Yeah, quite a bit of variation day to day. 5-6lbs even.
What exactly does your bench routine look like? Like a regular 3x5 or 5x5 3x/week adding weight each workout? I know there's some more advanced versions of that to milk a little more basic linear progression. I'm not very familiar with them off the top of my head. The next step would be like a heavy, light, medium setup where you'd progress weekly rather than each workout. Like a 5x5 volume day early in the week, light day in the middle, then a peak set day at the end you try to add weight to each week. Like The Texas Method, although I'm not a fan of it in its original form.
I started out doing a 5x5 and adding weight per workout, but things slowed and around 70 - 72.5 kg I found I wasn't able to consistently do this (life stress, lack of sleep, massive heat kinda killed this). I have kind of slipped back into my old training method (which I did before I knew anything), basically reverse pyramid training with 1-2 reps in reserve (more 1, tbh). 3-5 rep range. Each session I try to raise the reps up in the first set, then when i get to 5 next session I raise the weight by 2.5kg and reps go to 3 usually. Subsequent sets are whatever weight i can do within that rep range, but I try to keep the heavier weight on for as many as possible. It's not an ideal way of training, but isn't total
turd, I think. I am not factoring in volume, or intensity and fatigue though. This was fine when I was doing isolation stuff, but doing bench presses surprisingly exhausts me (as do deadlifts, even at the light weight I am using), and constantly training in this linear "just add more" style I feel is breaking down now and cumulated fatigue is kinda masking improvements (or I might not be improving, hard to know).
Yeh, I feel like switching to an intermediate routine probably won't harm, especially one that allows for more rapid progression (if it's there). Realistically at this point in the bench I am only increasing weight weekly now anyway. I don't really believe there is any magic with beginner routines, and I don't want to keep forcing up intensity or volume without properly managing it, because that's when injury risk increases, and injuries will slow **** down a lot more than having good reliable weekly progression, so yeh, maybe time to jump to intermediate routine (whether its too early or not).
Obviously being the stubborn, know it all ******* I am, I would need to modify the program tho haha
Kind of my own creation that works really well in a calorie deficit is doing an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) on the peak set day in a setup like I just described. Start with about 70% of your 1RM and do 3x3 with it and on the fourth set just rep out. The next week repeat with however much more weight like 5lbs or whatever. Technically you'll be hitting a PR every week for awhile because you're doing a different rep range that normal. For me beating my head against the wall trying to progress a set of 2-5 week after week with no progress really gets me down. Becomes a mental thing where I don't look forward to training as much. With the AMRAPs there's really no failing until you progress in weight back to where you can't get 3 reps on your last set and by the time you get there you might be setting a new 3RM anyway. Kind of autoregulated as well in that you can take advantage of a good day or not go as hard on a bad day. Going after those 3-5's and possibly missing reps and all that can be extremely frustrating. Works really well for me and some of the people I've trained. There's definitely something to be said about momentum and setting regular PRs and motivation to train. The mental aspect of it anyway. When you're not progressing it just sucks. Might be worth trying to keep your interest level up while you diet and still progress. But yeah, if that sounds like something you'd be interested in I can type the template out for you.
That does sound interesting. Yeh, definitely re the not progressing, will keep it in mind. Thanks fella
Muscle gain would definitely improve strength, but there's quite a bit of gains to be had through technique. We're talking years of practice and thousands upon thousands of reps to really master a lift. I'm still analyzing and trying to improve upon mine all the time. Being as I'm really not trying to be much heavier for health reasons I'm looking to maximize technique. There's gains to be had eating at maintenance and recomping through technique and improved body composition.
Yeh, for sure, and my bench technique is still probably a bit turd. I still dont feel the bar pathing is automatic enough, so evidently I haven't done it for long enough yet, and I still get into the habit of accidentally letting my wrists go back, so I know there are improvements there. Am definitely still recomping. I guess its at what point I stop with maintenance though, could get caught there for a long time, and at some point fairly soon its going to be a case of just biting the bullet and dieting, for better longer term results.
As far as the dieting goes I can relate. I went full fatboy my first couple years in powerlifting and permabulked my way to some good gains. My second meet I competed in the 110kg weight class. Had to have been 25%+ bodyfat. Once I got leaner it started becoming a battle between getting leaner and getting stronger. I'd make it a few weeks or even a couple months on a diet and then the frustration from losing progress would drive me to stopping the diet. But over the years I've gotten pretty lean and still gotten stronger. The extra muscle mass does make losing fat easier, so there's something to be said about building muscle first under the fat. Just depends on your goals and tolerance for being heavier.
Also, I've got a Google drive address with literally dozens of great books on training and diet if you want me to PM it to you.
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Yeh, at my weight I dont have that much tolerance for more fat gain. There isn't any way I am going to diet down to like 10-15% or whatever, it's going to take too long. I also don't care about being a little
plumper, and am ok with being in the low 20% range, so really I would only do like a 2 month diet, aim for 15-20lbs loss, 3 months slight surplus, then repeat diet and yeh, with the extra muscle and increased metabolism I probably wouldn't be too far off where I wanted to be. That would be good enough.
Thanks mate, will send you that pm