So I only started being dedicated about my lifting about 6 months ago and in about 4.5 months I put on 20 lbs. sticking to GVT (German Volume Training, or 10 by 10), but my numbers were climbing kind of slow, despite the noticeable difference in weight and appearance.
About 6 weeks ago I started doing OVT (Overload Volume Training) which is a version of GVT, but instead of doing 10 sets of 10 reps on a single compound lift, you superset 5 reps of a compound lift with 5 reps of an isolation exercise over the course of ten sets -- still equaling 100 total reps.
As you can imagine, in order to do 100 reps for a single muscle group at the same weight, you're going to need to lift pretty light. I started at 135 on my bench for OVT (super setting the bench with 25 lbs. dumbbell chest flies) and didn't hit failure at all, so the next week I added 10 lbs. to my bench, well I didn't hit failure again! So I added another 10 lbs. the next week. This continued and I was amazed at how quickly I was gaining strength, only the third week did I actually fail, well the fourth week I completed the full routine again without hitting failure!
I am now at 185 lbs. for my bench (45 lbs. on the chest flies) and I hit failure on the 3rd rep of the 9th set on the bench, so I fully expect to be able to complete the full routine this coming week and add another 10 lbs. for the following week! Man, I'm so fucking excited that I just can't contain it. Yeah, I'm staying kind of light on the flies, but they hurt my shoulders pretty bad if I try to advance too fast with them and I incorporate a press into every training day besides leg day, so I need to take it easy on my shoulders.
After two more weeks of OVT it will be time for my week off so I think I'll find my 1RM just out of curiosity and I'm fully expecting something close to 300 lbs. which makes me incredibly happy because I only weigh 170 lbs. (10-12% bf)!! This is an amazing accomplishment for me because I've never been able to lift super heavy and I was never even a dedicated lifter until recently. It genuinely feels like my body is waking up and I feel like the sky is the limit.
I've had family members and friends accuse me of being on steroids because I'm lifting so much heavier which is a huge compliment, and of course I'm not actually using steroids.
So yeah, super stoked and just figured I'd share the stoke with you guys.
A few notes that have probably contributed to the strength gain: I started buying high quality creatine and protein rather than cheap stuff, I've really focused on tightening my form up and feeling what works for generating power and what doesn't, I take two Animal Paks a day (instead of just one), and I'm actually eating 6-8 meals a day at this point.
Diet: 3000-3500 calories a day, 200-250 g of protein, pretty clean about my food in the sense that I don't consume candy or anything sweet, but I never care about the amount of fat or carbs and will eat anything that sounds good as long as it's not candy or soda. I eat tons of red meat and pasta too.