You: “Why is this squat workout so easy?”
Us: “Here’s an analogy…
A guy starts a job working 37.5 hours a week. Someone he would like to please (potentially be paid by) comes along and asks him to do an extra task this week which bumps him up to 38 hours. He barely notices, his family at home barely notice and life goes on. He adapts to working 38 hours a week. Two weeks later, when 38 hours is normal, he is asked if he can take on another task. So he now works 38.5 hours. His body adapts and his life adapts very quickly around the small change in his workload.
If this pattern was to repeat and repeat and repeat he might end up working 50 hours a week which would be 133% of his original workload, but the small incremental additions mean that his body, and life, would’ve adapted to what was being asked.”
You: “But I just want to lift weights! This is irrelevant! Talk about squatting or something else cool.”
Us: “Okay, you might’ve noticed that we’ve worked a new cycle of basic strength building into daily programming at the gym. You have probably also been a little bit perplexed about why we tested some heavy squats three weeks ago and then asked you to put just 60% of that on your barbell for your first squat workout after that.
Your 60% on the barbell is the 37.5 hour work week discussed above. Each time you’ve come back in and we’ve added 2.5kg to the bar we’ve bumped up your working week by one hour. Your body doesn’t notice. After all, if you can smoothly squat 60kg for three sets of five then 62.5kg for three sets of five shouldn’t scare you at all.
The secret is now out. We’re being sneaky and tricking you and your body into getting stronger without stressing anyone out or talking about convoluted percentages and complicated rep schemes. We’re trying to build a foundation one little piece at a time.”
You: “That sounds cool, but at some point I’m going to end up with more weight on the bar than I’ve ever had on there for sets of 5.””
Us: “Awesome. Make sure your camera is ready for that day and use the hashtag #SCCFStrong. But also realise that huge PBs are not a divine right, and at some point you will end up failing. You might make two sets of five and a three. You might get a five, a four and a two. Here’s the really cool part - all you have to do if you make less than 12 of the 15 reps you’re supposed to make then next time you squat drop the total weight of the barbell by 10-15% and start the progression of three sets of five all over again.”
You: “That sounds too simple, are you sure it’ll work?”
Us: “We’re 100% confident in the system of linear progression on basic barbell work for gaining strength, building some muscle and, with smart nutrition, dropping body fat. Unless you don’t want at least one of those things, then trust the process. If you’ve got an Unlimited Membership and miss one of the two squat workouts or the deadlift workout in a week then you are more than welcome to come in during any Open Gym slot and get it done. Remember a pyramid can only be as tall as it’s base is wide.”