Written by Coach JT Kotowski
So you’ve just started seriously strength training and your strength is shooting through the roof, it feels like every single time you workout you’re setting new personal records, you feel invincible, and you’re incredibly motivated.
Then, after a few weeks of consistent training you notice you’re not progressing as fast as you once were and you may even have had your first off day where you just don’t feel your best. The frustration is now setting in and leading you to contemplate quitting because “what’s the point anyway”, right?
Those first few weeks of rapid strength gains were due to an increase of coordination and neuromuscular adaptations in your body. Basically, your body is learning how to lift weights and how to get stronger.
Once these skills are developed, you are harshly welcomed to the world of true strength development, a world that is very slow and frustrating.
Let’s take a look at a scenario that will help you understand this situation.
15 year old “Jimmy” came into the gym and was deadlifting 135lbs in his first week, and he added 5lbs to his deadlift every single week (which is what most people expect). Jimmy would add 260lbs to his deadlift in one year totaling him at 395 lbs at 16 years old. Not so ridiculous right? So let’s continue this for following years – continuing the 5lb weekly and 260lb yearly increase.
At that rate, Jimmy would be deadlifting:
- 655 lbs at 18
- 915 lbs at 19
- 1,175lbs at 20
- 3,375lbs at 30
- 5,975lbs at 40
- 8,575lbs at 50
- And 11,175lbs at the age of 60
Jimmy would be a world record deadlift holder at 20 years old, and he would be deadlifting 11,175lbs around the time he is having grandchildren. Quite the success story, huh?
After reading the story of Jimmy, we need to understand that it is flat-out ridiculous to expect strength gains like this every single week or month.
Increasing strength takes time and it takes a diligent individual to stay motivated and keep getting stronger. You’re not alone, we’re all working for the same goal! Enjoy the process!