The Philosophy of Progression Part 3: Using A Single Progression Method

In this post we will explore the use of the Single progression method in your training program for the purpose of building muscle mass.

Alexander Nurse Bey
May 22, 2021

Using the Single Progression Method for Hypertrophy

The Single Progression method essentially means that we are only interested in changing one factor at a time until we achieve a certain goal.

This being the case, a Single progression method works well when you have one specific goal in mind. The method will involve using one of the five factors discussed in the previous posts.

Example #1: Increase the Reps

Let’s say our goal is to increase strength. We would warm up and then choose a weight that we can get eight reps with before our muscles give out. Let’s say it’s 200lbs. Regardless of the number of reps we get on the second set, we will use the same weight for the first set until we can do twelve reps. When we finally achieve this, we know that we have gotten stronger and so we would increase the weight and start over. This is the traditional perspective of the use of a Single Progression method. But I think that there are others as long as we aim to improve only one factor at a time.

Example #2: Increase the Sets

Let’s take it a step further and say our goal was to increase our strength endurance. After getting twelve reps with 200lbs on the first set, if the goal of our next program is to increase the number of sets of that we can do to three (and that is the only program goal) that is also an example of single progression.

Example #3: Decrease the Rest

Lastly, let's say that our next goal is to increase muscle mass and that up until now we had set a time-limit for our rest periods at three minutes of rest between each set. If the goal for our next program is to decrease the rest period each week until we can do all three sets with only a 90s rest between each set (and that is the only program goal), that is also an example of single progression.

Wrapping it Up

There you have it. Using a Single Progression method we have devised a plan to get the absolute most work out of the weight we are using for a given exercise. We can be sure that this load will no longer present a challenge to our system, and that our tissues are prepared for a new training cycle with this exercise. The Single Progression method is a methodical approach to maximizing the adaptations you can make with a certain weight.

Next time we will explore the use of the Double Progression method and the goal(s) for which it might work best. If you have any questions about this blog post, feel free to reach out.

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