March 22, 2018
Progressive Overload
WRITTEN BY Jesse O'Brien

If you want to improve your appearance, the main reason you may be failing is because you’re no longer challenging yourself.

A completely randomized training program will work for a small amount of time, but what happens when it stops? Let’s talk about Progressive Overload.

What is it?

Progressive overload is the systematic increase in training frequency, volume and intensity in various combinations.

This principle underscores the need for greater demands to be placed on the body during successive workouts over time if improvement is to be achieved. The most common way to apply progressive overload in a resistance training program is to increase the resistance used in performing a specific exercise (increasing weight from the previous week). Progressive overload is a necessary component of a resistance training program if continued gains in strength and power, local muscular endurance and other physiological adaptations are desired.

Simply put, in order to get bigger and stronger, you must continually make your muscles work harder than they're used to.

How to apply it?

Increase the resistance. Probably the most obvious way to increase the demands you place on your muscles is to increase load.

Increase the repetitions. You don’t necessarily have to add weight, you can simply do more repetitions, which is considered another means of increasing the overload.

Increase the volume. Volume is simply sets multiplied by repetitions multiplied by resistance. By adding either more exercises or adding another set for your existing exercises, you’re making progressively greater demands on your muscles.

Increase training frequency. Similar to volume, increasing the frequency with which you train a muscle group can increase the overload.

Decrease rest times between sets. Reducing your rest between sets allows you to do the same amount of work in less time. This causes your body to become more metabolically efficient.

The application of progressive overload can be tricky; as with everything else, there is an inflection point at which you will stop progressing. There are numerous variables that indicate which method is best for you. A series of in-office testing that all Central Athlete coaches conduct in each client's initial consultation will shed light on which method(s) is ideal for that individual. If you’re tired of spinning your wheels or you want to know which method will serve you best, then click the link below to schedule a FREE strategy session with one of our professional coaches.

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