Fitness & Sports

What is Progressive Overload in Gym?

Do you know what is Progressive Overload? If you go to the gym, you must have heard the name progressive overload. Although this is a term that you rarely hear, it is very important for your workout.

Progressive Overload Meaning

As a fitness professional, I see in gyms that some gym members come to work out daily and do the same workouts for years or longer.

Even after doing the same workouts continuously for a year by those people, there is no change in their body. Because their body starts coming into the comfort zone.

Let me tell you, the body does not change until some changes are not made. Unless you step out of your comfort zone, your body can not accept the challenge.

You need challenging workouts, training, and progress to make a difference and that’s what we’re going to talk about. I talk to a lot of people in the gym who have no idea about progressive overload.

If you want to improve your fitness and build a muscular body, then you must know about progressive overload.

So let’s come straight to the topic and know, what is Progressive Overload, how it is applied, and what are its benefits.

What is Progressive Overload?

This is a type of workout principle, in which you gradually increase the weight, repetitions, and number of sets day by day for a time while working out.

It is a workout training concept, which increases your workout strength over time and helps in increasing the hypertrophy of your muscles.

Progressive overload causes a double change in the strength, size, and endurance of your muscles. Because here you train your muscles differently.

You work harder by stepping out of your comfort zone and overloading your muscles and increasing resistance. As a result of which changes start taking place in your body and your performance increases.

In this, during training, priority is given to gradually lifting more weight, doing more reps, increasing sets, etc. which are a special type of training.

With Progressive Overload, you can see changes in your muscles and your entire body in a matter of days. It helps in making your muscles strong and big.

Principle of Progressive Overload –

This is the principle of progressive overload when you gradually start lifting more weight, increasing the repetitions, and increasing the frequency while working out or exercising.

Progressive overloading from day to day or week to week increases your strength and muscle growth during training.

During progressive overload, you don’t necessarily have to lift more and more weight each time. You can also start with less weight and go up to lifting more weight.

Why is Progressive Overload Necessary?

This is a special systematic process used to challenge your daily workouts.

It also looks at how your body reacts to fitness and fatigue. This process is called Fitness-Fatigue Paradigm.

Progressive overload is very important to increase your performance, strength, endurance, muscle size, stamina, etc.

How to use Progressive Overload?

Progressive overload isn’t difficult to use at all, but it can be a bit risky to do without good form and technique.

It is a simple concept, but very important. In this, resistance training is improved.

It is not only used for increasing muscle growth, strength, and size. Apart from this, progressive overload also helps in increasing cardiovascular fitness and metabolism.

Progressive Overload Example –

You are requested to read the following sentences carefully and understand them well. Here we are going to understand the example of biceps.

Let’s say, you do 1 set of a barbell biceps curl, for which you do 8 reps, whose total weight is 20 kg.

You can lift this weight easily and will easily do 3 to 4 sets with the same reps. As a result, a little pump will come into your biceps and the size will also increase.

But it was an easy task for you because you did not face any challenges in it. You easily completed these sets.

As your biceps have adapted to this overload. Now, this overload is not having any significant effect on it.

If you continue to do 3-4 sets of 8-8 reps with a weight of 20 kg continuously, then you will not see good results in the coming days.

That’s because your biceps are already capable of handling this overload. This will not increase the strength and size of your biceps.

Now you have to increase the load gradually so that it becomes challenging for you.

If you put a progressive overload on the biceps, then of course your biceps will get stronger and bigger.

This means you have to increase the reps, the sets, the volume, and the frequency.

So let’s understand, what are the methods of progressive overload.

Progressive Overload Method –

Here we will know about 5 important ways with the help which you can easily apply.

(1) Increase resistance –

If lifting 20 kilograms while doing biceps curls is too easy for you, try increasing the weight by 2-2 kilograms on both sides of the barbell.

Keep in mind, that this should be more challenging. You also have to keep in mind that when you increase the weight, your reps may decrease. Don’t worry about it, it is permissible to reduce 1-2 reps.

Very soon you will become stronger with this resistance and you will see changes in your biceps muscles.

(2) Increase repetitions –

Here you don’t have to increase the reps too much, but you have to keep in mind a better rap range.

Where you are doing 8 reps, you should do 10 to 12 reps in each set. And if you can not increase the weight by 2-2 kilograms, then at least half a kilogram of weight should be increased.

If you increase the reps, you will undoubtedly have hypertrophy in your muscles.

(3) Increase the volume –

Increasing the volume is a great way to increase Progressive Overload. By increasing the volume, you have to increase the sets, reps, and resistance.

If you do 4 sets every day instead of 3 sets, 10 reps instead of 8 reps, and also increase the weight according to your own, then it puts a different emphasis on the muscles.

As a result, your biceps muscles increase.

(4) Increase the frequency –

You can increase the overload by increasing the frequency like the volume.

Here frequency refers to the frequency of the workout. If your biceps size is a little less, then increasing the frequency may prove to be better for you.

(5) Reduce the rest time between sets –

One of the best ways to increase progressive overload is to reduce the rest time between sets.

Reducing rest between sets allows you to complete the same workout in the shortest amount of time, which increases your metabolism as well as increases muscle hypertrophy.

Advantages of Progressive Overload –

(1) It increases your muscle hypertrophy.

(2) It increases your muscle mass.

(3) It helps in boosting your metabolism.

(4) Progressive overloads increase your strength and stamina.

(5) It enables you to carry more weight.

(6) By this your muscles become very strong and big.

(7) It also improves your cardiovascular system.

In this way, if you include Progressive Overload in your training, then you can see many benefits of it.

Final Words –

Here, what is Progressive Overload, its uses, methods, and advantages of Progressive Overload I have tried to explain all these things very well to you.

You must also adopt it and include it in your workout routine. Very soon you will see better results.

Hopefully, you must have got complete information on this topic, what is Progressive Overload. If you liked this article, then you must share it in your Facebook and WhatsApp groups and you should always stay connected to our website Ashfitx.com for such useful articles. If you have any questions/suggestions, do let us know by commenting below.

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Ashu Pawar

Ashu Pawar (Co-founder & Editor) is an ACE-certified personal trainer & gym instructor with more than 7 years of experience in the fitness industry. He also has a diploma in nutrition & dietetics. He specializes in weight loss training, muscle-building workouts, and nutrition & supplementation. He is also passionate about writing fitness and sports blogs. As an editor, he edits and curates content centered around fitness, sports, lifestyle, beauty, grooming, nutrition, and supplements. He also helps team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Expertise: Fitness, Sports, Grooming, Gym Instructions, Weight Loss/Gain, Nutrition & Supplements.

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