You’ve heard me say over and over in order to grow you must avoid adaption. How do you avoid it? Progressive Overload. Progressive Overload is the concept of continually increasing the demands on your muscles in order to make gains in size, strength, and endurance. Progressive overload is not only for resistance training, it is also useful for cardio, and well anything really the more you put in the more you get out of life.
Their are many ways to create progressive overload.
- Increase Resistance- Or increase the weight. Increase the weight as you get stronger. I like to try to increase my workload by 5 pounds every week. A good tool to use is if you can perform more than your target repetitions. You need to go up some weight.
- Increased sets- Increase the number of sets you perform on an exercise, if you usually do 3 sets try 4 or 5
- Increase reps- If your target rep is 10 but you feel you can do more, keep going until failure. Then you will know to increase your weight next time.
- Increase frequency- In which you train a certain muscle group. This technique is key in improving lacking muscle groups, for me; my bench is much less than my squat or deadlift so I train chest twice a week now. Make sure to listen to your body and let your muscles have proper time to recover.
- Increase exercises- Increase the amount of individual exercises you do on a muscle group. This technique works well if you are looking to add symmetry to a particular muscle group.
- Increase Intensity- Increase the amount of effort you put into each individual rep. This is the most important part of progressive overload. Increasing effort and intensity will lead to more reps of heavier weight. Pushing your muscles beyond what they are used to handling.
- Decrease rest time- Decreasing time in between sets will force your body to adapt by removing toxins and other byproducts of anaerobic exercise over time. Eventually you be able to lift more in less time.