Not able to add reps anymore. 7 reps for push ups, 1 for chin ups, x reps for inverted rows(specific angle)

180cm 78kg. 28yo. 8h sleep. 140g protein. no kcal deficit.

All factors outside of training are good. Btw. they dont have to be good if we talk about such a small strength.

I used negatives chin ups etc. (Part of my routine)

I deloaded, reloaded.

I changed rep range, set amounts, intensity, volume.

My total testo is at 400 ng/dl.

One thing i didn't do is changing exercises/DUP/changing routine.(changing routine tho doesn't make sense to my knowledge, changing routine is just changing rep range, sets)

I train with (3 x weekly) https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine the whole time. 1 year and counting.

Diet:140g protein, 1g fat per kg, rest carbs, if kcal surplus, then it's 1kg per month. Plant based. Mostly sexy soy for protein ;)

  • That's indeed a puzzle. Could you talk about your diet a bit more? And perhaps share how often you work out? How did the arch hangs and scapular pulls go? How many pull-up negatives do you do, how often, and how many seconds do they last? Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 12:24
  • Assuming that you do this routine 3x a week: I am guessing that you are overtrained. I think 2x a week may be better for you. I increase my number of push-ups with ca. 1 each workout. I only train push-ups once a week and shoulder press once a week. I would try skipping two workouts and see what happens. Also I think you should stop doing chin-ups or negatives until you get stronger and only do inverted rows instead. If one can do many push-ups and chin-ups it is no problem doing these 3x a week, but when one struggles with just a few this may become too intense to recover from.
    – Andy
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 13:13
  • @DaveLiepmann Arch hangs, scapula pull ups, i did them for months. I don't know what you wanna know. I can do 3x6 a 5 sec negative chin ups. see main post for edit.
    – Greenmask
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 13:45
  • @Andy oh. yeah. me being overtrained might be very correct. cause i tried doing only 6 sets per week and muscle and suddenly i saw a beautiful progress rate regarding could add 1 rep every session. it felt so good. but then i hit plateau and wasnt able anymore to add reps. i went from 6 to 10 push ups in that time. inverted rows was then also progresseable. just with 6 sets per week and muscle. so funny. :D
    – Greenmask
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 13:47
  • When you hit 10 push-ups again: I would suggest that you first do one set of normal push-ups and then do one set with a backpack with some books in on your back (5-10 kg) and then another normal set.
    – Andy
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


First of all, we all have to recognize that most people put on strength and muscle more slowly with calisthenics movements compared to weights. I love calisthenics and gymnastic strength training, but weights are just more variable to one's needs, and are easier to create the right resistance, especially for strong muscle groups like the posterior chain. So recognize that your choice of training method is handicapping your progress to some degree.

That said, an adult man can reasonably expect to see much better results by doing pull-up training three times a week. The idea that a 28-year-old should reasonably expect to be over-training with a few pull-ups and push-ups 3x a week is laughable. But it's true, you do seem to be over-training. It's not good to experience over-training symptoms from such a small stimulus after such a long time to acclimate to training.

Which brings me to your second self-imposed handicap:

Diet: Plant based.

This is why I asked about your diet. It's uncanny how often someone describes a failure to respond to training, and only reveals that they're vegan after I guess to myself. No vegan has ever liked hearing this. Nevertheless.

I have a lot of sympathy for animal welfare, and I consider it a moral imperative to minimize torture of animals in one's choices. And that's what CAFOs and other industrial animal products are: torture of animals that feel pain. That's why I go out of my way (and spend more money) to eat, as much as possible, eggs from well-treated hens, milk and yogurt from well-treated pastured cows, and meat from animals living as close to their natural lifestyle as possible, butchered as humanely as possible.

If you want to go several extreme steps further, that's your choice. But I think it's important to recognize that very, very few people are able to make serious strength gains on a vegan diet without the aid of exogenous hormones (steroids). I suspect that if you started eating six eggs from well-treated hens a day, you would feel better in your workouts and see noticeably better strength progress. If on top of that, every day you ate a quart of yogurt and a steak from pastured cows, I'm pretty sure you'd see your training turn around. The power of eating animal foods for physical well-being has been well-understood for literal millennia.

If you're okay that your diet interferes with your physical health, okay. But you should at least know the choice you're making. I think the negative physical consequences of not eating at least farm eggs--which I find quite difficult to argue against from an ethical perspective--are in fact quite more serious than many vegans seem to reckon with.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Alec
    Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 21:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.