Suppose you lift 210 x 3. That's an epley estimate of 232.

Now, there's a number of ways to match or beat this:

205x4: 232
210x4: 238
215x3: 236
220x2: 235
225x1: 232.

The real question is which goal to select for next time. Any of these is progress.

My preference is to do things the laziest possible way, lower and slower than you'd like even if you go low and slow. Aiming for 205amrap is the laziest way to progress.

Suppose you walk in with the goal of 205x4 and hit 205x5. Now your epley estimate is 239.

To match or beat:
205x6: 246
210x5: 245
215x4: 244
220x3: 242
225x2: 240
235x1: 243

The laziest, slowest way to progress now is to add 5lbs and match reps with last time. Last time it was adding a rep, this time it's adding weight.

After your last rep, you will have gone from 232 to 245. You're 13 stronger.

For a beginner, this can literally happen workout to workout.

For a beginner, going the laziest, slowest, lightest way can add 13 to their max estimate in a matter of days.

Later on, that 5 or extra rep may take months to accomplish. They'll need periodization, deloads, two steps back for 3 forward, etc. They will still be 13 stronger after that last rep, doing things the laziest, lightest, and slowest way possible. They will progress by doing things even slower and lighter than a beginner would ever consider.

Basically: go lazier, slower, and lighter as possible even if you're already going as lazily slow as possible. This ensures you will still be doing it 5 years from now, lazily lifting weights you can barely think about today.

For a beginner, lazy and slow is already impossibly fast compared to later on. For someone more advanced, it means getting stronger versus getting injured trying to break through a months-long plateau.

Laziness is a virtue.

The lightest weight and fewest reps necessary to beat what you did before. A you lift heavier, you will have to go even lower and slower, that's what periodization is and it's absolutely necessary to make further progress.

Build laziness into your programming from the beginning, because after the first few months the rest of your lifting career will be entirely about figuring out how lazy you *need* to be.


Every decent beginner's program attempts to find a balance between essential laziness, and the incredible speed with which an average beginner's strength increases. Whatever balance point they choose, they choose so it'd work for the majority of people. And, literally anything will work for a beginner. Biking will increase their squat max.

· SubwayTooter · 0 · 0 · 1

The better beginner programs, are ones which choose a balance point such that the beginner isn't suddenly surprised and discouraged when they hit the end of that initial, literally-anything-works honeymoon. They tend to err a bit towards laziness rather than speed, basically.

It's a balancing act which, for the beginner, does not matter at all. What does matter is whether they are adequately prepared for when going lazy is the *only* way to progress, and progress is only possible by going even slower than they thought even though they knew they'd have to slow down at some point.

Intellectually, a beginner knows that on SS5x5, adding 5lbs per workout, 15lbs per week, it's cartoonish to think that at the end of the year they'll be lifting 780lbs. They know this, but abstractly.

Bad programs are ones which leave the beginner utterly bewildered by this realization, with no idea at all what to do. They weren't exposed to the virtue of laziness, and struggle as they try to discover it in a state of baffled frustration.

Fortunately, every reputable program has *some* built in laziness to prepare the beginner for this point, so they have some idea of what it means to *need* to go slower in order to make progress.

When choosing a program, literally any will work. Err on the side of a program which is a bit slower and lazier than you'd like. You'll find out why in about 6 months, and thank your past self.

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