How Should I Progress My Workouts?

Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. Whilst originally applied to business it is also particularly apt in the world of fitness. As an adopter of the Kaizen mind-set you understand impressive results come from many small improvements accumulated over time.

Each time you repeat a workout see if you can make a small improvement in one of the following areas;

  1. Displaying greater control throughout an exercise
  2. Performing more repetitions of an exercise
  3. Taking shorter rest periods between sets
  4. Adding extra resistance to the exercise (weigted vest, bands, free weights)
  5. Choosing a harder exercise

The psychological power of setting these small targets is amazing and they hold the key to achieving impressive levels of strength and fitness. Naturally it is very tempting to jump straight to number 4 and 5 and simply go heavier and harder. I suggest you practice patience and seek your small wins in control, reps and rest periods before graduating onto harder exercises. Amongst other things this allows your connective tissues, which adapt at a slower rate than your muscles, to catch up with the exercise demands.

In the long-run you are better served by aiming to improve your strength slowly. Whilst this goes against the grain of modern quick-fix culture, putting an emphasis on slow progression, a moderate workout schedule and excellent recovery is ultimately a more-effective long term solution. Remember the tortoise and the hare?