Progressive Weight Training

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Progressive Overload

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Progressive sounds pretty cool doesn't it? It's the one factor that can't be ignored if you want to gain muscle. People have gained muscle without optimal diets, sleep, training form, etc., but without progressive overload gains will cease to exist.

There are three main ways to progressively overload your body. First, and the most common is to increase the number of repititions you do with a set weight from the workout previous. If you performed 8 reps of bench press with 225lbs. last workout you strive to get 9 on the next workout. If you achieve it, you have progressively overloaded your body and muscle growth should occur. If you perform 8 again, you haven't overloaded your body and most likely no muscle growth will occur.

Second, you may progressively overload by increasing your training weight. If you got 8 reps with 225lbs. last workout and you go up to 230lb. for 8 reps, you have progressively overloaded your body.

A third way to progressively overload is one that is often forgotten about. By performing the exact same workout, but in a shorter amount of time you have progressively overloaded your body. A good example of this would be in volume training where a trainer is performing 10 sets of 10 reps for a certain exercise. The first time they try it, they may need more rest between sets than as they progress through the program. Doing 10 sets of 10 with 275lb. in the squat with 1 minute rest between sets is much tougher than doing the same weight and reps with 1.5 minutes between sets.

When you are training to reshape your body or add additional muscle mass, never forget the progressive overload principle. I've seen many a trainer waste their workouts away year after year with little or no gains. The simple mistake is that they've either forgotten or don't have what it takes to utilize the progressive overload principle.

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