Principle of Progression

By on December 5, 2013

Progression has many different meanings within Fitness. First and foremost it means that you must “progress” your effort to increase your gains. The body is an amazingly complex biological machine that requires motion to remain alive. Every 3 seconds 50,000 cells in your body will die off and not be replaced with the same number as your body continually with less. Progressive effort is required to tell your body not to degenerate and even more if you want to increase your muscle mass or tonality of long, lean sexy muscles.

Progression in weight lifting for increasing muscle mass means increasing the amount of weight you are lifting, and to increase muscle tonality you have to progressively increase your weight and reps! Progression is essential to the discussion of how many reps and sets someone needs to do to achieve their goals. Have you been told to do 3 sets of 15, well that is merely a MAINTENANCE schedule. If you are happy with your body the way it is, then thats fine but there is no “progression” which is essential for the improvement of a muscles size and/or tonality.

So people looking to make progress towards their goals (be it mass or tone) need to incorporate something called “Inverse Progression”. This basically means as you increase the weights through your consecutive sets, you have to drop or decrease the repetitions you do. For example through a 3 set bicep curl exercise: 1st set 10lbs for 20 reps, 2nd set 12lbs for 18 reps, 3rd set for 15 reps.

Progression in stretching or Yoga or Pilates means holding a position with better form for longer periods of time. Learning to relax into the stretch while breathing deeply helps tremendously. When trying a new stretch or position you DON’T want to hold it too long because you don’t know how the muscles and soft tissue are going to respond afterwards. So you slowly progress the duration of a given stretch, position or pose gradually so that the muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage become accustomed to the newer movement.




About TheFitnessAnswerMan

The Fitness Answer Man is the online personality founded by Kevin Forrest CPT, FMS Pro Trainer and Master Fitness Trainer for the US Military. He has worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and was one of the first trainers to incorporate the physio ball into people's workouts and helped pioneer in the field of "Core" training. He specializes in movement rehabilitation and uses his experience to help clarify the confusion about diet and exercise that still exists within the fitness industry today.

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