Strength training, resistance training, weight training...it's all good and helpful in your quest for optimal health and fitness. But to make get all the benefits, you should have a plan in place to progress over time for best results.
In the past, when giving people advice about their weight training programs, I gave very general instruction on how to do this, to keep it as simple as possible. "If you can lift a weight 15 times without struggling, it's too light for it's purpose anymore, next workout increase the weight. Use your judgement on how much to increase the weight, but you should 'fail' to complete a rep anywhere between 8-12 reps. Work with that weight until you can complete 15 reps, then repeat the process."
Again, it was a simple strategy and one good enough for most beginners. BUT, as beginners became more advanced, there were just too many other variables that were more difficult to just give a 'rule of thumb' for.
In the traditional sense, progression refers to progressively overloading the body’s systems and increasing the training stimulus over time to increase fitness adaptations gradually. In resistance training, depending on the type of training, changing the variables of frequency, intensity, duration and mode can make muscles gradually stronger; build endurance; and enhance neuromuscular control, coordination and balance.
Read this article from the IDEA Health & Fitness Association for an in-depth explanation of how to build progression into your strength training and/or contact one of the experienced, knowledgeable trainers listed in the Healthy Edge Personal Trainer Directory here.
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