Progressive Resistance Training Is the Foundation of Any Bodybuilding Program
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Progressive Resistance Training Is the Foundation of Any Bodybuilding Program

Progressive Resistance Training: Bodybuilding Principle #1

Progressive resistance training (PRT) is the cornerstone of modern-day bodybuilding. It is the alpha-principle: Without it, muscle would never grow. Period.

It is the principle that exploits the body's adaptive response to stress by becoming bigger and stronger: By increasing the resistance that a muscle pulls or pushes against, you are eliciting a natural response from your brain telling your muscle tissue to grow.

There is the legend of wrestler Milo of Croton, who trained by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until it was fully grown. This might have been the first “recorded” instance of PRT.

Weight training is the best method of utilizing this principle, too. It's super-easy to add 5-10 pounds to a barbell on Wednesday's bench presses, following Monday's workout.

It boils down to adding weight to the bar when your muscles are strong enough to lift it. In practice, it works like this:

Monday, you do 10 reps of bench presses with 135 pounds. Tuesday, you do 14 reps of benches with 135 pounds. On Friday, you add 10 pounds to the bar and you pump out 8 reps.

You just practiced PRT!

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