Help identifying lifting milestones

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July 23, 2019

Life is better than ever and I am sure things are only going to get more fun. My body goal is to take women's breath away when I take off my shirt (think Achilles from Troy). This is multi-year project which will require more discipline than ever, especially now that life is getting more fun which leads me to be more comfortable than I prefer. I think the body fat percentage here should be around 6-8%. This post is about the lifts required for this goal.

Here's where I am at with the lifts (started with the bar last year with zero foundation of strength):

Squat: 245 - could grow this but need to improve form so I don't get wrecked

Deadlift: 265 - could grow this but need to improve form so I don't get wrecked

Overhead Press: 100 - stuck around here and am wobbly

Bench: 145 - stuck around here and am wobbly

After the last year of lifting I think Stronglifts skews towards the lower body and doesn't focus enough on the upper body. I stalled out early on overhead and bench and need to change something up to break the plateau. Any tips?

With my lifts I still don't believe I am even at the first milestone I should be at. Looking for some estimated lift weights for milestones to set some expectations for myself.

Milestone 1 - foundation of strength gained, non trivial lifts <- I am getting closer to this but don't think I am here yet

Milestone 2 - intermediate, halfway to milestone 3

Milestone 3 - master - diminishing returns after this, risk of injury high enough to not warrant adding weight

Post Information
Title Help identifying lifting milestones
Author pursuing_the_ideal
Upvotes 9
Comments 28
Date 23 July 2019 08:03 PM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askMRP
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[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red17 points18 points  (3 children) | Copy

There is only one lifting milestone.

Do you suffer from body dysmorphia?

No? Lift more.

Yes? Lift more.

[–]CrazyLegs781 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

How fucking true is that!!

[–]WesternhagenWinner0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I thought the only milestone was “tren” - lifting before tren and lifting after tren. =)

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

There are actually a few.

Father Dom Explains

[–]mrp_awakening5 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy

If you want a program to kick your ass and get the volume in, look up Wendler's Boring But Big. I especially recommend the 3 month challenge variation. Nothing like doing 5x10 of the big lifts at 70% 1RM. I've made some serious strength gains there, after having plateaued for a while. 1RMed 180 lbs on OHP, and am close to clearing 300lbs on bench at 5'10" and 180lbs body weight (10% bf). Only thing I take is creatine.

Only thing I'd change for you: 5 lbs upper body lifts and 10 lbs lower body lifts per month is probably too slow of a progression to be meaningful when you can still get noob gains. Make sure you take seriously the 5+, 3+, and 1+ elements and try to see how many reps you can muster at those weights. When upping your training max at the end of a month, figure out what your 1RM is according to those extra reps you can manage and make that your training max. Instead of 5lbs/month, you may end up adding 10-20 lbs/month upper and more lower.

If you need to cut too (not sure if 6-8% is where you are or a goal), I'd recommend keto. I lost 40 lbs last year, while adding weight on all my lifts. Just stick to high protein (1g per pound lean body weight). If you need carbs to help with the workout, 10g glucose powder right before workout can help (look up targeted ketogenic diet).

[–]becoming_alpha0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

+1 for Wendler's BBB. I was stalled out with 5x5 stronglifts at 125 for my OHP. Doing BBB since the start of the year, I hit 160 for OHP. It's a great program to break plateaus.

Also, is a great resource. Milestone 1 for you should be Novice level, 2 is intermediate, 3 is advanced. You might be getting close to your goal when you're at the high end of advanced. I'm nearly 2 years in and into the intermediate range for all my lifts. I look infinitely better than two years ago. Still years of work before I look like captain america.

[–]mrp_awakening0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah. It's great too with the higher volume as well as strength training. You get a lot of hypertrophy off it, while still setting new PRs in strength.

[–]SBIIIRed Fucking Commando4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

Squat: 245 - could grow this but need to improve form so I don't get wrecked

Deadlift: 265 - could grow this but need to improve form so I don't get wrecked

Overhead Press: 100 - stuck around here and am wobbly

Bench: 145 - stuck around here and am wobbly

You're at Novice Level. Your milestones can be whatever you choose, but you're at Novice Level in lifting terms.

If you work hard, you'll get to Intermediate Level in a year and another 1-2 years to get from there to Profficient.

When you get to that stage, you're probably a few years off looking like Brad did in Troy and you will need to have God like proportions, insertions and genetics to do that as well as doing some serious work on nutrition. And probably some juice too.

It's great to have hard to attain goals to reach for but with some goals you also have to be realistic.

[–]matrixtospartanatLVRed Beret3 points4 points  (4 children) | Copy

Body fat is controlled by diet, not lifts.

[–]SBIIIRed Fucking Commando2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

Yup. Abs are made in the kitchen.

[–]IRunYourRiver2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Made in the gym, revealed in the kitchen.

[–]mrp_awakening0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Highly recommend keto for this. Specifically ketogains protocol. People who say you can't add muscle and lose fat simultaneously havent ever been on a high protein keto diet and lifted... because that's litterally what happens to everyone on it.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I really fucking hate it when people say this...

Why the FUCK cant they be made at Whataburger?

[–]RP_PO2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

With each of your lifts, you offered excuse or resignation. Yada yada, BUT. Yada yada, STUCK.

Get your fucking mind right. You’re negative about your shit. Be positive and wreck the gym. You’re not made of glass. Go find out what you actually ARE made of, pussy

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I mix in some dumbbell work when I hit a plateau on upper body lifts, and a couple weeks of that usually helps me bust through it.

How's your diet and sleep? After a year of lifting you should be well past those bench and OHP numbers.

[–]RoccoPinkman1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

What do you weigh? What are your calories at? what types of food are you eating? How is your sleep? What program are you using?

You are probably eating a lot less than you can I know most people do and I know I was shocked when I saw my calories even for cutting. You need a proper program with linear progression,your lifts should always be adding weight. People have suggested programs and Starting strength has some decent programs in it have a look at that. Form is also important I thought my OHP 1RM was 85kg until I corrected my form and it felt easy as fuck doing for reps 3 sets

[–]NaAF12241 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Who cares what the milestones are? Every person looks different at different strength levels. It’s not like there’s a finish line, just enjoy the grind, because once you reach what you thought was your goal you’ll realize you still aren’t shit. That’s the beauty of it.

[–]BobbyPeruRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Overhead Press: 100 - stuck around here and am wobbly

I assume you are seated for these. Pull the bar from swuatvlevel, and try standing OHP with your legs shoulder width. This will give you more leverage. Build it up this way, and if you want to go back to seated, you should have gains. I actually prefer standing OHP since it allows me to pay attention to form. This is just my personal preference- not for everyone

Bench: 145 - stuck around here and am wobbly

Work on keeping your elbows tucked and a good grip. I’m guessing your elbows are out too far causing the wobble. Also, more back work will help your bench.

[–]fuckmrpRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Bro you got a post here from 6 months ago with amost the same stats? What is you doing in the gym?

That shit aside, I was once ogled by an etire school full of teachers. Had a chick tell me my body is a peice of art. I have plates sending me, pictures of me, telling me they miss me.

How did i get here? A fuck ton of hard work, like 6 days a week, sometimes 2 a day. Lifting heavy shit, running miles and also... drugs.

[–]NoCoast820 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

What is you doing in the gym?

Not much obviously, bet he is still 30%+ bodyfat as well.

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is a bad case of Fuckarounditis. Plateau? It’s called the grind and you just do it.



  • Novice your body weight
  • Elite 2x your body weight.


  • Novice: Your body weight
  • Elite 2.5x your body weight


  • Novice: Your body weight
  • Elite: 1.5x your body weight


  • Novice 10
  • Elite 20

Push-up (1 minute)

  • Novice 20
  • Elite 50

[–]dwebsterlight0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I’m not sure how many days a week you run 5x5 but I always found it to be lacking upper body work at its base. I generally did 5x5 with ancillary lifts for upper body and added in Boring But Big sets for muscles not worked on that day (i.e. 5 sets of 10 at 70% of 1RM for chest on the days when 5x5 doesn’t call for it). Basically I do a fully body workout in an hour and a half every time I’m in the gym (three days a week).

Below is an example from the chest day on 5x5. Before that, I will also say that you need to do deload cycles to continue gains. Once you get stronger deloading won’t work as well and you should switch to 5x5 Madcow but you aren’t there yet.

Squats - as a super set with abs and pull-ups with no rest between sets -Abs include twisting leg lifts first, mid abs, then upper -Body weight plus a belt with progressively heavier weights hanging for 5x5. On BBB days (shoulder day) use a machine for 5x10.

Bench and row - for BBB do inclined bench for 5x10 and a machine or dumbbells for row

Accessory lifts for biceps and triceps everyday. 4 sets with increasing weight on the first three then drop down for the final set and do as many as possible. For me curls looked like this recently 85-95-105-85lbs for 8-8-5-9 reps on a straight bar. Go back and forth and biceps and triceps as a super set to cut down on your time in the gym and add in the calve exercises I mention later if your gym allows enough free equipment at any given time to do this.

Then I do a rotating mix of other things like face pulls, straight arm pull downs, cable flies, or whatever else I don’t feel I worked hard enough that day. This usually includes additional lifts that target the areas I’m focusing on that day.

Finally, calve raises for 5x15 for about 70% of what I can squat.

[–]RedPill-BlackLotusRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You have this all wrong.

This was done in the kitchen

I didn't see anything in your whole post about your eating strategy. That's the whole part if you want that lean muscular look that "takes a womans breath away". God that's a gay sentence.

Your post had all kinds of numbers in it with weight goals. When you diet down to be that lean, your strength takes a shit.

It's all about your diet and cardio game.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

My lifts are only slightly better than yours so the other guys can provide advice on programs to you.

That being said the measure I use is simple: am I making progress toward my current goal? Reassess your goal periodically. My current goal is to drop BF. My lifts are still improving but certainly not as quick if I was running a calorie surplus. Slow and steady... the last thing you want is an injury that sidelined you for a few weeks.

The key is to always be improving. And that really goes for anything in your life.

[–]Cam_Winston210 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

This post is about the lifts required for this goal.

You're posting lifts about strength, which are not necessarily conducive to having a body like Achilles. If anyone wants to up their lifts, they need only eat a lot & lift. Gaining weight goes along with gaining strength. If you're looking at building lean muscle mass to go along with shedding body fat, then your goal should be hypertrophy, not "how much can I lift for one rep".

I have no idea what my one rep close-grip-bench-press is. I do know how to build muscle fiber in my triceps, though. It ain't one rep maxes.

Good luck with the 6-8% thing, btw. Your post history says you're 34, so that's about as realistic as setting a goal of being a billionaire.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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