Most people have some kind of training routine they do when they start going to the gym. They do some leg work, some arm work, maybe a couple other things, and they call it a day. This works great for a while, but then things slow down. They stop noticing any new lines of definition, and eventually they start to wonder if all this work is even worth the trouble.
Why does this happen? Well, it can be explained in 2 very important words, Progressive OverloadSimply put, progressive overload is the process of gradually adding stress (resistance/weight) to the body so as to force it to adapt. The question is, how does it adapt? Your body adapts to this kind of stress by becoming stronger and adding new lean muscle. This is a very important concept to understand, because most people just blindly lift weight and assume that as long as they "feel the burn" they are making progress. I guess that depends on what you are trying to do, but for most people it is lose fat and build muscle. The best way to do this consistently, is to progressively overload your muscles and force them to get stronger.
So why is this concept so important, and how do you use it to your advantage?
This concept is one the most important principles of strength and conditioning. It is the principle that we base our program on at Train Insane, simply because it is a fool proof way to progress. If you lift the exact same weight each and every time you to come to the gym, why should your body change? You see, unless you give your body a reason to change, it will stay right where it is. So, we have to give it new challenges (weight training) on a regular basis that tell it that you need to get stronger and or build muscle. We also need to eat in a manner that supports our goals. This could mean in a calorie deficit if you trying
to lose body fat, or a calorie surplus if you are trying to gain muscle. The next questions is, "How do I do that?" Well, I'm going to tell you. Assuming that you have a decent routine that you are following, you just need to make sure that you are progressing it each week. You can do that in 1 of 3 ways.
1. You can add reps to what you did the week before. In other words if you did 3 sets of 6 reps last week, you would do 3 sets of 8 or 9 this week.
2. You can add weight to the exercises. So, if you did 3x10 with 50 pounds last week, you do 3x10 with 55 pounds this week.
3. You add a set to your exercises. This means that instead of 3x10 like last week, you will do 4x10 this week.
DO NOT do all of these at the same time. You pick 1 of them per week, and make the adjustment. How, and when to use each one is where experience comes into play. An experienced coach can help you progress your program to make sure that you are making intelligent increases every week that will keep you making progress. It would be impossible to make a recommendation for everyone that is reading this post, so if you are on your own, you will have to use the old trial and error method.
At the end of the day, as long as you are consistently either lifting more weight, doing more reps, or adding more sets, you will be on the right track to keep making progress.
If you are interested in learning more about how to progress your training, or you are interested in working with a coach, you can reach us HERE.