Progressive resistance training is a workout program within which you increase the weights gradually whilst the muscle gains strength.

This program represents the core of bodybuilding itself. It is a simple approach which is determined quantitatively and it is very simple to follow.

However, the increase of strength and muscle mass doesn’t come due to added weights. The ability to deal with the added weights comes only after the body is used to the stimulation from the previous training.

But be careful, what is necessary is that you use correct technique and speed of reps with every rep in each set of each training.

Fit man holding a weight

Speed And Technique

If you are doing the reps too fast or if you bend the technique a bit in order to deal with the added weight like a mild fall or a twitch, that won’t be an increase in weight that you get through adapting to it.

That would be false progress. The one that leads to the standstill in growth and possibly to injury. That is cheating during the workout.

Some forms of cheating at workouts are not that obvious, so many bodybuilders do not even notice them. But now that you are aware of it, you better pay attention to it.

Too much focus on progressive weights during the workout is harmful, since it leads to degradation in technique and control of the speed of the reps.

Never compromise these two things. Correct technique and speed of reps, even at the end of the set when reps are the hardest for us, are what is essential for a good workout.

Don’t Cheat At Workouts

It is very rare that body builders have personal trainers to follow their trainings and make sure that they are doing everything correctly. So you have to discipline yourself.

Start with the correct technique and speed of reps and keep doing it like that. It is essential that you do so in order to have a safe and efficient workout.

If you believe that you are cheating at your workouts, try to take corrective measures straight away. Reduce the weights and go back to correct technique.

Pause in first few reps in a set – pause for a second at a positive phase of each rep and then in the middle of each rep in a negative phase. This will help you get your workout on the right track in no time.

The rest of the sets do without pause, but making sure your technique is correct and you have the control over each movement. After that, in the next two or three months, gradually add weights, making sure that you stick to the correct technique.

Compromising with the technique or the speed of reps is not the only way to create the illusion you are making progress. What can also happen is that you decrease the scale of movement in a certain exercise and take longer breaks between sets to make your workout easier and to be able to increase the weights.

As we said, this is just creating an illusion of progress, you will gain nothing by doing it. So, do not decrease the movement and stick to the duration of the rest periods between sets.

bodybuilder performing bench press with barbell

What Can Help To Keep You On The Right Track?

Workout with a partner that will be able to observe your technique and speed of reps. Your partners’ verbal directions can help you to keep the correct technique and correct speed of reps from training to training.

A good training partner is very important. But, in order to keep you on the right track, your training partner needs to know the correct technique and correct speed of reps.

Make progressive weights a vital part of your workout, but be an example of the correct technique and consistency when it comes to the speed of the reps, radius of movement and the duration of the break between the reps and between the sets.

Add weights only in accordance to how much you managed to adapt to it on the previous training. It is then the progressive resistance can have the best effects to the development of your muscles and you will also avoid any risk of injuries.

An Example Of Progressive Resistance Workout

What you need to do is keep track of your workouts and strive to do a bit more on each workout (never forgetting what we talked about – technique and speed), even if it is just one more rep.

Let’s say that one one training you bench pressed a 100pounds for eight reps, well your goal is to do the same weight for at least one more rep on your next training. If you feel like you can do more than just one more, go for it. Do as much reps as you can do in correct form and duration of reps.

If you can do more than ten reps with 100 pounds, it is time to increase the weight. On the next training, increase the weight to 105pounds and try to do as many reps as you can.

If you can do more than ten reps with that weight, increase more. As long as you keep increasing your reps on each following training and you reach ten or more reps in any exercise, you can increase the weight the next week.

This is the example of progressive resistance training. It means getting stronger over time on every workout.


Progressive resistance training can help you really get stronger and more muscly and stay like that. Don’t forget to include a healthy diet in your workout program as well, because one does not work without the other. 

What you need to remember is to keep the correct technique and duration of reps and increase the weight you are lifting according to the progress you make on previous workout and results will start showing in no time.

It only takes a little of your time and a lot of determination to succeed, but if you stay focused and keep going there is nothing you can not achieve.