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Old 04-04-2015, 05:33 PM   #1
Call_Me_Ishmael
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Default Gaining Reps, Then Losing Them

Over the past four months or so, I've found a distinct pattern with my training.

The thing is I break a PR (adding a rep or two) and the following week I lose a rep or two.

The most recent example is the bench press.

Last week I got 5 reps with 225 lbs. Today I got three reps and failed on the fourth.

I've had something similar happen with the dead lift. One week 295 flies and I get 4-5 reps, and 315 for a single.

The following week I can't get 315 at all and barely get 295 for a single.

But the week after that I got 315 for a triple.

My calories and protein intake are consistent and apparently are enough to gain weight because the scale indicates that I have managed to increase body mass.

I've had similar issues on the overhead press and the squat. Basically on all my big lifts.

Bottom line:

I seem to be locked into a pattern of record- breaking week followed by a piss poor week, despite sleep, diet etc. seemingly being in check.

Any ideas?
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Last edited by Call_Me_Ishmael; 04-04-2015 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:17 PM   #2
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Well sure, peaks and valleys, I guess. To some extent.

On the other hand, what routine are you following atm, and how long have you been doing that?
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:49 PM   #3
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On the other hand, what routine are you following atm, and how long have you been doing that?
4-day split training the big lifts once a week.

Basically this

Tried full body, tried upper lower, but didn't care for them because I found repeating similar movement patterns to be rough on joints, namely in shoulders, hips and wrists.

The split thus far has allowed me to achieve number I couldn't reach on the aforementioned routines.

I guess I've been following this routine since December.

In Dec. I was maybe getting 1-2 reps on 225 bench with spotter. In Jan I got 3 on my own with no spotter, in Feb I got 4 and in March I got 5. So I guess you can say that the problem isn't progress but replicating said progress and moving beyond it.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:15 PM   #4
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So, you've been trying for as many reps as you can on those sets, then if you hit 4 sets of 5, increasing the weight some next time?
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:06 PM   #5
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So, you've been trying for as many reps as you can on those sets, then if you hit 4 sets of 5, increasing the weight some next time?
That's the idea, but I'd like to be blasting out a good 6-8 reps consistently with 225 before bumping up the weight.

That's the progression scheme I used and it seems to have worked up to this point.
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:55 AM   #6
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Progressing every other week sounds pretty damn good to me!
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:38 AM   #7
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Progressing every other week sounds pretty damn good to me!
But what about regressing every other week?

In other words, my pattern seems to be one step forward this week, then two steps backward the next.

Or do I maybe need to periodize (I think that's what they call it).

In other words, the week after breaking a PR, should I dial it back the following week? That is, lift lighter or something?

I always thought that kinda stuff was for advanced lifters (I'm not advanced).

But it seems like there's an undeniable pattern.

Progress made one week that I fail to replicate the week after that.
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Call_Me_Ishmael View Post
In Dec. I was maybe getting 1-2 reps on 225 bench with spotter. In Jan I got 3 on my own with no spotter, in Feb I got 4 and in March I got 5. So I guess you can say that the problem isn't progress but replicating said progress and moving beyond it.
If you feed those numbers into a 1RM calculator:

Dec: 1RM of say 225, considering you had a spotter
Jan: 1RM of 238
Feb: 1RM of 245
Mar: 1RM of 253

So that's a 12.4% increase over that time period. And although 1RM can never be entirely accurate, they give you some indication of progress - which I would say is solid.

Those inexplicable peaks and troughs are frustrating, but in your case you do seem to be making overall progress.
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #9
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http://muscleandbrawn.com/forum/musc...t-5th-rep.html

Did you keep what doing what got you the 5th rep?
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:25 AM   #10
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As you can see from the estimated 1RM calculations, adding a rep is actually a bigger increase than adding weight. That's why often times you see people microloading rather than adding reps. In other words, if you get three reps with 225, adding 2.5 lbs and doing 3 reps is a smaller increment than adding a rep. In the end, both methods will work, but microloading would probably allow progress every week more easily than trying to add reps every week. This is even more true as the weights get heavier.
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