Why am I Not Getting Stronger?

John Durante Uncategorized Leave a Comment

When I started lifting, I would walk into the gym, grab a couple dumbbells and start curling. Then, I would grab a bar and start to do some more curls. Lastly, I would then grab a couple plates and start doing some weird curls that I made up…For the life of me, I could not figure out why I was not getting stronger or bigger…

Long story short. I was eating like crap and lifting like an idiot…

Good news is, I learned a lot from my mistakes. Taking the lessons learned and paying them forward is how I got on this programming bandwagon to help others…So, here we go…

Not Addressing Weak Links

I would love to be able to come into the gym and do nothing but hammer curls and leg extensions to make progress. Unfortunately, that is not how it works…If you goal is to get stronger and move better, doing only what you like/ deem fun is not going to cut it…

Certain things come more naturally to others…So, naturally they are going to lean on those exercises to make themselves feel good or seem productive in the gym.

For instance, squatting is one of my strong suits. On the flip side, taking time to do core work was not one of my favorite things to do. However, after much internal debate and knowing that my ignorance was showing, I made sure that my core work got done…You know what happened? I got stronger!

What is fun versus what is needed is seldom the same thing…Turn those dislikes into likes!

No Programming

This goes along with what I highlighted above. If you are coming into the gym and do not have a plan, you will not achieve you goals.

Common mistakes are: not tracking load, taking zero deload weeks and not rotating exercises…

Rotation

Primary work should have some fluctuation. You should not have to change everything every new week in the gym, but with more experience, the more you will need to rotate strength exercises.

Accessory work for us at the gym is rotated every four weeks depending on the program…

Specificity is king but not for extended periods of time. Doing some crazy Russian squat program has been shown to work very well, but there is a shelf life on these programs. You should be looking at diversity in your movement portfolio. Not getting stuck on one movement…

Deloads

Take them! If you train consistently and work for a living, you are going to always be fatigued in some way. You have to manage this fatigue. Smart programming will induce the adaptations that will make you stronger. You have to overreach and then deload. Coming into the gym everyday and trying to do a one rep max will exhaust you and hinder your progress…

Load Variances

In the beginning you can make gains using as low as 40% of your 1 RM. As you become more advanced, this number is going to increase. Spending time at different loading ranges coupled with deloads will get you stronger. Not staying at 99% every week…

Not Following Directions

This one is my favorite. When we write programs for people, we write them with the understanding that they are going to follow them. Some will follow the program to a “T” and others will add their own “nuances”…

Mike Boyle said it best. When you want to make a cake, you follow the recipe. You do not add things or borrow ingredients from other recipes. If you do, your cake will be less than desirable. This is how programming works. If you buy a program from someone and add things or remove things, your results are unpredictable.

I see this often. Individuals do not take deload weeks or they turn a hour and fifteen minute training session and turn it into three hours… All the calculated load and volume is shot because they are off the charts…

Summary

Programming and exercise selection at the gym is quite basic. What we do is not extraordinary by any standards. We try to diversify client’s movements portfolios and get them stronger. We follow high load intensity weeks with more volume week followed by deload weeks. It truly is that simple…To get stronger, use a program. To lose weight, follow a proper nutrition program…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *