T Nation

Progression and Training Methods

Ok I got some questions about progressing when you can’t add weight to the bar. In one of CT’S articles, he says that if your going for strength you should progress one of 2 way. 1) by increasing the weight every week or 2) making the sets more difficult by going beyond failure and using methods such as drop sets, forced reps, negatives, rest/pause etc.

I was just wondering, if I’m using a 8x3 scheme with a 5RM and can’t seem to increase the weight for the following week for 8x3 , do I go to failure for ALL my sets, or just the last 2 or 3??? I’d imagine if I started going to failure from the beginning, this would wear me out that by the time I got to my last couple of sets, I wouldn’t even be able to barely lift the weight for 1 rep.

Also, when doing drop sets, do those count as one of the main work sets?? are they a part of whatever rep scheme you use?? or seperate from it, do you save them for close to end of the sets?? same questions regarding negatives, rest-pause as well.

Going to failure too early will sap you of precious neural energy. Drop sets only count as one set for all the drops. Same thing goes for rest-pause.

To progress on an 8x3, add a rep on your last few sets. When you can, start adding an extra rep to your earlier sets, until suddenly you’re doing an 8x4. That’s progression.

If your not moving in weights you can either go the more reps or sets. Or if you have been pushing your body hard for a while it may want a break, so lower your intensity or take a week off, then progress back up to your current intensity.

Read:
BRAWN by Stuart McRobertson

thanks for the replies, one thing though, when do you normally usee stuff like slow negatives, rest-pause etc.?? are those meant to be used with some particular rep scheme??

Slow neg and rest pause are best used by intermediate lifters. A beginning lifter doesn’t need them as most gains are going to come from neural efficiency, e.g. learning the movements. Then you will get stronger from increasing muscle mass. rest pause is a way to further stress a muscle into new growth when the gains aren’t coming any more. Wait a year or until you begin stalling. It’s very demanding on the central nervous system.

Theres so many methods of progression, you just gotta figure out which ones work for you and how to use them.

In your situation you can do the following.

1.) Add weight and instead of 8x3 go for 5x3
2.) Add weight and lengthen the rest breaks
3.) Keep the weight the same, and go for 8x4
4.) Keep the weight the same, and reps the same but shorten rest breaks.
5.) Change the movement a bit, or competely stop it for a few weeks. You may need some rest. Or if youve been doing regular bench, try close grip.