T Nation

Revelation About Making Steady Progress in Training


Just a small but very significant revelation I have come to realise about making steady gains in strength training.

Don't train to failure all the time-don't always lift until your face turns purple.Perhaps only go to failure for your last set? Always have 1-2 reps left in the sets before the one where you go all out.Most of your reps should be smooth and crisp-show that you are in control of the weight instead of letting the weight dominate you.Hence don't be shy to cut the weight.Try not to grind and strain for every set,that should ideally be during the last set-your CNS and the rest of your body will thank you for that.

After reading so far,you may think "Oh come on,I know all these already." But cross your heart and ask yourself: "Are you still obsessed about loads?" "Are you still gunning for load PRs in every session no matter what?"

Nevertheless,I still believe you should strive to have a PR or at least equal your previous PR for every session.

There are also other parameters where you can play around besides the load.

If you squatted 5 x 300lb last week,this week you squatted 6 x 300lb-this is still progress(rep PR)

If you did 60 pullups over 3 sessions last week,this week you did 63 pullups over 3 sessions,this is still progress(volume PR).

If you find that you have to go to utter failure to deadlift 5 x 300lb last week,but this week you managed to deadlift 5 x 300lb with slightly less effort-this is still progress(intensity PR)

Just sharing what I have learnt. Hope this would be useful to you. It certainly did for me.

And sorry to disappoint you if you had clicked on this thread hoping to see some fanciful scientific revelation.


Taking your example: if you successfully lifted 5 x 300 last week -- even let's say it was balls-to-the-wall-all-out -- why do you call that utter failure?

Wouldn't a more accurate description be that it was a maximal effort? Also, successful and completed, if that needed to be said.

Rather than that it was "failure," let alone "utter failure"?


You've done a great job learning from your experience... If you don't mind, I can elaborate why that stuff works.

It's a concept that has been used by nearly every successful strength trainees in the world...


-Westside trainees uses the same concept with BOTH the dynamic effort method and max effort. In dynamic effort, the very moment your repetitions starts loosing their ideal tendo unit, you STOP.

-5x5 trainees uses the same load throughout the entire sets.


-Stephan Korte's 3x3

-Wave loading sets.

-Single rep training.

-Cluster sets.

and many more that I probably forgot about.