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  • Pattern of quitting

    I've started a novice linear progression of some kind five times now in the past 10 years, I'm 35 now. I've been recording my workouts for the last four times and I've noticed that once I hit about a 275 lb squat I end up quitting. This time I'm strictly adhering to the SSLP and I once again hit 275 and just didn't feel like going forward anymore. I'm committed to sticking with lifting, because I know if I even take a week's break it will be harder for me to get "up" for lifting again based on my history. I know part of the problem is that I just dread a long workout ahead of me. I'm forcing myself to limit my workouts to one hour so I've drastically deloaded my lifts (225lb squat) and I definitely feel better, but I'm bummed about my numbers.

    I think I have two questions.
    1) What is it about that 275 squat mark (for me) ? Does it have to do with the accumulation of stress with the NLP that leads to fatigue?
    2) Do you have any tips for limiting my workout times while maximizing gains? I'm thinking about going heavy on Saturdays because I have more time on the weekends for lifting, but I'd like to hear what you guys think.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  • #2
    Probably you are close to the limit of your NLP at 275, and then from what I understand, this is when the workouts get really demanding and frustrating (I did not do it).

    If I were you, I'd get close to this number in your current run of the NLP and switch immediately to The Bridge. It's free, it's different, and then you would be able to see how you respond, both physically and psychologically, to its 8 weeks.

    Regarding 2), I struggle with it also, and I'll let others help you.
    Me gainzz

    Comment


    • #3
      2) Do you have any tips for limiting my workout times while maximizing gains? I'm thinking about going heavy on Saturdays because I have more time on the weekends for lifting, but I'd like to hear what you guys think.

      you could always lift on a Saturday/Sunday Monday off Tuesday/ Wednesday schedule give yourself a break Thursday and Friday if you do 4- day .

      I think sticking with lifting for you comes down to meeting your restrictions. If longer sessions are a problem limit your workouts to shorter times . You can reduce rest times and weight to fit the volume in or break up workouts over 4 days instead of 3 .

      I would move on from nlp and follow more “ bridge style programming “

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LiftingJoe View Post
        2) Do you have any tips for limiting my workout times while maximizing gains? I'm thinking about going heavy on Saturdays because I have more time on the weekends for lifting, but I'd like to hear what you guys think.
        3 suggestions, the first 2 are tweaks, the other is a bit more significant.
        1. Although Rippetoe et. all recommend rest breaks as long as 10 minutes for when it starts grinding, Jordan seems to like limiting rest breaks to 4 minutes.
        2. The second time saver recommended on BBM is to start warming up your next lift during the rest period for your current lift.
        3. It's not "the program"TM but for myself, I squeeze it into 1 hour by doing a 4 day upper/lower split alternating doing Squat & DL with Bench & Press. It diverges from the whole body each workout paradigm, but it also allows for 2 days per week of both upper body lifts, and honestly, 3 days a week of squatting gets very, very old for me.
        #3 also transitions nicely into my favorite weekly progression program, option 9 of Jordan's 12 ways to skin the Texas method. Two tweaks I make to that program are:
        1. I don't do both bench and press volume on the same day, instead I always do intensity for one, followed by volume for the other on the same day. This makes for better progression, as well as helping to meet that 60 minute gym time goal.
        2. I try to work my day to day schedule so that I always have a day off after squats. I once had a charlie horse while benching the day after squats, and I don't want that to ever happen again.
        Forum topics and other links I've found useful

        Comment


        • #5
          LiftingJoe - you should check out The Bridge. You're a perfect candidate for RPE style programming. I'm guessing you're dreading the "grind", which RPE based programming eliminates completely. I was just like you, and now I love training again.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think anybody here can tell you why psychologically you like to quit at that level. Your psychology is unique to you, so only you can determine this. But I doubt it has to do with length of workout times. If you had a workout routine that you enjoyed doing, would an hour be an insurmountable hurdle? Probably not. I think it's clear that SS does is not a fit for you on a psychological level for one reason or another. While you most certainly can cut down on warmup time and rest times and be done in an hour, I have a feeling that's more in line with placing a bandaid as opposed to finding a solution to the real problem.

            So a couple questions for you as food for thought so we can hopefully get the context we need to point you in the right direction:

            Why do you keep going back to SS? Why not try something new?

            What are your exact goals and why exactly are you doing this?

            What do you think would constitute a workout routine that you would enjoy long term?

            In general, are you the type of person that finds comfort in doing the same old, same old all the time, or are you the type that craves variety?

            Are you the type that really enjoys grinding intimidating super heavy weights all the time, or would you prefer to lift lighter weights (say leaving 2-4 reps in the tank most sets) for higher volumes?

            If increasing arbitrary strength levels are not motivating to you, what do you feel would be motivating to you to help keep you engaged?
            PWard
            Senior Member
            Last edited by PWard; 10-23-2018, 10:27 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Serack
              Senior Member
              Serack
              Grimtrigger
              Member
              Grimtrigger
              t_angeiras
              Senior Member
              t_angeiras
              Rent
              Senior Member
              Rent - Thank you for the suggestions. There are a lot of 4-day suggestions and bridge suggestions. Seems like a consensus really.

              PWard
              Senior Member
              PWard - Thank you for the detailed response. See below:

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              ... I doubt it has to do with length of workout times. If you had a workout routine that you enjoyed doing, would an hour be an insurmountable hurdle?
              I see what you're saying and that does frame it differently for me. Thinking on it a bit more, it is really that I'm going into it knowing that I'm about to lift 280 lb now, and 275 was horrible. So there will be a slow uncomfortable climb to my working weight followed by three grueling sets that I might not even be successful at. Also my form breaks down when I'm near my 5RM, and I've come to understand that some form breakdown is ok, but I think that contributes to the psychology of it as well.

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              I think it's clear that SS does is not a fit for you on a psychological level for one reason or another.
              Yeah, maybe grinding it out isn't a fit for me. Increasing the weight each session early on though was a motivator for me. I like seeing the numbers go up, so I think LP is good for 10-12 weeks for me, but I think you're right that finishing the advanced novice phase of SSLP might not work for me.[/QUOTE]

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              Why do you keep going back to SS? Why not try something new?
              Barbell training is the only form of exercise that really interests me, and the arguments that Rippetoe has made about the importance of strength have definitely made an impression on me. So then when you're looking at novice strength programs as far as I know there is Starting Strength and Stronglifts. [/QUOTE]

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              What are your exact goals and why exactly are you doing this?
              - I want a decent base of GPP (be able to snowboard, throw my kid up in the air, carry my dog away from the neighbors house) without feeling like I'm going to die. This stint on the SSLP has definitely taken me here I think. Sure, I'd like to be able to run a mile faster than 12 minutes, but that isn't really a big goal for me.
              - Fat loss - I suck at dieting, but I'm more compliant when I exercise. I've lost 2 inches since starting this block of SSLP. I would like to lose a few more inches off of my waist though.
              - Strength gain - I'm glad I can almost squat 3 plates, but really I want to be stronger. Like I said earlier I'm pretty motivated by seeing the numbers increase. Obviously that tapers off towards the end of the LP, and is probably part of my pattern of quitting.
              - Upper body hypertrophy - If we're being honest I'd like bigger arms/shoulders/chest. My squat hit 275, but my bench was 165 before stalling so there is definitely a lag there.

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              What do you think would constitute a workout routine that you would enjoy long term?
              One that meets the goals above and that I can periodically "test" and see an improvement.

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              In general, are you the type of person that finds comfort in doing the same old, same old all the time, or are you the type that craves variety?
              Same wife for 14 years, same city since birth, same profession since college, style hasn't changed, but I do like to dive into new hobbies and learn a lot about it and then I tend to get bored and move on to something else. That doesn't quite help probably, but like I said earlier, barbell training interests me. I did enjoy the couple of months I did Crossfit several years ago, but the expense was too high and it was so general that I realized it would be hard for me to increase my lifts on it.

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              Are you the type that really enjoys grinding intimidating super heavy weights all the time, or would you prefer to lift lighter weights (say leaving 2-4 reps in the tank most sets) for higher volumes?
              There is no doubt that I am pumped to hit a PR, and occasionally I don't mind focusing on an intense workout. Doing that 3 days a week was definitely not enjoyable.

              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              If increasing arbitrary strength levels are not motivating to you, what do you feel would be motivating to you to help keep you engaged?
              Seeing the numbers go up is motivating. Having room for some accessory work would be nice. I liked only deadlifting once every 5 sessions and incorporating chins and power cleans.

              Thank you very much for the detailed response.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, I think you confirmed my suspicions. I definitely don't think that SS is a good fit for you. One thing to keep in mind, SS markets the program as if the "novice" phase is some magical thing, and that working a "novice linear progression" is the only way to get strong. Well that is a flat out lie. It's not the program that causes the linear gains, it's the fact that you're untrained that causes linear gains. You can get linear gains on anything you do at this point. I mean you could even get linear progression on a bodybuilder bro split, lol. I definitely would not stick with a program you can't comply with. I mean, you could work the most optimal program in the entire world, but if you can't comply with it and you quit, then it really didn't matter how good it was because you're not doing it, ya know?

                Based on what you've told me I would recommend swapping to The Bridge ASAP. You will still get linear gains since you are still a novice, but your sessions won't be full of miserable grinding sets day after day. You'll do a lot more volume with lighter weights. You'll also incorporate some GPP to help give you a decent and functional conditioning base, as well as aid fat loss. After running the bridge I would look at rotating the 4 day hypertrophy template and the 12 week strength template. Reasons for this: first you mentioned that upper body hypertrophy is a priority, and these two programs have the most upper body volume. Also, you mention wanting to lose weight through exercise, and these are 4 days per week lifting and 2 days of gpp/conditioning so you will burn more calories on these templates than the others. Lastly, since you do like hitting PR's at the end of the 12 week strength you will get to peak and test your 1RM's, and that is always a satisfying thing to do after a few months of hard work. I personally think that would be the best course of action for you based on your goals and psychology. I really want to see you get into a routine that you can stick with long term, as that is really the most important factor. Strength and muscle gainzZz don't happen overnight, they are the product of months and years of consistency. We definitely need to solve the consistency piece first by finding a training style that is sustainable for you long term.
                PWard
                Senior Member
                Last edited by PWard; 10-24-2018, 03:17 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Joe, I was in the same boat as you. I got to sets of 5 at 280 lb squats and started to really grind. It was demoralizing, especially compared to watching the rapid progression from 85 lbs to 225 lbs! My bench and OH press #'s are similarly low despite multiple resets. That used to cause me to wonder if something was wrong with me while reading the SS forums, but now I'm just slowly building instead of stressing over it.

                  A big part of the BBM methodology that appealed to me is that the long game is more important than the short term. Yes, you make rapid strides during your novice phase, but that's not sustainable forever. The SS mentality is that you're not a real man unless you lift XXX lbs, and your waistline doesn't matter. Keep grinding. That works for some, not for me. I did really like that the NLP pushed me to try weights I was certain I couldn't lift, but could. But, that only works so long before you need a change for your body to keep improving.

                  Try the Bridge program. You really don't have anything to lose. If this doesn't work out, in 8 weeks you can always go back to SS-style programming. It's stunning how fast that time goes by. I wasted decades before starting strength training - what's 8 weeks in comparison?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I will say that the bridge took me significantly longer than 60 minutes a session.
                    Forum topics and other links I've found useful

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, I'll be starting the bridge on Monday. I'll report back at the end of it just to hold myself accountable, and let you all know that your advice wasn't wasted. :-)

                      Originally posted by Serack View Post
                      I will say that the bridge took me significantly longer than 60 minutes a session.
                      I wonder that too after looking at it, but the interesting thing with RPE is that I can keep a short rest time, and if I'm not recovered then an RPE 8 will just be lower than it would be if I were fully recovered. Maybe that isn't the idea behind RPE, but it seems like I could still force the workout into a time period if I had to. I'll try it out for 8 weeks, and if PWard was right then maybe something longer than an hour won't be such a big deal to me. If not then I might have to look more into a four day split to keep the workouts down.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You absolutely can get the bridge done in ~60ish minutes if you keep your rest periods and warmups to the minimum effective dose. My typical rest period is 3 minutes, and I do *way* more sets in my program than is in the Bridge in not much more than 60 minutes... I also have a feeling that if you're not miserably grinding away each set that the workouts won't seem as bad in general, even if you choose to take more rest and warmups and stretch the workouts out to 75-90 minutes. In training with RPE, I find that if I'm dreading my next sets ahead of me it is generally a leading indicator that I may be overshooting or under-rating my RPE's.

                        Comment


                        • SunTzu
                          SunTzu
                          Junior Member
                          SunTzu commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That is pretty interesting - were you able to make linear gains on the bridge while keeping rest times that short? I'm finding after SSLP, and adapting to volume and shorter rest times that I am no making week to week progress in terms of weight on the bar.

                        • PWard
                          PWard
                          Senior Member
                          PWard commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I didn't run the bridge. I was in my post-novice phase before they ever released the bridge unfortunately. I spun my wheels with Bakers GGW and then 5/3/1 as an early intermediate, and got absolutely nowhere in the process. I currently am coached by Leah. My sessions are typically about ~20-25 total working sets 4 days a week, so quite a bit more volume than the bridge. Personally, I'm not so sure how realistic "linear" gains are in post novice training. I certainly never experienced it, and most of the logs I've seen and people I've followed have not had perfectly linear progress past the novice phase either. In my experience, progress comes more in bursts. I don't think that Rip et al do a fair job of realistically painting the expectations the average person can hope for. The truth is that building strength is freaking hard, and it takes a long time. There can be n number of reasons why you're not getting "linear" gains, but I can certainly say that as long as you're resting 3 minutes between any difficult set, that it's highly unlikely that rest periods are one of them.
                          PWard
                          Senior Member
                          Last edited by PWard; 11-01-2018, 11:57 PM.

                      • #13
                        Originally posted by PWard View Post
                        You absolutely can get the bridge done in ~60ish minutes if you keep your rest periods and warmups to the minimum effective dose. My typical rest period is 3 minutes, and I do *way* more sets in my program than is in the Bridge in not much more than 60 minutes... I also have a feeling that if you're not miserably grinding away each set that the workouts won't seem as bad in general, even if you choose to take more rest and warmups and stretch the workouts out to 75-90 minutes. In training with RPE, I find that if I'm dreading my next sets ahead of me it is generally a leading indicator that I may be overshooting or under-rating my RPE's.
                        Agreed. When I did the bridge I struggled at first because I kept taking long rests. Somewhere in there my wife started lifting with me but she just wanted to get it over with. She's now doing the bridge and usually will do her entire training session in about 50min. 0-30sec rest on warmups, max of about 3min on sets with RPE 7 or higher

                        Comment


                        • PWard
                          PWard
                          Senior Member
                          PWard commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Yeah I take no rest on warmups either. Just enough to change load on the bar.

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by Serack View Post

                        3 suggestions, the first 2 are tweaks, the other is a bit more significant.
                        1. Although Rippetoe et. all recommend rest breaks as long as 10 minutes for when it starts grinding, Jordan seems to like limiting rest breaks to 4 minutes.
                        2. The second time saver recommended on BBM is to start warming up your next lift during the rest period for your current lift.
                        3. It's not "the program"TM but for myself, I squeeze it into 1 hour by doing a 4 day upper/lower split alternating doing Squat & DL with Bench & Press. It diverges from the whole body each workout paradigm, but it also allows for 2 days per week of both upper body lifts, and honestly, 3 days a week of squatting gets very, very old for me.
                        #3 also transitions nicely into my favorite weekly progression program, option 9 of Jordan's 12 ways to skin the Texas method. Two tweaks I make to that program are:
                        1. I don't do both bench and press volume on the same day, instead I always do intensity for one, followed by volume for the other on the same day. This makes for better progression, as well as helping to meet that 60 minute gym time goal.
                        2. I try to work my day to day schedule so that I always have a day off after squats. I once had a charlie horse while benching the day after squats, and I don't want that to ever happen again.
                        I run a 4 day split almost exactly as you do. Works great!

                        Comment

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