Workout Tips

Weider Workout Principle: Progressive Overload

Get bigger and stronger using this resistance training technique.

Weider Workout Principle: Progressive Overload

WHAT IT IS

One of the most basic concepts in resistance training, one that spans all lifting disciplines, from bodybuilding to powerlifting to CrossFit. It basically states that your training should be constantly challenging your body and your muscles with greater stimuli. Overloading your muscles isn’t just a matter of going heavier, though that is certainly one way to do it.

WHAT IT DOES

It causes your muscles to get bigger and stronger. To use a trendy buzzword, it produces “adaptation.” When the muscles are challenged repeatedly, they have no choice but to adapt to these challenges by growing, provided proper recovery is administered. Minor adaptations, when achieved consistently, will lead to huge results over time.

HOW TO USE IT

Make it your goal in most workouts (one exception being a deloading phase) to alter one of these variables—weight, reps, or rest periods—so that you’re accomplishing more than you did the previous training session. For example, if you did 3 sets of 8 with 150 pounds on an exercise in one workout, aim for 3x8 with 160 pounds the next time out.

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