With bodyweight progressions, the best chance of moving on forwards is to gain as much strength possible from the exercise you are working on, before attempting something significantly more difficult. One of the best ways to really master an exercise is through high reps. In this sense, higher reps can be used by bodyweight athletes as a strength tool. (Who is stronger at one-leg squats? An athlete who can only do two reps, or an athlete who can do twenty?)
In contrast, lower reps are fine if you are training with weights. Let’s say you can curl 100 pounds for three reps. If three reps is your progression goal, you can add 5 pounds to the bar and try again. That only increases the output of the set by 5%. With bodyweight training, it’s much more difficult to add progress in such small, measurable increments. The most reliable way is by focusing on higher reps. Low reps sets make progress harder. If you can do four pushups, adding one rep makes for an output increase of 25%. But if you can do 20 pushups, adding one rep is an increase of just 5%. This is why higher rep sets are much more manageable and make progress smoother over time.
Paul Coach Wade
Convict Conditioning Super FAQ
Comments: This is very similar in the progression method in Kettlebell Sport where micro increases in the weight is not available. Commercially kettlebells have increments of 4kg. How to progress up the weights? By utilizing very high reps in the lighter weights before moving up.