posted on May 31, 2023
If you do any kind of strength training, you’ve probably heard the term “progressive overload” before. The simple definition of progressive overload is increasing the intensity of your workouts gradually over time to challenge your body to work harder than what it’s used to.
You might ask yourself how do I know when I’m ready to increase the intensity of my training sessions? A good rule of thumb is that when you complete a set of an exercise and you feel like you have some left in the tank, you know you’re ready to up the intensity a bit. Increasing the intensity of your workout can mean several different things, but below are the most common:
You won’t want to utilize all 6 of these all during one training session. Try to focus on one of these variables at a time so you don’t confuse your body.
If you’re a beginner, you will notice that you can progressively overload at a faster rate. However, after a while when your body becomes more well adapted to exercise, your progress will become slower. You might even plateau, which is totally normal in training and there are ways to overcome it.
Without overloading and challenging the muscles to do more than what they’re used to, there are no adaptations. When we challenge the body, it responds over time.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all method for using progressive overload. You will have to figure out what kind of training works best for you and your goals!