Is it common sense to change a routine, if that 6 months big routine gave you very little progress?

Discussion in 'Bodyweight' started by Stewie, Sep 13, 2019 at 8:55 AM.

  1. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    End Result were 2 chin ups, 5-5-5 push ups, and other 4 exercises, which are not mention worthy to mention.

    Yes or no? :)

    Some say stick with it.
    Some say choose another routine, yours obviously doesn't work.
  2. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    Progress is Point A to Point B. You only told us Point B, so, it's hard to say how much progress that is.

    Also -- What is your goal? If your description of what you're after includes things other than the number of chin-ups, push-ups, and the other exercises, then find a way to measure progress in those other ways and determine if you are happy with it.
  3. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    Uf.... is my english that bad? :/
  4. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    No, your English is fine, we just don't know where you started from.

    What routine were you doing?
  5. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    Wait.... my question is right in the title? There are no other questions.
    This is a basic question. Without details.
  6. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    OK then without details, I'd suggest a change could help.
    North Coast Miller likes this.
  7. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    The guys on the bwf subreddit say stick with the routine. reddit: the front page of the internet
    They help me via: Improve your form, add a fourth set to all exercises.
    I don't get why they want me to stick to that routine if it shows tiny results?
    I mean they don't sell it. It's a good serious subreddit. No scam there. Why would they lie to me?

    This is my first thread regarding my very slow progress: Why am I making no progress since I started in October?

    But in this thread i am just asking the title question.
  8. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    Yes, but...

    Throwing one program out completely and switching to another doesn't allow you to learn how your body responds.

    What has worked well for me to build strength is to get on a simple program, change very little except progressing the weight until that stops working, then change one variable at a time (sets, reps, weight, exercise selection) to see if that gets progress started again.
    Kiacek, Glen and Stewie like this.
  9. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    Can't I just test my blood or dna and see what type of training I need?
    I think every human grows the same on the same routine. That's what I learned.
    You mean high/low volume with changing sets and reps, and weight? I don't know anything else than low or high volume
    You can't tell me that doing 4 instead of 3 sets will improve my gains a lot. One guy in the subreddit recommended that...
    And because they find me retarded, almost nobody answers me.
  10. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    @Stewie, looking back at your other thread: Why am I making no progress since I started in October?

    There is a lot of good advice for you in that thread:
    • wespom9: "sleep, stress, nutrition, etc. will all play a role in this as well"
    • Bro Mo: "Bigger muscles are need to lift heavier weights or to lift weight more times - or both. Getting more efficient at strength won't build bigger muscles. There is a reason body builders do 3-10 sets of 8-12 reps per muscle(group) to failure."
    • Glen: 1) technique 2) diet, 3) plan and progressive overload... "C) enough calories and nutrients to support growth. You cannot build SOMETHING out of NOTHING."
    • Steve Freides: "get a barbell and plates, and perform the powerlifts: squat, bench press, deadlift. Buy our ebook, Reload, for $6 and follow the instructions. Eat, sleep, lift."
    • North Coast Miller: "rep and loading ranges using external resistance (weights) - this could be as simple as bags of tubesand or play sand, sacks of pea gravel, rubber mulch, large smooth rocks etc."
    • Bauer: Worry about hypertrophy later... strength and muclse gains go together in the beginning. Consistency is important.
    • George Locke: "There's no reason you can't succeed with just bodyweight, but progressive overload is just easier to manipulate/organize with weights."
    • SASTOMO: "Remember if you want to look like a lifter (as you said initially) you have to become a lifter."
    • william bad butt: "Get Strong! The muscle will come. Kbells work. Body weight excersises work. But it is hard to beat the barbell for absolute strength and muscle gains."
    • John Doeman: "1. If you can do 3x12 of any exercise no problem, then do one or all of these things. (1) add resistance, (2) forcefully create more tension in your muscles while doing the exercise, or (3) slow down your rep cadence. If you're looking for more hypertrophy for aesthetics, then you need to add more tension, and remain under tension more more time. Quickly knocking out push-ups or whatever other exercise won't do much. So, slow down, add resistance or tension, sleep, eat and grow."
    Don't worry about nutrient timing if you're not getting adequate protein and calories overall.

    You're welcome to post a video for feedback on technique.

    Part of the StrongFirst Code is, "I am a student of strength." Keep learning and practicing! It is a worthwhile pursuit, and you've found a good place.
    Kiacek, Bauer and North Coast Miller like this.
  11. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    6 months no change you either need to:
    change your program
    change how you do your program

    You need to expend a lot of effort when you train. Whatever somebody in the subreddit recommended is largely meaningless out of context - you can actually increase gains by reducing the number of sets depending how they are executed.

    Beyond that, more detail is needed. I hate to even suggest, but you might want to record an entire average session.
    Bauer likes this.
  12. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    That's a great idea.

    @Stewie, I once recorded a whole session of "Simple and Sinister". The video now has over 18,000 views. There is a lot to be learned from seeing the whole session, such as, how do I warm up? Is my first set of swings as good as set 3, 4? Is set 10 just as good? Do I look tired or does technique get worse as the session goes on? What do I do at the end? How is my breathing, active recovery? Etc....

    Here is a link to that video.
  13. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    I am Still confused. Anna.
    The points you picked sound like motivation lines.
    I already have a video for warm-up and I don't do SAS. I just wanna know why my progress was so slow.

    North Coast, why an entire workout? If you give me advice for form - that will be too much at once for me. Why not exercise for exercise.

    Can a bad form really be THE reason for my slow progress? When I do push ups and my body isn't in a straight line, the muscles are still working hard.
    Bad form can't be the reason. I've seen too many bad form guys who progress like one should progress.

    My Diet is good, sleep is good, routine is good. Result is bad. sigh.
  14. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    My gut feeling is that you aren't training hard enough to produce an adaptive response, or some other fundamental variable is being ignored.

    Even a relatively terrible program, or none at all if one is really exerting themself, will yield some positive benefit after 6 months.

    6 months on a basic DeLorme program of half dozen exercises can achieve a great deal, and it doesn't get more simple than that and still have some structure.
    Geoff Chafe likes this.
  15. q.Hung

    q.Hung More than 500 posts

    2 chins, 5 push ups are hardly high numbers, but a progress is a progress. First, congrat you for that.
    Second, 6 months are long enough for many routine. Feel free to stop and choose a proven routine in a proven system.
    But i agree with Mr Miller and Anna, without knowing some important details about your previous training, like what was your fitness level before, what was your routine, how did you execute it,...we may not provide a helpful advices. If you invalided training principles in the past without knowing it, even with the proven program, your result could still suck.
    Form is important to the extent, but it relates to the kind of training are you in. For example, kipping pull up at the last rep of the 12-rep set is maybe good for the bodybuilder, but you cannot do that when you are pulling with the 48kg kettlebell. And also, good from keeps you away from injury .
  16. rwrjr

    rwrjr Double-Digit Post Count

    There's some great info above and in the answers to your other thread. Your slower progress is something I noticed that happened with my son last summer and this summer. It may be related to the relatively low number of reps you can perform now. Maybe the volume isn't high enough. What I mean is it's hard to progress in chin ups if you can only do two. Band assist, negatives, and other techniques work for some and don't do much for others. Each workout may drift close to max out territory, especially if you use negatives, which may not be productive long term.

    A few weeks ago my son switched to a GTG style with chin ups and push ups and has seen some new progress. I also have him doing the trap bar deadlift (TBDL) when he gets home from school.

    You haven't provided a lot of details of the program that you're using or if you have any other equipment available. I bought relatively inexpensive trap bars from Amazon and a bunch of used plates from Craigslist. If you can get a trap bar and some used plates within your budget it could be a very useful tool for building full body strength. It's funny but true that a used plate weighs the same as a brand new plate, and lasts just as long too. :)

    Maybe take a step back and completely simplify your training for a little while. If you can get a trap bar and plates, use it with a very simple linear progression workout 3 days per week. You don't need a bench, spotter, or safety rack. Do 3 sets of 5 reps of the trap bar deadlift (TBDL). Start somewhere in the 80% range of your 5RM. Add 5 lbs or 2.5 kg per workout. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets. Closer to 5 minutes as the weight goes up. Once you can no longer add 5 lbs or 2.5 kg take two days off and retest your max. Calculate 80% of your new max and start the program over again. At the end of your 3 sets TBDL do some farmers walks with the same trap bar. You may want to adjust the weight, lighter on some day for longer walks, heavier on other for shorter walks. For now, aim for 20, 30, or 40 second walks. Work up to a total of 2 minutes of accumulated time under tension across the farmers walks each workout. The TBDL and farmers walks will significantly strengthen your grip and your upper and lower back. They'll hit most of the rest of your body too. Build some real strength.

    In addition to the above, use a laid back GTG approach with chin ups and pushups. For you it will be singles on the chins, and maybe just 2 reps on the pushups. In the evenings, every 15 - 30 minutes, do one perfect chin followed by 2 perfect push ups. Do these about 5 nights per week. Let you body dictate the nights off. Don't push to failure, not even close to failure. The rep speed on each rep should be smooth and consistent. If you have to strain or the rep starts to slow down, you're done for the evening with that exercise. If chins slow down before push ups or push ups slow down before chins, it's okay to keep GTG with the one exercise that hasn't slowed down to get some more volume. Listen to your body on these GTG exercises. If you get to the point where you're doing 10 or more GTG sets per night, take a night off and then re-test your max for each exercise. Let us know your new max when that happens.

    It's obvious from your posts that some frustration is setting in. You're working hard for little return on investment. What I recommend above will take very little time commitment and maybe by simplifying your workouts to just these four movements you can kick start your progress again. Give it a solid 100 days test drive. Resist the temptation to add other exercises except for a brisk walk after dinner and see if it works.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 3:00 PM
  17. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement, SFB, Senior SFG Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Stewie, I'm of two minds whether your post should be here at all. Read about StrongFirst, learn about our approach to things, and if you want to follow it, we'll help; if not, then stay on reddit and keep your discussion of their program over there.

    Not all lack of progress is attributable to the causes you've given, things like which workout routine you're following or your diet. Maybe your form needs work, and maybe your understanding of strength is incomplete. If you could post a video of some of the movements on which you're trying to make progress, as so many other forum participants have done, perhaps someone here can offer some advice that would help you.

    StrongFirst certifies instructors in our methods. We offer 1-day courses for those who want to learn more without becoming a certified instructor, and we have tons of articles publish here on our site on the subject of bodyweight training. We have books available from Pavel's old publisher on bodyweight training. How about availing yourself of some of these things as you try to understand why you haven't achieved the results you desire.

    And the best thing you could do would be to work with a StrongFirst Certified Bodyweight instructor - you can find them on our web site.

    Kiacek and North Coast Miller like this.
  18. Stewie

    Stewie Double-Digit Post Count

    Wait. Normal chin ups work for everybody but negatives don't? Banded also not? Why? I can do inclined push ups for example. 3x12 or so. How is that not enough volume? If you can do only 2 of x, you don't do it in calisthenics. You do easier progression of that exercise.

    GTG. And what does he do after few weeks of GTG? Again progress like a snail? C'mon...

    I do reddit: the front page of the internet

    Thank you for suggesting what routine I could do.

    I started GTG 4 days ago. Until now huge sore, that I cannot train anymore. :D 3 days per week, to failure.
    Neg Chins and inclined push ups. yo.

    Yes. I am very frustrated regarding my snail-progress. Otherwise I would not write like an a#$%*@#^.

    Some start training and gain instantly and some don't. Good luck finding out why.

    Rocket Science this is.

    Steve, yes I am reading here in. Thanks.
  19. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    With a GTG protocol you're not meant to go to failure except on the day when you test yourself, once every few weeks or once a month. GTG is all done in the easy range at about 50% (or less) of your max reps and it's normally done about 5 days a week.

    So if you can find a band that will allow you to max out at 10 chinups, do 5 reps or less several times a day. If you can do 10 inclined pushups do 5 reps several times a day. The idea is to stay fresh and have long rest breaks between sets with GTG, don't think of it as working out, think of it as practicing a skill. If you're getting sore or tired then you're doing to much and/or not resting enough between sets.

    So if you are training at a gym several times a week GTG probably isn't suitable, if you have bar at home or work so you can do it regularly it should work but 3 times a week to failure isn't what GTG is all about.
  20. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Training to failure should be done no more than once or twice per week at absolute most, per exercise, only on the last set. Even then, once per week would probably be better and only following a bunch of easier sets so you get some volume in first.

    I have used negative chins as a set extender (again, only on the last set!) and it work reasonably well to improve my numbers overall. Is tough to go "to failure" on eccentric negatives because you essentially are already at failure when you begin, so limit the number of reps to just a few if going this route. Again, training to failure does not work with high frequency unless you are on juice or a genetic superman. Give yourself some extra downtime if going this route and even then it should be viewed as an interim "shock treatment" to be used around other lower intensity of effort training.

    Also, improving my pushups I have a lot better success once I can get to 20-25 reps or so by increasing the load - put some weight on your back or use a band to increase resistance. It is a lot easier to continue getting stronger this way than to add ever increasing volume.

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