The thought experiment goes something like this:
Imagine being put on a barge 200 nautical miles out past the ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ with a humane amount of water. You’re out there for 4 days. On the 5th day a rescue boat comes and saves you, how much body fat do you think you will have lost?
There is no equivalent to this in strength training. You could marinate someone in steroids and they’re not going to get that much stronger after 4 days. It is for this reason that strength, as a capacity of fitness should be emphasized over body fat percentage for essentially everyone except for the morbidly obese.
The concern over body fat and ‘getting too big’ manifests in the creation of the Homunculus mindset. A very small person. That very small person is sabotaging themselves with an irrational concern over getting bigger, in turn halting potential progress in getting stronger; which is fine except if they are combining this concern over bodyweight with the attempt to get stronger, then it has been irrational.
Linear progression is a sensible methodology for new lifters: this is both people who haven’t been to anything calling itself a gym in a long time or indeed, forever; as well as those who have never been lifters before and instead been stuck in a rut of exercise over training. Anyone who has not gone through something like a linear strength progression CAN and SHOULD do so to find the upper reaches of where their genetic strength potential could be.
The top end of linear progression is where things can get tricky. Mr and Mrs Homunculus will sometimes create a false plateau because of their lack of calorie consumption but the authentic linear stall can be dealt with in the same way…. A reset and more eating.
It looks something like this. You’re overhead pressing and you take the following work sets…
3×firstname.lastname@example.org but you only get 5, 4, 4.
You re-try and you get 4, 4, 3. Okay now its time to reset the weight.
3×6@ 47.5kg (you get 6, 5, 5 but that’s okay you keep going)
It took you 5 sessions to move up 2.5kg but that’s ok. You got it. This is still the fastest way to move between the 2 sessions.
The image of the sure and steady tortoise is one of the emblematic flag bearers of how sensible work gets done. Bodyweight up, bar weight up work methodically and reset where necessary. You can always spend a few days out in international waters in the future.
What you might well miss is some simple math: 2.5kg per week x 52 weeks is 130kg. 130kg is a lot of weight to add to ANY lift and that jackpotting of weight on the bar is possible in one form or another as long as you employ the effort towards the things that take a long time instead of haring off in the direction of ‘gettin lean and jacked’ when you’re weak and unskilled.