Originally Posted by db_ggmm
Some days I really feel like I'm missing 'the secret' which will enable me to make strength and size gains. Today is one of those days.
I know the only real secret is hard work, but for some reason that doesn't seem to be enough? I have all the time to work out that I want. If doubling my training sessions would work, I could do that, but I don't think anyone would suggest I double up a Starting Strength 5x5 program.
I eat ok. I eat right around 2500 cals / day with 200g protein on a chicken day and 160-180 if I eat a different meat. I eat almost entirely unprocessed food that I cook myself. I am 140 lbs which makes me think 2500 is enough. I am slim, but I am not ripped or shredded or anything close. I feel like the mirror tells me I am right around 12-14% BF which is where I want to be for strength gains.
I'm not worried about test levels. My gf and I have been together for 9 months and our libidos are solid.
I work 3x 12hr night shifts / week. I know that fucks with me a little bit, but I get plenty of sleep to offset the best I can.
The hour after working out, I am tired. The next day, my body craves exertion. I'll want to do some squats, just to settle my legs down.
Why am I not benching my body weight?
I feel your frustration man, I consider my bench to be sub-par compared to my other lifts. Make sure your technique is dialed in as close to perfect as you can get it; benching correctly can make a world of difference.
There are many muscles that work together on the bench press; you have your lats, pecs, front delts, triceps, and rear delts. If one of those links is weak your entire bench is going to suffer. That's one of the problems I have with the Starting Strength programs. Sure, they are great for inexperienced lifters looking to gain strength but such a simple program WILL lead to a plateau eventually. There just isn't enough assistance and specialization work included to keep your gains moving for a long period of time.
Lastly, try upping your caloric intake as hendrix suggested. Throw in an extra 500 cal. per day from clean sources and good fats and you should start gaining weight which will bring hypertrophy and strength gains along as well. Building your body is a long, hard process but damn is it worth it!