Want to move your training forward? Progressive overload could be the answer for you. Progressive overload is the one key principle behind all results nad is of paramount importance if you want to move your training forward. This technique is recognised as the foundation for progression and, if used correctly, is the key to unlocking your true potential in any form of training.
What actually is progressive overload? The concept was first devised by Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky and Dr. John Cimbala and refers to the gradual increase of stress on the body through physical activity. By consistently challenging your body with more than it used to you will initiate physiological change in the form of greater strength, power, and speed, to name just a few.
Overloading your body through exercise stimulates a natural healing process, which forces your body to overcompensate while regenerating. As a safety mechanism your body rebuilds the worked areas bigger, stronger, and faster than they were before, so that if faced with the same challenge it will not stress the body as much.
To ensure optimal results you must be aware that your body has developed since your last workout and endeavour to accomodate this change by overloading it with more than in the previous session. Following are the 7 keys to unlocking powerful results.
a. Increase resistance. Bring up the weight you are lifting with each workout as you progressively get stronger. Do it slowly though and do it when your body are ready for the next challenge.
b. Increase repetitions. By increasing your reps you will ensure that your muscles are under tension for longer during each workout. This is a key component to muscle growth, although it must be noted that when performing too many reps(e.g., 15 or more) you may hinder muscle growth and strength will benefit substantially if training for muscle endurance.
c. Increase your sets. Again, you will increase your total time under tension for your workout, but you can stay within your desired repetition range by adding sets instead of reps to your workout.
d. Increase the amount of exercises. Add more exercises to help fatigue a certain muscle group or overall to help expend more energy for your workout. This is a sure-fire way to uncover the six-pack that’s been hiding all this time.
e. Increase training frequency. If you have been training only twice a week then it may be time to step it up to three or more. Note that ample recovery time is needed for your body to receive all the fruits of its labour, by doing too much with not enough rest you will start to enter the overtraining zone. Be extra careful when it comes to resistance training, each muscle group needs at least 48 to 72 hours before it is ready to be trained again.
f. Be progressive with your exercises. If you have been doing machine chest press, upscale it to a dumbbell bench press, or if using dumbbells you can try using barbels. The more motor control the better but only progress when you have mastered each step. Your body will thrive on the challenge of figuring out new movement patterns. Both your musculoskeletal and and neuromuscular system will develop higher levels of function and efficiency and great results will follow.
g. Decrease your rest time. By decreasing rest between exercises you ensure your body is working at a greater intensity. Your body will burn more calories and most probably fats in a different level.
There you go the 7 keys for your greater results. Try to mix your training with some of the keys mentioned above. It is important that you know the consequences of the key that you choose before you go through because you may unlock the wrong door. If muscle gain is your goal and you overload your body with a mode that will enchance, weight loss, then you may be disappointed with the results.
Too many people stick to a binge exercise routine. That is, they don’t do much for days then go to the gym and hammer out a session that an Olympian would have trouble completing. They have trouble walking for the next week and think that because they have all but crippled themselves they must have done some good. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is doing no good.
There is a point where doing any more will actually hinder your gains instead of echancing them. That is why it is not just the overload principle that will spur on results, but instead, by progressively overloading, you are consistently giving your body the right amount of stimulation to change. If your body receives too much stimulation or not enough rest, then you will start going into the state of overtraining.
To achieve a greater results, you should also watch your nutrition. After hammering your body so hard, make sure you get enough proteins through out the day from solid foods or shake. Protein helps your muscles to repair faster and grow stronger.
Happy Training and stay motivated!