How To Read Your Programme
Making the Program Work
- Add weight to the bar.
- Lift same load more reps.
- Lift same load with better form, more control, less effort, more ROM.
- Lift same load and reps with less rest time between sets.
- Lift same load with more speed and acceleration.
- Do more work in same amount of time, or same work in less amount of time.
- More sets with same load and reps.
- Doing the same work at a lighter bodyweight (this is especially applicable for those who are aiming to maintain their poundages during fat loss phases – it is still progress!)
To track progressive overload, you need to master form and then perform lifts the same way each time. Bouncing reps, a little added body English, cutting depth and rounded backs can all contribute to ‘perceived progress’, but there will be very little actual muscle overload there.
Importance of the Log Book
A well-kept training journal will allow you to monitor your progress and help us both evaluate your progress. It will also help set both short and long term goals in your lifting, which are essential in keeping motivation high.
Rules of the log book:
- Be as honest as possible. Don’t count half reps or reps done with poor form.
- Make sure your training conditions are the same. If you are feeling ill, or need to rush the workout in less time, these are different circumstances that are not comparable to your normal workout.
- Review it prior each workout. Check what you did last time, and know what you need to achieve this time. Use it as a written motivator. You must beat your last workout!
Finding the Right Weight
5kg x 7
First working set - 20kg
How Should You Progress?
In order to implement the progressions mentioned your effort levels will need to be high. Therefore, I recommend taking each set you do to technical failure. This means that you finish each set you do when you're no longer able to perform another rep with good form.
Executing Key Movement Patterns
I also highly recommend you to check out our exercise library here, which you can also access from our YouTube channel (search ‘RNT Fitness’ followed by the exercise name). We’ve filmed every exercise from two different angles with the three most important cues to execute them with.
Single Leg Variations
Three Keys of Safe, Strong Lifting
Breathing and Bracing
To breathe correctly, you should be inhaling into your stomach and lower back first, and think about creating 360 degrees of pressure around your midsection. You should NOT be breathing into your chest.
Once you have taken a big belly breath, you should lock it in and brace hard. It’s important to know that bracing all begins with the breath, and in order for the brace to be effective, you need to make sure you start in a neutral spine position.
In the example of a squat, take a big belly breath at the top, brace and then descend. You should keep your brace during the entire lift, and exhale after the sticking point on the ascent.
In an example of a press, never just let the bar ‘sit’ in your hands. You should squeeze it as hard as you can! By doing so, you will notice increased stability in your shoulders, which in turn will help protect you from injury.