The Progress Pyramid
What is The Progress Pyramid?
That ones easy... most likely because I coined the term and how it applies to fitness, but enough with that. The Progress Pyramid is an order of operations for exercise progression as well as a flow chart to maximize progression towards goals. There are many types of training out there that range from straight forward approaches, to combining goals and training styles to take more of a hybrid approach to reaching training goals. The Progress Pyramid utilizes one of the most basic principles that will serve you well, its the K.I.S.S. principal, (Keep It Simple, and you can choose what the last S. means) This doesn't mean train simple, it means train with what makes the most sense when it comes to reaching your goals.
You wouldn't train for running a marathon if your goal is to build strength, and you sure as hell wouldn't sit on the bench pressing all day if your trying to improve press off power for running. The Progress Pyramid is a road map that will keep your training close to the K.I.S.S. principle while keeping the evolution of your training simple while you train for performance, and put in the time to get aesthetics as a side effect of progressing your performance based training. Now I could go on forever about how The Progress Pyramid applies to training, but then I wouldn't be keeping it simple. Down below I will go into detail of each piece that makes up The Progress Pyramid, but if you find yourself still asking questions after it all, make sure to visit my youtube page to find further information. If you have a question and I haven't done a video on the subject, make sure to contact me so I can answer what questions you may have and even make a video as a result.
Mobility, Flexibility, Stability
In the progress pyramid mobility, flexibility, and stability form the base in which all our other forms of training sit upon. These three things are easy to maintain and achieve, but why are they so important... well i'll tell you.
Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Having mobility will allow you to utilize your strength through a greater range of motion, while also allowing you to improve things like running gait which has a significant impact on running speed and agility.
Flexibility refers to the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints, and length in muscles that cross the joints. Flexibility can improve your range of motion in which you can maintain concentric strength while also lowering your risk for injury due to heavy, or high volume lifting. Flexibility can also improve your gait as it increases the length of your strides as well as lowering the rate on run related injuries.
Stability is the ability to control the finer movements of muscles while under a state or tension from work loads, or flection. Larger muscle groups tend to overpower The smaller muscle groups that control finer moments and the stability within your joints. Strengthening these muscles will add to the overall strength, injury prevention, and agility of muscles.
The rate at which someone, or something is able to move or operate. Speed training is vital for any athlete from football, soccer, boxing, tennis, M.M.A., martial arts as a whole, and even has some transference to power and explosive strength. Speed training can be applied in many ways, but the goal is to keep the plane simple.
My suggestion is that if your looking to train for sports start with focusing on training your speed. Tons of programs can be found from various sources, but if you need help in developing your speed, you can find all sorts of local places that specialize in speed training with a simple google search. Feel free to contact me as well using the form below. If I don't have answer for your goal specific questions i'll get you in touch with someone that does.
To summarize speed training, it is a critical starting point in my opinion for any athlete. Being strong defiantly helps but if you can't catch up or get winded easily that strength is now just for looks. With that being said lets move on to endurance.
Endurance training is a medium between many forms of training, kind of like a bridge connecting the world or power and strength training to the world cardio and long distances athletes. Endurance breaks down into two factors Anaerobic exercise, and Aerobic exercise. Now the anaerobic and aerobic functions of the body work together as they transition from on to an other depending on the form of exercise induced stress your body is receiving. The question still remains what is endurance training?
Anaerobic exercise is a physical exercise intense enough to cause lactate to form. Think of this form of endurance as muscle endurance because oxygen isn't present to aid in the process of creating energy once you hit the lactic threshold. There is tons more I could tell you about anaerobic exercise, but ill save it for one of my videos, so you don't have to read a huge block of text.
Aerobic exercise also known as cardio is an exercise that requires oxygen to be delivered to the working muscles involved with the exercise. Aerobic exercise is built up by improving things like lung capacity (Our lungs ability to defuse oxygen inhaled into the blood stream) and the hearts blood volume ( the hearts ability to move blood through the body effectively).
Power encompasses all the many different types of strength. Strength can be ballistic, concentric, and eccentric. Power can also be the combined force of strength and speed, but lets continue with keeping it simple.
Strength training, power lifting , and olympic lifting are all good examples of how to train if you are looking to develop power. I wish I could break power down into some awesome sounding bullet points, but power is just as simple as picking heavy things up and putting them down with control.
Well just as it sounds one of the steps you can take to evolve your training is to take the concepts of speed and endurance and put them together... speed endurance. Let me give you an example of this type of training. Lets say you are training to sprint as fast as you can for one hundred yards, then once you achieve that you move to two hundred yards. This type of progression would be training speed endurance as you push yourself to run at maximal speed for longer distances.
Strength endurance follows a similar concept as speed endurance but the approach is a bit different. Trying to take what you can lift only for one rep and then trying to lift it for two can be very dangerous when training alone and frustrating, I mean if you can only lift the weight once how do you train to get more reps effectively? Well its easy take a strength training range you feel comfortable with like 3x5 or 3x3 and then build it up. Train 3x3 until it become 5x3, or 3x5 become 3x8. Long story short you take strength training ranges and train them until the reps or sets take you out of the strength range, and then you increase the weight until it puts you back into strength range. From there it just repeating the process until you hit your goals. Now with all strength training it is always a good idea to have a spotter, but if you don't have one use a power cage or other free weight equipment that has safety measures built into them.
Aesthetics for most is the ultimate goal of fitness, but are looks really the ultimate goal over performance? Aesthetics are awesome but they will come as a side effect of reaching your performance based goals. If you training to be strong your body will build up to look strong, and if you train to be fast your body will developing in a way that your musculature will support it. Being hero fit is all about putting in the work to preform the acts of strength, and speed that define hore's knowing that aesthetics is really just a side effect of dedication.
Now there are many approaches to training and if I listed them all in an organized format, the progression pyramid would become the progression web. There would be so many starting points and variations it would become easy to get lost without guidance. My goals is to help provide a path of progression that is simple and easy to follow. As you grow and develop the discipline needed to follow more advance and strict routines then I would encourage you to go further with your training and let the progression pyramid become a thing of the past as you tackle new obstacles with the control and the patience needed to succeed.
If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me because I'm not here to try and create a dependence on me, but to give you all I know.