Article from IronMan Magazine, June 2001
Only the Strong Shall Survive: Progressive-Resistive
Understanding the concept known as progressive-resistive training can be most useful to anyone whos designing a strength program. The principle is one of the keystones of weight training, and its been around for a long time. Milo used it when he lifted a growing calf every day. Mark Berry wrote about it in the mid-1930s. Charles Atlas incorporated it into his courses, and Peary Rader, Bob Hoffman and Joe Weider made it part of their training philosophies. The principle of progressive resistance holds that in order to stimulate growth and increase your strength, you must systematically add some form of resistance to your exercise. You can do it by adding more weight to the barbell on subsequent sets or by increasing the number of reps you perform with the same weight. If you do the following workout, you use the progressive-resistive method: Five sets of five reps with 135, 185, 225, 275 and 315 pounds. Likewise, if you do 135 pounds for five, 10, 15 and 20 reps, you also use the principle. Its necessary to increase resistance because if you dont, your body will adapt to the work. When that happens, the body becomes complacent and doesnt grow stronger. Now, for some people thats fine. Theyre perfectly happy with their physical condition and have no desire to improve size or strength. Most people who train with weights, however, do want to enhance their size and strengthwhich means they must use progressive resistance. Progressive-resistive training is closely connected to the overload principle, but theyre not identical. Its possible to overload without using progressive resistance; for example, by doing isometrics. Overloading is usually aimed at strengthening the attachments, the tendons and ligaments. The progressive-resistive system, in many cases, avoids involving the attachments and focuses on the muscle bellies. Why would anyone want to avoid strengthening his or her attachments? My longtime friend Jack King of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a perfect example. After recovering from a near-death experience, he found he couldnt do any free-weight exercises for his upper body: no flat benches, inclines, declinesnothing. So how in the world was he going to maintain and improve his chest, shoulders and arms? That was important to him because hed switched his interest from Olympic weightlifting to competitive bodybuilding. Without arms, shoulders and a chest, he wasnt going to have much of a chance. He experimented, failed, experimented some more and, finally, came up with an exercise he could do without pain that brought him the desired results. It was a form of pushup, in which he placed his feet on a bench and did partial movements while he gripped blocks to take the pressure off his wrists. By adding reps, he slowly but steadily worked up to where he could do four sets of 150 reps. It worked wonderfully because he won a great many physique titles, including the Masters Mr. America. I saw a great example of progressive resistance at work when I was in the Air Force, stationed in Iceland. A corporal had allowed himself to fall into a terrible physical state. Upon arriving at the island, hed stopped all forms of exercise and started indulging himself to the maximum. Within six months hed gained 50 pounds, all of it ugly weight. When he became eligible for a furlough back to the States, he altered his lifestyle. It seemed hed only been married a week before he shipped out to Iceland, and he wanted to look his best when he went home. He stopped drinking alcohol, cut back on his eating and started doing one exercisepushups. His reason for choosing them was different from Jacks. We didnt have a bench in our tiny gym, and he recalled how effective pushups had been for him in basic training. He was in such sad shape that all he could manage the first time was 15 reps, but he had a couple of things going for him. He was extremely motivated, and he was only 19. Slowly but consistently, he added more reps to each set, then started doing multiple sets. Every time I saw him on basein the rec room, the mess hall, the barrackshed drop down and do a set. He got to where he could do 75 in a set, and over the course of a day hed do more than 1,500. He was using progressive-resistive training just by increasing his reps, and he altered his physique in a remarkable way. Ive never seen anyone transform his body so radically, so rapidly. After less than a month on his pushup blitz, he had muscular arms, chest and shoulders. In the process of doing so many reps, he also tightened his midsection, and his upper back stood out in relief. He looked as though hed been doing some serious advanced-level bodybuilding for some time. Few people can duplicate what he accomplished because most lack his intense motivation. That sort of approach to progressive resistance is often very helpful to anyone whos coming back from an injury, especially one that required surgery. Its not always a good idea to involve the attachments in the early stages of rehab, but getting blood to the damaged area helps the healing process. Trying to use resistance, in any form, too soon can be counterproductive. Its often better to use bodyweight and progressively add reps in order to increase your work volume.
Was das sagt: Auch Liegestütze, von vielen belächelt, können was, man muss nicht immer nur Gewicht erhöhen, sondern kann es auch mit Wiederholungen versuchen!
Meine Einheit heute früh sah so aus und war nach 40 Minuten vorbei:
- Liegestütze (mit 10kg-Weste): alle 30 Sekunden 6 WH für insgesamt 20 Minuten – also 240 Wiederholungen
- Klimmzüge (Fatgripz und 10kg-Weste): alle 15 Sekunden 2 WH für insgesamt 15 Minuten – also 120 Wiederholungen
Gut für die Kraftausdauer, ohne den Motor aber zu überhitzen! Kettlebell-Swings natürlich nicht zu vergessen, einmal mehr 100 WH, diesmal mit der 28er (zwei 50er-Sätze), morgen ist dann das letzte Mal dran! Ein Resümee davon folgt (vielleicht) später! Ein Fazit gibt es bereits: Einfach mal machen...