Progressive Overload Explained!
It’s one of the most important aspects to get the most out of your training.
It's common to hear people say "that in order to keep progressing in the gym, you have to confuse your muscles for them to grow". Some people even say that you should change your workouts as often as every week to 'keep the body guessing'. All of this is complete broscience that has no standing in actual science. If you want to successfully break through a plateau, read this article which discusses the scientific approach to overcoming progressive overload.
So, what exactly is progressive overload? Progressive overload is the gradual increase in metabolic stress that someone places on their body during a given exercise in a set period of time. In order for our body to keep up with this added stress, it adapts to the stimulus by getting bigger, faster or stronger depending on what you're training for.
A simple example of progressive overload is increasing your working weight on the Bench Press by 5 pounds every week until you physically can't anymore. Once this happens, you can add one more set of bench press to your workouts or try getting one more rep on each of your sets. The possibilities are endless, but the core principle is the same. Added volume to your workouts requires your body to adapt to the extra stimulus in order to progress.
The following is a list of 6 different ways you can implement progressive overload to break a plateau:
• Increase the amount of sets you do on an exercise
• Increase the amount of reps you do on an exercise
• Increase the time under tension you do on an exercise
• Increase the weight used on an exercise
• Increase the duration of your cardiovascular workouts
• Increase the frequency of how often you train a muscle per week
Now that you have the tools and knowledge of how to effectively keep progressing in the gym, keep track of your workouts and make sure to in some way, shape or form increase the amount of volume you give your body ever so gradually.