09 May Progressive overload
The only way of improving health and performance of the body, is to continuously place it under a greater stress than it is used to and recovery effectively. This process is known as progressive overload. Progressive overload is a very important part of weights training. Basically, it is a gradual increase of weight added to specific lifts over a period of weeks. Progressive overload is never spontaneous or estimated rather a measured and well thought out process.
Benefits of Progressive Overload Resistance Training:
- Reduced blood pressure.
- Prevents the loss of muscle mass.
- Imporves muscle function.
- Prevention & treatment of osteoperosis.
- Improvement of muscular strength, power & endurance.
- Increase muscule hypertrophy/growth.
- Below is a visual representation of progressive overload and the recovery & adaptation process:
There are a few ways that overload may be introduced during resistance training. For strength, hypertrophy, local muscular endurance, and power improvements. These include: –
- The load (weight) is increased.
- More repetitions added.
- The speed of the repetitions (depending on goal).
- Rest periods may be shortened for local muscular endurance improvements or lengthened for strength and power improvements.
- Increase volume of sets and/or reps (depending on goal).
- Any combination of the above (depends highly on goal).
It is recommended that when applying progressive overload with the goal of increasing weight lifted a 2.5% increase for main compound lifts is sufficient. If the goal is to achieve progressive overload by increasing volume a 2.5-5% increase should be appropriate.