THE LAW OF PROGRESSION
“I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back.” – Philip Brooks
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV
The law of progression in physical training basically states:
“In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.”
Or, to put it another way, your body will not change or improve unless you force it to.
When it comes to applying the law of progression in physical training, there are a lot of good advice from experts and coaches. One of my favorites is this: “Add weight to the bar.” The main goal of the coach is for the athlete, or the person undergoing training is none other than growth. And growth is at least one of these: stronger, faster, or higher. The additional pressure, tension, and strain, actually help us grow.
That’s why according to fitness experts, one of the most common mistakes in physical training is ‘going too lightweight.’ The weights are too light. The routine is too comfortable. The training regimen is too easy. Too lightweight.
From time to time, I would be reminded of this: Comfort destroys usefulness.
Everyday, a lot of people feel so empty in their life. Because they’re ‘going too lightweight’ throughout their lives. As a result, they don’t grow. They don’t progress. They’re lifting ‘empty lifepounds’ – a life that is too easy. No burdens at all. A ‘burden’ is a noble desire and task to help and contribute to other people’s lives – to their company, to their community.
The Bible in our passage says, ‘supplement.’ Supplement means add. To virtue, add knowledge. To knowledge, add self-control. To self-control, add brotherly affection. To brotherly affection, add love. And the Bible says, if you have these qualities and it’s increasing, you will be effective and fruitful. The result is growth.
So, in all things,
“Add weight to the bar” of your life.
Add a solution to a problem.
Add something to “fill a need.”
Add a burden for other people.
To your community.
To your family.
That is the law of progression.
This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. –George Bernard Shaw