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  1. #1
    Registered User WantToProgress's Avatar
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    24 y/o male, really needing advice going forward.

    Info about me:
    24 years old, male, 6 feet tall, ~180 pounds.

    I’ve been working out since June of 2020. First, I was on a program that either wasn’t good for beginners, or wasn’t good for me, or that I was not aware of the best way to progress on. I’d fail each time I went to the gym after a while and didn’t progress. I didn’t want to program hop, since I heard that’s how you end up not making progress and giving up. Eventually though, I figured I needed to switch programs.

    In February of this year, I switched to fierce five novice. I started bench at 125 lbs, squat at 145 pounds, OHP at 70 pounds, and Romanian deadlifts at 95 pounds.

    Best weights I’ve achieved are:
    Squat: 210 x 5 (reps) x 3 (sets).
    Bench: 160 x 5 x 3.
    OHP: 110 x 5 x 3.
    RDL: 205 x 8 x 3.

    I haven’t progressed in weeks. I’ve stalled on squats twice, stalled on bench twice. And when I say twice for squats, I deloaded twice (lowered weight by 15% then tried to work back up). Bench I believe I only deloaded once. The deload on squat was me failing 185 and I was excited to progress consistently till 210. Bench, I failed after trying to work up from deload. OHP I’m just consistently stalling on and actually am going down on because I’m failing the lifts. Squats I went down on due to failure and then successfully did the max I’ve done on a second occasion (210 x 5 x 3).

    I just can’t progress. Tonight, I thought maybe my warmups weren’t good because I only have been doing 1 set of 125 for squats as my warmup. Read an article, tried 1 set of 125 then 1 set of 175. My legs were buckling when I tried to do 220 the first rep. I have successfully done 220 x 4 once so I have been able to do more than 1 rep of 220.

    Rest times: 3 minutes for compounds, 1 minute for accessories that aren’t supersets.



    I’m in a bodybuilding Snapchat and they all say I’m an anomaly and they’ve never seen someone with such bad progression. I do think half of their advice is just their ego talking, but one of them recommends stronglifts 5x5. One recommends his own program.

    I’m weary of program hopping again. Tonight, I was so demotivated that I went home. I had tried to lower to 205 squat and failed and just felt demotivated. I’m coming here for advice and trying again tomorrow. I really don’t want to give this up, but I am very discouraged at this point. I don’t look like I lift at all and I just really want to see the progress that I deserve.


    I typically get enough protein. My sleep is **** and I’m stressed constantly due to life events.

    Any advice is appreciated. Should I program hop? Or anything else?

    Edit: I forgot to mention that I actually even took a week off since that was recommended in the fierce five novice thread. I really don’t know what to do. Could stress be causing this?
    Last edited by WantToProgress; 05-26-2021 at 07:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Sounds like you made reasonable novice progress.

    Don't fall into the trap of thinking there must be something wrong with you in particular. There is always an explanation - usually a pretty mundane one that could happen to anyone. Sleep and stress certainly can affect results but never prevent them completely (at least not in a novice). Warmups are a minor detail, not a major influence. Perhaps expectations are the biggest contributor here.

    How has your weight changed? If you are dieting, that is a major headwind to progress and stalling should be expected.

    If you have already followed the F5 guidance (this is from memory so double check this in the F5 thread) to stall and reset twice - then perhaps it's time to move on to an intermediate routine like the F5 upper/lower.
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  3. #3
    Registered User WantToProgress's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Sounds like you made reasonable novice progress.

    Don't fall into the trap of thinking there must be something wrong with you in particular. There is always an explanation - usually a pretty mundane one that could happen to anyone. Sleep and stress certainly can affect results but never prevent them completely (at least not in a novice). Warmups are a minor detail, not a major influence. Perhaps expectations are the biggest contributor here.

    How has your weight changed? If you are dieting, that is a major headwind to progress and stalling should be expected.

    If you have already followed the F5 guidance (this is from memory so double check this in the F5 thread) to stall and reset twice - then perhaps it's time to move on to an intermediate routine like the F5 upper/lower.
    Thanks for your response; I’m not dieting and actually have been trying to bulk, but I looked at the numbers and I’m definitely not eating enough. I must be in a caloric deficit or maintanence. I just weighed and I’m 171 pounds today. I guess my diet is not proper and I haven’t taken it seriously enough. I switched from eating fast food (told myself it was a dirty bulk) to cooking chicken. I still eat fast food for one meal a lot of times but I was making sure to get enough protein with the home cooked chicken. But I need to add more, better calories.

    I’m wondering if this would be a good meal plan:
    10 eggs
    300 grams chicken breast
    2 packets of oatmeal
    80 oz of milk.

    That’s way over the protein I need but I’ve read too much protein isn’t something most people will experience.
    It’s 243g protein, 142g fat, 197g carbs.

    So maybe my diet is the problem, in which case, should I keep at this program? Right now I’m usually getting enough protein but even with the fast food I probably am not breaking 3,000 calories in a day.

    If I do find that I’m not progressing after fixing my diet on fierce 5 novice, it wouldn’t be too soon in terms of my lifts to switch to an intermediate program?

    Edit: as far as my weight change, I was 158 when I started working out in June of 2020. That was on a different scale though that my parents had and I don’t know its accuracy. Now I have a Fitbit scale so I trust it since it’s a reputable company as far as I’m aware. I did weigh 180 a couple months ago and thought I’d been eating that much. I used to be 205+ pounds years ago and didn’t workout, then quit drinking soda and quit eating junk food for a few years and lost weight without exercise. I guess I kind of tried to fill in calories since starting working out by drinking sodas since that’s part of what got me fat before. I should hone in on my diet, but some people act like noob gains are going to get you results even with a poor diet. I guess at this point I should quit slacking on diet, and you’re right that it’s probably an expectation issue as well.
    Last edited by WantToProgress; 05-27-2021 at 05:48 AM.
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  4. #4
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You only need a surplus of calories to gain weight

    You only need to gain about 1-2lbs a month to ensure you are gaining muscle. The main work is done in the gym - where you make progressive overload.

    You don't need "good calories" - there is no such thing and you only need about 140g of protein a day, any more is not going to improve results further.

    Of course you should get plenty of whole foods, fruit and veg. 10 eggs sounds like a bad idea - variety is better.

    For more info, consult the Nutrition forum sticky threads.
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