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    Registered User LESNAR2003's Avatar
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    How to do progressive overload in strength training ?

    Hello

    I wanted to know how to do progressive overload when I am training for strength. By strength training, I mean doing lower reps with heavier weights. For example, if I do 3 sets of 5 with a very heavy dumbbell for 1 week, how will I apply the "progressive overload principle" in the following week ? At which time should I add more weight? And if 3 sets of 5 is still difficult after the first week, should I just continue doing it or should I add more weight ?
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    Progressive overload means improving your performance and therefore increasing the weight you are lifting over time. This also includes doing more reps with the same weight, so, for example, if you do say 5-6 reps with a certain weight and the next week you are able to do 6-7 reps, then that is progressive overload and you are getting stronger. When you get to the point that you are able to comfortably do more than 8 reps, then I'd say it's time to increase the weight. Also you don't have to necessarily improve your performance each week (although it's no bad thing if you do) - if you can increase the weight/reps every two weeks then that is still progressive overload.
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    Originally Posted by LESNAR2003 View Post
    Hello

    I wanted to know how to do progressive overload when I am training for strength. By strength training, I mean doing lower reps with heavier weights. For example, if I do 3 sets of 5 with a very heavy dumbbell for 1 week, how will I apply the "progressive overload principle" in the following week ? At which time should I add more weight? And if 3 sets of 5 is still difficult after the first week, should I just continue doing it or should I add more weight ?
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    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    The key point in my opinion is to progress without hitting failure.

    For example, you can use RPE to decide how many reps you do in each set

    E.g.
    set 1: RPE 7
    set 2: RPE 8
    set 3: RPE 8.5
    - increase the weight next time if some rep theshold is met in the last set - e.g. 5 reps or more
    - this might turn out to be a case of sets across 3x5 but not always.

    You can also alternate between weights instead of doggedly sticking to the same weight until you hit a rep threshold. e.g.
    pyramid up in singles until you hit what you believe to be a 2RM. Let's say this is 100kg
    - next time, drop to 90kg and do a 4 x 3
    - or drop to 85 and do a 3x5

    You can add volume by doing backoff sets - e.g. remove 15% and rep out.

    You can autoregulate the number of sets by doing repeats with the same weight/reps.

    Eg.
    set 1: 3 reps with 100kg @ RPE 8
    set 2: 3 reps with 100kg @ RPE 8.5
    set 3: 3 reps with 100kg @ RPE 9
    set 4: 2 reps with 100kg @ RPE 9 - stop here


    When it comes down to it, what really matters is that you are using a challenging weight, getting work done without burning out prematurely (and doing too little volume). There are plenty of rigidly defined programs but I doubt they add much if anything to this. If you want to read more, read some of Greg Nuckols stuff, he shares these views on an informal approach and is dubious about the effects of formal periodisation believing it to be little more than adding some interest to your training (which you can do intuitively if you follow some basic guidelines).
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