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Suddenly Can't Lift as Much
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Louie1961

Dr. Darden (and anyone else who can help). I have been getting back to my bowflex machine after a long hiatus. I am following the bowflex regimen as outlined in the material that came with the machine. I am in week 5 of the program, have been super hydrating and limiting my calories and generally experiencing good results. My weight is down 10 pounds. But I have hit a snag. almost every other workout I was needing to add resistance, to keep my reps in the 8-12 range.

Suddenly I can't lift as much weight anymore. As an example I was bench pressing at 300 lbs of resistance for the last few workouts and was getting 12 reps. Now I can barely get 6 or 7 before my muscles fail. I find that on most of the exercises, I am lowering the resistance more and more. I have lowered the resistance significantly, and I am no longer making gains. Seem to be stuck at these lowered levels. What went wrong? I haven't had any changes in my health (that I am aware of), no change in diet or water intake, no change in sleep patterns. But rather suddenly my strength is way off. Not to say that I feel weak or fatigued or anything, but just can't lift as much resistance as I was a couple of weeks ago. Sorry for the long post, but any ideas?
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larsvonthreat

If anything has changed(diet,sleep,training and stress wise)it might be a slight overtraining.

To avoid it you must improve one of the things I mentionned above(get more calories,more sleep,less training frequency and/or volume ,or less stress).
If sleep is right,diet cannot be altered and you are not overwhelmed by stress;Then you must reduce training frequency and/or volume.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

I'm guessing "1961" means you're 49. What's the frequency in the Bowflex manual? 2/wk or 3/wk?

I'm 48 and earlier this year HAD to make the move from twice/week to every 5 days or so (I go Mon-Fri-Wed typically). I also lopped off an exercise from 7/session to 6/session.

So far, so good.

Start with a week or so off and then drop back your frequency a little to see if it helps.

Scott

P.S. How far are you taking things?

Are you just going to positive failure or further?
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HDLou

I would advise you to take 7-10 days completely off fom training, and then resume with a twice per week frequency.
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theHITman

I'd recommend that if you're currently training 3x per week, try cutting down to twice, or if you're already training twice, cut down to 5x every fortnight. Keep your diet and routines as they are, and just make a slight adjustment to your frequency to start.

Don't make any drastic changes at this stage, start with smaller changes so you can monitor the results and adjust from there.
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krazy kaju

You're clearly overtraining. As other here are saying, you should reduce your volume of training. Take a week or two off of training (but not off of dieting and super-hydrating), and then return to training on a Monday-Friday-Wednesday (three times in two weeks) training schedule. You might have to consume less calories in order to make up for the lower training frequency.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

theHITman wrote:
...if you're already training twice, cut down to 5x every fortnight...


I think you mean 3x per fortnight.

P.S. You'd be surprised how many of us Yanks don't know what a fortnight is.
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RW Hawk

Virgin Islands

Louie1961 wrote:
I am following the bowflex regimen as outlined in the material that came with the machine.


Do yourself a favor, and purchase the book "The Bowflex Body Plan" by Dr. Darden.

The info contained therein is superior to and much more thorough than what comes with the machine.

Once you get it, start with the routine for beginners and work your way through the routine progression as it is laid out.
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southbeach

"i could move the World if only my bicep had a propitious attachment to my radius."
--charles atals
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Mr Flibble

southbeach wrote:
"i could move the World if only my bicep had a propitious attachment to my radius."
--charles atals


A slight paraphrase of Archimedes but still very true. God bless the Greeks.
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theHITman

simon-hecubus wrote:
theHITman wrote:
...if you're already training twice, cut down to 5x every fortnight...

I think you mean 3x per fortnight.

P.S. You'd be surprised how many of us Yanks don't know what a fortnight is.


Yes I did, thanks.

And that's quite interesting about the fortnight. Do you not use the term?
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

simon-hecubus wrote:
...P.S. You'd be surprised how many of us Yanks don't know what a fortnight is.


theHITman wrote:
And that's quite interesting about the fortnight. Do you not use the term?


I am only familiar with the term from reading literature. I can't remember any American beyond the 19th Century using the term.
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Louie1961

Let me reply to as many of these as I can:

Someone asked my age, yes, I just turned 49.

My workout frequency has been roughly 3 times per week (not per fortnight). Actually I have been doing every other day training with occasional slips to every third day, so on average probably 3x per week.

Diet, sleep, stress, and calories have not changed (although one could always argue that the stress is higher just because of the holidays, and I am not conscious of it). My current calorie intake is limited to 1500 per day, although some days I slip to 1800 or 1900. Even at 1900 calories that is probably close to 1000 calorie daily deficit below what I need to maintain weight.

I have reduced the weight I am lifting and have stretched out my training to every 3rd day. That has helped some. One thing did occur to me, after my initial post. I added additional power rods to the machine bringing the total available resistance to 410 pounds. I needed the extra resistance for my leg extensions. Had maxed out the machine at 310 pounds and was getting 17-20 reps before muscle failure.

One thing that I discovered is that the new power rods (which are 50 pound units) are much stiffer than the existing two 50 pound power rods. putting them into the mix definitely changed the resistance. I had assumed that using 2 50's, 2 10's and the 5 would be the same using the 3 50s...definitely not the case though, as this mornings workout demonstrated to me. My benchpress resistance is currently 300 pounds. Using all old resistance rods, I had no problem with this "weight". Using the new rods mixed in with the old, absolutely fried me.

I am pretty sure the recommended frequency in the bowflex book was 3x per week. I have and have read two of Dr. Darden's books: The Bowflex Plan and Live Longer Stronger. I will go back and re-read them to be sure. But the idea of only working out 3-4 times in a two-week period is new to me. I don't believe I recall reading that anywhere in the books I already own.

I am inclined to believe it is a combination of over training, and the new resistance rods coming into the mix. I want to keep the 3x a week frequency, perhaps with a little less weight. I appreciate all the responses.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

To be sure, Louie, if you're doing 6-8 exercises per session (typical Bowflex plan), then twice/week is the place you want to be --- for at least a while.

I'm amazed you haven't hit a wall sooner. Your sleeping and eating habits must be pretty damn good for you to make it this far.

I'd still take 7-10 days off first, if you haven't had a break in a while.

Best Regards,
Scott
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HDLou

3 workouts per week was a starting point. Is your your goal to train 3 days per week for the rest of your life or to make progress.
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Louie1961

HDLou wrote:
3 workouts per week was a starting point. Is your your goal to train 3 days per week for the rest of your life or to make progress.


If you don't mind, could you please explain that one to me? I would say my goal is BOTH. It has always been ingrained in me (correctly or incorrectly) that a person needs to exercise at least 3x a week for maximum health benefits. And I obviously would also like to add to my muscle mass (aka see results). This is the first time anyone has suggested those two goals are incompatible.
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jastrain

Louie1961 wrote:
HDLou wrote:
3 workouts per week was a starting point. Is your your goal to train 3 days per week for the rest of your life or to make progress.

If you don't mind, could you please explain that one to me? I would say my goal is BOTH. It has always been ingrained in me (correctly or incorrectly) that a person needs to exercise at least 3x a week for maximum health benefits. And I obviously would also like to add to my muscle mass (aka see results). This is the first time anyone has suggested those two goals are incompatible.


you have got some serious reading to do--luckily you are in the right place. order any of dr dardens books. this will, 100%, with out a doubt, put you on the right path. dr darden will give you the foundation that will ensure a lifetime of progress. i am not exaggerating either. i picked up the, "nautilus bodybuilding book" by dr darden 30 years ago. and at age 45 i am still progressing. you must understand the science behind this stuff. dr darden will explain it in very simple, and highly motivational terms. you will be put on a path of productive exercise. really, buy any of dr dardens books. the light bulb will go on. there are very few places in the exercise field that will give you truthful,science based info. you are not alone very, very, few people understand how to exercise properly. most info out there is based on gimmickry to turn a profit. virtually everyone i talk to about exercise has no clue, and they dont believe that i am able to get the results i do-with a 20 minute workout 1 time per week. i have even been accused of steroid use numerous times.--read the book!!!
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cmg

jastrain wrote:
Louie1961 wrote:
HDLou wrote:
3 workouts per week was a starting point. Is your your goal to train 3 days per week for the rest of your life or to make progress.

If you don't mind, could you please explain that one to me? I would say my goal is BOTH. It has always been ingrained in me (correctly or incorrectly) that a person needs to exercise at least 3x a week for maximum health benefits. And I obviously would also like to add to my muscle mass (aka see results). This is the first time anyone has suggested those two goals are incompatible.

you have got some serious reading to do--luckily you are in the right place. order any of dr dardens books. this will, 100%, with out a doubt, put you on the right path. dr darden will give you the foundation that will ensure a lifetime of progress. i am not exaggerating either. i picked up the, "nautilus bodybuilding book" by dr darden 30 years ago. and at age 45 i am still progressing. you must understand the science behind this stuff. dr darden will explain it in very simple, and highly motivational terms. you will be put on a path of productive exercise. really, buy any of dr dardens books. the light bulb will go on. there are very few places in the exercise field that will give you truthful,science based info. you are not alone very, very, few people understand how to exercise properly. most info out there is based on gimmickry to turn a profit. virtually everyone i talk to about exercise has no clue, and they dont believe that i am able to get the results i do-with a 20 minute workout 1 time per week. i have even been accused of steroid use numerous times.--read the book!!!


Justrain -

You are 45 years old. What are your stats? Height, weight and approx. bodyfat%?

Thanks,
Ron
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

HDLou wrote:
3 workouts per week was a starting point. Is your your goal to train 3 days per week for the rest of your life or to make progress.


Louie1961 wrote:
If you don't mind, could you please explain that one to me? I would say my goal is BOTH. It has always been ingrained in me (correctly or incorrectly) that a person needs to exercise at least 3x a week for maximum health benefits. And I obviously would also like to add to my muscle mass (aka see results). This is the first time anyone has suggested those two goals are incompatible.


Jastrain has some great points, but I know how ingrained beliefs are hard to move away from.

Please accept for now that you should be going 2/wk or less on Hypertrophy and Strength Training to get the best results.

I promise you that if you move to twice/week, the gains shall begin again.

If you can't shake the 3/wk dogma, then just do your weight trainig on Mon and Fri and reserve Wed for a brisk walk or riding a bike or something like that for 15-20 min.

Best Regards,
Scott
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Louie1961

Thanks forr the responses. I have 2 of Dr. Darden's books: Live Stronger Longer and The Bowflex Body. I read them, but I apparently missed something, so I will re-read them this weekend.

On an unrelated question, do you guys get winded during your workouts? I get to about exercise #4 and I have to slow down. For some reason, the curls just wipe me out. By the time I finish the set, I am hufffing and puffing like crazy. Perhaps this is related to the over training?

Thanks.
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Turpin

Simon hecubus wrote; Please accept for now that you should be going 2/wk or less on Hypertrophy and Strength Training to get the best results.

I promise you that if you move to twice/week, the gains shall begin again.

......................................

Turpin wrote; So from moving from x3 weekly to x2 weekly training sessions will produce results ???
What then when ( after time ) x2 weekly yields no results ?

Reduce frequency further ? .. reduce volume ?

Why would x2 weekly yield gain that x3 weekly would not ? ..... RECOVERY of course !

Why then would x1 every 5-7 days upon stagnation not provide similar , or indeed every 9-11 days thereafter ? ... something that you refute is viable Scott !

Your post sounds rather hypocritical Scott , considering your posts previously regarding reducing volume/frequency & your experience previously with such reduction.

It really is simple ; regulate volume/frequency until gains are forthcoming and if the aforementioned sees a loss of condition/tone as a result of excessive time elapsing between workouts then one must reduce the intensity somewhat ( & possibly calorie consumption ) in order to accomodate recovery within a time frame that sees satisfactory results.
Personally I feel that such feelings of loss of tone/condition are more psychological than physical , indicative of such if there are increases in strength each workout.

T.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Turpin wrote:
Turpin wrote; So from moving from x3 weekly to x2 weekly training sessions will produce results ???
What then when ( after time ) x2 weekly yields no results...


... Why then would x1 every 5-7 days upon stagnation not provide similar , or indeed every 9-11 days thereafter ? ... something that you refute is viable Scott !
T.


I was talking to the guy about shaking his 3/wk dogma. Going to 2/wk is just the first step. No need to muddy the waters with all these added, and frankly off-topic details.

I actually took Mark's point about changing too many variable at once to heart.

Once again since you're apparently too dense to get what I said before: while going once every 9-11 days may be viable for some few, I have serious doubts that those extremes will work well for most trainees seeking hypertrophy.

So please, Waynes II, give it a fucking break already.
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Turpin

simon-hecubus wrote:
Turpin wrote:
Turpin wrote; So from moving from x3 weekly to x2 weekly training sessions will produce results ???
What then when ( after time ) x2 weekly yields no results...


... Why then would x1 every 5-7 days upon stagnation not provide similar , or indeed every 9-11 days thereafter ? ... something that you refute is viable Scott !
T.

I was talking to the guy about shaking his 3/wk dogma. Going to 2/wk is just the first step. No need to muddy the waters with all these added, and frankly off-topic details.

I actually took Mark's point about changing too many variable at once to heart.

Once again since you're apparently too dense to get what I said before: while going once every 9-11 days may be viable for some few, I have serious doubts that those extremes will work well for most trainees seeking hypertrophy.

So please, Waynes II, give it a fucking break already.


You Seem a bit touchy on the subject Simon hecubus , no need for vulgarity when debating .

At the risk of you stamping your feet & throwing another tantrum I`ll ask again; If the reduction from x3 weekly to x2 weekly ( as you advocated for the OP ) should realise gain by way of increased recovery for a beginner/intermediete , WHY then should further reduced frequency upon stagnation of further progress not provide similar recovery/gain , ( perhaps the dreaded 9-11 days you could not handle ) as the trainee reaches more advanced levels ?

As I said in ending our previous discussion on such matters when you implied that reduction in volume/frequency was not a viable means of progression save for the few `exceptions` who made gains on such ;
I think you have a degree of personal insecurity that YOU seemingly are not an `exception` ( more evident now than your previous posts with your persistent use of profanities/vulgarity to highlight your frustration )
Well , You can Rest your insecurities Simon Hecubus , because its not the `exception` that is gaining by training in a brief/abbreviated & infrequent fashion ... it is the `exception` that is NOT ..... SO THERE YOU GO YOU ARE INDEED `EXCEPTIONAL` , now go pick your dummy up .

T x



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theHITman

Louie1961 wrote:
I am pretty sure the recommended frequency in the bowflex book was 3x per week. I have and have read two of Dr. Darden's books: The Bowflex Plan and Live Longer Stronger. I will go back and re-read them to be sure. But the idea of only working out 3-4 times in a two-week period is new to me. I don't believe I recall reading that anywhere in the books I already own.


It would be worth picking up a copy of "The New HIT" to accompany your current library.

Most of Dr Darden's programmes use a 3 times per week frequency. However, in most of his programmes, he also states that when you can no longer progress in 10-12 exercises 3 times per week (I'm working from memory here, so the details may be a little off) to cut down in exercises, and then frequency, so (in most cases) you might cut down to doing 8 exercises twice per week.

But getting back to "The New HIT", although primarily a bodybuilding rather than weight loss book, what it does have that would be of great use (and possibly interest) to you is a complete year's schedule of workouts that gradually cut down over this time from around 12 exercises 3 times per week, incorporating longer rest periods and intelligent use of sub-failure workouts.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Turpin wrote:
You Seem a bit touchy on the subject Simon hecubus , no need for vulgarity when debating.


There was no debate. Just you interrupting another thread to pick a fight.

At the end of our last "debate", I was left wondering how it got as heated as it did. It just seemed to get a bit too much. So, I decided at that time (was that a week-and-half ago? 2 weeks?) to give you some distance and let both of us cool down a while.

I moved on to other things, but you apparently still have a chip on your shoulder, as you show up here 10, 12, 14 days later to start it up again. And you call me the insecure one?

At the risk of you stamping your feet & throwing another tantrum I`ll ask again; If the reduction from x3 weekly to x2 weekly ( as you advocated for the OP ) should realise gain by way of increased recovery for a beginner/intermediete , WHY then should further reduced frequency upon stagnation of further progress not provide similar recovery/gain , ( perhaps the dreaded 9-11 days you could not handle ) as the trainee reaches more advanced levels?

Yes adding rest days is a viable method, but it will only work up to a point. I have said this all along, yet your simplistic debate style has you continually saying I never agreed to this notion.

I do agree, but only up to a point.

I would say for most trainees this window is 3 to 7 days. You start at 3 days between workouts and then add rest days as one advances.
[This is for hypertrophy. Perhaps for those seeking solely strength gains, more rest days may be viable]

It is my belief that any less frequency than 7 days will not give our bodies sufficient reason to respond with a hypertrophic adjustment. As I've said many times, hypertrophy is metabolically costly and our bodies have more energy-efficient means to help strength gains.

I don't have any great articles or studies or microscopic knowledge of why this happens. It just does. I am relying on emperical data gleened from myself and many of the posters on this forum over the last 6-7 years.

If it's such a great method to keep applying, then when do you stop? When you're doing 1/2 an exercise every 30 days?!

As I said in ending our previous discussion on such matters when you implied that reduction in volume/frequency was not a viable means of progression save for the few `exceptions` who made gains on such. I think you have a degree of personal insecurity that YOU seemingly are not an `exception` ( more evident now than your previous posts with your persistent use of profanities/vulgarity to highlight your frustration )

I'll ignore the baiting and answer the initial question. What I said was continued reductions in frequency were not viable for MOST trainees. It's a hypertrophy dead-end.

Yes, I believe some can get away with this, but most would not do well.

Why you continually simplify what I say into sweeping generalizations is beyond me. I NEVER make sweeping generalizations --- that's your job.

I try to carefully qualify every recommendation I give someone, as opposed to you who believe your appraoch will work for everyone out there.

Well , You can Rest your insecurities Simon Hecubus , because its not the `exception` that is gaining by training in a brief/abbreviated & infrequent fashion ... it is the `exception` that is NOT ..... SO THERE YOU GO YOU ARE INDEED `EXCEPTIONAL` , now go pick your dummy up.

Speaking of Touchy and Tantrums, I'm not the one that came into another thread after 10-14 days* to pick a fight.
(*hey isn't that your normal recovery time?)

I don't know what I said to make you hold such a grudge, but it must have been really awful. If only I knew what it was...

Dummy? I don't get that one. Are you implying I have a ventriloquism act or something?
______________________________________

Long story short, you and I disagree about the cutoff limit on Reducing Frequency as HITers progress. I believe it's somewhere around 7 days. You believe it can be longer and still contiue with hypertrophy.

Let's just agree to disagree on that point, shall we?

Neither of us is going to convince the other and all we'll do is bore everyone with circular arguments.

Best Regards on the New Year,
Scott
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