Faster, higher, and stronger
A recurring question in the fitness world is: how to proceed, in concrete terms, to make sure that we have a good progression? If you don’t mind, I have a question of my own before I give you the answer.
Imagine you are taught how to serve a tennis ball. What will be your first reflex if you have mastered the technical move?
A) Serving more often, using more power;
B) Trying to serve using more power.
Everybody here will agree that with the aim of progress, option B is far more superior to the first, unless exceptional circumstances arise.
So I will ask you the same question again, this time about training. For a given exercise, what should be your first reflex if you have mastered the technical movement?
A) Performing more repetitions with the same weight;
B) Performing the same number of repetitions with a heavier weight.
In theory, you will have guessed that option B is the most desirable by far. In practice, we often see option A being favoured. Often, we even see some people performing the same number of repetitions with the same weight!
Keep in mind that, ultimately, the objective of training is to be better than yesterday, and worse than tomorrow. In short, we should always aim to progress, and this will often happen by increasing intensity rather than the number of repetitions.
And it’s logical! Our body reacts to compensate imbalances; thus, we constantly have to create challenging situations. If your weights are continually improving, your muscles will have no choice but to become stronger.
For example, if your trainer suggests that you perform two sets of 12 repetitions, try to ask yourself this question at the end of your set: could I have done 15? If so, it means this weight doesn’t match the intensity prescribed by your trainer. Increase your weight so that you have a hard time getting to 12.
It’s by always aiming to be faster, higher, and stronger that you will reach your goals, and even surpass them.
See you soon
By Xavier Jutras