It can be exciting yet a little nerve wracking to start a fitness journey! You may have been out of the gym for a year or longer and the thought of starting over can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? What should you be doing?
This is one of the reasons why many people quit or give up; they aren’t seeing results or are overwhelmed with what it takes to reach their goals.
Don’t let fitness impact your life negatively! Fitness should benefit and add positivity to your life, not take away from it.
We are going to explain to you the principle of progressive overload, and how this one principle can change your outlook on fitness and show you how fitness is achieved through exercise!
What is Progressive Overload?
Progressive overload is defined as the gradual increase of stress on the musculoskeletal and nervous system. In “non fancy terms,” it is the idea of progressing each week/month in your fitness in order to get more benefit out of your exercise.
Progressive overload is what allows athletes to become the best in the world, whether that’s bodybuilding or marathon running. It helps prevent plateaus and allows the athlete to improve without getting stuck!
The human body is much stronger than we think and is designed to adapt to the stress our environment places upon it. This is what has allowed the human race to survive for so long. Our ability to adapt and become fitter is unmatched by any other species on the planet.
How does it work?
The best way to explain progressive overload is through examples.
At the beginning of his fitness journey, Bill is unable to perform a body squat as his core is not strong enough to keep him upright. Bill practices body squats for the next 3 months with his coach.
In 3 months, Bill can now squat with good form and even use a 30lb Dumbell when squatting. Bill practices weighted squats with his trainer for an additional 2 months.
In 5 months, Bill can now squat with even better form and can now squat with a 80lb Dumbbell. Bill is extremely excited about his lower body muscular development as well.
Over time, Bill’s body has adapted the movement of squatting. The gradual increase in strength has also caused the muscles in his lower body to adapt to the stress, which resulted in awesome quad and hamstring development!
Learn more about how Progressive Overload works by reading this article by NASM
Progressive Overload for fat loss?
Looking to lose fat? Let’s take a look at another example.
Victoria is looking to lose 50lbs in a year. Victoria has never been on an exercise program before. Her trainer starts her off by having her complete 3 short walks a week, walking 1-2 miles.
Victoria is looking to get into running. During the first few weeks of her fitness journey, Victoria attempts to run a mile. She completes the mile in 20 minutes and is completely exhausted with her heart rate at a very high level.
After more training with her coach, Victoria attempts to run a mile again 3 months later. She completes this mile in 12 minutes and is tired, but not exhausted.
After additional training for the next 2 months with her coach, Victoria can now complete an 8 minute mile without much trouble.
If we compare Victoria to her starting physical condition, Victoria can run over twice the distance in the same time frame with less difficulty. Therefore, she can burn twice the calories for less work.
This is why professional athletes are able to stay lean and fit year around. They are able to perform a high volume of exercise everyday, week after week with a very high intensity because their bodies have adapted to the stress placed upon it.
The more you can accomplish within a shorter amount of time, the easier it becomes to reach your fitness goals!
Tracking your Fitness
Everytime you come into the gym, have a goal you are looking to achieve. Are you looking to lift a heavier weight? Run or row a little bit farther?
During semi-private training sessions, our coaches can keep track of your progress in and outside of the gym and assess how you are doing. This allows our coaches to make adjustments to your exercise or nutrition depending on what your progression is like.
The more progressive overload you achieve in the gym, the more carry over you are going to see in your physique. As long as you are exercising regularly and eating correctly, you will see changes in your body over time, eventually reaching your goal!
If you are ready to see those changes you’ve been wanting, don’t wait any longer! Get started on our semi-private program with our top tier fitness coaches! Visit our WHAT WE OFFER page to learn more about our Semi-Private Program!