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  1. #1
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    The SIMPLE truth about “progression”

    You go in the gym.
    You pick up the 20 lb dumbbells for a warmup….no reason for choosing the 20s other than they are “light” and you can warmup without tiring your arms.


    After admiring yourself in the mirror and sending a couple of texts, you grab the 35s and knock out 12 reps. No reason for choosing the 35s other than knowing they aren’t “heavy” but will bring on a bit of a pump in preparation for heavier sets.

    Another 90 seconds ticks by…you’re wondering if that onion smell is you or the bruh doing 130s on db incline press….

    This brings on a bit of anger and you grab the 45s and knock out 8 reps.

    You rest and after sniffing your own arm pits, hoping nobody noticed…you do a sloppy 6 reps with the 50s…

    Another two min ticks off…you peek into the cardio section and get a drink…then blast out 4 grinding reps with 60s.


    The reality is that you just trained your biceps in a variety of %ages of your 1 rep max.

    Let’s say on this particular day, your absolute 1 rep max on a db curl was 70lbs. not bad!

    35= 50%
    40= 57%
    45=64%
    50=71%
    55=78%
    60=85%

    Progress comes from training hard in the TARGET TRAINING ZONE usually between 60%-85% of your 1 rep max, but chances are, FOR MANY LIFTS YOU WILL NEVER TEST OR KNOW YOUR 1RM…

    More…
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  2. #2
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    …so what happens next….how do you “progress?”


    Well, it’s really not up to YOU. Your muscles will adapt in such a minute way that you can’t possibly plan nor predict exactly what will happen next…

    Remember that 70lb 1 rep max that you never actually tested? Well maybe after that workout your body’s adaptations changed that max to a whopping 71 lb max!

    Guess what? That means the dbs are now a touch lower on the % scale..

    35=49%
    40=56%
    45=63%
    50=70%
    55=77%
    60=84%

    So, yeah 1% or so …probably not even a full rep.

    Progress, adaptations…it takes time. Over time if you stayed with that same weight selection, you would only be able to STIMULATE ADAPTATIONS by pushing the rep count up whenever possible. And over time your 1 rep max, never actually tested…will change to say…a 75lb db curl…

    More…
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  3. #3
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    This is why it’s a very good idea to simply familiarize yourself with 1 rep max calculators which are a Google search away.

    It’s a good idea to examine % to reps charts to get a BALL PARK number of reps that can on average, be completed at a % of max.

    Here’s a simple way to test your “max” on anything…..don’t.

    Instead do several warm up sets and try instead to find your absolute best set so 3 reps. A top TRIPLE usually projects to about 90% of your max (ok, maybe 92% for some) rep speed is a variable here…

    So …for simplicity as you examine most rep % charts you can see that 12 reps to about 3-4 reps will usually have you in the target zone required to create the gains you are after provided you push the set along far enough for the body to create a new 1 rep max.

    You COULD use the same weight day in and day out for a very long time…

    ….more…
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  4. #4
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    For example you could bench and squat with 250 on the bar for years and as long as you don’t bench and squat 500 you are at least over 50%.

    Pick a rep range you like, train in it…when you can, push for another rep. Stimulate adaptations.

    Gotta go. Talk amongst yourselves…
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  5. #5
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Ok Im back…progress…

    What you really need to do is stimulate an adaptation…challenging the adaptation of the muscle with more time under tension (another rep) or greater mechanical tension (more weight if your goal reps have been met) or greater volume of work (the dose creates the response, more is better up to a point, law of diminishing returns) and you can even create “metabolic stress” by taking a breath or three and forcing another rep …and another….and another….

    Ultimately the body can only improve its adaptation so fast so theres no point in burning yourself out- its not a race.

    Simple is good. Pick a rep RANGE and ise weights that keep you in that range. Keep pushing for more and when the body is ready, you’ll get more.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  6. #6
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    https://strengthlevel.com/one-rep-max-calculator

    Thats for those who didn’t bother to Google for the 1 rep
    Max calculator tool.

    In any case once you have a 3 rep
    Max tested, its easy to call that 90% of your 1 rep
    Max, add 10% of that to
    Get a fair estimate of your 1 rm.


    Then multiply your max times .60 and .85 giving you a nice resistance/rep range to train in.

    Lets say your newbie bench 3
    Rep
    Max was 90
    Lbs. 100
    Is your max.

    60-85lbs is your training weights options.

    You could pyramid
    65
    70
    75
    On your three sets for example or stay with a constant weight and push for more reps over time.

    Variety is the spice of life.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  7. #7
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    I have best luck with increasing reps. When I increase the weight, sometimes the reps come down 2 workouts in a row. Going up reps seems more consistent. Or could just be when I change weight, my estimate of how far I am from failure becomes less accurate.

    Agreed though that the body progresses, and all I can do is aim for X reps from failure. Writing stuff down is helpful but not needed every time, since I go by feel and not by some number I have to beat.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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  8. #8
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    Can you lift something heavier than before?

    Can you do it for more reps than before?

    If yes to both questions then CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve “progressed”.
    Age: 29

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    -Sir Isaac Newton
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  9. #9
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    I have best luck with increasing reps.
    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    Writing stuff down is helpful but not needed every time, since I go by feel and not by some number I have to beat.
    Now you're changing your mind mid-post.
    Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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  10. #10
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Can you lift something heavier than before?

    Can you do it for more reps than before?

    If yes to both questions then CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve “progressed”.
    1 rep max max is pretty indisputable. But when I do 20 reps one day and up to 22 a week later, I have to wonder if I really improved or if my speed perhaps changed a bit.

    I wonder if I need to time my sets in addition to counting reps to get a better idea whether I improved.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Darkius's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Now you're changing your mind mid-post.
    Nope. I rep until the concentric takes at least 2 seconds at full effort to cross the predetermined distance. Hopefully that is more reps than last time, but I don't force out an extra rep just to beat last time. Only my body says how long it takes to lift. And I only need to count reps every week or so, when I think they might be high enough to add weight. Otherwise, I just feel and time and don't count.
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  12. #12
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    Nope. I rep until the concentric takes at least 2 seconds at full effort to cross the predetermined distance. Hopefully that is more reps than last time, but I don't force out an extra rep just to beat last time. Only my body says how long it takes to lift. And I only need to count reps every week or so, when I think they might be high enough to add weight. Otherwise, I just feel and time and don't count.
    So yes.
    Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    https://www.instagram.com/p/CW_WFepL...um=share_sheet

    Absolutely spot on!

    (for anyone wanting to be pedantic about progression, it can indeed be more reps ect and not just bar weight but the comment still holds 100%)
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Can you lift something heavier than before?

    Can you do it for more reps than before?

    If yes to both questions then CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve “progressed”.
    Not necessarily on muscle growth, but yeah, progression...
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  15. #15
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Do any of you think you can create hypertrophy without progression?

    If so, how?
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Do any of you think you can create hypertrophy without progression?

    If so, how?
    You don’t.

    See my above post.
    Age: 29

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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    You don’t.

    See my above post.

    Oh Im in full agreement.

    More reps
    More weight
    More total work capacity
    Do same work faster

    Something has to change….
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  18. #18
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    https://myojournal.com/progressive-overload-fallacies/

    ... your ability to add weight to the bar is an adaptive outcome from prior overload, NOT a requirement for subsequent overload
    Aka. Been able to add load/reps/ect is the result of you applying the right workload/stimulus.

    Easily provable.
    Take the same load, (weight*reps*sets) repeat for xweeks It gets easier. We all experience this.

    You didn't "progressively overload" anything to get stronger or add tissue. But as its gotten Easier you COULD have added to it. To keep pace with your adaptations so to speak.

    an easy real world example every one knows is starting strength. Everyone knows you just Add 5lbs?
    But that's because tbe 3x5 hard sets you did last session was enough to cause enough adaptation to let you do it again with 5 more lbs.
    It wasnt you adding 5lbs its self that caused/forced the adaptation


    All with the caveat that nothing works for ever due to various physiological reasons.

    Side note. Gas has been debunked as being fundamentally floored

    Do i think should strive to be lifting more weight or adding reps, ect over time tho? Yes. It shows what you are doing is working.
    And shows you need to change something of you arent able to.

    Do i think people who train in such a way that their entire goal is to do more than last time is wrong in any practical way? No. Of course not.

    But i do think that many who train like this have the cart before the horse in their reasoning.
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 12-03-2021 at 09:11 AM.
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  19. #19
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    https://myojournal.com/progressive-overload-fallacies/

    ... your ability to add weight to the bar is an adaptive outcome from prior overload, NOT a requirement for subsequent overload.

    Aka. Been able to add load/reps/ect is the result of you applying the right workload/stimulus.

    Easily provable.
    Take the same load, (weight*reps*sets) repeat for xweeks It gets easier. We all experience this.

    You didn't "progressively overload" anything to get stronget or add tissue. But as its gotten Easier you COULD have added to it. To keep pace with your adaptations so to speak.

    an easy real world example every one knows is starting strength. Everyone knows you just Add 5lbs?
    But that's because tbe 3x5 hard sets you did last session was enough to cause enough adaptation to let you do it again with 5 more lbs.
    It wasnt you adding 5lbs its self that caused/forced the adaptation


    All with the caveat that nothing works for ever due to various physiological reasons.

    Side note. Gas has been debunked as being fundamentally loored

    Do i think should strive to be lifting more weight or adding reps ect over time tho? Yes. It shows what you are doing is working.
    And shows you need to change something of you arent able to.

    Yup and the question is ….when someone stalls….why? What % of that is due to nutrition? Hormones? Recovery? Training stimulus?
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Yup and the question is ….when someone stalls….why? What % of that is due to nutrition? Hormones? Recovery? Training stimulus?
    Or he is still able to adapt to the training stress but at a rate slower than he wants/expects and he "progresses" past his ability to recover enough for the next bout.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Yup and the question is ….when someone stalls….why? What % of that is due to nutrition? Hormones? Recovery? Training stimulus?
    Its very individual to the situation and athlete.
    Could be dual factor (fitness:fatigue) recovery issues.
    Central fatigued,. Peripheral fatigue, over use isdirs, mentally bored of the setup or psyched out by other people. All can play a part biopsychosocially.
    Could be any number of reasons in any given ratio.

    You can't really say for sure, even with your self or well tracked athletes! Clients. That's where the art of coaching and exp comes in. Its usually a best guess situation.
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    I will say that folks are too quick to believe these things:

    1- I am too old
    2- I have reached my natural limit
    3- At this point, all I can do is hope to maintain


    And….I’ll add that I believe

    Consistent workouts are king, understanding that life will force changes in intensity, volume, time spent
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I will say that folks are too quick to believe these things:

    1- I am too old
    2- I have reached my natural limit
    3- At this point, all I can do is hope to maintain


    And….I’ll add that I believe

    Consistent workouts are king, understanding that life will force changes in intensity, volume, time spent
    I think people are often too stubborn to let get off the old ways 😏

    1... Never too old. Just a seasoned veteran
    2... I think there is always room for a little more
    3...see above.

    And the last part. 100%
    Sounds a lot like Loading variability with an upwards trend over time eh?

    Even of we don't see eye to eye on the physiological aspects of what is actually happening! there is no denying that everyone who has any real training or coaching history agrees that you have to work pretty hard, do the right amount of work and autoregulate to really get anywhere over any sign ife time frame.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Do any of you think you can create hypertrophy without progression?

    If so, how?
    You can do the same resistance and same reps every time, and as long as it is more than before you started, you will get stronger and plateau. Eventually around RPE 5, gains will likely stop completely. But they would go up for a while despite the stimulus not increasing often.
    Novice lifter who sticks to the basics 3x per week but likes to theorize about improvements while recovering.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    Or he is still able to adapt to the training stress but at a rate slower than he wants/expects and he "progresses" past his ability to recover enough for the next bout.

    Agreed. And many trainers either don't understand this or do it deliberately to make their client quit after they already paid for a non refundable package. Even my physical therapist is starting to do this with calf raises. I tell her I'm super sore and unable to do as many reps as last time, so she prescribes more sets. If I don't do it, then the failed progression gets blamed on me.
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post

    ...

    Even of we don't see eye to eye on the physiological aspects of what is actually happening! there is no denying that everyone who has any real training or coaching history agrees that you have to work pretty hard, do the right amount of work and autoregulate to really get anywhere over any sign ife time frame.

    I agree that to get better, you have to lift close to failure.

    How close to failure, and how many sets, depends how close you are to your genetic limit. Also depends how fast you want to get better if you are far from your genetic limit.

    I think soreness is an indicator that a beginner did too much. One can definitely grow while sore, but soreness likely means a beginner went beyond optimal. It is good to get sore once in a while just so you know your load is not far below optimal, just as it is good to take sets to failure once in a while just so you remember what the reps before failure actually feel like. In both cases, it is best to stop a bit before.
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    Originally Posted by Darkius View Post
    And many trainers either don't understand this or do it deliberately to make their client quit after they already paid for a non refundable package.
    Trainers only do this if they find a client really annoying, creepy or repulsive in some way. Their usual goal is to make you sign up repeatedly for another package once the current one is done.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Do any of you think you can create hypertrophy without progression?

    If so, how?
    Yes.

    and I’ll take it to the extreme.

    if I do the same sessions for an entire month and it’s sufficiently stimulating enough(even if reps and weight don’t increase during that month) it will induce hypertrophy.

    Fatigue could be masking fitness.

    Doing a squat for multiple sets of even an RPE 5-6 has shown to induce hypertrophy.
    the latest and greatest in training...or whatever.

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177744461&page=3
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    You don’t.

    See my above post.
    But you can.
    the latest and greatest in training...or whatever.

    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=177744461&page=3
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    Yes.

    and I’ll take it to the extreme.

    if I do the same sessions for an entire month and it’s sufficiently stimulating enough(even if reps and weight don’t increase during that month) it will induce hypertrophy.

    Fatigue could be masking fitness.

    Doing a squat for multiple sets of even an RPE 5-6 has shown to induce hypertrophy.

    “And it’s sufficiently stimulating enough”- right!

    Eventually, it won’t be. So some form of progression is needed to stimulate a new adaptation. I doubt at this point in my training that working at rpe of 5 is going to do anything positive for me. You willing to try it?
    Last edited by coachcalande; 12-04-2021 at 02:38 AM.
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