Progressive Overload is a must when you want to gain muscle/size. It's a simple concept but one people forget or misunderstand. Here is an example of linear progression (which is one variation of progressive overload).
If you do 3x8 program, you start with a weight you can do 3 sets and 8 reps with it (let's say 20lb dumbbell on curls). Then next workout take a bigger weight (either a closest dumbbell or add 5lbs to the barbell). You probably will do 3 sets and 6 reps maybe. Ok. On the next workout you should be able to add a few reps to it. If you eat enough and get enough rest. Then in a week or two you will be able to do 3 sets of 8 reps with this weight. Now is the time to add weight again.
You wont be able to progress for long time with this linear progression (take a week off after two month or even a month of training if you haven't added any reps in 3 workouts for an exercise).
Hopefully this small post will be easy to understand and helpful for new guys just starting to lift.
BTW, maybe more experienced guys could elaborate more and post better explanation of it.
Last edited by Gymjunkie; 08-05-2009 at 04:42 PM.
What you described there is basically a routine with no periodization at all
so basically once you can do 3x8 or 5x5 or whatever reps you do, you go up then stay on that wieght until you can do the desired reps. then move up again etc etc
Weight: 142 lbs
Goal: To be 175-180 lbs @ 10% body fat.
If at first you don't succeed, YOU WERE TAUGHT BY LOSERS!
Don't worry about it yet Adrian, it's for advanced guys.
At what point does being unable to add more weight become a sign to switch routines?
I'm doing SS right now, and by no means do I think I need to change my routine. Rather, I'm just curious as to what signs people look for as a clue for not being able to progress vs. need to stick it out and grind.
I agree with Gymjunkie that we have to add weights as often as possible.
However in my trainning quest for being stronger and bigger, it's a bit difficult to follow the rule to always increase the weights each week.
If i did that after a couple of years i would be lifting some insane weights.
I know for myself, my muscles need to adapt to the weight I give them. Then after a couple of weeks a add weights.