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Author Topic: Progression musings  (Read 4194 times)
Mr Crabtree
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« on: November 03, 2016, 08:23:25 AM »

Progression, we all know how important being progressive is both in the gym and in the kitchen.
We also know there there is many ways to skin a cat.

Personally I have never been able to increase my weights by 2.5kg each session. Sure the first couple of weeks things are fine but that's usually because I started out at a suboptimal weight to begin with.
2 years ago I invested in some 0.25kg micro weights and until recently I thought this was the best thing I had ever done.

Progression has been coming steady in the shape of 1kg or 0.5kg increases each session (my split sees me train each muscle 3 X per fortnight)

Just recently I have begun to doubt my approach. Time for some maths....

(For arguments sake) let's say I flat a Bench Press 100kg for 4 sets of 6 reps. I have lifted a total of 2400kg.

I micro load which sees me lift the following during the next session.
101kg for 4 sets of 6 reps totalling 2424kg.

Basically I have progressed and lifted an extra load equating to 24kg.

The reality is 24 kg is neither here nor there and I'm very much doubting the body registers the extra weight and adapts (grows) to compensate.

Looked at another way if I forget the micro loading and return to 'old school' increases in weight and or reps the progression is far more obvious.

24 reps X 100kg = 2400kg now by adding just 1 extra rep (100kg bench press) on the final set I increase the total load by 100kg.

12kg increase vs 100kg increase. That's a massive difference in my eyes! That difference may be the difference between 'growing' or not.


I would be really interested to get other people's opinions on this because what seemed black and white is now turning a funny shade of grey...
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Glen Danbury
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 08:06:37 AM »

if youndo a search this has been discussed at length on this forum before - considering no one else seems to be chipping in I will give my thoughts.

to a degree you are correct but tonnage isn't the only thing which will influence hypertrophy and its not an either or. you can make progress with four broad methods - virtually anything you do to make progress in the gym will be able to be classified into one of these four or a combination. so you have

Intensity = weight on they bar as a % of your max
volume = tonnage or weight x reps x sets
density = tonnage per unit of time
familiarity = new movements/motor patterns

each progression method will have different effects on how you adapt as strength and size isnt one single component, i.e its a combination of

intramuscular coordination
intermuscular coordination
rate coding
myofibril hypertrophy
sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
capillarisation
substrate storage etc etc

long-term you want a few different progression methods to cover all the adaptations. in addition one method and adaptation can have a positive effect on another. wgich then leads to periodisation.

personally dont sweat it too much and use which ever method ensures you progress with maybe switching it up a little from time to time
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Badger
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To press a lot, you must press a lot. -Sheiko


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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 06:59:50 PM »

if youndo a search this has been discussed at length on this forum before - considering no one else seems to be chipping in I will give my thoughts.

to a degree you are correct but tonnage isn't the only thing which will influence hypertrophy and its not an either or. you can make progress with four broad methods - virtually anything you do to make progress in the gym will be able to be classified into one of these four or a combination. so you have

Intensity = weight on they bar as a % of your max
volume = tonnage or weight x reps x sets
density = tonnage per unit of time
familiarity = new movements/motor patterns

each progression method will have different effects on how you adapt as strength and size isnt one single component, i.e its a combination of

intramuscular coordination
intermuscular coordination
rate coding
myofibril hypertrophy
sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
capillarisation
substrate storage etc etc

long-term you want a few different progression methods to cover all the adaptations. in addition one method and adaptation can have a positive effect on another. wgich then leads to periodisation.

personally dont sweat it too much and use which ever method ensures you progress with maybe switching it up a little from time to time

Boom goes the perfect answer!

In the grand scheme of things I think that there is a lot to be said for choosing a few key exercises and seeking to improve your performance of the move will yield strength increases, muscle mass increases and improvements in the adaptions listed above by Glen.

I think that it is all really quite simple - a moderate calorie excess, intelligent hard training where you are pushing yourself and seeking to simply get stronger.

The way I see it is if you have one guy who is far stronger than the other chap it will always show on the physique, especially when the body fat had been removed in bodybuilding terms.

The more of I have been around natural powerlifting and natural bodybuilding the more apparent it seems that just as in the original inception of bodybuilder from year dot you had guys who were strength performers that had a physique because they were physically capable instead of just training for the physique as an end in itself. The like of Grimek, Pandor and Sandow where very strong individuals that looked great. Somehow the birth of drugs divorced performance from appearance.
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Mr Crabtree
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 08:10:46 AM »

if youndo a search this has been discussed at length on this forum before - considering no one else seems to be chipping in I will give my thoughts.

to a degree you are correct but tonnage isn't the only thing which will influence hypertrophy and its not an either or. you can make progress with four broad methods - virtually anything you do to make progress in the gym will be able to be classified into one of these four or a combination. so you have

Intensity = weight on they bar as a % of your max
volume = tonnage or weight x reps x sets
density = tonnage per unit of time
familiarity = new movements/motor patterns

each progression method will have different effects on how you adapt as strength and size isnt one single component, i.e its a combination of

intramuscular coordination
intermuscular coordination
rate coding
myofibril hypertrophy
sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
capillarisation
substrate storage etc etc

long-term you want a few different progression methods to cover all the adaptations. in addition one method and adaptation can have a positive effect on another. wgich then leads to periodisation.

personally dont sweat it too much and use which ever method ensures you progress with maybe switching it up a little from time to time



Thanks for taking time to answer.

I am well versed in the various methods of progression and the benefits of switching things up. My preferred training wave is non linear periodisation.

My point was solely based around linear progression which is what I happen to be running at this point in time and how weight in the bar (all be it micro increases) 'appears' far inferior to additional reps. Of course this is on paper and muscles aren't built on paper.

The struggle I am having with myself is understanding if lifting 4 sets of 6 reps at 0.5kg-1kg increase from last session is enough to convince the body it needs to adapt (grow). For strength I can see the benefits as strength adaption seems to be constant (of course this will eventually stop) but for growth I'm starting to doubt the benefits of micro loading.
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Glen Danbury
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2016, 09:43:24 AM »

I get your point now. yeah as an isolated workout microloading will have smaller effects - IMO natural bodybuilding is one of patience and one good workout means little but rather tge cumulative effects of months, actually no years of effort makes the difference.

which ever is the one which will keep you progressing the longest and further over the long term will be the more optimal progression scheme IMO.

Having said that maybe during my competing days I wouldnt have thought the same as it was all about getting the results then and there
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