Yes, I hit the dreaded Plateau.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 26, 2008 3:15 AM GMT
    This question has probably been asked before, but reading through the forum I wasn't able to find it, so I figure it's been a long time since it was answered.

    Here it goes, (and thanks for all your help in advance!!)-

    I stopped growing. AND, I cant break through my limit of 200lbs on the horizontal press. Here's some details..

    I workout 5X a week, alternating between the following exercises:

    DAY A (chest)

    -3 sets of 8 at 200lbs on horizontal press. Rest 1.5 min. between reps.
    -3 sets of 8 at 170lbs on incline press. Rest 1.5 min between reps.
    -3 sets of 20 pushups on a horizontal surface. Rest 1 min in between.
    -3 sets of 20 pushups on incline surface.
    -3 sets of 20 pushups on decline surface.
    -3 sets of 20 chest dips.

    total time at the gym: ~1.30 hours.

    (I've tried working with dumbells for the chest, but I REALLY don't feel anything).

    DAY B (arms)

    -3 sets of 10 at 45lbs of dumbells curls.
    -3 sets of 10 at 40lbs of 'hammer' with the dumbells.
    -3 sets of 8 at 50lbs of dumbells curls

    BREAK and do ABS/LEGS

    -repeat dumbell workout.

    total time at the gym: ~1.30 hours.

    Nutrition: 2 large meals a day (lots of red meat, protein, and carbs) plus 3 Cytogainer shakes in between.
    Sleep: Regular 8hrs a day.


    1. Is there anything wrong with my workout schedule?
    2. How do I break through the plateau?
    3. Is there anything wrong with my eating habit?
    4. Is there anything I'm overlooking??

    Once again, thanks!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 26, 2008 3:19 AM GMT
    by the way, before anyone asks, I dont ever do Cardio (unless you count swimming). My metabolism is lightening fast. I ran 30 min on the threadmill pre-workout about a month ago, and in one week my weight dropped drastically.

    Also, I'm going for a balance of both volume and definition.
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    Dec 26, 2008 9:33 AM GMT
    For a start break down your eating habit. 2 large meals a day? Hmmm... try breaking it down throughout the day to portions (usually 5-8 portions) for a start.

    So you train 4 days a week is that right?

    You don't include a shoulder workout for a start or a back workout either. Remember that when you exercise your chest your need to use the supporting muscles as well (traps, lats, shoulders) and they seem to be lacking.

    a) Review your split, it does not seem to cover all body parts

    b) Split that diet up cause your just going to overload twice a day and not get a good distribution of proteins - you don't require proteins twice a day, you need them all day.

    c) Try a new routine once every 6-8 weeks so your body doesn't adjust. Once your body adjusts you make less progress. Besides that chest workout looks a little excessive.

    I've never tried Cytogainer to be honest so can't give any recommendations on the product. How often do you take a protein shake? Also what are your goals?

    Another thing to remember the more you pump does not necessarily mean your going to grow any bigger. I have a friend who has the perfect physique and only uses 10kg dumbbells for curls!

    I guess the final question is how long have you been working out? It takes time to grow and it won't happen overnight, over a year let alone over 2 years. Many of those transformation you see happen over a period of 5 years so be patient.

    Try not to burn yourself out in the pursuit of size, listen to your body and look after it.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 26, 2008 10:12 AM GMT
    When was the last time you took a couple weeks off from the gym?

    Have you ever tried working out 3x per week? Why 5x?

    Have you ever tried working out for no more than an hour?

    You say you've "stopped growing" -- can you estimate how long you've "been growing?"

    Have you ever tried eating more than 2 "big" meals a day? Like, for example, 5 or 6?

    How often do you change your routine? How long have you been using the one you've listed above? Have you ever tried doing a new routine every time you go to the gym?

    How many calories are you eating a day?

    I think I'm thinking the same things Sydney is.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 26, 2008 10:22 AM GMT
    You seem to be doing your chest, biceps, abs and legs only!

    What happened to your back, shoulders, triceps?icon_question.gif

    Also, you say you workout your legs, but what exercises exactly do you do? Make sure you work your quads as well as hamstrings, and your calves as well! icon_smile.gif

    As for your abs workout, make sure you build the rest of your core, ie. your lower back and your obliques.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 26, 2008 9:58 PM GMT
    wow, you guys have some good points.

    I've never worked out my triceps, back, or shoulders. I guess I thought the exercises I do now work these areas as well. So I should target them directly?

    Also, I have no clue how many calories a day I consume, but I never thought nutrition would be my issue! Maybe it's time re-evaluate that as well.

    I've been working out for about 3 years, and I take a week off every 4 months or so.

    Ok, so what are some good triceps, back, and shoulders exercises? when do i work these areas out?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2008 3:54 AM GMT
    collegeswimmr said


    1. Is there anything wrong with my workout schedule?
    2. How do I break through the plateau?
    3. Is there anything wrong with my eating habit?
    4. Is there anything I'm overlooking??

    Once again, thanks!!!

    1. Yes. You are doing an insane workout plan for muscle development. Try this website: Here you will find a HUGE amount of information on bodybuilding properly, which you are not. I recommend that the first thing you do is read the stickies -- the forum posters there are not kind to newbies who do not read the forum stickies and rules.
    2. Eat more.
    3. YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! In order to gain weight, you must eat. And eat and eat and eat. The only reason you've stopped gaining muscle is that you do not eat enough. You need to be eating at least 3500 calories a day (or more!!!). 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This 3500 calories can be as clean or as dirty as you want, but if you eat too dirty, you will gain fat in addition to muscle. You should be eating 6 to 8 meals a day. Some of those meals can be liquid (protein supps or weight gainers).
    4. There is a lot you're overlooking. And there are many forums online to research and ask questions about this stuff. My favorite is Wanna Be Big Forums. All the information you need, as a relative newbie (I say that not because of how long you've been working out, but by the severely incorrect way you're going about gaining muscle) can be found there.

    I can guarantee you, with a bit of research, food, and hard work, you can gain 20 pounds in 6 months, no problem
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9225

    Mar 12, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    I didn't see anything in your work out for back or for triceps or for shoulders.
    If you add a couple tricep cable exercises, I think you'll notice a huge difference in your arms.

    For your chest, I would exchange all those push ups for some decline presses. Does your gym have a bench that you can slide under a squat rack ? If not, the dumbells are the only answer.

    The secret is in your form. When you are in position to lift the weights, there should be an imaginary straight line from your right elbow, through your shoulders, to your left elbow. Practice with very light weights so you can see what I mean. If your elbows are in toward your sides, your triceps are doing more of the work, instead of your chest.

    I hope that helps.

    The simple answer to hitting a plateau is to make some changes in your workout routine.
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Mar 12, 2009 9:08 PM GMT
    To begin with, you are doing too many exercises for your chest. Try to limit it to 3 exercises, with more sets. That goes for any body part. You can actually go down to 2 or even 1. No point in too much redundancy. You just get over-tired and it degrades your recovery. For example, for quads - just squats or presses or deadlifts on leg day, not all three. For arms: just preacher curls for biceps, and hammer curls for forearms. For shoulders: flyes and shrugs. You get the idea.

    Second, you should go to 4, or even preferably 3 workouts per week. You need recovery time, not just for your muscles, but for your nervous system. 5 days a week is too much for bodybuilding, unless you are super-juiced up pro. For 3 workouts, consider M-W-F. That way you have a day off in-between for recovery. For 4 workouts, consider M-T, Th-F. You can come up with a variety of combos, such as:
    1) chest & bis & tris
    2) legs
    3) back & shoulders

    1) quads & calves
    2) chest & bis
    3) hams & back
    4) shoulders & tris

    Each week, try to add 1 or 2 more reps or a little bit more weight.

    Do you have a training partner? It helps immensely when someone is pushing you and you are competing with him.

    Try adding creatine. I don't love it, but it does boost strength. You should cycle it, though, as it loses its effect after about 6 weeks. And take BCAA powder and L-glutamine post workout for recovery & growth support.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2009 9:15 PM GMT
    I have an older brother whose a bigger health nut than me and is a body builder and he says that you body will always plateau after a while of doing any exercize consistently. You should change up how you exercize by adding sports to your routine, change from free weights to resistence training or whatever tickles your fancy as suitable temporary workout. Once in a great while I let myself drop the ball and don't work out for a month and a half to let my muscles freak out again when I start something new; though that's not highly recommended and impractical for the most part.
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Mar 13, 2009 9:14 PM GMT
    Really, that's good advice. Changing routines every 2 or 3 months is important. And taking a week or two off now when you change is also good to "reset" your body.