Progression in the weight room is not solely based on external loading (i.e. how much absolute weight lifted). Progress can be accomplished in various ways in order to improve performance, movement options, fitness, experience, and may even assist in external loading abilities.
Here are some valuable elements of client/athlete progress:
The purpose of having regressions and progression lists are to be able to guide decision making and have a aim based on current abilities, standards, and future goals. Progression is focused on long term access to the movement being required and challenging positions, movement, movement under load, and the strategy being used throughout the movement (i.e. muscles used during movement and loading).
Overall progress can be the improvement of performance. The ultimate goal for athletes is on-field improvement (not solely weight room improvement). Athletes are categorized as people who are participating in weight room activities to make changes towards sport/on-field activities. If absolute load lifted in weight room sessions is the sole measure of progression it may negatively impact overall performance. Overall progress for general population clients (low sport or training history) can be improved performance, fitness, quality of life, reduction in pain, and achieving intensities or volumes that previously were a challenge. You have many tools in your tool box, use them for long term progress and sustainability.
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