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quiksilverx181
 
hitting workout plateau

Hey guys, ive always been an active person, playing basketball and lifting on and off for the past 4 years. However, since january, i decided to get serious about physical fitness in order to feel better and lose weigh. Right now i stand at 6'0 and 240, with a decent amount of that muscle. I have roughly 22% body fat and if i were to lose 20-25 lbs, i would be pretty cut, if that helps give some perspective

However lately, ive kind of hit a plateau on how much i can lift. I just have not been moving up in weight from what ive been lifting for the past month or so. Im currently doing 35lb military press (3 sets of 10), 25lb shoulder raises (the ones were you raise your arms in front of you straight out), roughly 85lb on incline press (bar), 50lb dumbell chest bench press, 120lb low row, and 120lb lat pull downs. I curl 70-80lb ez-bar biceps, depending on the angle i choose for the day, and i do about 35lb dumbell curls

When i lift, usualy by the third set and 7th-8th rep, im usually not able to do much more even if i wanted. Maybe im doing too much weight, who knows. I usually try to make sure i dont over-do the amount of weight i put on (im very careful to not overtrain), with special attention to good form.

My diet has been pretty good, with it being high protein and low carb, and i take a whey protein shake after every workout.

I just listed the most basic main exercises i do. I do many more smaller exercises especially lately to target specific muscle groups, but i feel like ive hit a wall as far as moving up in weight and size lately.

I cant do any cardio for another 4 weeks because i broke my foot and damaged ligaments, but i intend to lift as much as possible until i can do cardio.

What can i do to keep on movin up genmay?
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Last edited by quiksilverx181; 07-11-2008 at 05:43 PM..
Old 07-11-2008, 05:35 PM quiksilverx181 is offline  
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geiger
 
Try switching to a different rep pattern( ie 3x10 to 5x5). What days are you lifting and what are you lifting?
Old 07-11-2008, 05:47 PM geiger is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
move to using bars with the pressing movements for a while.
Old 07-11-2008, 05:50 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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quiksilverx181
 
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Originally Posted by mainbrotha View Post
move to using bars with the pressing movements for a while.

I can try that. Just an FYI i have been using traditional benches for the incline and regular bench for a while, just switched to freeweight like this week for chest


Oh, and im usually going to the gym 4 to five times a week. I do Chest-Tri-Shoulders on day 1, then on Day 2 i do biceps, back and abs, with rest on day 3. I just continue that cycle endlessly. I do alternate the muscle groups i place emphasis on. For example, when i do chest-tris-shoulders, i sometimes do more chest exercises than tris or shoulders, and on other days i will do more tris than the other two, etc. I know its not good to do all muscle groups in a full workout twice a week, so i alternate. This week i just did basic bench press, shoulder raises and military press, but i focused on dips, tricep pulldowns, and tricep extensions.

something along those lines, if that makes sense
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:55 PM quiksilverx181 is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
If you just switched up your routine, I wouldn't call it a plateau. Keep at it because it might take a bit to readjust.

But I don't like your workout routine: You're not squatting. You need a squat/legs day, bad.
Old 07-11-2008, 05:58 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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quiksilverx181
 
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Originally Posted by mainbrotha View Post
If you just switched up your routine, I wouldn't call it a plateau. Keep at it because it might take a bit to readjust.

But I don't like your workout routine: You're not squatting. You need a squat/legs day, bad.

i have a broken foot. i will resume legs once im better
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:02 PM quiksilverx181 is offline  
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McKnight
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Show me a guy that eats like a monster but doesnt improve lifts. You cant lift more if you dont eat more. You should be on a massive cut anyway. You will not be cut at -25 lbs. Sorry. Your lifts are too low and your weight is too high. So cut your way into single digits then worry about numbers.
Old 07-11-2008, 06:23 PM McKnight is offline  
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joeblack1914
 
how much longer until your foot is better? you're going to be hard pressed to make any major gains with a broken foot. Even with upper body exercises, you're probably putting an unhealthy amount of pressure on your foot.

Once your foot heals, you might try Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength. It focuses on major compound exercises like bench press, deadlift, squat, barbell presses and such. I'm not currently doing it, but I have heard many people swear by its results. there's also a wiki for starting strength to get some ideas.

You're also going to want to incorporate some cardio. Interval running (sprinting/jogging alternating) can be quick and effective. Just try to stay motivated and you'll be shedding weight in no time.
Old 07-11-2008, 07:21 PM joeblack1914 is offline  
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#8  

Gibonius
 
How many calories a day are you eating?

Hard to tell if your routine is any good or not from the limited info. I'm a little skeptical of doing chest/tris/shoulders and back/bis/abs 2x a week. You could be overtraining, or you could be keeping the weight too low just to avoid overtraining.

Too bad you can't do leg work, throwing in deadlifts would no doubt help your back and squats are always good.


Don't delude yourself about how much muscle you have though man. I'm your same height, 20 lbs less, and I lift about double what you do on damn near everything and I'm still not terribly ripped. You'd be surprised just how much fat you can find once you start cutting. I was 230 lbs awhile back, thought I was pretty lean, lost 20 lbs and still didn't have abs or great definition. Maybe you're just really weak (no offense intended) for your amount of muscle mass, but I'd bet you've really got more body fat than you think you do.

I guess with the foot you might want to wait until you can do carbio, but just trying to keep you grounded. I know the temptation to just keeping adding mass, and it can take some effort to admit to yourself that you're carrying more weight than you need to.
Old 07-11-2008, 09:07 PM Gibonius is offline  
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quiksilverx181
 
ya i really shed the weight well when i was doing my basketball --> weight lifing ruitine. I think ive lost about 23-25 lb since i started that in january while still being able to add muscle.

I know i got a long ways to go i was just wondering what i could do to improve in the mean time while my foot is messed up, until i can do cardio again
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:30 AM quiksilverx181 is offline  
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vinnie
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Don't delude yourself about how much muscle you have though man.
What he said. I am <20lb heavier, ~20% body fat and except for curls, you are not even close to half way.


1RM calculator: http://www.strengthcats.com/maxcalculator.htm
Strength standard charts: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html

Take your mil press for example- 10rm of 35~ 1RM of 45... which is less than half the expected untrained 1RM for an adult male of your weight. I sit between intermediate and advanced in most lifts.

Now, I doubt that you are really that weak, so the problem probably lies in your training methedology. Part of it may be the split- upper body gets three days for me, chest/abs, upper back/bi, shoulders/tri. Triceps and pecs always overlap in compound movements, focusing seperately on them prevents ones exhaustion from affecting the other. It is in the shoulders/chest/triceps area you seem to be struggling the most.

As someone else mentioned, changing sets and reps to something lower is probably a winning plan. 3x10 is good for goal less beginners, but once you have some idea where you are going there are better plans.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:14 AM vinnie is offline  
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quiksilverx181
 
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What he said. I am <20lb heavier, ~20% body fat and except for curls, you are not even close to half way.


1RM calculator: http://www.strengthcats.com/maxcalculator.htm
Strength standard charts: http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLi...Standards.html

Take your mil press for example- 10rm of 35~ 1RM of 45... which is less than half the expected untrained 1RM for an adult male of your weight. I sit between intermediate and advanced in most lifts.

Now, I doubt that you are really that weak, so the problem probably lies in your training methedology. Part of it may be the split- upper body gets three days for me, chest/abs, upper back/bi, shoulders/tri. Triceps and pecs always overlap in compound movements, focusing seperately on them prevents ones exhaustion from affecting the other. It is in the shoulders/chest/triceps area you seem to be struggling the most.

As someone else mentioned, changing sets and reps to something lower is probably a winning plan. 3x10 is good for goal less beginners, but once you have some idea where you are going there are better plans.


i will take your advice and switch to a ruitine similar to the one you outlined, but how exactly do you recommend i do that ruitine, day wise?

Today i started with Chest/abs (monday), and so should i move to biceps/back on wednesday and shoulders/tris on friday? I dont know, which is why im asking.

If you could help me outline a decent basic ruitine i would appreciate it.

Note: btw i did feel the benefits of doing one big group such as chest by itself... i was able to push myself a bit harder than i normally could on chest becuase i would want to move to shoulders right after and then i would burn myself out. Good lookin out genmay!
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:30 AM quiksilverx181 is offline  
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#12  

Figment
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Im going to agree with vinnie here, your lifts are way off.

How long have you been weightlifting? If you just started thats not to terrible, but if youve been training awhile theres a big problem. Even that not a big deal, just a matter of fixing it.

Do you go sporadicly at all? For example take a week off every two weeks? Or start lifting for a month or two solid then quit for 2 weeks? Hows your breathing? Are you breathing properly when lifting (can have dramatic effect on the outcome)?
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:14 AM Figment is offline  
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Eyedea
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksilverx181 View Post
Hey guys, ive always been an active person, playing basketball and lifting on and off for the past 4 years. However, since january, i decided to get serious about physical fitness in order to feel better and lose weigh. Right now i stand at 6'0 and 240, with a decent amount of that muscle. I have roughly 22% body fat and if i were to lose 20-25 lbs, i would be pretty cut, if that helps give some perspective

However lately, ive kind of hit a plateau on how much i can lift. I just have not been moving up in weight from what ive been lifting for the past month or so. Im currently doing 35lb military press (3 sets of 10), 25lb shoulder raises (the ones were you raise your arms in front of you straight out), roughly 85lb on incline press (bar), 50lb dumbell chest bench press, 120lb low row, and 120lb lat pull downs. I curl 70-80lb ez-bar biceps, depending on the angle i choose for the day, and i do about 35lb dumbell curls

When i lift, usualy by the third set and 7th-8th rep, im usually not able to do much more even if i wanted. Maybe im doing too much weight, who knows. I usually try to make sure i dont over-do the amount of weight i put on (im very careful to not overtrain), with special attention to good form.

My diet has been pretty good, with it being high protein and low carb, and i take a whey protein shake after every workout.

I just listed the most basic main exercises i do. I do many more smaller exercises especially lately to target specific muscle groups, but i feel like ive hit a wall as far as moving up in weight and size lately.

I cant do any cardio for another 4 weeks because i broke my foot and damaged ligaments, but i intend to lift as much as possible until i can do cardio.

What can i do to keep on movin up genmay?


First, as others have said, you don't have as much muscle as you think you do. Unless your muscles are weak for their mass, then you still have a lot of work to do.

I read through your routine and where is your leg work? I realize you currently have a broken foot so you have to stay away from that, but what, if any, leg work did you do before your injury? Legs are a very important muscle group to work if you want to have a big upper body.(Or don't want to look like a light bulb)

Also, can you post a rough diet that you follow? If your lifts are not increasing, you may not be eating enough (or the right foods). Try not to stretch the truth here; I find many people think they eat better than they do.

I would suggest (when healed) to move onto the Starting Strength routine that was posted in this thread. That will get you a solid foundation to where you can focus/emphasize on any bodyparts you wish. It's a great program that I've seen many people get great results from, especially novices/beginners such as yourself.(I did it too)
Old 07-15-2008, 06:27 AM Eyedea is offline  
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vinnie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiksilverx181 View Post
i will take your advice and switch to a ruitine similar to the one you outlined, but how exactly do you recommend i do that ruitine, day wise?

Today i started with Chest/abs (monday), and so should i move to biceps/back on wednesday and shoulders/tris on friday? I dont know, which is why im asking.

If you could help me outline a decent basic ruitine i would appreciate it.

Note: btw i did feel the benefits of doing one big group such as chest by itself... i was able to push myself a bit harder than i normally could on chest becuase i would want to move to shoulders right after and then i would burn myself out. Good lookin out genmay!

Yeah sure.

Mon, wed, fri is good for the upper body part- tuesday and thursday you can slot the two leg days in when your legs are back online. Say quads, glutes and calves on tuesday and hamstrings, tibialas anterior and lower back on thursday.

As you saw, upper body days have two main targets each day. I tend to alternate exercises, eg chest/ab/chest/ab/etc for the most part. Although there is nearly always some crossover, you can focus more on some parts. I never do the same routine twice in a row, have a whole bunch of exercises to choose from that swap each week.

Chest/ab
Chest: Flat bench, dumbell flys, barbell pullovers, decline bench, incline bench, cable flys, machine flys, dumbell press, weighted pushups
Abs - pick a couple each from rectus abdominis and obliques - http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/WaistWt.html . My favourite is this bad boy: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...nis/WtVUp.html , but with a medicine ball that I put between my feet and use them to throw it in the air every second rep. Good times.

Back/Bicep
Back: Widegrip, narrow grip, behind neck or arm armed pulldowns , heaves, alternate grasp heaves, barbell or dumbell bent over rows, one armed supported bent over rows, seated row, rear cable fly, rear delt machine, bent over rear delt fly
Bicep: Ez-barl, flat bar, seated incline, preacher, hammer, reverse, whatever... concentrate on back more, biceps follow along.

Shoulders/Tris
Harder to seperate... so I will just list:
Power clean/clean and press/clean and jerk, whatever you are technically capable of. Weighted dips, barbell or dumbell shoulder press, arnold press, lateral raise, upright row, front raise, mil press, laying barbell tricep extension, one hand cable tricep extension, close grip bench press and so forth.

Like I said- pick a handful of each focus. Expect to maybe do 6-7 exercise total a session max. Each week, try and pick different exercises- staying with one you like is how you do get stuck.

You seem receptive, so I am willing to take the time to help. Make changes, work hard, you will get there.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:06 AM vinnie is offline  
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