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  1. #1
    Registered User qneoo's Avatar
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    I have hit a plateau

    Hello everyone. I am 16 turning 17 this year. I have been working out for approximately one and a half years. In the start of my fitness journey i started noticing visible gains as well as strength gains. My family and friends also did. I sticked to the plan continuing working out. For the last 6 months i haven’t seen the result i have wanting to see. It feels like I have hit a plateau. I have made little to almost no progress and for the last 2 months i have been sick so i’ve lost a lot of strength. I feel like most of the gym goers have experienced this at some point in their fitness journey. Thats why i need your advice.


    My goal with working out is to put on a lot of muscles, basically bulk up for a long time so i have a strong foundation. Then maybe cut down a bit in weight but thats not relevant right now. I just want to pack on muscles fast.


    What i want to do now is to take this seriously. I am going to share my workout split, supplements, diet, etc basically everything that affects my gains with you guys and what i want you to do is to give me advice to help me on this journey.

    The workout split
    My current split looks like this:
    Day 1 Chest, lateral delts, front delts, and biceps.
    Day 2 Back, triceps, rear delts
    Day 3 Legs, abs
    Day 4 rest
    repeat.

    It’s basically push pull legs but instead of hitting triceps and chest/back and biceps on the same day i put them on separate days. I feel like this gives you the opportunity to train biceps and triceps better because you haven’t engaged them in any other exercise the day you are training them.

    For reps i used to aim for 3x12 with increasing the weights so i never would go above 12 reps. But i recently tried doing 2x6-8 to failure each set. What is your opinion on this? I feel like as long as you have good form and are training to failure reps doesn’t really matter?


    Im going to share the exercises im doing for each day. As mentioned earlier im doing 2 sets of 6-8 reps to failure for each exercise. Please let me know if you think i should switch/remove or add some exercise.

    Day 1 (chest biceps lateral and front delt)

    Dumbell Benchpress

    Lateral raises in machine

    Incline smith machine bench press

    Preacher curls in machine

    Shoulder overhead press with dumbbells

    Hammer curls with rope


    Day 2 Back triceps and rear delts)

    Lat pulldowns with mag grip

    chest supported T bar rows

    seated rows with a small grip

    rear delt flies

    tricep rope pushdowns

    tricep overhead extensions


    Day 3 (legs and abs)

    Squat press (a variety of leg press)

    Leg extensions

    Leg curls

    hip adductor

    Calf raises

    machine crunch



    For sleep i am aiming for 9 hours in bed and 8 hours actually sleeping. I feel this is maybe where i have been a bit inconsistent. I am working on it but its not perfect. Right now i am around 6-7 hours asleep and around 8 hours in bed. I have difficulties with falling asleep so i am taking melatonin every night.

    For supplements i am taking creatine, magnesium, melatonin as mentioned earlier and vitamin D. Nothing special really. Are there any supplements you guys recommend?

    For food i am trying to be in a calorie surplus but i find it difficult. I think i am a little bit inconsistent with staying in a calorie surplus. I am also trying to drink a lot of water. I am aiming for 3-4 liters a day. I believe i am maybe making it to 2-2.5 liters a days.

    one thing im also concerned about is that i have asymmetrical body. My right half is a bit bigger and stronger than my left half. How do i solve this? Should i add 1 more set for my left side of will it eventually catch up?

    Thank you if you actually took your time and read all of this.



    To summarize everything:

    Should i switch workout split, exercises or the amount of the sets/reps im doing. Should i train to complete failure or near?

    How do i fix an asymmetrical body? Add more reps/sets on the other half etc.

    Should i drink/sleep more or is it enough already?

    Are there any supplements i should try?

    Any advice on how to get out of this plateau?
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  2. #2
    joe joewattie's Avatar
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    I probably shouldn't reply because next to you I am a complete amateur. On the other hand your post was so well crafted I did want to take a moment to compliment you!

    My grandson is about your age and he was getting frustrated with his lack of progress. But he grew a half foot in height that year. After that growth spurt his gains started coming back. Hey, the body can only do so much at a time.

    But to your point, have you reached a plateau? Probably not. I think of it as more of a "flattening of the curve". When you first start the gains are palpable, they are exciting. Then they simply slow down.

    There are two types of "failure". At higher rep counts (ten-ish) failure is a burn, a pump. At lower rep counts (five-ish) failure is not being able to complete the lift (with good form).

    So you're doing three sets of ten. Pretty soon you're up to three of twelve so you add a couple of pounds and you're "down" to three of eight and working towards building up rep count again. Repeat.

    When that gets stale you add weight and work towards, say, three sets of five. Missing the burn pump? Do a drop set.

    The point is add something. Add a pound, add a rep, add set. Or change something. Less weight, more reps. More weight, less reps.

    Another thing I've noticed is "effort". Some of the guys at the gym TALK through their whole set and wonder why they don't see results. If they can actually talk I kinda wonder what kind of effort they're putting in? Perhaps counting all the way to ten is an effort?

    But whatever you do try to find the fun in it all. If it's "fun" you'll come back for more. Good Luck!
    Last edited by joewattie; 11-29-2023 at 07:06 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    See comments below. Please ignore any advice you disagree with, but I don't want to debate it or discuss any special needs or research/studies you've read. You don't give any detail on your strength, body or nutrition, so my responses are general in nature.

    Originally Posted by qneoo View Post
    To summarize everything:

    Should i switch workout split, exercises or the amount of the sets/reps im doing?
    Yes to all, you've made no progress for 6 months & your program is poor. Do a proper novice program - which will take the guesswork out of the process. Some examples in the stickies at the top of this forum, but any proper novice program will do. You made progress initially because you were untrained, not because your program was good.

    How do i fix an asymmetrical body? Add more reps/sets on the other half etc.
    Keep working out under a proper novice program.

    Should i drink/sleep more or is it enough already?
    Your sleep is fine. Drink whenever you're thirsty.

    Are there any supplements i should try?
    No.

    Any advice on how to get out of this plateau?
    See above. You're 16, don't overcomplicate things. Eat like a healthy, hungry American teenager, work out sensibly under a proper novice program, do your homework, hang out with your friends, stay away from drugs and be helpful to your parents.
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  4. #4
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by qneoo View Post
    Hello everyone. I am 16 turning 17 this year. I have been working out for approximately one and a half years. In the start of my fitness journey i started noticing visible gains as well as strength gains. My family and friends also did. I sticked to the plan continuing working out. For the last 6 months i haven’t seen the result i have wanting to see. It feels like I have hit a plateau. I have made little to almost no progress and for the last 2 months i have been sick so i’ve lost a lot of strength. I feel like most of the gym goers have experienced this at some point in their fitness journey. Thats why i need your advice.


    My goal with working out is to put on a lot of muscles, basically bulk up for a long time so i have a strong foundation. Then maybe cut down a bit in weight but thats not relevant right now. I just want to pack on muscles fast.


    What i want to do now is to take this seriously. I am going to share my workout split, supplements, diet, etc basically everything that affects my gains with you guys and what i want you to do is to give me advice to help me on this journey.

    The workout split
    My current split looks like this:
    Day 1 Chest, lateral delts, front delts, and biceps.
    Day 2 Back, triceps, rear delts
    Day 3 Legs, abs
    Day 4 rest
    repeat.

    It’s basically push pull legs but instead of hitting triceps and chest/back and biceps on the same day i put them on separate days. I feel like this gives you the opportunity to train biceps and triceps better because you haven’t engaged them in any other exercise the day you are training them.

    For reps i used to aim for 3x12 with increasing the weights so i never would go above 12 reps. But i recently tried doing 2x6-8 to failure each set. What is your opinion on this? I feel like as long as you have good form and are training to failure reps doesn’t really matter?


    Im going to share the exercises im doing for each day. As mentioned earlier im doing 2 sets of 6-8 reps to failure for each exercise. Please let me know if you think i should switch/remove or add some exercise.

    Day 1 (chest biceps lateral and front delt)

    Dumbell Benchpress

    Lateral raises in machine

    Incline smith machine bench press

    Preacher curls in machine

    Shoulder overhead press with dumbbells

    Hammer curls with rope


    Day 2 Back triceps and rear delts)

    Lat pulldowns with mag grip

    chest supported T bar rows

    seated rows with a small grip

    rear delt flies

    tricep rope pushdowns

    tricep overhead extensions


    Day 3 (legs and abs)

    Squat press (a variety of leg press)

    Leg extensions

    Leg curls

    hip adductor

    Calf raises

    machine crunch



    For sleep i am aiming for 9 hours in bed and 8 hours actually sleeping. I feel this is maybe where i have been a bit inconsistent. I am working on it but its not perfect. Right now i am around 6-7 hours asleep and around 8 hours in bed. I have difficulties with falling asleep so i am taking melatonin every night.

    For supplements i am taking creatine, magnesium, melatonin as mentioned earlier and vitamin D. Nothing special really. Are there any supplements you guys recommend?

    For food i am trying to be in a calorie surplus but i find it difficult. I think i am a little bit inconsistent with staying in a calorie surplus. I am also trying to drink a lot of water. I am aiming for 3-4 liters a day. I believe i am maybe making it to 2-2.5 liters a days.

    one thing im also concerned about is that i have asymmetrical body. My right half is a bit bigger and stronger than my left half. How do i solve this? Should i add 1 more set for my left side of will it eventually catch up?

    Thank you if you actually took your time and read all of this.



    To summarize everything:

    Should i switch workout split, exercises or the amount of the sets/reps im doing. Should i train to complete failure or near?

    How do i fix an asymmetrical body? Add more reps/sets on the other half etc.

    Should i drink/sleep more or is it enough already?

    Are there any supplements i should try?

    Any advice on how to get out of this plateau?


    “ For food i am trying to be in a calorie surplus but i find it difficult.”

    That’s the issue. Fix that, eat SOMETHING every three hours. Peanut butter and jelly, glass of milk…yogurt and nuts, banana and a protein shake….something!
    "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!
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  5. #5
    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    “ For food i am trying to be in a calorie surplus but i find it difficult.”

    That’s the issue. Fix that, eat SOMETHING every three hours. Peanut butter and jelly, glass of milk…yogurt and nuts, banana and a protein shake….something!
    That ^^^. I spun my wheels for a few years in college with minimal gains. In grad school some of my associates were on special vitamins. I ate like they did. I put on more gains in 18 months than I did in 3.5 years of undergrad. The special vitamins were too much. RIP John and Mark.
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  6. #6
    Registered User TAWS6's Avatar
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    Add in 200 calories and adjust from there

    look into fierce 5 novice or all pros. After 6 months check out fierce 5 upper lower or Lyle’s GBR. After that youll be benching over 275 and squatting over 400 and you’ll be as big as you’re ever going to get naturally.
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