Progressive overload

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.

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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:

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There are a few ways that overload may be introduced during resistance training. For strength, hypertrophy, local muscular endurance, and power improvements. These include: –

  1. The load (weight) is increased.
  2. More repetitions added.
  3. The speed of the repetitions (depending on goal).
  4. Rest periods may be shortened for local muscular endurance improvements or lengthened for strength and power improvements.
  5. Increase volume of sets and/or reps (depending on goal).
  6. 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.

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