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Old 09-11-2008, 07:18 AM   #1
Kris Reeves
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Default What to do??

Hey all...relatively new poster to the forums here but I have a question that I'm hoping you all can help me out with. I've been doing the June 08 Mass Gain program and I'm in the middle of my 6th week. The week right after the back off where I'm using the same loadings from week 4.

Here's the dilemma/question - Week 4 felt great. I felt strong...reps were getting tougher but I still had some in the tank. I could look at the projected progressions for weeks 7 & 8 and say to myself...no doubt they'll be tough, but I shouldn't have any problems making my reps.

Enter week 5 (the backoff week) - Things just didn't feel as light as they should. In fact I remember saying to myself after squats on Monday "shit, they almost felt harder than last Monday". I noted it in my notebook and I didn't change anything...just continued to do as prescribed for the entire back off week. Nothing felt as light as I thought it should....deads/bench, etc. all felt like I wasn't backing off of anything.

Go to week 6 - My ass has been dragging this week and it's a struggle to match the reps/sets of week 4. In fact on Monday...10x3 squats...set 6 I got 2 reps and just couldn't get the 3rd out of the hole and ended up dumping it (I felt like shit so I just ended squats with that). More than once this week I've caught myself double checking the bar to make sure I didn't misload it too high.

So now, I'm not sure what to do....does this mean I backed off too much/not enough? Should I continue as best as I can for the next several weeks? Or should I knock a few pounds off everything? Or hell, should I just consider this the end of a cycle?

Diet hasn't changed at all since the start of the program....but for what it's worth my son has been waking up in the morning with some green-ness coming out of his nose...and today I feel like I'm getting a major head cold. It also didn't help for some reason last night I only got like 4 hours of solid sleep...I just couldn't sleep...too hot/too cold...not comfortable, etc. Normally though I get at least 8 sometimes 9 hours on a regular basis.


Thanks,
Kris

Last edited by Kris Reeves; 09-11-2008 at 07:21 AM. Reason: I can't spell...
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
Steven Low
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How much did you back off?

Getting sick and stressed is probably the most likely bet though. You should get stronger during the off week as long as you're getting adequate nutrition and sleep.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:14 AM   #3
Dave Van Skike
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off weeks for me always feel shitty, the first sessions after an off week feels shity..the second or third one back is usually gold.

head colds suck but FWIW I've hit many monster PR's while sick, you might feel like hot trash but if you get your head right and force enough food in ,you'll suprise yourself.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
Kris Reeves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
How much did you back off?

Getting sick and stressed is probably the most likely bet though. You should get stronger during the off week as long as you're getting adequate nutrition and sleep.
Steven -

I took roughly 15% off the bar and pretty much cut volume in half for the back off week.

Despite last night...sleep has been awesome lately. Head on the pillow and out by 9:30 and not blinking until 7:15-7:30 am. (Don't ask me how I'm able to do that with a 3 year old around here...but I've learned to take it when I can!)
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
Kris Reeves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
off weeks for me always feel shitty, the first sessions after an off week feels shity..the second or third one back is usually gold.

head colds suck but FWIW I've hit many monster PR's while sick, you might feel like hot trash but if you get you're head right and force enough food in ,you'll suprise yourself.
This pretty much sounds like how this week has gone...last night wasn't as bad as monday's in terms of feeling like total ass...but I still felt wiped. Hopefully this was just an 'off' couple of days. Still pounding the food though...that seems to be the only thing keeping me from getting full fledged sick.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
Jacob Rowell
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What kind of percentage/poundage were you increasing each week? I'm on week 6 right now, and things feel great. i've been moving up 10# a week on the squats, and 5# on the pressing stuff, 15# on the DLs (though I had to start lower than expected)

Maybe you've increased weight quickly enough that here at week 6, you simply haven't adapted to the level of being strong enough for these weights. My contingency plan in a situation like this would be to ..

1) Eat more

2) Drop weight to week 3 or 4 levels. Maybe you'll be able to increase by the end of the program to be up to where you'd be if you had progressed linearly to week 7. I'm sure that the volume and intensity will still be enough to cause some growth. Hey, that's what we're particularly worried about anyways in this situation.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:57 PM   #7
Derek Simonds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Van Skike View Post
off weeks for me always feel shitty, the first sessions after an off week feels shity..the second or third one back is usually gold.

head colds suck but FWIW I've hit many monster PR's while sick, you might feel like hot trash but if you get your head right and force enough food in ,you'll suprise yourself.
That is really interesting as I have been fighting a cold for the last 7 days and been off and on miserable but have hit PR's every workout for the last three days.

I am grinding hard for one more week then I am off for a week.
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Old 09-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #8
Greg Everett
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Keep in mind that it should be hard as shit - these are ambitious %s, and you may not always be able to hit them. Add to that lack of sleep, etc., and it's not a surprise. Those last couple weeks in particular, you may have to settle for smaller increases than what's prescribed.
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:58 AM   #9
Kris Reeves
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Originally Posted by Greg Everett View Post
Keep in mind that it should be hard as shit - these are ambitious %s, and you may not always be able to hit them. Add to that lack of sleep, etc., and it's not a surprise. Those last couple weeks in particular, you may have to settle for smaller increases than what's prescribed.
Ok, cool. I think I just underestimated how aggressive the %'s are especially toward the end. What really got to me though was that I was struggling to meet weights that I previously did just a week ago.

But, after thinking about it...I've been under a lot of other outside stress lately. Even though I've been eating well and generally getting awesome sleep....work has been really hectic with an approaching deadline and on top of that I've been working on multiple home improvement/remodeling projects that had to be done before this weekend. So for the last several weekends I've been spending 15-20 hours on sat/sun with the home projects plus trying to keep up with house and yard maintenance throughout the week after work. Add the cumulative fatigue from the program as it builds over the weeks and no wonder I was feeling thrashed.

I think I need to back off the weight a touch and ramp up again using smaller %'s as I get to the later weeks (even if I have to extend the program itself for another couple of weeks).
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