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PLEASE help me understand weight training plateaus (or just help me help myself) Watch

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    Barbell squats I consider to be the most frustrating exercise on the planet. Mainly because I don't understand it.

    When I first started barbell squats, I started from 60kg. I gradually went up but then I plateaued at 70kg. No matter what I did, I ust couldn't go past 70kg. Then, all of a sudden, I went past it, and managed to hit 87.5kg (adding 2.5kg progressions after I use the current weight for 2 sessions) before exam season hit. After more than a month off from the gym, I went back. I expected to be weaker, but that it should be EASIER to go back to 87.5kg than I did the first time. It wasn't

    I was on 80kg, and this was now my (new) plateau, for whatever reason (maybe even similar to my 70kg plateau), I couldn't get past this. Now for the last couple sessions I've been going up (again keep doing a weight for 2 sessions, then add 2.5kg on the next and repeat). I'm currently on 85kg, and tomorrow will be 85 again from which I will try to hit 87.5kg after that.

    I have no reason to moan right now since weight is going up, but I'm currently using the gym at uni, and in a month or so, I plan on going back home, and returning when semester starts in september (more than a month break).

    I do NOT want to repeat this same issue for the third time. Can anyone help me understand what is going on or give me advice on how I can find this out myself?

    Currently I suspect it is a mixture of phychological and food (I'm cutting-although under eating would probably be a better description, I haven't even met my calorie limit for cutting) based factors

    My goal is to get to AND be comfortable with 100kg, with no more plateaus unless I'm hitting my limits of noob gains
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    You're weak. Why are you bothering with a cut? Devote a few months of your life to getting strong and eat to sustain it- as a novice you'll never gain as fast as this again. Forget your abs for now.

    I started by squatting three times a week. First session was 50kg, added 5kg each time until I got to 80kg, then 2.5kg until I got to 100kg. This shouldn't take you more than a few weeks if you're not really short and you're EATING.
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    (Original post by SEHughes)
    You're weak. Why are you bothering with a cut? Devote a few months of your life to getting strong and eat to sustain it- as a novice you'll never gain as fast as this again. Forget your abs for now.

    I started by squatting three times a week. First session was 50kg, added 5kg each time until I got to 80kg, then 2.5kg until I got to 100kg. This shouldn't take you more than a few weeks if you're not really short and you're EATING.
    Because I'm a recovering fat ass. I do want to bulk soon, but at this point in time I really want to try and get as lean as possible to prove to my self I can get to the opposite side of the spectrum (i.e get thin,lean, ripped, although it feels like climbing a mountain). Is this really based on the diet since it would make sense for me to gradually add weight and then permanently plateau (and only once) on a very low calorie diet, until I start eating more. I don't understand why i plateaued twice though.

    Take for example this recent one, my diet before i broke the plateau and during the plateau breaking was the same more or less

    (right now I'm planning to go over the top with my diet, and see if it's sustainable and has any major effect on my progress).

    on 85kg squats right now (body weight), if all goes well, I expect to hit 100kg on 21st August (not that I care if I miss this by a couple days or something)
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    (Original post by 00100101)
    Barbell squats I consider to be the most frustrating exercise on the planet. Mainly because I don't understand it.

    When I first started barbell squats, I started from 60kg. I gradually went up but then I plateaued at 70kg. No matter what I did, I ust couldn't go past 70kg. Then, all of a sudden, I went past it, and managed to hit 87.5kg (adding 2.5kg progressions after I use the current weight for 2 sessions) before exam season hit. After more than a month off from the gym, I went back. I expected to be weaker, but that it should be EASIER to go back to 87.5kg than I did the first time. It wasn't

    I was on 80kg, and this was now my (new) plateau, for whatever reason (maybe even similar to my 70kg plateau), I couldn't get past this. Now for the last couple sessions I've been going up (again keep doing a weight for 2 sessions, then add 2.5kg on the next and repeat). I'm currently on 85kg, and tomorrow will be 85 again from which I will try to hit 87.5kg after that.

    I have no reason to moan right now since weight is going up, but I'm currently using the gym at uni, and in a month or so, I plan on going back home, and returning when semester starts in september (more than a month break).

    I do NOT want to repeat this same issue for the third time. Can anyone help me understand what is going on or give me advice on how I can find this out myself?

    Currently I suspect it is a mixture of phychological and food (I'm cutting-although under eating would probably be a better description, I haven't even met my calorie limit for cutting) based factors

    My goal is to get to AND be comfortable with 100kg, with no more plateaus unless I'm hitting my limits of noob gains

    What's not to understand. To gain strength you need to eat plenty of calories for your muscles to grow, recover and strengthen. If you're on a cut you're not going to be able to do that. You've got two choices here, bulk and get strong then cut or cut and get strong once you've lost enough fat. You can't do both at the same time, especially if you've got a considerable amount of fat to lose.

    If I were you, and assuming you have a lot of fat to lose, then I'd focus on cutting your fat and sticking to your diet. I would still lift weights no matter what, weight lifting should be a staple of your fat loss regime on top of dieting and any cardio you do. But don't expect to be putting on any significant muscle mass or make any significant muscle gains. You will notice every so many weeks or months your strength has gone up and as you lose weight you will see your body is more defined, but the strength gains will be minimal and take a long time to achieve.

    So like I said, make a choice, either cut or bulk, because trying to do both at the same times isn't possible.
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    You can gain muscle and lose weight at the same time, get on a decent lifting routine like ICF5x5 or SL etc

    Work out your TDEE, eat a deficit of ~500 cals eat ~0.8g per lb of bodyweight and lift heavy. Lose the weight slow and you'll build good muscle.

    Good luck mate
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    You can gain muscle and lose weight at the same time, get on a decent lifting routine like ICF5x5 or SL etc

    Work out your TDEE, eat a deficit of ~500 cals eat ~0.8g per lb of bodyweight and lift heavy. Lose the weight slow and you'll build good muscle.

    Good luck mate

    This is bull****. It is impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. You need calories to build muscle, by the laws of physics you need to put energy in to get energy out. You cannot build muscle on a calorie deficit.

    There is some evidence to suggest when you first start lifting you get "noob gains" and lose fat, but these aren't bulking gains. The muscle mass you get when you first start lifting is your muscle getting used to being worked, and becoming more efficient at storing glycogen and water/fluid hence look fuller due to an increased size of it's glycogen and liquid stores. This is what give the appearance of lean mass gains, then the fact you lose fat which shows more muscle definition. This phenomenon though peaks at a couple of months of lifting.

    If you want to build muscle mass you need to bulk and eat more calories, if you want to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit full stop. You cannot do both at the same time.
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
    This is bull****. It is impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. You need calories to build muscle, by the laws of physics you need to put energy in to get energy out. You cannot build muscle on a calorie deficit.

    There is some evidence to suggest when you first start lifting you get "noob gains" and lose fat, but these aren't bulking gains. The muscle mass you get when you first start lifting is your muscle getting used to being worked, and becoming more efficient at storing glycogen and water/fluid hence look fuller due to an increased size of it's glycogen and liquid stores. This is what give the appearance of lean mass gains, then the fact you lose fat which shows more muscle definition. This phenomenon though peaks at a couple of months of lifting.

    If you want to build muscle mass you need to bulk and eat more calories, if you want to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit full stop. You cannot do both at the same time.
    It is not impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

    Your second paragraph lacks any science and I'm not even sure what you mean.

    Theres a reason that the ICF3x5 cutting programme exists amongst others. On the blogs Areeb is gaining muscle on a cut as is implication.

    It's not as fast as a bulk, but you can gain muscle on a cut, it just takes a bit more time.

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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    It is not impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

    Your second paragraph lacks any science and I'm not even sure what you mean.

    Theres a reason that the ICF3x5 cutting programme exists amongst others. On the blogs Areeb is gaining muscle on a cut as is implication.

    It's not as fast as a bulk, but you can gain muscle on a cut, it just takes a bit more time.

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    I lack scientific evidence! You're claiming to build muscles without the suffice nutrition to do so. It is not possible, no matter how many anecdotes you can come up with.

    Without some for of AAS or synthetic hormones you cannot build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It just isn't possible. Where are your muscles getting the nutrition from to build the new muscle fibre if you're in a calorie deficit? Any calories you eat on a deficit diet will be used up as energy leaving nothing left for muscle building. The best you can hope for on a cutting diet is preserving strength and muscle mass, even then that is hard enough.


    If you're mainly in a catabolic state (fat loss), the only way you can be sufficiently anabolic as well to build muscle is by using anabolics or something along those lines.

    The only way I can see it being true as you claim would be your body switching from mainly a catabolic state to mainly an anabolic state from week to week making fat loss and muscle gain a slow process, however, I fail to see what sort of program you can be in to achieve this.
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
    I lack scientific evidence! You're claiming to build muscles without the suffice nutrition to do so. It is not possible, no matter how many anecdotes you can come up with.

    Without some for of AAS or synthetic hormones you cannot build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It just isn't possible. Where are your muscles getting the nutrition from to build the new muscle fibre if you're in a calorie deficit? Any calories you eat on a deficit diet will be used up as energy leaving nothing left for muscle building. The best you can hope for on a cutting diet is preserving strength and muscle mass, even then that is hard enough.


    If you're mainly in a catabolic state (fat loss), the only way you can be sufficiently anabolic as well to build muscle is by using anabolics or something along those lines.

    The only way I can see it being true as you claim would be your body switching from mainly a catabolic state to mainly an anabolic state from week to week making fat loss and muscle gain a slow process, however, I fail to see what sort of program you can be in to achieve this.
    Ok I'll pick your previous post apart first

    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
    there is some evidence to suggest when you first start lifting you get "noob gains" and lose fat, but these aren't bulking gains.
    Noob gains are noob gains, they are the period where you gain muscle at a faster rate than "normal" it is generally considered to be a year long thing ish. You can lose fat and gain muscle during this period. It is a fact, so many people do it, I'm staggered you deny it

    The muscle mass you get when you first start lifting is your muscle getting used to being worked, and becoming more efficient at storing glycogen and water/fluid hence look fuller due to an increased size of it's glycogen and liquid stores.
    Yes glycogen storage increases, water retention doesn't change vastly. The muscle mass you gain is from adding sarcomeres onto damaged myofibrils. The muscle you gain is not an illusion of anything, it is muscle.

    This is what give the appearance of lean mass gains, then the fact you lose fat which shows more muscle definition. This phenomenon though peaks at a couple of months of lifting
    .

    If I was bulking I wouldn't be losing fat and hence this wouldn't happen.

    It's almost as if your confusing noob gains with the pump.

    Ok back to your second post


    I lack scientific evidence! You're claiming to build muscles without the suffice nutrition to do so. It is not possible, no matter how many anecdotes you can come up with.

    Without some for of AAS or synthetic hormones you cannot build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It just isn't possible. Where are your muscles getting the nutrition from to build the new muscle fibre if you're in a calorie deficit?
    As a noob or even a mild intermediate can make gains on a cut it's a fact. Especially as a noobt. It's not as fast as bulking but it can be done. ICF cutting routine for instance prescribes losing ~1lb a week and adding 2.5kg to compounds every other session.

    I'm just going to ignore your chat of AAS, it's not relevant in the slightest.

    Believe me or not it is possible. Muscle loss on a cut is much more a side effect of cutting too fast or being more advanced where cutting will hurt your strength and muscle mass.
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Ok I'll pick your previous post apart first



    Noob gains are noob gains, they are the period where you gain muscle at a faster rate than "normal" it is generally considered to be a year long thing ish. You can lose fat and gain muscle during this period. It is a fact, so many people do it, I'm staggered you deny it
    Apparently so many people claim they speak to god every night. People's claims=/= scientific fact. Show me one piece of scientific evidence of noob gains.



    Yes glycogen storage increases, water retention doesn't change vastly. The muscle mass you gain is from adding sarcomeres onto damaged myofibrils. The muscle you gain is not an illusion of anything, it is muscle.

    So where is the nutrition coming from to add more muscle fibre? How is it possible to add mass when you aren't eating enough calories to maintain your bodyweight?

    If I was bulking I wouldn't be losing fat and hence this wouldn't happen.

    It's almost as if your confusing noob gains with the pump.

    Ok back to your second post
    As above.


    As a noob or even a mild intermediate can make gains on a cut it's a fact. Especially as a noobt. It's not as fast as bulking but it can be done. ICF cutting routine for instance prescribes losing ~1lb a week and adding 2.5kg to compounds every other session.

    I'm just going to ignore your chat of AAS, it's not relevant in the slightest.

    Believe me or not it is possible. Muscle loss on a cut is much more a side effect of cutting too fast or being more advanced where cutting will hurt your strength and muscle mass.

    Ok so prove it with actual tangible scientific evidence, because logically cutting and bulking at the same time is contradictory.
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
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    You don't even believe that noob gains exist, you're denying that any linear progression programme works damn brilliantly for a noob. You deny that, so there's no point me even trying to bring science into it for cutting and making noob gains.

    There's no point in this conversation.

    Spoiler:
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    inb4 you couldn't get scientific evidence I WIN
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    No you don't win, I cba arguing with such fundamentals.
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    You don't even believe that noob gains exist, you're denying that any linear progression programme works damn brilliantly for a noob. You deny that, so there's no point me even trying to bring science into it for cutting and making noob gains.

    There's no point in this conversation.

    Spoiler:
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    inb4 you couldn't get scientific evidence I WIN
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    No you don't win, I cba arguing with such fundamentals.

    No, if you can prove it is possible to gain on a cut and/or noob gains are possible then I'll happily shut my mouth.

    Linear progression is possible, but not when on a calorie deficit diet. You need energy to build muscle, you cannot deny this. If you are not taking in enough energy to maintain your body mass and are effectively losing overall mass, how can it be possible to add mass at the same time?
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
    No, if you can prove it is possible to gain on a cut and/or noob gains are possible then I'll happily shut my mouth.

    Linear progression is possible, but not when on a calorie deficit diet. You need energy to build muscle, you cannot deny this. If you are not taking in enough energy to maintain your body mass and are effectively losing overall mass, how can it be possible to add mass at the same time?
    Your body doesn't do everything at the same time. In a given 24h period you will be both anabolic and catabolic at different periods. This is driven by hormonal changes when we eat, fast or exercise.

    It doesn't take rocket science to assume you could build muscle at one point, burn fat at another point but have the overall instance being bodyweight reduction.

    Do you honestly think you use all of your TDEE to move when cutting? Jesus wept. Next you'll tell me cellular differentiation and replacement stops when we're on a cut. The human body is not as simple as to shotgun everything for energy when we go on a deficit.


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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Your body doesn't do everything at the same time. In a given 24h period you will be both anabolic and catabolic at different periods. This is driven by hormonal changes when we eat, fast or exercise.

    It doesn't take rocket science to assume you could build muscle at one point, burn fat at another point but have the overall instance being bodyweight reduction.

    Do you honestly think you use all of your TDEE to move when cutting? Jesus wept. Next you'll tell me cellular differentiation and replacement stops when we're on a cut. The human body is not as simple as to shotgun everything for energy when we go on a deficit.


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    I realise that the body doesn't simply work like energy in energy out. But you still need energy to build muscle. And the body doesn't simply just go from losing fat to build muscle at the flick of a switch, it needs time to adjust.

    Look if I'm wrong then fine, but at least prove me wrong, because so far all this amounts to is your word against mine.
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)

    Without some for of AAS or synthetic hormones you cannot build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It just isn't possible. Where are your muscles getting the nutrition from to build the new muscle fibre if you're in a calorie deficit?e only way you can be sufficiently anabolic as well to build muscle is by using anabolics or something along those lines.

    .
    So you think its impossible to build muscle on a cut with natural hormone levels, because of the energy deficit, yet if we supplement with supra-physiological levels of exogenous hormones, it suddenly is possible to build muscle, in spite of still being in an energy deficit?

    Obviously this makes no sense.

    The correct conclusion is that it is possible to build muscle in an energy deficit, just much easier to do with massively amplified hormone levels. But then again the same can be said of the ease with which muscle is built whilst in a surplus with natural hormone levels v supra-physiological levels.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    So you think its impossible to build muscle on a cut with natural hormone levels, because of the energy deficit, yet if we supplement with supra-physiological levels of exogenous hormones, it suddenly is possible to build muscle, in spite of still being in an energy deficit?

    Obviously this makes no sense.

    The correct conclusion is that it is possible to build muscle in an energy deficit, just much easier to do with massively amplified hormone levels. But then again the same can be said of the ease with which muscle is built whilst in a surplus with natural hormone levels v supra-physiological levels.

    Yes because when on a cut and using anabolics you are forcing your body to send the nutrition to the areas to build muscle i.e. you are naturally in a catabolic state and are synthetically increasing your anabolism. Hence you can build muscle at the same time as losing fat.

    Without AAS your body can't natually be primarily catabolic and primarly anabolic. Your metabolisim doesn't work that way.
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
    Yes because when on a cut and using anabolics you are forcing your body to send the nutrition to the areas to build muscle i.e. you are naturally in a catabolic state and are synthetically increasing your anabolism. Hence you can build muscle at the same time as losing fat.

    Without AAS your body can't natually be primarily catabolic and primarly anabolic. Your metabolisim doesn't work that way.
    You do realize testosterone is an AAS? Anything that is possible on supra-physiological doses of AAS is achievable to a lesser extent on natural test levels.

    Your body swings in and out of anabolism and catabolism all day long regardless of whether you are "using" or not.
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    You do realize testosterone is an AAS? Anything that is possible on supra-physiological doses of AAS is achievable to a lesser extent on natural test levels.

    Your body swings in and out of anabolism and catabolism all day long regardless of whether you are "using" or not.

    Of course your body swings in and out, but to utilise those periods of anabolism you need sufficient calories in order for your body to synthesise the nutrition and start to build muscle. You also need to have an increase of anabolism long enough for your body to be able to build muscle. If you are losing weight then you are on average going to spend more time in a catabolic state than an anabolic one, meaning the amount of time your metabolism has to utilise the nutrition won't be suffice to build muscle, that is of course unless you are forcing your body to stay in a constant anabolic state using supplements.

    Building muscle isn't a quick process, or at least it isn't naturally unless you are eating enough nutrition for you body to stay in a primarily anabolic state i.e. above maintenance. If you're in a deficit your body will not be anabolic enough to build muscle unless you force it to.
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    (Original post by Last Day Lepers)
    Of course your body swings in and out, but to utilise those periods of anabolism you need sufficient calories in order for your body to synthesise the nutrition and start to build muscle. You also need to have an increase of anabolism long enough for your body to be able to build muscle. If you are losing weight then you are on average going to spend more time in a catabolic state than an anabolic one, meaning the amount of time your metabolism has to utilise the nutrition won't be suffice to build muscle, that is of course unless you are forcing your body to stay in a constant anabolic state using supplements.

    Building muscle isn't a quick process, or at least it isn't naturally unless you are eating enough nutrition for you body to stay in a primarily anabolic state i.e. above maintenance. If you're in a deficit your body will not be anabolic enough to build muscle unless you force it to.
    Just a note people shouldnt have to hand you evidence to prove a point like you've asked, its a discussion not a report, theyve made you aware its now your choice to find that information.

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    (Original post by Nvmthename)
    Just a note people shouldnt have to hand you evidence to prove a point like you've asked, its a discussion not a report, theyve made you aware its now your choice to find that information.

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    I'm not asking because I can't be bothered to find the evidence, I'm asking because in my own research I have never seen any legitimate evidence to suggest you can gain muscle and cut at the same time. I also not in my replies that I'm quite happy to admit I'm wrong if that's the case.
 
 
 
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