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  1. #1
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Do the same weight increment increases get easier as you get stronger?

    My lifts have been going up very well and consistently. Now that I'm stronger than before, I noticed that the increments I've been moving up by are becoming a smaller percentage increase. For example, when I took my squat for 3x5 from 185 to 195, it was a 5.5% increase. Now I'm getting ready to move up to 235 from 225 and that's now a 4.5% increase. Does that necessarily mean that the same 10lb increase is becoming easier to move up by even though you're getting closer to your genetic potential each time you're ready to increase the weight? Increasing a squat from 405 to 415 is a 2.5% increase for example. I have no intention to make bigger jumps, I'm always keeping it at 5lbs for upper body lifts and 10lbs for lower body. I see the weights getting heavier and when the time comes to add 10lbs I think to myself, "Oh man, this time it's going to feel like I'm adding 100lbs, this is where I'm gonna get buried." But then as soon as I start lifting that new heavier weight, it actually doesn't feel that much harder. Yesterday I went from 135 ohp 3x5 to 140 and
    managed to get 3x3 with it easily, it just felt like a smaller jump.
    Last edited by Animal2692; 07-16-2021 at 08:03 AM.
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    My lifts have been going up very well and consistently. Now that I'm stronger than before, I noticed that the increments I've been moving up by are becoming a smaller percentage increase. For example, when I took my squat for 3x5 from 185 to 195, it was a 5.5% increase. Now I'm getting ready to move up to 235 from 225 and that's now a 4.5% increase. Does that necessarily mean that the same 10lb increase is becoming easier to move up by even though you're getting closer to your genetic potential each time you're ready to increase the weight? Increasing a squat from 405 to 415 is a 2.5% increase for example. I have no intention to make bigger jumps, I'm always keeping it at 5lbs for upper body lifts and 10lbs for lower body. I see the weights getting heavier and when the time comes to add 10lbs I think to myself, "Oh man, this time it's going to feel like I'm adding 100lbs, this is where I'm gonna get buried." But then as soon as I start lifting that new heavier weight, it actually doesn't feel that much harder. Yesterday I went from 135 ohp 3x5 to 140 and
    managed to get 3x3 with it easily, it just felt like a smaller jump.
    Hmm. For me, I know that reps compute based roughly as a % of max.

    Take a look at some of the calculators online and play around with the numbers.

    I have found that If I get 5 reps on a big lift like bench or squats, I can add 30 pounds to the bar and still get three reps. My best effort at 3 reps will be around 90% of my max.

    The “problem” with higher rep counts is the variable of the actual time it takes to complete each rep. For example one day you might get 12 reps with a weight but only 10-11 next time…not because you lost gains but because you were slower…the actual time under tension may have increased! This is why high rep strength tests are not very good.

    In any case, I doubt I answered your question…gains are gains! No matter the %
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    10lb jump is 10% of 100lbs
    10lbs jump is 2% of 500lbs

    Pretty simple. The same size jumps get easier as they are a smaller and smaller % of your max load.

    But actually increasing weight in absolute terms? Not really outside your the usual ebb and flow of good and bad blocks and how you respond.

    Actually progressing gets harder the more advanced you are..
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    I'm not an advanced lifter yet, but my progress as an intermediate has been much slower than as a novice.
    Bench: 320
    Squat: 375
    Deadlift: 495

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    The others have hit upon this, but ultimately it comes down to applied stimulus and adaptation. You're right that %age wise your gains will diminish, but increasing your weight (stimulus) at fixed percentage would be too slow in the beginning and ultimately impossible to maintain. By decreasing your reps and adding weight you need to look if this is sufficient stimulus *and* can you recover/adapt in time for the next workout. Different programs have different philosophies but fundamentally increasing strength is increasing applied stimulus and adaptation. Eventually those incremental gains get smaller, but as long as total weight keeps increasing then you're getting stronger.
    Last edited by grapegorilla; 07-16-2021 at 12:52 PM.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    I never really thought much about genetic potential in relation to one's workout programs until OP started mentioning this concept in every one of his posts.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    In on 5 page thread
    I have spent 2 of my 3 daily posts now...just replying to this..
    As I need to spread repz.. Cos I rarely do.
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    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Thread title -> yes and no, that is, up to a point

    10 lbs to a novice is a big % jump, so it feels hard.
    10 lbs to intermediate is a smaller % jump that feels easier, but is still a challenge bcz of diminishing returns.
    10 lbs to advanced is a very small % jump but feels crazy hard because of diminished returns.

    Payoff in terms of gains gets harder as you advance even as the weight on the bar gets smaller.

    I think I added 80 lbs to my squat in a year as an early intermediate in 2018. This year I'll be surprised to add 30 lbs.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
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    above @ bw 88.5 age 43

    Workout Journal: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1630928323&viewfull=1#post1630928323
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  10. #10
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I never really thought much about genetic potential in relation to one's workout programs until OP started mentioning this concept in every one of his posts.
    I'm obsessed with genetic potential because you compare yourself to others less and focus more on how much stronger you can actually get. In my opinion, the majority of people in the gym are pretty far from it
    Last edited by Animal2692; 07-16-2021 at 11:26 PM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Animal2692's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Thread title -> yes and no, that is, up to a point

    10 lbs to a novice is a big % jump, so it feels hard.
    10 lbs to intermediate is a smaller % jump that feels easier, but is still a challenge bcz of diminishing returns.
    10 lbs to advanced is a very small % jump but feels crazy hard because of diminished returns.

    Payoff in terms of gains gets harder as you advance even as the weight on the bar gets smaller.

    I think I added 80 lbs to my squat in a year as an early intermediate in 2018. This year I'll be surprised to add 30 lbs.
    Thanks for clarifying. On paper it seemed as if the same weight increase gets easier percentage-wise but then you have the opposite working against you in the form of diminishing returns which I don't have much experience with just yet.
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    Originally Posted by Animal2692 View Post
    I'm obsessed with genetic potential because you compare yourself to others less and focus more on how much stronger you can actually get. In my opinion, the majority of people in the gym are pretty far from it
    I'm also generally interested (not obsessed). I'm curious as to how age/time effects potential; I imagine it peaks around 18-25 years old and declines, but what is the decline rate and what variables (e.g. hitting potential earlier in life) may effect later potential.
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    Originally Posted by JustinP72 View Post
    I'm also generally interested (not obsessed). I'm curious as to how age/time effects potential; I imagine it peaks around 18-25 years old and declines, but what is the decline rate and what variables (e.g. hitting potential earlier in life) may effect later potential.
    Google dave ricks... Hitting all time work record pr's in the masters.. Most top power lifters peak in their mid 30s.. Perhaps late 30 if they don't get hurt

    Its more your TRAINING age than your actual age.
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 07-17-2021 at 10:35 AM.
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JustinP72 View Post
    I'm also generally interested (not obsessed). I'm curious as to how age/time effects potential; I imagine it peaks around 18-25 years old and declines, but what is the decline rate and what variables (e.g. hitting potential earlier in life) may effect later potential.
    As a lifetime natty..

    After a couple of years of decent lifting I was shredded, lean , 175-185 lbs, and not all that strong (maybe 250 bench) at about 20 years old.
    At around 30, I was 230 lbs, still lean, benching more like 320-350…
    At around 45, fatter by a lot after I quit running but stronger too 385 bench
    My best bench, 400 even was at age 48. By that point, I was just try Not to LOSE muscle and not gain fat. Just being able to lift and walk has been good.

    I’m 55 now. I would guess that I’m hanging onto around a 345- 365 bench …

    I’d say I peaked from a physique standpoint in my 30s. ( best ratio of lean body mass to fat) but peaked in strength later, mid 40s.

    As a kid, 17-20…it took 3200 cals a day just to function without exercise….gaining took 4000cal. Back in those days, every Thursday (payday) I’d eat a whole large cheeseburger pizza. These days, I eat a few slices a year.

    We are all different but on average most of us lose 1-3% of our muscle each year after 40. Trust me, I’m training my arse off….but can’t win forever against Father Time.
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    ^^ Those numbers are impressive and encouraging.

    A 400 bench is insane...
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    Deadlift: 495

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