Slow progress is always better than no progress.
Wouldn’t you agree?
I stumbled across my fractional plates this morning, 8×0.25kg.
These little beauties have been able to provide quite the decent overload over the years I’ve had them, even though there feels like little to no difference at the time, in the end it all adds up.
It also allows a longer loading phase, unlike the classic 3-1.
You’ve got various options for adding precious lbs to the bar, yet going up in fractional amounts is one of the best.
It is true that these days as I’ve gone back to chucking more kettlebells roundly weight jumps are between 4-8kg and the load has to be earned before even a couple of reps can be achieved on the larger bell.
A novel way of progressing as it plays on a direct increase in the volume of reps achieved, as opposed the the fractional way where the reps can be static as the load slowly creeps up.
Over they years we will end up falling back to the age old ‘two steps forwards, one step back’ once we stall, in technical terms this is called a delaod period.
There are many options for this, the one that has proven the test of time is the three week wave, then having either week 4 being the start of a new wave at a reduced load/volume or a straight deload of minimal work before starting the second wave.
It will come down to various factors which will work best.
Goal, training age, strength levels, life stressors, etc.
Since working with various people over the years it is apparent that not many give much thought to periodisation, even at a basic level and this is a great shame because it’s something that genuinely works.
Here is a numerical example of the above and the difference between them:
Classic (one of my old ones, 2 sessions per week per lift):
Week 1 – 6×6
Week 2 – 6×5
Week 3 – 6×4
Mini deload 2-3×6 old load of 6×6
Week 1 – 6×6 +2.5-5kg from previous start
Week 2 – 6×5 +2.5-5kg
Week 3 – 6×4 +2.5-5kg
This happens for three micro blocks typically before the classic deload comes around.
Fractional (one I did for press, 2-3 sessions per week):
Week 1 – 8x2x60kg
Week 2 – 8×2 +0.5kg
Week 3 +1kg
Week 4 +1.5kg
Week 5 +2kg
Many weeks later….
Week 21 +10kg (often a rather large and effortless PB)
Two very different approaches, I have to admit the classic ‘build for three, take it down, build for three more, take it down, repeat” can get you to a peak slightly quicker, however it’s harder to sustain and will need a good amount of intensity regulation.
The second is more along the lines of strength skill, and while it may seem boring, you actually find you keep a lot more from it, or at least that is what I’ve found.
Nothing magical happens, it’s just a case that you get more lifting practice in which is more optimal for rate code firing and other such neurological things.
How do you plan your progress?
Is it sticking with one weight and earning the right to add more, perhaps the classic 3-1 load/un-load or maybe you too have been using fractional plates.
Share your pearls of wisdom below.