Yes, add weight to every session where possible.
Your goal should be to get stronger at EVERY single rep range.
You should try to get stronger at 20 reps or 15 reps or 12 reps or 5 reps or 1 rep.
Pat yourself on the back when you can’t add weight to an exercise in a given rep range.
You are at the outer boundary of what this body can do.
Now your metabolism will send messages to all of the cells in your body.
“We need to build a new body”
Which, is exactly what we are here to do when we train.
We want to build a new body.
So what do I do? I can’t put the weight up any more.
This will happen. This should happen.
The plates on machines may be too big a jump,
the jump might be to big from one set of dumbbells or kettlebells to another
or you just need to get more confident in the movement before you go up.
But you need to increase the tension your body is experiencing EVERY training session or your metabolism WON’T send the message to your cells to build a new body.
Instead the message your cells receives is:
“We can handle this, no need to change this body”
So you need to keep making the session harder (progressive overload)
Once you have maxed out the weight there are a heap of strategies we can use.
This list is in order of effectiveness
Try to increase the reps you can do with that weight.
Max out the reps every time with that weight. Once you have increased maximum the number of reps you can do at that weight try again with a heavier weight at your original rep range.
As a very rough rule: if you increase the reps you can do by 20% you will have gotten appreciably stronger.
Ie You’re doing kettlebell squat at 20kg x 20 reps but 24kg is too hard.
Next session try to increase your reps.
You do 20kg x 24 reps (+20% of your original reps at that weight)
In your next session 24kg should be available to you.
2. Next option is to increase the time under tension for each exercise. Specifically increase the time you spend in the eccentric phase (muscle lengthening under load) this will get you stronger at that weight.
After a few sessions try the 24kg.
3. The third option is to change the exercise order.
Take the exercise that you have plateaued in and put it first in your training session. That way you will have more energy and training drive for that exercise.
The last option is to decrease the rest time between each set.
I don’t always recommend because it more often leads to “junk” training.
If you aren’t ruthlessly applying this principle to you training you will not get to the next level.
The days, months and years you spend in the gym will not lead you to the promised land, they won’t be wasted because training is awesome
but they won’t be maximised and you won’t be either.
You will be stuck back in the pack with everybody else.
It’s time to break away from the herd.
It’s time to step up with the leaders.
Love and light
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