PROGRESSION - MAKE YOUR WORKOUTS MOST PRODUCTIVE!
Dara Singh Handa
Progression or getting better at your workouts is the only way by which you will transform your body. Our body changes as a response to the new stimulus we provide while training. Many confuse this by thinking that you have to do new exercise or workouts or some random fancy stuffy. In actual terms you simply have to progess in your workouts overtime. The progression can be in terms of lifting more weight for equal number of reps, doing more reps with the same weight, being able to add another set to given sets or reducing in your rest periods between sets. For beginners progression is pretty simple and happens easily. The more your training ages, the more complex the progression model and more efforts are needed to progress. Let me give you a simple progression model. Major compounds: As a beginner, for compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, bench or any variation of them, first make sure that you have learnt the form and are performing it appropriately. Improved form will automatically help you lift more. Fix the reps you need to do initially and add weight to these movements every week without increasing or decreasing the reps. Change the weight each week. I suggest micro loading using 1.25kg plates on each side of the bar intially till you reach a point when you can't lift heavier every week. After that you can apply the progression method below. Secondary lifts and isolation execises: For many secondary lifts and isolation movements, you may not be able to add weight each workout after initial weeks. For them, choose a large rep range. Let's say 8 to 15 reps. Choose a weight such that you almost fail in the given rep range. Which mean it should be really difficult to complete more than 15(the upper limit of the rep range) with that weight. Also, It shouldn't be so heavy that you can't even do 8reps with it. If that's the case it means you have to decrease weight and be in the given rep range. You don't have to start with less and slowly build up. It's just that choose an appropriate weight for the rep range and try to get stronger in that. For eg, let's say you can do 9reps with 10kg for an exercise. Try and reach 9 reps in all the all the sets. Then week by week try and do more reps. So initially you'll do 12 reps in 1st set and 9 in the rest. Eventually you'll do 14 reps in all the sets. Finally, when you reach 15reps with the same weight easily in all the sets, it's time to increase the weight and try to reach atleast 8 reps with the new weight in all the sets. This process can go on and on.