When I was younger, I was always given some training plan where I had to do, lets say, as an example, 3x8 bench presses. Also, another rule was that if I could only do this with 70kg, I could not do 75kg 3x6 to build up to eventually being able to do 3x8 bench presses with 75kg.
I was never able to get any results from this. In the example above, I would be stuck with 70kg 3x8 bench presses for months, and then just give up because I was not making any progress.
With other heavy lifting, like pull ups, the advice is quite different; If you cannot do one, do a half. In this case, I was able to make progress. I can now do five pull ups.
This makes me suspect that I should have been allowed to build up to lifting more weight. Any time I have made progress have been when I ignored the "lift as much weight as you can lift nxm times".
Most training plans online also involve doing an exercise nxm times. The question I have is, how do you make progress? Are you supposed to lift x kilos until you can lift x+y kilos the same number of times as you could lift x kilos previously?