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Exercise Progression and Some Training Methods

Updated on December 7, 2015

Today I was asked how to make lunges harder and the person laughed when I told them to add weights. I don’t know if they were laughing because the answer was so simple, or maybe they where hoping I would of given them some new-age super secret lunge move that only personal trainers or strength & conditioning coaches know. However there is no secret. It usually just comes down to hard work and persistence, staying on track and keeping to it to see the changes and gains you want.

To help out those of you who may not actually know how to progress or regress their exercises, I’ve included a small brief summary of some exercises and how to make them easier and harder. However some workouts like a dead lift can be hard to think of ways to make it easier and ways to make it harder. I’ve included exercises I hear most often people ask about.

If you happen to have any exercises or muscle groups you, yourself would like to know how to regress or progress, feel free to ask. Then perhaps then you won’t be like the embarrassed individual that asked me. See the table below!

Workout Progression and Regression

Knee Pushups
Feet Elevated Pushups
Assisted Chinups
Weighted Vest
Lighter weight / Dowel Stick
Dead Lifts
Increase Weight
Reduce angle/ use machine
Raise Legs / Increase Angle
Reduce weight / Don't Lunge as Deep
Add Weight / Increase Height
Seated / Use machine
Shoulder Press
Standing / Increase Weight
Less weight / Use Machine
Bench Press
Increase weight / Decline
Machine / Concentration curls
Bicep Curls
Incline curls / Preacher curls
Periodization Model
Periodization Model | Source

Some Training Methods

Circuits - Circuit training is a form of conditioning combining resistance training and cardio. Be sure to plan your circuits out so you do full body each workout per week and a 3 to 1 work to rest ration is pretty good.

Pyramids - The weight increases with each set and the number of repetitions decreases correspondingly. The key to this is to move up the pyramid not down.

Supersets - Are consecutive sets of exercises designed to work opposing muscles, or at least different muscles. My favorite is to super set Biceps and Triceps with as little as possible pause between.

Drop sets - Is a technique for continuing an exercise with a lower weight once muscle failure has been achieved at a higher weight. This is a great way to really fatigue your muscles. I would perform this workout on your heavy day.

There are tons of different methods and honestly a lot are B.S however if you have a particular one you like. I would like to hear about it. Or if you happen to try one of the methods above, let me know how it went.


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