- Maximize Progressive Resistance
Once we’re focused, once we have proper form and are managing our energy requirements efficiently, the next principle is maximizing progressive resistance.
Whether simple bodyweight exercises such as pushups and pullups, or resistance training such as the press, squat or deadlift, you should attempt to slowly increase the amount of work you do on at least one set each time you perform an exercise.
Minor improvements each week is what we’re after.
This may be as little as 2.5 to 5 pounds per week. Five pounds per week over 12 weeks is 60 pounds.
Because 60 pounds added to a lift is pretty damn awesome. (The weight of an average backpack – unless you’re a medical guy like me…then it’s a lot heavier.
The majority of people who lift weights train the other way. Haphazardly, they’re doing whatever they feel like and lifting as hard as they can.
With beginners, this CAN work, but it is never sustained for long.
The scientific reason is that the initial response of the body to adapt to a new stimulus is a rapid adjustment of the neurological system with minor increases in the contractile machinery (muscle mass).
Has this ever happened to you?
It doesn’t have to. At least, not until you are near your genetic potential, which is likely years away. (Seriously!)
And by the way, this is one of the beefs I have with CrossFit methodology (even though I am a certified CrossFit coach)
A solid periodized approach is not a part of CrossFit. Constantly varied function movement is great but when there is no foundation exercise that “anchors” your improvement from week to week then you are leaving some GAINZ on the table.
You can get extremely well conditioned doing CrossFit–but to get really strong and muscular you’ll need something else.
I’ll show you how on the next page…