Progressive overload is a fundamental principle of strength training. This refers to the gradual increase in the demands placed on the body during exercise.
It is the process of progressively increasing the volume (number of reps and sets), intensity (amount of weight lifted), or frequency (number of workouts per week) of a training program in order to continue making progress and adaptations.
Progressive overload is necessary for the body to continue improving and adapting to the demands of exercise. When we perform the same workouts over and over again, our bodies become efficient at the movements and we stop seeing progress.
By progressively increasing the demands of our workouts, we force our bodies to adapt and improve in order to meet new challenges.
There are many different ways to incorporate progressive overload into a training program, including:
1. Increasing the weight lifted:
This is perhaps the most obvious way to progress, and it involves gradually increasing the amount of weight you lift on exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press. As you get stronger, you can continue to increase the weight in small increments to continue challenging your muscles.
2. Increasing the volume:
Another way to progress is by increasing the number of reps and sets you perform. For example, if you are currently doing 3 sets of 8 reps on an exercise, you can gradually increase the number of sets to 4 or 5. Or increase the number of reps to 10 or 12.
3. Increasing the frequency:
If you are currently working out 3 days per week, you can gradually increase the number of days to 4 or 5 in order to progress. Just make sure to allow your body sufficient time to rest and recover in between workouts.
Progressive overload is an important principle of strength training, and it is essential for continued progress and adaptations. By gradually increasing the demands of your workouts, you can keep your body guessing and continue seeing improvements in your strength, endurance, and overall fitness. Just make sure to listen to your body and be mindful of your recovery. You’ll be well on your way to success.