What's Next After Linear Progression?


The question always comes up at some point.....what's next? Eventually there is going to come a time when you can no longer add weight to the bar every training session or when you are no longer willing to do what is necessary to continue to add weight to the bar each time.

The initial program here at Black Iron involves running a linear progression. We do this with everyone. We teach them how to squat, push, and pull correctly and have them add weight every session. Doing anything else would be foolish. Regardless of what a person's long-term training goals are, getting strong is always priority number one.

The program we run works great, but eventually it slows down and comes to a halt. When this happens people begin to wonder what is next? They always come to me with questions. At this point we sit down and have a programming discussion.

The first thing we explore during our discussion is if we have truly exhausted the novice phase. A lot of the time I discover that the trainee is just messing something up. Not taking enough time to rest between sets, failing to eat or sleep enough, taking too big of jumps each workout, or screwing up their warm ups, etc. If we identify a problem like this, we fix it and get back on the gain train, but if the novice phase is seriously over I have to ask a question.

What is the goal for training?

I have found that very few people can answer this. Some may legitimately not know, but most of them are just afraid to answer because it means they have to commit to something.

It doesn't matter what the goal is, but there has to be a goal. If you want to make progress you need to know why you are training. That may sound crazy to some people who are very serious about training, but trust me I deal with people who have this problem all of the time.

In my professional experience I have found that there are really only a few directions people are looking to travel in their training. Do you need to gain weight or lose weight? Do you need to get stronger? Do you need balance strength training with playing your sport? It doesn't matter what it is. You just need to know your next goal and we can plan accordingly.

There is work to do, so don't waste time. Think about what you want and make a decision.

Once you do that we can talk about what comes next.

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