Progressive OVL and Failure

Hey bois, 


Wanted to ask you guys what your approach was on progressive overload, is there a specific percentage weight increase you guys try to strive for every week? And if so do you mainly focus progressive overload on all of your lifts or just compound lifts? 

And my question about going to failure is I’m not entirely sure on whether I should take every set to failure for isolation exercises such as arm movements, my arms are still wank especially my tris and trying to find the optimal way of making them blow up. 


Cheers <3

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Christian Thomas
2 years ago

Firstly the best thing for you to do in my opinion is to get a log book and start tracking and writing down all your workouts. In the past I didn’t write a single bit of my workout down and would come into the gym with no real goals or intention. Leading to me just lifting the weight and going from there. Progressive overload becomes exponentially easier once you have your whole workout from last week in front of you, allowing for you to see the exact weight and reps you did for whatever exercise.
In terms of how much to increase weight each week there is no set amount. It’s also important to note it’s rather unrealistic to walk into the gym and increase weight on your lifts every time. In my opinion “progression” on your lifts can be measured and improved in a number of different ways. Even an extra rep or two should be seen as a win and good progress, you could also improve things such as time under tension on whatever lift. There is a multitude of different avenues you can use to progress, just make sure you note EVERYTHING down so you can go into your next session with intent on what needs to get done.
I personally will take pretty much every lift to failure but whether you do this entirely depends on you and how you like to train. I like to go balls to the fucking walls when training and really push myself which is why I will train most exercises to failure. If you would choose to do this however I would advise only doing 2 working sets for each exercise, as if you were to do more and for every exercise your form will breakdown and you’ll lose any sense of intensity within your lifts. Form and intensity should be at the top of your priority list as if any of them or lacking so will you.
It’s entirely up to you on how you want train in the gym but this is what has worked best for me and led to the most progress. I hope all this makes sense and provides some value. Good luck.
Chris X

Alex Demirel
2 years ago

Track your workouts. Always aim to beat previous workout m, even if that means using micro plates.

have a dedicated arm day if arms are seriously lagging – Start with Close-grip bench for Triceps, one over head movement and one push down movement.

train close or at failure for most sets, including isolation exercises. Although avoid absolute failure on first set of exercise to ensure you don’t negatively effect the remaining sets.

Ben Smith
2 years ago

For me I aim to be able to hit the max reps in my rep range(so say 12 or 15 reps tops) with good form and then add in the region of 5 kg for more isolation movements and around 10kg for more compound movements, this way I’m never risking going too heavy and not hitting my rep ranges, whilst consistently improving be that by improving form, improving reps or going up in weight.

As for failure, personally I tend to work somewhat on RPE, so aim for an 8 or 9 (maybe one rep in the tank, potentially with degraded form) but shy away from true failure unless I’m doing a training split whereby I train multiple muscle groups per day, multiple times a week.

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