Help, I think I am stuck.

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Dan Anderson

Level 3 Valued Member
-Not currently injured, or recovering from an injury. Only thing that currently bothers me is golfers elbow. If I stay away from pull ups I am pain free for the most part. Very thankful to feel pretty good overall.
-33, 6 feet tall, around 230. No clue on body fat but could certainly stand to loose body fat. I could easily weigh less if I cut out some junk in my diet. I know this.
Training back ground.
-over 5 years over kb training. ( completed ROP, had success with ROTK, spent lots of time with Geoffs double KB programs.
- around 2.5 to 3 years ago I started barbell training.
- Spent around a year doing 531 and made good gains.
- after a year on 531 I moved on to 1 of sheikos programs and made good gains. Here are my stats on Sheiko. Finished with Benching 420 for a double, squated 475 for a single, i didnt feel like this was an all out max, and deadlifted 535. This was a max. i decided to move to a lower frequency, lower volume program due to how long it was taking me to get through the sessions and I had a hip that began to bother me that I attributed to Sqt volume, but that might not have been the case.
- After sheiko I experimented with some very basic powerlifting cycles based off of DL Dynamite. I had some success with this and got stronger. Around 5-6 weeks ago I finshed with the following numbers. Dl 500 x4. (This was pr for me), bench 360 x3 , not a pr, but not bad for me and squated 445 for 3.
- After this I decided to really focus on my deadlift for a bit and run Deadlift Domination by Mr. Bolton. First 5 weeks went really well. Today starting week 6 of an 8 week program I bombed. I was hoping to hit around 580 at the end of the 8 week cycle. I based my numbers off of a 560 1 rm at the start of the program. I had never done this but after hitting 500x4 I felt like this was not to far off but maybe I was being overly optimistic. Today I was supposed to hit 515 for a double but could only get 515 for a single. This is frustrating. I am hoping it is just a bad day. ( somewhat stressful day at work, and hiked a decent amount over the weekend. nothing extreme though) After doing 535 on sheiko a little less than a year ago, and 500 x 4 less than 6 weeks ago, I dont feel like 515 should be as hard as it was. I certainly dont feel like I am where I want to be. I am not sure what to do at this point. Any advice is appreciated.
Goals- Overall during my 30s I want to focus on absolute strength.
Goals I would like to hit within a years time or shorter. 600lb deadlift, 440lb bench and 500 lb squat. I care much more about my dl goal than the others.
Sorry for the long post.


Level 4 Valued Member
One thing I learned when I was squatting and doing heavy deads was not to gauge my performance on the the results of a single workout. If it happens on successive workouts then I always took that as a sign that I needed to have a break and then begin another cycle after the break. Sometimes it can be from the onset of a cold or flu etc or just not enough rest over the last few days.

Doing heavy lifts takes it toll towards the end of the cycle, so sometimes you need re asses where you're going before you dig a hole for yourself. If it does seem to be looking like a pattern (not hitting your marks) then a break or a change can help. After a break starting at lower percentage of your 1RM and aiming to peak with higher poundages towards the end of the cycle is a fairly standard approach.

Your goal is to get stronger during your 30's, if you push too hard now you could end up burning out and maybe give up. If you take a bit slower approach and stay in the game you will be much stronger in 5 years than you are now.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Dan, it would be good to have a 1RM, even if it's a gym 1RM, you need something. 4RM doesn't always translate. I've done 5 reps w/a weight at one workout and then bombed on a single that was only 10 lbs. heavier the next time. And if you want a big 1RM, you'll have to test it periodically. Twice a year at a PL meet is about right for most people, IMHO, or twice a year in the gym otherwise.

And anytime you're running a new program for the first time, I suggest picking a conservative 1RM figure if you don't have a real one - you can always run the program a second time.

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