The key is to be methodical, precise, and consistent.
Can you get stronger with a fixed weight *only*?
The answer is a resounding YES.
A “yes”, that is, with an “if”.
Yes, IF you follow a solid program that:
1) Uses moderate weights
2) Gradually increases the volume through time
What are the benefits of patiently using only one weight for several months worth of workouts?
The list is long as the benefits are legion. But here’s a short list:
1) Allows your tendons to adapt and get stronger – crucial for life-long strength and resilience, and often an overlooked part of a good strength training regimen. This is also important in the short-term as a lack of tendon strength will often lead you to hit a plateau long before you hit a lifetime PR.
2) It will allow your nervous system to stay fresher.
3) You will be able to build a solid training base for long-term gains with less likelihood of burnout or injury.
4) It’s simple as hell and takes the confusion out of programming and training!
Beginning in June I realized my weighted pullups and deficit handstand pushups were unacceptably soft (5 rep max in weighted pullups was 16 kg and 5 rep max in deficit handstand pushups was at a deficit of about 3 inches). I set out to change that.
The results were as follows:
1 rep max pullup BEFORE program: 70 lbs (32 kg)
1 rep max pullup AFTER program:
97 lbs (44 kg)
Full ROM handstand pushups BEFORE program: 0
Full ROM handstand pushups AFTER program:
Keep in mind that I NEVER went heavier than 16 kg for pullups and NEVER did handstand pushups any deeper than about 3 or so inches – a mere 1/4 of the depth that I ended up being able to do them by the end.
This bodes well for all of you out there with minimal equipment and minimal time to waste on complicated programs that lead you to a plateau instead of a peak. A kettlebell or two and your bodyweight will be all you need (though the same approach works like magic for barbells, too).
Consider this before your next program and gaze and be amazed at the strength you gain easier than you could have ever imagined.
And if you’re from the “pics or it didn’t happen” crowd, here is some Instagram proof of both:
Choose your weight and wear it out.