Progressive Overload Training & Why It’s The Principle for Muscle Growth

The Best Progressive Overload Method for You:

Each person will have to determine which method is best for them and their current goals. If you’re looking to build muscle mass, you’ll likely want to focus on adding more weight. If you want endurance to improve in sports, for example, increasing reps would be more beneficial.

The next step is to figure out what your goals are in the gym before you try a method. It’s best to try one method at a time so you can see how it works for you. This way, you won’t risk injury from going all in and trying all the things at once.

A Progressive Overload Example:

To start, you should know what your current max reps are for each exercise. This is the total number of reps you can perform through a full range of motion with perfect form. This could be working your glutes in the glute bridge at 50 pounds for eight reps and two sets.

Once you have this baseline information for all exercises, determine your goal. From there, figure out what you want to improve on volume, reps, weight, or duration. Using the above example, here is how you could use each method for improvement:

  • Reps: Increase from eight reps to 10 reps
  • Weight: Increase weight from 50 pounds to 55
  • Volume: Increase the sets from two to three
  • Frequency: Go from one day per week working glutes to two
  • Rest: Reduce rest time of 30-seconds between sets to 20 seconds

Again, don’t try all these at once, but one at a time. Try adding more reps until you notice your body has adapted. Then, work on adding more weight to improve your strength.

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