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February 28, 2023

 |  Centre Multisports

With the new year upon us, it stands to reason that many people will be setting goals in the gym. To ensure that you have all the luck on your side, it is important to know how to progress in the training room, which will allow you to achieve results as quickly as possible.

The progression model

Progression is the key to success in training. Progression can be done in several ways, but the dual progression model is the simplest and most effective method. It consists of increasing either the number of repetitions OR the load for an exercise. Let’s take an example for the squat where the goal is to do 3 sets of 12 reps:

Week 1: 105 lbs X 12,12,10
Week 2: 105 lbs X 12,12,12
Week 3: 110 lbs X 12,11,10

What we can notice in the example is that we increase either the repetitions OR the load and not both at the same time. This allows the body time to adapt and avoid long-term injury. In week 1, we notice that the 3 sets of 12 have not been reached, so we cannot increase the load in the next training. You have to keep the same load until you reach the target reps on ALL sets.


The training platforms

It is very possible that after a few months we reach a training plateau, that is to say that an exercise does not seem to progress any more although we try, we are no longer able to increase the repetitions or the weight. The main reason for a training plateau is because the program remains the same for several months. To prevent the body from adapting and thus continue to progress, the training program must be changed on a regular basis, whether it is the target repetitions, the tempo, the training techniques or the exercises, something must exchange.


An example of periodization to avoid training plateaus would be like this:

Phase 1 (Week 1-3): 3 sets of 12 reps

Phase 2 (Week 4-6) 4 sets of 8 reps

Phase 3 (Week 7-9): 4 sets of 10 reps

Phase 4 (Week 10-12): 4 sets of 6 reps

In this example it is mainly the reps that change, and over the 12 week block the exercises will change and the weight will change to accommodate the change in reps. This will make it possible to have new stimuli throughout the block and prevent training plateaus in the majority of cases.


This article is a tool to allow you to have a strategy in the training room in order to progress efficiently and at a reasonable speed in order to avoid injuries.


Louis-François Milot, B.Sc.


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