Importance of Progressions In Your Workout

Today, I have a guest article from Dennis Heenan, on the importance of adding progressions into your workout. Progressions are important for your regular workout, even in injury recovery.

Take it away, Dennis…

Rick Kaselj, MS

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Progression is often one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to body transformation because let’s be honest…

Telling someone that you went from 10 push-ups to 11 push-ups, doesn’t sound too impressive. The majority of people want to go from 10 push-ups to 100 push-ups.

However, in order to get from zero to 100, you need to focus on one step at a time. This means going from 10 to 11… 11 to 12… 12 to 13… and so on.

What you’ll notice when you do this is that your body, like your workouts, will start to progress too.

If you focused solely on progression in your workouts, it would be near impossible for you to fail.

If you are constantly making your movements and exercises more challenging, then your performance will automatically increase, which will cause your fat-burning and physique to improve.

Look at a professional athlete for instance. They add something new to their routine each and every week…

Because of the demands of their selected sports, their bodies need to be able to adapt quickly.

Yet, their bodies weren’t always like this.

Michael Jordan didn’t start practicing his famous fade-away jump shot right when he started playing basketball. He first focused on form and technique jump shots, then progressed into off the dribble shots, then progressed into fadeaways.

See how that works? That is a perfect example of continuing to push yourself to get better through proper progression. If you focus your workouts on performance and progression rather than simply “losing weight” or “gaining muscle,” not only would you start seeing better results in your workouts…

Your body would start rapidly changing too. It’s just how the human body works.

Now, I thought it would be a good idea to provide you with some workouts that will show you an example of progression and how you can utilize it in your workouts.

So, I’ve broken it down into three simple leg workouts that you can progress through over the next few weeks.

Although there are plenty of ways to progress, including:

• Doing more work in the same amount or less time (AKA density)
• Doing more sets with the same amount of reps (AKA volume)
• Training more frequently with the same exercises (AKA frequency training)
• Performing harder variations of an exercise
• Adding outside variables (like a box or chair) to increase workout intensity
• Using drop sets, negatives, rest-pause reps, and other advanced training methods to increase the intensity

We’re going to focus on performing harder variations of an exercise.

So let’s start with our Level 1 leg workout:

Level 1 Leg Circuit
Perform each exercise back-to-back without rest. Rest for 30 seconds between full sets and complete 3 total sets.

Bodyweight Squats: 12 reps
• Split Squats: 12 reps each side
• Glute Bridges: 12 reps
• Mountain Climbers: 30 reps

Once the Level 1 circuit starts feeling easier for you, move on to the next level below.

Level 2 Leg Circuit
Perform each exercise back-to-back without rest. Rest for 30 seconds between full sets and complete 3 total sets.

• Goblet Squats: 12 reps
• Dumbbell Split Squats: 12 reps each side
• Single Leg Glute Bridges: 12 reps each side
• Squat to Toes: 30 reps

Once the Level 2 circuit starts feeling easier for you, move on to the next level below.

Level 3 Leg Circuit
Perform each exercise back-to-back without rest. Rest for 30 seconds between full sets and complete 3 total sets.

• Barbell Squats: 12 reps
• Bulgarian Split Squats: 12 reps each side
• Single Leg Glute Bridges (1-second hold at top): 12 reps on each side
• Squat Jumps: 30 reps

As you can see, we kept our rep ranges the same on each exercise while increasing the difficulty of the exercises with each level.

For example, we went from…Bodyweight Squats => Goblet Squats => Barbell Squats

This is a great progression that will allow you to continually see results from your workouts and in the mirror as your body will be getting stronger.

As we discussed before, there are plenty of techniques that you can use to ensure progression in your workouts. As my dad always told me…

“If you aren’t progressing, you’re regressing…”

And now YOU can do the same…

Dennis Heenan

Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises