I had been on Stronglifts for more than a year, and by the end of 2018, I was stalled hardcore. I would go through the same cycle month after month. I'd get to a specific weight, fail to complete my sets, deload, and resume LP up to the same weight again and failing. I tried switching from 5x5 to 3x5 and got some results. Ultimately, I was stuck and frustrated. On January 1st, I switched to Starting Strength.

I saw some early gains in January due to lifting more efficiently by improving my form, but the progress was still slow and unsatisfying. Then, after reading the Blue Book that I got for Christmas, I decided I wasn't doing the program fully. I saw two big things that were probably contributing to my plateau. First, I would often lift hung over, particularly on Mondays. I committed myself to not drinking before lift days. Second, I assumed I wasn't eating enough protein. I started tracking my food, and I learned I was nowhere close to eating enough. I committed myself to getting as close to my protein goals as possible. I had high protein meals and snacks throughout the day, averaging 4 snacks or small meals and one big meal per day, all with significant amounts of protein and moderate amounts of fat.

These were two changes that I figured would yield results and that I could sustain for several weeks at least, until I saw a result one way or the other.

Since restricting my drinking and drastically increasing my protein intake, in the past three or four weeks, I'm making significant progress in my LP. I've blasted past 5RM records that I haven't been able to approach for months. I can see my arms change from sticks to slightly thicker sticks. My back is broadening. For the first time in my life, a 300 pound squat, 325 deadlift, 150 pound press, and 200 pound bench are milestones I can see from where I am. Rather than being frustrated all the time, I look forward to gym days like there was going to be a wrapped present waiting for me in the squat rack every day.

I'm 47 years old and on the fluffy side. I'm here to tell you that the system works if you follow the plan. I'm a believer.