What is progressive overload?
Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength training routine.
How to use progressive overload in your workout:
So what does this mean and how do you apply it to the gym? Well, it’s really quite simple. Every time you step foot in the gym, you should be aiming to do more, in one way or another. More weight, more reps, less rest time, change in tempo, etc.
An easy example of progressive overload:
For example, if John goes into the gym and starts with bench press, he might decide to do 4×10 (4 sets of 10) at a weight of 135lbs. Next week when he benches again, if he did another 4×10 of 135 pounds, he IS NOT practicing progressive overload. Now, what could he change to incorporate this concept? So many things! Let’s say he keeps the reps the same, but ups the weight to 145lbs. Or he does a pyramid: 120lbs, 130lbs, 140lbs, 150lbs. Or he could decrease rest times between sets. Or he could incorporate slow eccentrics, or pause reps, and still achieve progressive overload while using the same load.
So you see? It’s really quite simple. In some way, you must find a way to further challenge and tax your muscles if you want to see continuous progress. More weight, more reps! Just do more!