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Progressive Movement Training


I recently read Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel and came across Progressive Movement Training. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience using a similar method. PLEASE,serious comments only.

I've been lifting for over 20 years and this is nothing new to me and I had tried to do something similar when I was younger but impatience and being bombarded with muscle mag routines sidetracked me. Now, I'm older(39+), more patient.

I've been using 5/3/1 for 11 months with success. But, I would really like to see how successful this type of program would be. I'm contemplating using it for the bench press day of the 5/3/1 program, followed up with some Big But Boring.

For those that aren't familiar with Progressive Movement Training. I'll use the Squat as example. It consists of beginning with a very heavy weight and only moving it 1-2 inches at the lock out position for 2 sets of 20 reps. Every 3r or 4th squat session you increase the Range of Motion (ROM) by 1, 2 or 3 inches using the same weight and drop the reps by 1,2 or 3 reps. How often you increase the ROM depends on your recovery and rotation of that particular exercise.

It may take a several months for you to significantly increase your ROM. And, even if you don't bottom out, your 1RM should increase because you've worked down to your stick point.

This routine that has been attributed to Paul Anderson's success in the 50s.

Serious replies only.


I have tried training like this before in a way...

Watch some videos of Gillingham training deadlift. He starts with the bar at a high rack pull, say just above the knee, and on a high box, then after the 16 weeks, they meet with the bar on the floor. Right now I train deadlift by pulling off boxes and then doing rack pulls until a few weeks out from competition.
I have seen great gains coupling this with my singles training (about 50 lbs in less than a year).

I do not know if I would do it for squat though.

The only issues I would see with it for squat is the idea of starting the squat from the bottom, or with hitting a safety bar on the way down. Either way I could see your form being messed up.

But theres only one way to find out. If you want to try it, go for it and see if it works for you.


It seems like it would work better for some lifts than for deadlifts. Decreased ROM is not necessarily easier on DL because of where your knees are and starting speed. I have not tried it seriously as my main lift which is the program you described but I can see it possibly working for Bench/Squat but not DL as I have tried all 3.

After doing the 5/3/1 set for squats you can actually do some decent weight for a shorter ROM, if it doesn't make you stronger it will at least help you get used to having more weight on your back and walking out.


I did this with deadlift, by working from really high rack pulls down to below my knees and it worked very well. I went from 405 for 2 singles to 475 for one over 7 weeks. I think it worked especially well for me, because at the time my lockout strength was my biggest problem. I did try PMT for squats and found that I really didn't like it at all.

Another thought would be doing heavy reverse band work. I did a cycle of these for deadlift and really liked them. I could keep working on form through the whole lift and really overload the top end.


In order to ensure that your form isn't messed up will take some attention to detail. The transition from one muscle group to another is quoted by Dr. Fred Clary in Beyond Bodybuilding. My analogy is just like board presses activate more triceps until you lower to certain point then the pectorals kick in. And that certain point can be different from person to person.

I've done 1/4 squats with loads of weight and it's easy to bob up and down without seriously activating the erectors, glutes and hams, but once you reach that certain, they kick in and you feel it.

I think the use of high reps of 20-25 fatigues the stronger muscles first then the "secondary" muscles begin to kick. That is where the carryover begin to take place.

Actually, I'm using a co-worker as a guinea pig for this method. She's gotten some decent improvement in her squat so far.


Why would you do that crap and risk it not working, when you could do full range of motion and know for certain that it works?


This would work great so shirted bench IMO, this is basically would boards are. I would not use this for raw bench, especially if you lift solo, to much of a chance to get hurt.


My name is Imran and I just got a question in regards to strength training, and that is in regards to progressive range of motion.

I’ve done progressive range of motion “program” for about 5-6 weeks from now, and I have come pretty low with 300kg at the squat in a power-rack with a pause rep. But even though when I’m doing my regular full squats I do not have seem to increase in strength? I started with high volume and there after took of some reps and instead put in some extra sets, but still it hasn’t given me anythin. How come?
What am I doing wrong here? Thank you!

Kind regards and Best wishes Imran.