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Old 06-08-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default Ultimate Progression Thread

"Progression" can be one of the most baffling concepts for beginners. There are nearly an unlimited number of ways to progress.

My challenge to you is to post/describe a method of progression you enjoy, or one you feel comfortable explaining.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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Right now one of my favourite ways to progress is with Kroc Rows aka heavy DB rows. My progression scheme is easy.... since the gym doesn't have anything heavier than a 125lb dumbbell, I aim to get one more rep in a given week than I did last week.

For example, 2 weeks ago I did 15 reps (each hand). Last week I did 16 reps. Easy peasy progression scheme to follow.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:48 AM   #3
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The form of progression i used when i first start (and revived again recently doing the Reeves Classic) was the 'one extra rep' form of progression.

Do reps from 8-12 reps, starting at 8, then adding a rep each workout untill you get to 12. Then you up the weight 10% and start again. Not only does this mean you progress quite quickly, it also means there is a built in deload at the end of the sequence. Normally if you can do 12 reps at a given weight you should be able to do 10 reps at 10% higher (mileage may vary), meaning dropping to 8 reps is slightly below where you need to be.

I think this form of progression works best on a 3 day fullbody routine where to exercises are same or very similar for all days. When i first used it i was using a HLM fullbody type of workout so as to not burn out and i just simply added a rep per week. it soon built up to hard work.

The key to it is starting lower than where you are so progression can continue for a while. I would recommend starting at 8 reps with 10% LESS than your current 12 rep max. All those extra reps soon add up and if you start at your current 8 rep max you have no where to go.

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #4
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25's

This is a method I have used for exercises that call for 3 sets of conventional bodybuilding style 6-12 or 8-12 (or whatever) rep schemes....

When I can perform 25 or more total reps for all 3 sets, I add weight.

For lower rep ranges, say 6-10, you could use 20's.

For higher rep ranges you could use 30's.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:03 AM   #5
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Straight Sets

4 sets of 12, let's say.

I pick a weight and try to get all 4 sets of 12 and don't (at least not the first time).

I keep using this weight for all sets until I get 12 reps on all sets. Clean reps.

Then I up the weight (maybe by 5 pounds if it is a Dumbbell) and start over, getting as close to 12 across all the sets as I can.

Ex:

20x12, x12, x12, x10
20x12, x12, x12, x12
25x12, x10, x8, x6
25x12, x12, x8, x6
25x12, x12, x12, x6
etc.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:08 AM   #6
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Double Progression

Say you are working within the 6 to 10 rep range for a major lift.

Start with 2 sets. When you can perform 10 reps for both sets, add in a third set. When you can perform 10 reps on all 3 sets, add weight to the bar, and drop back down to 2 sets.

You could also work up to 4 sets of 10.

This style injects a little variety into each workout, and is indirectly a form of periodizing volume.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Double Progression

Say you are working within the 6 to 10 rep range for a major lift.

Start with 2 sets. When you can perform 10 reps for both sets, add in a third set. When you can perform 10 reps on all 3 sets, add weight to the bar, and drop back down to 2 sets.

You could also work up to 4 sets of 10.

This style injects a little variety into each workout, and is indirectly a form of periodizing volume.
I like this one Steve

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Old 06-08-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl1174 View Post
I like this one Steve

Carl.
Thanks. It's always fun to find creative ways to train.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:17 AM   #9
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Auto-Regulating Pyramid Sets

This is for 10, 8, 6, 4 style pyramid sets....

Do as many reps as you can for the first set. If you hit 10 reps, use the same weight for the second set. For every rep you go OVER the goal, add 5-10 pounds to your next set (for lighter lifts stick to 5...heavy lifts like squats and deads you can try 10).

So, say you hit 200 x 12 on your first set. You are +2 reps over your goal. So for set #2, you will use 210 pounds.

If you get more than 8 reps for set two, add 5 pounds for every extra rep.

Rinse, repeat.

If you fail to hit the rep goal, do the opposite...take 5 pounds off the bar for every rep missed.

When you are able to hit more than 4 reps on your final set, add 5 pounds to set #1 next week.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Auto-Regulating Pyramid Sets

This is for 10, 8, 6, 4 style pyramid sets....

Do as many reps as you can for the first set. If you hit 10 reps, use the same weight for the second set. For every rep you go OVER the goal, add 5-10 pounds to your next set (for lighter lifts stick to 5...heavy lifts like squats and deads you can try 10).

So, say you hit 200 x 12 on your first set. You are +2 reps over your goal. So for set #2, you will use 210 pounds.

If you get more than 8 reps for set two, add 5 pounds for every extra rep.

Rinse, repeat.

If you fail to hit the rep goal, do the opposite...take 5 pounds off the bar for every rep missed.

When you are able to hit more than 4 reps on your final set, add 5 pounds to set #1 next week.
Another awesome one there Steve. I pyramid the weight and might try this, but normally my jumps between the sets are more than 5-10lbs (more like 5-10kg's depending on exercise), how would you overcome that. Also do you have one for 5x5 schemes too

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