The mans in the house! Mind looking over my questions as well CW? If you have the time tonite of course.
Just one thing though. How many types of progressions can you use workout to workout? CS mentioned that intially progress is made mostly in load, then volume is the parameter to gauge progress, then density can be increased to illicit more progress and subsequent gains in performance, are you saying you can go into even more minute details to gauge progress; is there no limit?
Is there truly a pattern of loading parameters becoming less and less useful that is evident with time and is the above sequence of adaptations that occur in the organism accurate?
Am I making any sense or have I actually become paralyzed because I oveanalyzed?
[quote]Chad Waterbury wrote:
Charles Staley wrote:
…OPTIMAL PROGRESSION STRATEGIES
Now to the three questions:
WHEN do I progress? Every set? Every workout? Every week?
HOW can I progress? By adding weight? By adding reps? Adding sets? Decreaing rest? Using more range of motion?
How LARGE of a progression should I take? Small increase in stress? Medium? Large?
I’m late into the game on this thread, but I’ll give my take. But I must preface my post by saying that I haven’t read any of the posts except for the first. The reason? I want to get my thoughts down, then, if I find my advice mirrors other contributors - cool!
When should a trainee progress? Every single workout, except for planned periods of unloading/detraining. But the term “progress” is very vague. There exist a prodigious number of variables that can be monitored to ascertain whether a trainee is progressing, or not.
How can a trainee progress? A simpleton would only consider increased loading as a measure of progress. Other training elements such as increased volume and density are important and effective. Adding a rep to each set, or even just the last set leads to progress.
A more extreme example is evident when a coach monitors his client’s heartrate. Let’s say Trainee X performs the exact same parameters for three consecutive workouts (no progressions added whatsoever). If the coach monitors his client’s heartrate and determines that the client decreased his average heartrate bpm by say 10% over the course of the three workouts, the client has progressed. Indeed, the client’s work capacity or preparedness has been enhanced.
Another example would be the use of the Tendo Power Unit. I find this tool to be invaluable since extremely small velocity enhancements can be demonstrated by the computer data. Therefore, if Trainee X is performing speed-strength work with a light load, a coach can determine whether the actual speed of execution is faster than the previous workout. Indeed, if a trainee performed 8x3 with 50% of his 1RM for two consecutive workouts, a coach probably wouldn’t be able to determine (by simply watching the athlete) if the speed of execution is faster than the previous workout.
The point of these two examples is not to say that a coach must constantly monitor a trainee’s heartrate during every session, nor is it a claim that the Tendo unit is absolutely necessary. Instead, the examples demonstrate that there exist many variables that some coaches haven’t considered, or don’t understand. Therefore, the athlete could be progressing without the coach even realizing it. But, a coach must learn to monitor the SPECIFIC qualities that an athlete is trying to improve.
- How much should a trainee progress (little, medium, high)? If I had to give one specific answer I’d say that a trainee is better off with small progression plans. The reason? It keeps the trainee motivated. Indeed, an athlete’s mental state is probably one of the most important and misunderstood variables that relate to long-term success.
But, an athlete’s ability to perform exercise at a high level is constantly changing. This is often defined as “instantaneous preparedness.” Therefore, I highly recommend that every coach be adaptable to an athlete’s state on any given day. If a lifter feels in the zone, then it’s time to bump up the demand of the workout. If the trainee feels rundown, adjustments must be made to keep the athlete motivated. For instance, if a coach has a loading progression planned for a certain snatch workout, the coach should not follow through if the athlete is displaying poor motor skills and cognitive functioning. Instead, a coach would do well to switch the exercises or volume/intensity parameters to cater to the specific state of the trainee.
Oftentimes, when I train an athlete who’s displaying such signs of fatigue, I take a profound and novel approach to the dilemma. What do I do? I ask the athlete what type of training he feels like doing. Novel, indeed. [/quote]