Percentage Lifting: Why?

There is a famous saying, and by famous I mean, not really famous but rather, something ignorant people say.. the saying goes: “ I ain’t got time for percentages!!!”

So here’s the scoop, training percentages have come about from years and years of empirical trials with recorded data, but never situated into a formal study, thus still relatively “unprofessional.”  Hundreds of thousands of weight-lifters found that, similarly to growing as a youth to adult, physiological change takes time.  Thus, the application or marginal stress introduction over similar/repetitive movement patterns. 

What I know is, muscle phasing is real and it responds very well to good mechanical articulation and even better to disciplined programming (stress) and recovery (rest). I also know, from doing this for years, certain percentage gains are possible and certain ones are not.  I also know, people come from different athletic and genetic backgrounds and have different allostatic stressors (look it up), and thus, we use percentage ranges. What I have found is, patience breeds progress and impatience exaggerates ego and ego rhymes with injury. 

What’s the take away? Follow percentages, listen to the coaches and trust the progress. Think of anything in your life that you have gotten reasonably good at and ask yourself, “how rushed was the process?” The slower you physically move through our strength movements and the slower you increase percentages, the healthier your body will be and the more efficiently it will move. The better you understand the movement, demonstrate good ROM, and lay a large fascia foundation, the more success and fun you will have during max month. And that’s a promise! 

Below is a fun 3-dimensional picture of what our “periodized” program looks like.  This is simply a pictorial metaphor for the body in terms of need for foundational work over time in relation to peak output and potential.