last edited by xuerebx; 09-10-2021 at 02:21 AM.
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    Originally Posted by xuerebx View Post
    RF - I understand where you're coming from. I read through all of the thread yesterday and kept on thinking about it. Like you, my linear progress also stopped at relatively very low weights, at least compared to what people state they lift online.

    What I don't entirely understand is how should one measure the quality of progress? The OP increased in size of all his body measurements. True his waist also increased, but I mean I've never managed to increase calories and not gain size on my waist. I think sometimes people forget the extent of influence genetics has on lifting (to be honest, on every aspect in life and not just lifting).

    If you track your calories, follow a 'good' program and try to lift close to failure on all sets, and try to get enough sleep, you have to be happy with what you get.

    Lately, I've listened to a recent podcast and read the article by Data Driven Strength (https://www.data-drivenstrength.com/...r-rir-accuracy) and it's helped me realise I may have been lifting further than failure than I initially thought. I've now been trying to eek out more reps, as long as the rep quality is good. Maybe this article can help you as it helped me.
    Thanks man, good post and I like the article too. My lifting environment is mostly very consistent - I work out in silence in my home gym. Everyone else in my house is asleep when I lift, so I can't make much noise. I sometimes have a podcast on low volume for my warm ups and between sets but I always turn it off during sets so I can focus. I think my judgement of RPE/RIR is pretty accurate, though it's definitely less accurate the further I get from failure.
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    Originally Posted by RapidFail View Post
    Thanks man, good post and I like the article too. My lifting environment is mostly very consistent - I work out in silence in my home gym. Everyone else in my house is asleep when I lift, so I can't make much noise. I sometimes have a podcast on low volume for my warm ups and between sets but I always turn it off during sets so I can focus. I think my judgement of RPE/RIR is pretty accurate, though it's definitely less accurate the further I get from failure.
    that's all well and good and sounds good but if you aren’t progressing then you’re spinning your wheels on all of this
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    that's all well and good and sounds good but if you aren’t progressing then you’re spinning your wheels on all of this
    I am progressing - just very slowly, as has been the case for the last 2+ years. At the moment I just need to recover from my hamstring/glute injury so I can start deadlifting again. In the meantime, I'm eating at maintenance and plan to increase my upper body training volume. I'll want to cut for (southern hemisphere) summer in a month or so. I generally do well on cuts - I tend to maintain my strength, get higher reps for chin/pull ups and drop waist size quickly while on a 750 calorie deficit, refeeding on weekends.
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    I have not read through the thread but if you have been training well for a long time and eating sensibly without making much progress consider getting your testosterone levels (total and free) checked.
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    I have not read through the thread but if you have been training well for a long time and eating sensibly without making much progress consider getting your testosterone levels (total and free) checked.
    Something I have considered but not done anything about to date. I don't think I have any other symptoms of low T.
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    Genetics does play an important role, but IMO one should only blame genetics when everything else has been tried.

    OP if you are confident in your intensity, try dramatically upping your volume (e.g. doubling the number of hard sets). Stay away from failure to be able to sustain that volume. If it’s too much then slowly lower until you find a volume you can sustain which is still higher than what you used in the past.

    Also experiment with higher rep ranges (have you done that?), experiment with reverse pyramid training, etc. Try different things and see if you can progress faster on those approaches.

    If that doesn’t work, high intensity doesn’t work, nothing else works, then you can blame genetics.

    Also as Tommy said get away from the mindset of putting on 1-2 pounds a month, just eat in a large enough surplus to progress and minimize the size you gain on your waist. Too much waist gain and you’ll spend too large a portion of your time cutting. You want to maximize the time spent in a surplus.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Genetics does play an important role, but IMO one should only blame genetics when everything else has been tried.

    OP if you are confident in your intensity, try dramatically upping your volume (e.g. doubling the number of hard sets). Stay away from failure to be able to sustain that volume. If it’s too much then slowly lower until you find a volume you can sustain which is still higher than what you used in the past.

    Also experiment with higher rep ranges (have you done that?), experiment with reverse pyramid training, etc. Try different things and see if you can progress faster on those approaches.

    If that doesn’t work, high intensity doesn’t work, nothing else works, then you can blame genetics.

    Also as Tommy said get away from the mindset of putting on 1-2 pounds a month, just eat in a large enough surplus to progress and minimize the size you gain on your waist. Too much waist gain and you’ll spend too large a portion of your time cutting. You want to maximize the time spent in a surplus.
    Increasing my upper body volume is definitely on my to-do list. Now that softball season is over, I should have more time and recuperative ability. I would be able to train my lower body better at a commercial gym (I find it hard to isolate my quads and not overtrain glutes and hams) but TBH I'm pretty happy with the size of my lower body, despite my low lifts. I'd definitely like to be stronger, though.

    With regards to the surplus, I find anything under a surplus of 200 calories a day runs into tracking problems, considering the variability in TDEE and the impossibility of being 100% accurate with calorie counting. I do want to bulk for as long as possible, but any slower and I'll run the risk of not gaining any weight at all. I find cutting much simpler and easier to track. In my last cut (Feb-March) I dropped 9lb and 2.5 inches from my waist while maintaining my lifts.
    Last edited by RapidFail; 09-11-2021 at 10:50 PM.
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