Dear Strength Coach/Personal Trainer,
A second, principal way of applying progressive overload to body weight exercises is by increasing the volume per set and/or the total volume for the workout.
The most gradual way to increase the volume is to increase the volume per set as the client or athlete improves. As the volume per set grows, so does the volume of the entire workout.
A more challenging way of applying progressive overload, is to begin a cycle with a HIGH total volume, but a low volume per set (and a high number of sets). The total volume stays constant as the cycle progresses, but the volume per set gradually increases (and the number of sets decreases). This is an effective approach that works in many situations.
The hamstring exercise featured in last weeks blog, emphasizes the popliteus muscle. The popliteus muscle is a stabilizer of the knee joint and exercise above, which works extremely well as the first hamstring exercise in a macrocycle - emphasized in the ISS block and followed in the later blocks with hamstring training using cables or machines.
Sets in the ISS block should be of 90 seconds to 40 minutes in duration. Thus, for this hamstring exercise, where the movement is very short, we are looking at very high reps.
The so called 100 rep death march is the perfect method variation for our hamstring exercise.
The 100 rep death march is characterized by a constant total volume (per workout), but with INCREASING volume of each set.
Train the hamstrings with this protocol 2 or 3 times per week. Rest 10-20 seconds between sets. Progress to the next stage when all sets can be completed with 10 second rest periods.
- 20 sets of 5 reps
- 18 sets of 6 reps
- 16 sets of 7 reps
- 15 sets of 6 reps
- 12 sets of 9 reps
- 10 sets of 10 reps
- 8 sets of 12 reps
- 7 sets of 14 reps
- 1 set of 100 reps
One set of 100 with this variation: “Press both heels into the floor w/knees straight. Pelvis is lifted off the floor.” When performed with one leg, consider yourself at world class level.
Consider, if you have any athletes or clients, who need, and are ready, for the 100 Rep Death March. This magnificent method variations works wonders with many other exercises as well!
Please let me know the results if you try this method variations with any of your athletes or clients. Leave a comment below.
Dedicated To Our Success,
MSc, Strength Coach, CPTN-CPT.M
Author, Lecturer, Founder of Yes To Strength
PS: Next week’s blog features one of the MOST CHALLENGING ways to apply progressive overload to body weight exercises. Stay tuned!