Reply
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Registered User flythrough54's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2022
    Age: 52
    Posts: 4
    Rep Power: 0
    flythrough54 is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    flythrough54 is offline

    5 years of lifting - why am I so weak?

    I'm 27m 83kg 18%bf, and I've been lifting since I was 22 and I've always trained for aesthetics/hypertrophy by running a PPL.

    My lifts are pretty garbage and I want to get out of this rut but I'm not sure of the best way to do it. These are my current lifts:

    • Squat 90kg
    • Bench 65kg
    • Deadlift 100kg
    • OHP 30kg

    These are all for 4x12 (I avoid attempting 1RM because I suffered a wrist injury after testing my bench, and I generally feel exhausted after 1RM testing and can't finish a workout).

    My main concern is: why are my lifts so bad? I'm often ridiculed on fitness forums because my lifts don't reflect my training age at all - but I always give 100%, focus on form, train to failure with strict 60sec rests and train 6x per week (usually 1h per session).

    I've even gone to get my hormone levels checked because other lifters online were convinced something was wrong with me, but it turns out they are all fine and in fact my levels are in the high range of normal.
    Admittedly my first couple of bulk/cut cycles weren't perfect because I didn't totally understand what I was doing at the time, but my nutrition has been on point lately and I'm very meticulous when counting calories nowadays.

    Should I switch up my routine? I feel like I've plateaued at these weights and maybe running a new program will help. Perhaps strength training instead of hypertrophy as it seems to be where my weakness lies?
    Reply With Quote

  2. #2
    Registered User HomeGymChains's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2018
    Age: 63
    Posts: 827
    Rep Power: 8607
    HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000) HomeGymChains is a name known to all. (+5000)
    HomeGymChains is offline

    Thumbs up

    If you are training for aesthetics and hypertrophy and avoiding injury, then don’t let the rabble pull you into their powerlifting arena. If you are still progressing on your priorities, the numbers on the weights don’t matter.

    I hope you get some solid technical coaching-type advice though. Best wishes!
    At age 63, I've exceeded all my prior PRs. Not “over the hill” yet. :)

    My workout journal is here:
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=176385621
    Reply With Quote

  3. #3
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2013
    Location: Stanwood, Washington, United States
    Posts: 5,040
    Rep Power: 40373
    xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    xsquid99 is online now
    Training with high reps doesn't mean you're "training for hypertrophy/aesthetics". For the life of me I can't figure out why people still think that only high reps = hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is just muscle growth along with an increase in the size of muscle cells, which is also achieved with high intensity (more weight) using lower reps.

    The bad thing about training in higher rep ranges is that often times you can tire yourself out cardio-wise before you ever put a high enough load/stress on the muscle to achieve growth. That's not to say that high-rep training doesn't have a purpose, but you need to incorporate training with more weight as well. That's not to say you need to constantly test your 1RM, but training in the 4-6 rep range on the major compound movements is highly beneficial to stimulate muscle growth.

    Also, if you are training to failure as you claim to failure on such high rep schemes, how can you possibly finish all your sets/reps if you're only resting for a "strict 60 seconds"? Also, if you are only doing workouts with strict 60 second rest periods then how are your workouts lasting an hour? If a set of 12 reps takes roughly 30-40 seconds, and you're only resting for 1 minute between sets, you could easily have a 20-set workout done in just over a half hour. How can you possibly recover from such high rep schemes in just 60 seconds? I would be completely gassed doing high-reps like that with only 60 seconds rest, that's more of a cardio workout than a strength training workout to me - which is a strong indicator of why you're not seeing the strength gains that you're wanting.

    So here's a few things to look at.

    1. More high-intensity lower rep schemes/reduce overall volume in favor of higher intensity
    2. Are you really training to muscular fatigue failure or are you training to cardiovascular fatigue failure? (huge difference here)
    3. Are you resting long enough for both cardiovascular and muscular recovery to maximize your potential on each set?
    4. Programming, if you really like PPL consider looking at your overall programming: This is a good one that I ran for over a year: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...9807833&page=1
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
    Reply With Quote

  4. #4
    Registered User flythrough54's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2022
    Age: 52
    Posts: 4
    Rep Power: 0
    flythrough54 is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    flythrough54 is offline
    Thank you both for the input and advice, that really helps and gives me a lot to think about - I really appreciate it.

    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    The bad thing about training in higher rep ranges is that often times you can tire yourself out cardio-wise before you ever put a high enough load/stress on the muscle to achieve growth. That's not to say that high-rep training doesn't have a purpose, but you need to incorporate training with more weight as well. That's not to say you need to constantly test your 1RM, but training in the 4-6 rep range on the major compound movements is highly beneficial to stimulate muscle growth.
    Thanks for this - I never struggle from a CV standpoint when lifting 12 reps but after reading this I do think I will incorporate more 4-6 rep range training on my compound movements in future and hopefully build up some strength. I'm currently on a 500cal deficit so I'm not sure if I should start heavy weight/low reps now or possibly wait a couple of months for my next bulk.

    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Also, if you are training to failure as you claim to failure on such high rep schemes, how can you possibly finish all your sets/reps if you're only resting for a "strict 60 seconds"? Also, if you are only doing workouts with strict 60 second rest periods then how are your workouts lasting an hour? If a set of 12 reps takes roughly 30-40 seconds, and you're only resting for 1 minute between sets, you could easily have a 20-set workout done in just over a half hour. How can you possibly recover from such high rep schemes in just 60 seconds? I would be completely gassed doing high-reps like that with only 60 seconds rest, that's more of a cardio workout than a strength training workout to me - which is a strong indicator of why you're not seeing the strength gains that you're wanting.
    I can understand that, but like I said, I put a big focus on form - my reps are usually pause reps, identical and very controlled. It takes me around 60 seconds to complete 12 reps and I usually fail during the last few reps of my last set. I do 30~set workouts so each session usually takes around 60min.

    As I mentioned above, I don't really struggle cardiovascular-wise - I leave the gym muscularly fatigued but I wouldn't say I was considerably out of breath at any point during my workout. 60 second rests are all I've ever known.

    This is my usual pull day:

    Lateral Pulldown (Wide Grip) - 1x16
    40kg

    Lateral Pulldown (Wide Grip) - 4x12
    65kg

    Cable Row (Narrow Grip) - 4x12
    57.5kg

    Lateral Pulldown (Narrow Grip) - 4x12
    52.5kg

    Horse Back Extensions - 4x15
    15kg Plate

    Rear Delt Fly Machine - 3x15
    47.5kg

    Alternating Bicep Curls - 4x12
    14kg Dumbbells

    Skullcrushers - 3x15
    30kg

    Pull-ups - 3xAMRAP
    Reply With Quote

  5. #5
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2015
    Age: 56
    Posts: 3,572
    Rep Power: 12990
    coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) coachcalande is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    coachcalande is online now
    12 reps

    60sec rests


    That’s the obvious issue. Try resting 2-3 min between sets for strength gain.
    "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."

    Old Guy deadlifting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMrim-0Dks
    bench press https://youtu.be/GaRzfueJVJQ

    Every workout is GAME DAY!
    Reply With Quote

  6. #6
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2013
    Location: Stanwood, Washington, United States
    Posts: 5,040
    Rep Power: 40373
    xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) xsquid99 has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    xsquid99 is online now
    Originally Posted by flythrough54 View Post
    Thank you both for the input and advice, that really helps and gives me a lot to think about - I really appreciate it.

    Thanks for this - I never struggle from a CV standpoint when lifting 12 reps but after reading this I do think I will incorporate more 4-6 rep range training on my compound movements in future and hopefully build up some strength. I'm currently on a 500cal deficit so I'm not sure if I should start heavy weight/low reps now or possibly wait a couple of months for my next bulk.

    I can understand that, but like I said, I put a big focus on form - my reps are usually pause reps, identical and very controlled. It takes me around 60 seconds to complete 12 reps and I usually fail during the last few reps of my last set. I do 30~set workouts so each session usually takes around 60min.

    As I mentioned above, I don't really struggle cardiovascular-wise - I leave the gym muscularly fatigued but I wouldn't say I was considerably out of breath at any point during my workout. 60 second rests are all I've ever known.

    This is my usual pull day:

    Lateral Pulldown (Wide Grip) - 1x16
    40kg

    Lateral Pulldown (Wide Grip) - 4x12
    65kg

    Cable Row (Narrow Grip) - 4x12
    57.5kg

    Lateral Pulldown (Narrow Grip) - 4x12
    52.5kg

    Horse Back Extensions - 4x15
    15kg Plate

    Rear Delt Fly Machine - 3x15
    47.5kg

    Alternating Bicep Curls - 4x12
    14kg Dumbbells

    Skullcrushers - 3x15
    30kg

    Pull-ups - 3xAMRAP
    What I see here is a lot of what I would refer to as "junk volume", or wasted volume, which is any extra training done for a muscle group that has already been worked sufficiently to maximize muscle fatigue and stimulate growth. Sets done after this point have little to no additive effect to your gains and simply eat into your ability to recover.

    Then there is effective volume - the amount of training that maximally stimulates the muscle growth, or basically the the minimum amount of work required to maximize MPS.

    I would bet that you are having to lift much lighter than you normally would be capable of just to finish all that volume.

    You really don't need more than about 10-20 total sets for any given muscle group in a week. You should also check out Jeff Nippards YouTube video on junk volume, where he goes into a lot of detail on the subject.

    Looking at your above program you don't need two different lat pulls AND doing AMRAP pull ups on the same day, you could go with just 1 of those. I would also move skullcrushers to your push day, since they are a triceps exercise, so you would end up hitting triceps a day after you just fatigued them on your push day. Incorporating a low-rep high-intensity barbell row/pendlay row would allow you to throw out the seated cable row too.

    Just a few suggestions.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
    Reply With Quote

  7. #7
    Registered User flythrough54's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2022
    Age: 52
    Posts: 4
    Rep Power: 0
    flythrough54 is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    flythrough54 is offline
    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    12 reps
    60sec rests
    That’s the obvious issue. Try resting 2-3 min between sets for strength gain.
    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    I would bet that you are having to lift much lighter than you normally would be capable of just to finish all that volume.
    You guys are right, thank you for all the advice. I'm taking this all on board to improve my workout program which is clearly sub-optimal. Seriously, thank you - I really appreciate it.
    Reply With Quote

  8. #8
    N3rd Op3rator twovalvekid's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2013
    Location: Saratoga Springs, New York, United States
    Posts: 23,501
    Rep Power: 318343
    twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000) twovalvekid has a reputation beyond repute. Second best rank possible! (+100000)
    twovalvekid is offline
    Also, as said above, focus less on numbers and comparing yourself to other people. You dont know their journey, let alone anything else about them or how they got there. Look for gains anywhere you can.

    No one outside of the hardos gives a flying monkey fukk how much you actually lift. Do you look like you take care of yourself, have some definition, and actually go to the gym? That's what matters to 99.9% of the population.
    MFC
    Misc Cologne Crew | **BBC** | Aventus Friday Crew

    RIP YGST
    Reply With Quote

  9. #9
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2008
    Age: 41
    Posts: 2,012
    Rep Power: 15104
    MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000) MrCarrot is a splendid one to behold. (+10000)
    MrCarrot is offline
    I can relate to your issue because I'm kind of the same, been training for 3-4 years and I look a lot stronger than I really am. My lifts are stronger than yours, but I can point out dozens of people in the gym who can outlift me and don't even look like they train.

    1. If you are training for aesthetics/hypertrophy then who cares what the numbers are, as long as they are slowly going up.

    2. I rest 5 minutes between each set, sometimes longer. Perhaps not ideal, but my lifts would be way, way lower if I only rested 60 seconds between sets.

    3. Are you getting enough rest? Personally I'm not sure I could sustain 6 days a week long term, if I was going to failure in every session.
    Reply With Quote

  10. #10
    Registered User Holyfenix's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2014
    Location: California, United States
    Age: 32
    Posts: 5,594
    Rep Power: 44015
    Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000) Holyfenix has much to be proud of. One of the best! (+20000)
    Holyfenix is offline
    Off the top of my head
    Eat more protein
    Change up your routine to “strength building”
    Try lifting three times a week instead of 6. Do cardio the other days
    Try more accessory work
    Try a personal trainer

    I mean 5 years and while you don’t mention when you hit your current plateau but I’m guessing it was a while ago. Should be pretty obvious you need to make a change.

    A better routine should add significant weight to your lifts in a year. Your physique will look better too.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Holyfenix; 05-21-2022 at 08:53 PM.
    *Kate Beckinsale has gone too crazy to be 10/10 anymore*
    *In the market for new 10/10*
    Reply With Quote

  11. #11
    Registered User flythrough54's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2022
    Age: 52
    Posts: 4
    Rep Power: 0
    flythrough54 is on a distinguished road. (+10)
    flythrough54 is offline
    Thanks all for the solid advice.

    I did start out considerably underweight so, even though my lifts aren't great, I am pretty proud of where I am now, my physique etc.

    Some online communities are pretty brutal when it comes to lifting and I think I just got caught up in amongst some permabulking powerlifters.

    Nonetheless I'm taking all the advice all on board and definitely gonna switch things up, because I do want to get stronger and gain more size in the long term. Excited to smash it over the next 12 months, thanks again all.
    Reply With Quote

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts