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Double Progression: Definition and Examples

What is Double Progression?

Double progression is a method of gradually increasing the number of reps done and the amount of weight lifted to challenge yourself and build strength. Pick a rep range, such as 4-6, select a heavy enough load, and stick with it until you can lift it for 6 reps on all sets. Then, add a bit of weight and gradually work up to 6 reps across all sets.

Double Progression Examples

Example #1

Let’s say you want to boost your bench press in the 4-6 rep range with five sets per session. Here is how it might go:

SessionLoad (lbs)Set 1 (reps)Set 2 (reps)Set 3 (reps)Set 4 (reps)Set 5 (reps)Note
113566655Target not hit; stay at 135 lbs.
213566666Target hit, increase load.
314055444Target not hit; stay at 140 lbs.
414066655Target not hit; stay at 140 lbs.
514066666Target hit, increase load.
614555544Target not hit; stay at 145 lbs.
714566665Target not hit; stay at 145 lbs.
814566666Target hit, increase load.

Example #2

Here is an example of how it might look to increase the barbell back squat in the 6-8 rep range while doing 4 sets per workout:

SessionLoad (lbs)Set 1 (reps)Set 2 (reps)Set 3 (reps)Set 4 (reps)Note
12258877Target not hit; stay at 225 lbs.
22258888Target hit, increase load.
32308776Target not hit; stay at 230 lbs.
42308887Target not hit; stay at 230 lbs.
52308888Target hit, increase load.
62358876Target not hit; stay at 235 lbs.
72358877Target not hit; stay at 235 lbs.
82358888Target hit, increase load.


1. What rep range is best?

Since double progression aims to build strength on compound lifts, going heavier is generally better. For most people, this means doing between 3 and 8 reps. Sets of 3-5, 4-6, and 6-8 reps are good options.

2. How close to failure should you train?

It’s generally best to train to an RPE of 7-9 (leaving 1-3 reps in the tank). Taking too many sets to failure can cause trainees to hit a wall more quickly and be at risk of overtraining or injury.

3. Who is double progression for?

Applying overload is crucial for everyone to make progress in their training. However, the way I’ve outlined double progression above would be most suited for people with less training experience (around two years or less).

Related Terms in Adaptation and Progression Category