Unless you’re a certified trainer, the very best way to incorporate progressive overload training is to work with an expert who can write you a program that takes your goals, schedule and current fitness level and lifts in mind.
But if that’s out of your price range or you’re do it yourself-er, the best way to incorporate progressive overload into your workout. The answer is simple: Go heavier. “If you want to get stronger, you need to add weight and not be afraid to challenge yourself.”
Work within the 5 to 8 rep range. Pick a rep count for the day, warm up, load up the bar and get lifting. If the first set you can do more than 8 reps, add weight. Continue doing so until you’ve found a weight that you couldn’t squeeze out even one more rep at. Complete 5 sets at this weight, resting at least two minutes between sets. “After each set you’ll feel your muscles shaking, which signals that you’re activating those muscle fibers.”
Follow this protocol once or twice a week, and six to eight weeks from now, if you add more weight (I suggest 5 pounds), chances are, you’ll be able to hit it. If you’ve run out of change plates or simply don’t want to lift heavy, then you might also incorporate progressive overloading by adding more reps, going at a slower tempo or ramping up the intensity.
Adding more reps is pretty self-explanatory. If 5 reps at a certain weight has gotten easy and you have more reps left in the tank, increase the number of reps! Just note that once you get into the 12 and up rep range, you’re working on muscle endurance, not strength.
Slowing down the tempo — for instance, lowering into a squat at a 3-second tempo or pausing in the hole for a 2-seconds — is another option. “Going slowly increases the time your muscle-fibers are under tension, which increases the mechanical damage. More mechanical damage leads to stronger muscles (after repair, of course).
As for ramping up the intensity, there are a few ways to do it. You might combine the move with that works the same muscle groups to create a compound superset workout. You might compound the movement with exercises that work opposing muscle groups and create an AMRAP. Or, you might minimize rest by going every minute on the minute (aka EMOM).
Ready to get stronger and put on lean muscle mass? Contact me for your free consultation today. Make it a great day!!!