Walk into any gym in the country and call a meeting of the regular trainees. Then assign them to do two things. First, have each bodybuilder bring you his workout-by-workout training records for the last three months. Second, have each bodybuilder figure out his percentage of strength increase on the basic exercises such as the leg extension, the bench press, and the biceps curl.
You?ll be surprised at what happens. The majority of the bodybuilders won?t be able to produce training records of their workouts. Why? Because they do not keep them ? at least, not accurate training records.
Next, the majority of bodybuilders who do have accurate training records will have strength increases of approximately 5 percent, at best, and closer to 0 percent, at worst.
In other words, most bodybuilders in this country have poor training records and, as a result, it becomes very difficult to evaluate their progress. And the bodybuilders who do keep training records are making little or no significant monthly progress in building strength.
Strength is important to a bodybuilder because it is the best way to determine progress. There is a direct relationship between muscular strength and muscular size. Very simply, a stronger muscle is larger, and a larger muscle is stronger. Furthermore, it?s easier to measure the strength of a muscle than its size.
The strength of a muscle is best measured, not by seeing how much you can lift one time maximally, but by seeing how much you can lift 10 times in good form. Thus, by comparing your 10-repetition sets for the same exercise to one another (separated by time), you should be able to calculate your percent increase on a weekly and monthly basis.
How much should your strength increases be on the leg extension, bench press, and biceps curl? Beginners should strive toward a 5 percent increase in each exercise per week, or approximately 20 percent per month. Intermediate trainees should work toward a 2.5 percent increase per week, or approximately 10 percent per month. Naturally, these increases will vary from exercise to exercise and from trainee to trainee, but the 5 percent increases per one-to-two week time period is a reasonable goal. I?ve worked with hundreds of trainees who have reached these goals consistently for as long as three to six months before they reach a plateau.
Progressive weight training ? that?s the name of the game. But in fact, there?s little that is progressive about the training of most bodybuilders.
Don?t let yourself get into a rut of performing the same number of repetitions with the same amount of weight workout after workout.
Try to do one or two repetitions more on each exercise today than you did in your last workout. When you can do 12 or more repetitions on any exercise, then increase the resistance by approximately 5 percent at your next training session.
This process is referred to as double progressive training because you first add repetitions and then you add resistance.
Double progressive training is the backbone of all successful bodybuilding programs. As simple as the concept sounds, it?s often ignored.
Understand and apply double progressive training in all your workouts and your results will be more significant. And equally important, keep accurate records of all your workouts.