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  #1  
Unread 05-02-2017, 04:03 AM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Default Are you stubborn enough? Have you really plateaued?

More personal experience than anything else, and was curious who else had found the same thing?

So, you're doing any old stock routine, like 5x5. It's all going well. But then you get to your, e.g. 110kg bench or whatever, and you find you're struggling even to get 5 sets of 3. Not only that, but it's barely moving forward workout on workout.

Many people are content to quickly judge this as a plateau, and switch up routines. Maybe change to higher reps. Maybe move on to machines or dumbbells. The possibilities are endless. You do just that, and feel very happy for a while because everything feels easy again.

But what if, for all these years, you'd just stuck with the bloody flat bench at 5x5? What would have happened, with 5 years worth of that without switching up?

I gave this a go. I got more stubborn. And I discovered that I hadn't really plateaued at all. Just sticking with a stubborn lift for a month or more, you encounter the very unexpected. Lifts were able to go up after all, and not only that, but they continued to improve at a superior rate too.

How many people are judging something as a plateau when in reality it MIGHT really just be a stubborn lift that, given time, will make headway?

I'm not saying plateaus don't exist. I'm just saying: I think a lot of us are too quick to assume we've definitely hit one. And over the years making considerably less progress than we otherwise might.

What do you think? Are we not stubborn enough?
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  #2  
Unread 05-02-2017, 05:45 AM
w1cked w1cked is offline
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You maybe on to something, I'll give this a go for future months/years.
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  #3  
Unread 05-02-2017, 07:26 PM
holly70 holly70 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPecsPeter View Post

What do you think? Are we not stubborn enough?
Since we are limited and finite seems to me that at some point our ability will be too. Where that limit is might be partly mental though.

Have come across multiple accounts of people getting a PR when they didn't know how much weight was on the bar and didn't go in to the lift expecting it to be too hard.

WARNING: Unsolicited Story Time Ahead

Somehow forgot to do lat pull downs yesterday. Decided to just do them today at the larger gym after spin class.

Find the cable station, set the pin in 70 since that is what I had done before and put a towel on the seat because...well c'mon, spin class.

Grab the bar. Doesn't move. Like at all.

Hmm...okay, well maybe I don't have the pin in correctly.

Nope, that seems okay...still not moving.

Could be I'm fatigued...spin class actually uses a lot of core.

Drop it to 60.

Not moving.

Okay fine. Yeah at this point it is dawning on me this might be metric/kg.

42.5 Still tough, only 6 reps instead of 10.

Return the bar. Sit back down and...uh, shorter seat + towel =

yeah I'm on the floor quietly LMAO.

Not getting up to move the stupid pin. Did 2 more sets.

Look up the conversion...93+ pounds? Yeah, probably why I could only do 6.
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  #4  
Unread 05-03-2017, 07:26 AM
Magumi Magumi is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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I'd say that it depends. Sometimes, you may need to stick to the plan for months on end to reach the point from which you may start progressing beyond your previous best; sometimes you may even need to take a step back for better long-term progress. When you get to the advanced level, it may take an entire year or even several years of structured training to improve. And eventually, everyone reaches his or her limits.

On the other hand, I don't think that doing the same exercises and the same rep/set scheme over and over again without any change for years is the most efficient way to proceed. From what I know, I would propose that for the training to be productive, the practical limit for one block of training is in the range from 3 to 6 months, unless you are a complete beginner, who can stick to the basics for longer.
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