T Nation

Progressive Overload

Due to my schedule my current routine consists of two workouts per week using 80-85% 1RM.

Monday
Squat 6 x 3
Dips 6 x 3
Chins 6 x 3

Friday
Deadlift 6 x 3
Incline Press 6 x 3
Barbell Rows 6 x 3

My question is which progressive overload is optimal:

  1. Increase the weight used by 3-5% for each workout using 6 x 3
  2. Increase the reps to 4 keeping the weight constant, i.e., 6 x 4
  3. Leave the weight the same and use 5 x 5 or 5 x 4
  4. Increase the weight and use 5 x 5 or 5 x 4.

For a short time PO will work. But you want to switch to a loading/unloading format. The body doesn’t really work in a linear fashion.

well, if you can hit 6x3 with a nice poundage (and hit all reps), then ya bump it up ~3% and try to hit all 6x3 again. if you can’t hit at this new weight, then play around, do your previous weight 5x5, throw in some singles at the new weight etc…

cya

How long should I wait before I unload? Two or three weeks? When I do unload, would it be wise to just reduce the volume and then try to increase the weight at the same time, i.e., 6 x 3, and then do 4 x 3 with heavier weights. One more question, should the unloading be done for all exercises in the same workout or would staggering each over a couple of workouts be better. Thanks

Since you are new to periodization, as far as I can tell, you can use a simple 1 week regular, 1 week loading, 1 week deloading scheme. During the loading week work very hard, stuff that you’d normally consider “overtraining” routines. Then, when you deload, just do arms and very light and non-strenuous circuit training or something like that, the goal is to NOT tax your body too hard, but still be training. The regular week is wahtever you normally do.

That’s a pretty simple explanation for now. If you are really interested in this stuff check out some sites with info on periodization.

I?ve read CT?s pendulum articles, but he really doesn?t mention any parameters for an unloading phase. In my case, how about a 3 week phase of

Week 1
Day 1
Squat 3 x 8
Dips 3 x 8
Chins 3 x 8

Day 2
Deadlift 3 x 8
Incline Press 3 x 8
Barbell Rows 3 x 8

Week 2
Day 1
Squat 6 x 3
Dips 6 x 3
Chins 6 x 3

Day 2
Deadlift 6 x 3
Incline Press 6 x 3
Barbell Rows 6 x 3

Week 3
Day 1
Front Squat 2 x 12
Shoulder Press 2 x 12
Pullovers 2 x 12

Day 2
Good Mornings 2 x 12
Flat bench dumbbell flys 2 x 12
Dumbbell rows 2 x 12

Week 3 would be an unloading phase. I just picked random ?assistance? movements to compliment the big lifts, but I could do other stuff. Any suggestions about exercise selection and/or rep scheme would be great.