1 – Single Progression
2 – Double Progression
3 – Triple Progression
These can be tweaked using your understanding of the key principles of overload.
(Specificity & Frequency also play a part)
Here is an example of how all three are written out.
*You add load once you’ve hit all the desired reps.
Single Progression = 3×8 💪
Once you hit 8 reps in each set you add weight, simple.
Double Progression = 3×8-12 💪💪
Starting out you might hit something like this: 11,9,8
The next session it might be : 12,11,9, get the idea?
Once you hit 12,12,12, you add load to the bar.
Triple Progression = 3-5×8-12💪💪💪
I’m sure you can see the pattern now. You want to hit 3×12 then you add a set and work towards 4×12 and finally 5×12 before adding load, however here is how things might look:
Session 1 – 12,12,10
Session 2 – 12,12,12 + 1 set next session
Session 3 – 12,12,10,8
Session 4 – 12,12,11,10
Session 5 – 12,12,12,11
Session 6 – 12,12,12,12 + 1 set next session
Session 7 – 12,12,12,12,10
Session 8 – 12,12,12,12,12 + load, drop back to 3×8-12
Personally I’m quite the fan of double and triple progression as they have their own built in de-loads via volume reduction.
The above deals quite nicely with Volume (total sets/reps) and Intensity (% of RM or load) for progression methods.
That leaves us with looking at density (work per unit of time/work capacity), this is easy to program in if you want to have people build al little more conditioning before adding load.
We will use double progress with a density consideration as the example.
3×8-12, 90-30 seconds rest.
Here is what the details might look like written down:
Session 1 – 8,8,8 – 90 seconds rest between sets
Session 2 – 12,10,8 – 90 seconds rest between sets
Session 3 – 12,12,12 – Rest as above, drop rest by 30sec
Session 4 – 12, 8,8 – 60 seconds rest between sets
Session 5 – 12,10,8 – 60 seconds rest between sets
Session 6 – 12,12,12 – Rest as above, drop erst by 30sec
Session 7 – 12,8,8 – 30 seconds rest between sets
Session 8 – 12,10,8 – 30 seconds rest between sets
Session 9 – 12,12,12 – Add load, take rest back to 90sec & reps back to 3×8
Hopefully that’s nice and clear.
Oh yea, frequency and specificity.
Specificity is linked directly to the goal (or the movement progressions) and you can use the progressions above and change the movement to make it more or less specific to the goal.
For example, You want to increase your press overhead.
Double Progression – Press until reps/set/rest hit however instead of adding load you change the lift to one that allows more load.
So it may look like this:
KB Bottom Up Press > KB Press > Z Press > BB Press
And so on.
Frequency is the easiest to play with , however it can lead to burn out if you abuse it.
Frequency = more training days on your desired goal.
EG 2 pressing days becomes 3 pressing days becomes 4 pressing days, using double progression it might look like this.
Press 2xP/W – 3×8-12 – goal hit +1 pressing day, load stays the same
Press 3xP/W – 3×8-12 – goal hit +1 pressing day, load stays the same
Press 4xP/W – 3×8-12 – – goal hit, increase load and drop back to 2 pressing days per week.
^^ That is without playing with density by the way.
As you can see once you apply the basic principles to even the simplest set/reps systems you have a method of programming that can literally last you a lifetime.
The thing about the above is that it’s all fundamental.
Mastery of the basics such as these will take you a long way.