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  • Posted On: 12-22-17, 9:01 pm (EST) #1

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 22, 2017, 9:01 pm

    I'm currently on month 1 of the PPL program (I've been doing it for almost 3 months though because I've been seeing progress, so I haven't moved on to month 2 yet). I've been seeing progress during all three PPL days every week so far.

    Then this Tuesday during push day, I started off with the bench press as usual. I've done better on the bench press every week until this point, and expected the same this week. However, for some reason I did WORSE than last week despite using the same weight (I didn't increase the weight this week because I wasn't able to do the full 7,7,6,4,3 range with the current weight last week). And not just slightly worse...I did one rep less on set 3, one rep less on set 4, and six sets less on the AMRAP. So 8 total reps less over the course of the 6 sets. Then today during pull day, I did worse on the curls and reverse curls than last week, both of which I have also progressed on every week until today.

     

    Why could this be happening? I know that it's normal to not see progress for a week or even a few weeks...but to actually do WORSE than the previous week...and on two different muscle groups? Is that normal??

    My nutrition hasn't changed/gotten worse...I eat healthy food and track my macros/calories. If anything it's gotten progressively better. I don't think it's that my muscles are overworked because I only train each muscle group once a week.

    I've been working out without time off for about 4 months...could it be that I need a deload week? Do I just need to change up the routine and move on to month 2 (if the issue is just that my muscles got used to the routine, I think I would just stop making progess, not start doing worse)? Or could it be something else? I'm very frustrated and disappointed. Help!

  • Posted On: 12-22-17, 10:40 pm (EST) #2

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 22, 2017, 10:40 pm
    Posted by: nyyanks937

    I'm currently on month 1 of the PPL program (I've been doing it for almost 3 months though because I've been seeing progress, so I haven't moved on to month 2 yet). I've been seeing progress during all three PPL days every week so far.

    Then this Tuesday during push day, I started off with the bench press as usual. I've done better on the bench press every week until this point, and expected the same this week. However, for some reason I did WORSE than last week despite using the same weight (I didn't increase the weight this week because I wasn't able to do the full 7,7,6,4,3 range with the current weight last week). And not just slightly worse...I did one rep less on set 3, one rep less on set 4, and six sets less on the AMRAP. So 8 total reps less over the course of the 6 sets. Then today during pull day, I did worse on the curls and reverse curls than last week, both of which I have also progressed on every week until today.

     

    Why could this be happening? I know that it's normal to not see progress for a week or even a few weeks...but to actually do WORSE than the previous week...and on two different muscle groups? Is that normal??

    My nutrition hasn't changed/gotten worse...I eat healthy food and track my macros/calories. If anything it's gotten progressively better. I don't think it's that my muscles are overworked because I only train each muscle group once a week.

    I've been working out without time off for about 4 months...could it be that I need a deload week? Do I just need to change up the routine and move on to month 2 (if the issue is just that my muscles got used to the routine, I think I would just stop making progess, not start doing worse)? Or could it be something else? I'm very frustrated and disappointed. Help!

    This is very normal and to be expected. It is like growing muscle - it goes in cycles and reaches a stopping point. If strength progressed in a linear fashion and never went down, people would be benching 1000 pounds or more in the span of months. This is not how the human body works.

     

    Strength is a product of not just your muscles but also your central nervous system (CNS). When you lift, both your muscles and CNS adapt: the muscles get bigger and the CNS gets more efficient firing neurons to produce strong muscular contractions. Over time, there is a point of diminishing returns and there is only so much force that can be generated. Sometimes you need a deload week to give the CNS a chance to fully recover and sometimes it is just the natural limitations of your body based on weight, tendon placements, and distribution of white and red muscle fibers. Your weight you can change by consuming more food. The other two are determined by genetics and can't be changed.

     

    Sometimes you will find if you lower the weights and lower the intensity, when you go back to your regular routine you are actually stronger. You can't give your body the exact same stimulus via your workout routine, sets, reps, and progressive overload for more than a couple of months in a row. After that, it adapts and basically has no new stimulus to spark strength or growth gains. This is where you hit a plateau like you have described.

     

    John

  • Posted On: 12-23-17, 9:14 am (EST) #3

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 23, 2017, 9:14 am
    Posted by: jmboiardi

    This is very normal and to be expected. It is like growing muscle - it goes in cycles and reaches a stopping point. If strength progressed in a linear fashion and never went down, people would be benching 1000 pounds or more in the span of months. This is not how the human body works.

     

    Strength is a product of not just your muscles but also your central nervous system (CNS). When you lift, both your muscles and CNS adapt: the muscles get bigger and the CNS gets more efficient firing neurons to produce strong muscular contractions. Over time, there is a point of diminishing returns and there is only so much force that can be generated. Sometimes you need a deload week to give the CNS a chance to fully recover and sometimes it is just the natural limitations of your body based on weight, tendon placements, and distribution of white and red muscle fibers. Your weight you can change by consuming more food. The other two are determined by genetics and can't be changed.

     

    Sometimes you will find if you lower the weights and lower the intensity, when you go back to your regular routine you are actually stronger. You can't give your body the exact same stimulus via your workout routine, sets, reps, and progressive overload for more than a couple of months in a row. After that, it adapts and basically has no new stimulus to spark strength or growth gains. This is where you hit a plateau like you have described.

     

    John

    Well as I said, this isn't simply a plateau, this is actually doing worse than last week. Also, you said this may be the natural limit of my body...I've only been working out for several months as I explained...are you saying in a matter of months it's possible that I've gotten as strong as I'll ever be?? For example for the bench press my 5th set of the 7,7,6,4,3 routine was 120lbs and I was only able to do 2 reps. I'm still not strong enough to curl a 35lb dumbbell for even one rep. If these are my body's natural limits, then I must be the weakest person in the history of earth. I find it extremely difficult to believe that after only less than half a year of working out I've reached the limit of how strong I can get.

     

    Maybe it's more of just me needing a deload week and/or to move on to month 2 of the PPL to switch up the routine. But I still don't quite understand why I did worse instead of simply not making progress and remaining at the same point as last week.

  • Posted On: 12-23-17, 9:17 pm (EST) #4

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 23, 2017, 9:17 pm

    One thing my boss told me he used to do was have a cheat weekend where he'd go to town on carbs, sweets, and plain old junk food. By Monday, he said his body was ready to break through what ever hump or hurdle he was facing. He said it worked for him.

    You said youve only worked out now for several months. I am also about 4 months in truly working out for benefits and what I found was I needed to build my stabilizer muscles to truly benefit from lifting. Not sure about PPL but I stopped my old routine and started with the 12 week home shred and I'm truly working muscles I've not used before. And with that, I'm really improving each week with each workout.

    Well, that's my two cents. Good luck buddy. Not sure if anything I typed is useful.

  • Posted On: 12-24-17, 1:52 am (EST) #5

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 24, 2017, 1:52 am
    Posted by: nyyanks937

    Well as I said, this isn't simply a plateau, this is actually doing worse than last week. Also, you said this may be the natural limit of my body...I've only been working out for several months as I explained...are you saying in a matter of months it's possible that I've gotten as strong as I'll ever be?? For example for the bench press my 5th set of the 7,7,6,4,3 routine was 120lbs and I was only able to do 2 reps. I'm still not strong enough to curl a 35lb dumbbell for even one rep. If these are my body's natural limits, then I must be the weakest person in the history of earth. I find it extremely difficult to believe that after only less than half a year of working out I've reached the limit of how strong I can get.

     

    Maybe it's more of just me needing a deload week and/or to move on to month 2 of the PPL to switch up the routine. But I still don't quite understand why I did worse instead of simply not making progress and remaining at the same point as last week.

    I am not saying you have reached your limit. What I said was there is a natural limit to everyone's strength. When you train the way you have described, you will hit a plateau - strength either stays the same or goes down. Strength gain is not linear nor is it consistent. You are expecting it to be - regardless of whether you have trained 4 months or 4 years.

     

    You more than likely need at least a 1 week deload if not more. You also need to work more deload weeks into your routine. Pushing 100% all the time and expecting 100% return is a recipe for frustration and disappointment. You are doing worse because your CNS is overtaxed and more than likely your muscle fibers are not fully healed.

     

    The other reason could be because you follow the NY Spank-mees versus the Red Sox :-P

     

    John

  • Posted On: 12-24-17, 9:04 am (EST) #6

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 24, 2017, 9:04 am
    Posted by: JamieM

    One thing my boss told me he used to do was have a cheat weekend where he'd go to town on carbs, sweets, and plain old junk food. By Monday, he said his body was ready to break through what ever hump or hurdle he was facing. He said it worked for him.

    You said youve only worked out now for several months. I am also about 4 months in truly working out for benefits and what I found was I needed to build my stabilizer muscles to truly benefit from lifting. Not sure about PPL but I stopped my old routine and started with the 12 week home shred and I'm truly working muscles I've not used before. And with that, I'm really improving each week with each workout.

    Well, that's my two cents. Good luck buddy. Not sure if anything I typed is useful.

    Well, the PPL program doesn't really use any machines...it's mostly free weights and cable machines...so I think my stabilizer muscles are getting a pretty good amount of work. Did your old routine consist mainly of machine workouts? If so that could be the reason.

  • Posted On: 12-24-17, 9:09 am (EST) #7

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 24, 2017, 9:09 am
    Posted by: jmboiardi

    I am not saying you have reached your limit. What I said was there is a natural limit to everyone's strength. When you train the way you have described, you will hit a plateau - strength either stays the same or goes down. Strength gain is not linear nor is it consistent. You are expecting it to be - regardless of whether you have trained 4 months or 4 years.

     

    You more than likely need at least a 1 week deload if not more. You also need to work more deload weeks into your routine. Pushing 100% all the time and expecting 100% return is a recipe for frustration and disappointment. You are doing worse because your CNS is overtaxed and more than likely your muscle fibers are not fully healed.

     

    The other reason could be because you follow the NY Spank-mees versus the Red Sox :-P

     

    John

    OK, I think I'll try a deload week then. And what a cheap shot at the yankees! Trust me, they're not responsible for my recent workout issues haha.

  • Posted On: 12-24-17, 1:14 pm (EST) #8

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 24, 2017, 1:14 pm

    No. I was pure free weight. Still am actually. No access to a gym but my work has a free weight area with squat racks, press racks, a bench and dip/pull up tower. I am currently coming up with a proposal for the big guy to purchase more equipment since more people are using the work gym and we have quite a few cross fitters at work. The boss already approved of funding, but now I need to convince him we need cable machines.

  • Posted On: 12-25-17, 6:42 am (EST) #9

    Went from progressing to regressing

    December 25, 2017, 6:42 am
    Posted by: nyyanks937

    OK, I think I'll try a deload week then. And what a cheap shot at the yankees! Trust me, they're not responsible for my recent workout issues haha.

    I know but as a Red Sox fan I needed to bust your balls.......:-)

     

    John

  • Posted On: 01-03-18, 2:41 pm (EST) #10

    Went from progressing to regressing

    January 3, 2018, 2:41 pm
    Posted by: jmboiardi

    I know but as a Red Sox fan I needed to bust your balls.......:-)

     

    John

    So I did the deload week like you suggested and it helped! I progressed at the bench press yesterday and it felt much easier to complete the reps than it did two weeks ago when I regressed. In fact on set 5 I was able to do one rep more than the 3 reps the routine called for. Hopefully I'll have the same results when I do curls later this week as those regressed two weeks ago as well. I'll try not to wait 3-4 months before my next deload week!

  • Posted On: 01-04-18, 12:31 am (EST) #11

    Went from progressing to regressing

    January 4, 2018, 12:31 am
    Posted by: nyyanks937

    So I did the deload week like you suggested and it helped! I progressed at the bench press yesterday and it felt much easier to complete the reps than it did two weeks ago when I regressed. In fact on set 5 I was able to do one rep more than the 3 reps the routine called for. Hopefully I'll have the same results when I do curls later this week as those regressed two weeks ago as well. I'll try not to wait 3-4 months before my next deload week!

    Excellent. I am so happy the advice helped.

     

    It is easy to get so caught-up in training and progressing that you forget your body needs time to rest and recover. The beauty of de-load traing is you still go down the gym and train just not at a high intensity. Sometimes I will go for the pump - reps in the 12-20 range.

     

    John

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