Hey everyone- I have been stuck just shy of 5x5 at 185 lbs on bench and 5x5 at 225lbs on back squat for about a month now. Any recommendations on how I can break these?
Hey! What you need to do is to start thinking small.
Possibly you are stuck simply because the only next available disc you have to add on is 2.5 kgs. That's 5kg increase!
If you're at your max then of course you can't lift that! It's too much weight and volume!
Here's what you can do.
If you have access to smaller weights, add them on to the bar. You can do this by having them made at an ironmonger like I did (discs of 125g, 250g, 500g, 1kg) and securing them with halters.
If not, you'll have to do less reps and go up in weight.
Do however many reps you can at the next smallest possible weight up (if you can't do the full 5). Count even half reps. It may be that for a week or two you only go up in half reps.
Eventually you'll be able to crank out 5.
Try going low. Do the same exercise with lots of reps very often at low weights. I find that if I work out only 1x-2x a week, I don't gain as much muscle and get stuck at certain levels, but if I also introduce an almost daily workout for say a week, with the same exercise at high rep/low weight, I can burn through the plateau later on, say after a week of not doing this, and resting.
In order to fix this you need to better define the problem.
How is it that you fail? If you add 5 pounds and attempt a 5X5 do you only get 3 reps on the last set or you can't even complete the first one. Also how does it happen. You get stuck in the bottom of the squat, you can't lock it out, or you lower back goes and you fall forward.
For most people when trying to improve a lift you need to look at what is breaking down and work that area. The old a chain is only as strong idea. Try and figure out what fails first, then you can come up with a plan to address the deficiencies.
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