Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Yesterday we talked about rest between
Today we'll talk about weight progression,
meaning, where do you start and how much
do you add from set to set?
Once again, there's no one way to do it.
It depends on many different things,
including your current strength levels,
your age, and the exercises you are
When I was in my early thirties and lifting
in powerlifting and bench press contests, I
would typically start at 135 in the squat,
bench and deadlift, and move up in 90 pound
jumps. I chose 90 pounds because it was the
weight of two 45 pound plates.
Those are big jumps, but for a powerlifting
or power rack workout where I would go up
to 400-plus in the bench press, 500 or
600-plus in the squat and 500-plus in
the deadlift, it worked fine.
Of course, if your top weight is 200 pounds
in any particular exercise, you're not going
to make 90 pound jumps. Ten or twenty pound
jumps would work much better.
For other exercises, I would usually make 20
pound jumps. I'd start 80 or 100 pounds under
my top weight for the day and move up to it
20 pounds at a time. That, too, worked well.
For dumbbell training, I like to make 10
pound jumps, regardless of whether I'm doing
a one-dumbbell exercise or a two-dumbbell
exercise. If you go higher than that, you're
jumping too fast on the two dumbbell
In my current workouts, where I focus on
Olympic lifting, I start with a broomstick,
and them move to an empty bar. I move up in
10 kilo (22 pound jumps) until I'm around
70 percent of my top weight for the day, and
then I drop to ten pound jumps. Sometimes I
even drop to five pound jumps. This works
better for me on the Olympic lifts, where
you really need to work on your technique.
As a general rule, older trainees should do
more progressively heavier warm-up sets than
younger lifters -- so keep that in mind when
you choose your weight jumps. You want to do
enough of those warm-up sets to be as ready
as possible when you get to the heavy stuff.
Poundage progression is just like any other
part of your training. There's no one size
fits all answer. You need to think things
through and learn what works best for YOU.
And you need to understand that what works
best for you NOW, may change in the future.
(In fact, it probably will change.)
To me, that's part of the fun of training.
And if you're a Dino, you probably feel the
As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
Yours in strength,
P.S. Dinosaur Dumbbell Training is at the
printer now, and it looks great! We'll be
getting and mailing the little monster
pretty soon -- and I think you're really
going to like it. BTW, it's right around
200 pages. Big book, lots of great
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "You can
over-complicate anything, and most people
usually do."-- Brooks Kubik