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When talking about progression, it's 'easy' to progress on the big lifts: squats, bench, rows, overhead press etc. I mean not easy as in effort but it's usually not a big ask to squeak out an extra rep or 5lbs from session to session.

However, when it comes to those smaller movements (lateral raises, curls, kickbacks, etc.) even a 5lb jump or 1 rep increase can take a LONG time to accomplish. So then the question becomes 'how to progress on those accessory lifts'???

We have to look at total muscle stimulation. For example, if in a given session, you PR on squats (first, you rock) but then all your accessories stay exactly the same; the total load (for that day) has still been increased for those bodyparts. In other words, don't feel like you need to progress on ALL your lifts in a given training session for the same bodypart/muscle group.

However, what you DO want to avoid is "spending" it all on that first compound lift hitting a PR, then you end up fizzling out on your accessories. You might have a load increase from the PR but the total stimulation could be down if you can't keep things going on your accessories.

While it can take weeks (or months) to jump up to the next set of dumbbells with a specific exercise, keep focusing on quality reps and just know that those PRs you hit at the beginning will carry you through.


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