4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Stronger: Why I’m Not Getting Stronger Bodybuilding
1) My Back Doesn’t Get Better With Time: When I first started lifting weights, I was so excited to start training because it meant I could finally lift heavier weight.
However, after doing some heavy sets with dumbbells, my back began hurting. It hurt like hell!
After several months of working out, my back still hurts and hasn’t gotten any better since then.
2) My Weakness Is Squatting: I’ve tried many different types of exercises to work my squat.
I’ve used a variety of machines, free weights, barbells, kettle bells…the list goes on and on. Nothing seems to work well.
Even using bands helps me slightly but only temporarily. At best it makes my squat a little easier than before.
3) My Weakness Isn’t Getting Stronger: If anything, my weakness is getting weaker.
I don’t have much strength in my legs or quads which are both weak points for me. When I train them, they feel like they’re going to fall off at any moment.
In fact, I don’t even have much strength in my upper body muscles (arms).
So what’s the solution?
Do something else!
What else can I do besides squatting?
When Do You Stop Getting Stronger: Will I always be able to get stronger?
It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times.
If I stop getting stronger, what will that mean for my future in weight lifting? And how do I even know when to stop getting stronger?
It’s not like the day comes when you suddenly can’t get any stronger anymore.
So you have to just keep going until you hit a physical wall?
All these questions are very important to me. I need answers! The last thing I want is to keep “getting weaker” at the gym. There’s got to be something that I can do to stop this from happening. I’m not giving up!
Why Am I Not Getting Stronger Bodybuilding: My Back Doesn’t Get Better With Time
The first reason why you’re not getting stronger is my back doesn’t get better with time. I’m not sure if you’ve dealt with a back injury before, but it’s not fun at all.
It makes every day activities a huge chore, and it can be extremely difficult to do certain things.
I’m just lucky that I’m still relatively young and my injury isn’t too severe. But if something doesn’t change soon, I’m afraid that all the heavy lifting may aggravate my back further.
Well here’s what happened….
When I first started lifting, I had a relatively minor back injury from my high school football days. It was no big deal and didn’t really affect my lifting.
In fact, I was so excited about lifting that I pushed through the pain, and it went away on its own.
I was young and stupid. (Not like I’m so smart now though)
After a few months of lifting, I was getting pretty good at it. I was doing heavy sets, getting nice and sweaty, and feeling really manly as I pushed around heavy weights.
It was working out pretty well for me.
Then one day I woke up and could barely stand up. It felt like someone had stabbed me in the lower back with a sword.
I couldn’t even touch my feet and I was on the floor rolling around in agony.
After a trip to the doctor and several months of laying down on my back, the pain eventually went away. I was able to walk again and do light exercises (with no deadlifts or squats) but my lower back was forever weak.
Squatting has always been a struggle for me because when I squat, all I can think about is my deteriorating spine. Every muscle in my body is telling me to stop because it hurts so much.
Do you think I should continue to squat and deadlift? Or should I just stop to save my spine?
Why Am I Not Getting Stronger Bodybuilding: My Shoulders Aren’t The Same
The second reason why you’re not getting stronger is my shoulders aren’t the same since the accident.
You remember that accident from last year right? Where my car flipped 3 times and I almost died?
Well it turns out that the accident completely screwed up my shoulder.
I don’t even remember at what point my shoulder was injured since the whole accident is kind of a blur now. All I know is one moment I was driving and the next I was in the hospital trying to remember my name.
The doctors said that my shoulder will be fine after a few months. But they were wrong.
I still experience sharp pains in my shoulder every once in a while. And whenever I try to bench press, my shoulder feels like it’s going to explode.
I hesitate to go to the doctor since I had to lie about several things (like how I got the injury) for him to even see me. The last thing I need is another surgery.
Besides, the pain is manageable and doesn’t occur all the time.
Should I get surgery on my shoulder? Should I just avoid pressing movements?
Okay, Give Me The Bottom Line Here
Here’s the thing James…
You’re stuck. You have a weak back, and weak shoulders with battered ego.
You’re not getting strong anytime soon and you’ll be lucky if you can bench press half your bodyweight when you’re done reading this. (You’re welcome for that visual)
But hey, at least you tried.
For those of you who are normal and will be able to get through this, listen up.
The Strong Version
Congratulations, you’re not in the same situation as James. You’ve either been lifting regularly for years or your injuries aren’t as bad.
Now this program is going to be a little different for you than it is for James. You’re either going to continue doing what you’ve been doing and follow the program as is.
Or if you’re like me and have been slacking off for years and are weak as a kitten, then we’re going to have to take things slow.
For you guys, I’m going to recommend that you follow this program for the first two months. After that, we’ll assess your strength and go from their either putting you on the advanced program or sticking with this beginner one.
For those of you who are true beginners, I’m going to list a few tips that I wish I knew starting out so you can get the most out of these first two months.
Your first few sessions are going to be rough. Your muscles will feel like rubber and energy levels won’t be all that great either.
That’s normal. However, here are a few things to remember:
Drink your milk. Unless you’ve got medical reasons not to, try to drink 3-4 glasses of milk a day in addition to the shakes.
The extra calories and protein will help.
Eat food before you work out. I know this goes against what a lot of people say, but if you’re like me and have a hard time eating enough food, you might find that eating some oatmeal 30-45 minutes before your workout will help.
Don’t eat anything else though because you’ll get hungry and then you won’t want to do the workout.
Shake it off. This is going to hurt.
A lot. But you can’t stop. The second you stop is the second your body realizes it doesn’t have to grow if it doesn’t want to. So even if you feel like you’re going to vomit, push through it. If it gets too bad, then take a break and grab some water. But keep moving.
This is supposed to be fun. There’s no rule that says you can’t laugh while you’re working out.
In fact I highly encourage it. I laugh at least twice as much as I grunt while I work out. It keeps me motivated and keeps my mood up.
You should also be spending your off days having fun as well. Go out with friends, play laser tag, go see a movie, or whatever you like to do.
Just because you’re working out, doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit or get stressed out about it. The best workouts are the ones you don’t feel like workouts at all.
So there you have it, my workout plans. I hope they help you out in some way.
As I said, if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Just leave out the hate mail. I’ve gotten quite enough of that already.
A month has passed and your workouts are going well. The soreness is mostly gone and you’re putting up some impressive numbers on the machines.
Your diet is going well too. You’re drinking plenty of milk and eating all the right foods.
You’re also making more money than you knew existed with people paying you to work out. The college kids alone are a constant stream of income that you barely have to do anything for.
In addition to the supplements you can now buy, you’re getting some nice meals too. All you have to do is let them take you out to dinner every once in awhile.
You’ve also been going out with Jenny a lot and you’re having a great time. She’s smart and funny, and not to mention one of the most beautiful girls you’ve ever seen.
You still find yourself tongue-tied around her sometimes, but then you’re playing the role of a brainy academic type so no surprise there.
You’ve also been getting to know her sister, Megan a little better too. She’s a lot more quiet and shy and doesn’t come off as brainy (though she is in fact in the same grade as you) but you find her a lot of fun to be around too.
When you’re not going out with one of the sisters, you’re probably hanging out with the other one.
As for the paper route, not much has changed. You’re still getting up at two in the morning to get it done.
The only good thing is now you don’t have to do it everyday, just every other day so at least you’re getting more of a chance to sleep in.
The early mornings still suck though since the whole point of getting the exercise was to simply do it while you were awake and not at some ungodly hour.
You also ran into Zee again briefly. He was with some of his skater friends and you got into a little argument.
The difference between you two now is that he has friends to back him up and you don’t. So even though you stood your ground, you had to be a little cautious.
Still, you’re not backing down from him or his stupid bets. You’ll show him next time.
Well today is your day off from the paper route, but you’ve still got to go make your collections on it. You need to make another trip to that creepy house.
You’ve been putting it off for a few weeks now, but maybe if you finally worked up the courage to do it, it would be better than it was when you first did. Of course maybe it would be worse.
There’s really no way of knowing.
You decide you won’t think about it anymore, you’ll just do it. You don’t even need to go in the house, you can make the drop through the mail slot like last time.
You just need to get this over with.
You walk to the door and slowly raise your hand to the doorbell. Your finger quivers for a second before pressing down.
The bell emits a dull sound inside.
Sources & references used in this article:
Flawed advice and the management trap: How managers can know when they’re getting good advice and when they’re not by K Huisman – Sociological Inquiry, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Sports by JF Dunnigan, AA Nofi – 2000 – Macmillan
Retention: Tag, you’re it! by C Argyris – 2000 – books.google.com
If you’re an egalitarian, how come you’re so rich by J McGonigal – 2015 – Penguin
Why we’re not emergent: By two guys who should be by B Pearl – 2005 – books.google.com
How can we know that we’re not brains in vats? by B Kaye, S Jordan-Evans – Training and development …, 2000 – careersystemsintl.org