Progression Training – A clients athleticism and physique can only be improved by progressively training more than you normally do. You must work hard. Progression – start slowly and gradually increase the amount of exercise and keep overloading.
Variation on Progression Training
During my long personal training career, I’ve witnessed some interesting training philosophies surrounding progression training that trainers have in relation to training their clients and themselves.
One issue that trainers, myself included are guilty of is a lack of progression for their clients. As trainers we generate a program based on the client’s goals, monitor their progress, and usually adjust the weights, sets, and reps to accommodate their success. This follows the progression concept and the principle of overload.
What is missing? First off, I’ve begun to assess the progression of a client’s ability to perform a particular lift such as the squat. This tends to involve posture, hips, and balance throughout the movement to determine what issues the client has. This allows me to progress the client through a larger variety of exercises and ensure that hip stability and low back function aren’t impaired when a bar is introduced.
Some people can’t squat due to physical limitations. But, there are other clients that can squat. They need to learn how to squat correctly. This entails teaching them how to sit back and use their glutes and hamstrings to do the movement. I use box squatting, lunges, and lots of stretching to ensure that hip mobility is adequate. But what do I do when they master the squat? Other then adding weight, I challenge them with a front squat, cambered squats, Bulgarian squats, and other variations.
Our goal is to improve function and strength. You need to progress the movements and not just the weight. We do this all the time with athletes, but for some reason, we sometimes don’t think that movement progression is necessary in the general population. This could be a result of a variety of machines that allow for isolation, or we just don’t think there’s a need to do so. In relation to activity and flexibility, I feel there is more of a need to progress movements in the general population (overweight, inactive, etc.,) than with athletes (active, relative flexibility, and strong).
Try adding movement variations to a client’s training protocol to shake things up and challenge them in terms of control and neural activation (focus on the movements). The results will surprise you.