During my first conversations with Tudor about “defining progressions” he showed me the system he used.
I understood what is was but my first thought was “who would take the time to do this” I mean figuring out every set and every rep for every exercise by hand? Come on! So I asked him. His response was ” If strength training is so important than Americans are just lazy, that’s why they don’t take the time to do it”. Which of course he is right on that. We always go for the quick fix and taking the time to figure out all those % really isn’t fun. BUT, he also had to realize that in the Eastern countries he had the time and/or assistance to do all this. The bottom line was NO ONE would figure out all those %.
Thus began my voyage to find a way to do the % and test his theories on defining progression.
That is when I came up with a simple excel spread sheet to work out the %. It had to be simple because excel was new way back then and there was no way I could do anything fancy.
Thus came the system I still use today and used for 20 years. The part about trainers being lazy is still true. Thus all these articles and studies you see on “Periodization” lack a few things. If they don’t show exact workout sheets and result graphs on exercises then you have to ask how real they are.
After I was convinced that Tudor’s ideas on progressive resistance were the way to go I began to use it in my work. I have used this system on hundreds of athletes and clients over the last 25 years. Like I tell people, I have “never” failed to get results using these concepts. The real test comes when I use the system on myself. As all of us in training know practicing what you preach is not as easy as it sounds. I am 64 now and recovering from 3 knee replacement operations. After using all the phases many times over the years I thought it was time to do it again. At my age and due to my medical condition I found I needed a little more rest between workouts than normal. So I devised a system that allowed me to get each bodypart 3 X in 2 weeks. Just one of the many variations I have experimented with over the years. When i tested at the beginning and end I also knew that comparing to my younger days was useless. Leave the past in the past. Thus it was still fun to train. The results showed I was right.
What follows is the Activation or Anatomical Adaptation that I used. I must say, doing the progression from a plan ,being able to monitor it and then see the results is just as much fun now as is was in my younger, stronger days.
I first started with a list of exercises I felt comfortable with. Then I layed out the progression in a step sheet to have an overview. This helps me to see the big picture when I am monitoring and evaluating the phase.
I will add my workout sheets, both with my numbers and blank so you can see what the sheets look like. Finally we have to see a copy of my final test sheets and then the results sheets. Get them here.
So when people ask me what I did to get results, whether it is for my athletes, clients or myself, all I say is here. They can see for themselves exactly what was done. How many trainers can say that or do you get all the “well I have to see what the individual needs” or maybe you get some general exercises. Sorry no cigar. When I show a client a results sheet like this they are hooked and can never go back to the “feel”. Are these secret? No way, if you are interested just send me a mail and I can help you out. Fred@fredkoch.com.