Progressive Overload: Lose the rigid thinking

Some of you are obsessed with having to increase the weight on the bar every session, every week, every other week, or in some regular pattern that you can track, define and put in a nice neat box with a pretty bow.

Like weight loss/gain, you fail to understand that these things are not always linear (rarely are) and often do not follow ANY pattern. In fact, most things with respect to the human body do not follow any standard or method.

We. Are. Not. Machines.

Like I always say: there are many ways to skin a cat and many ways to overload the muscle to stimulate growth BESIDES simply adding weight to the bar in a linear fashion.

And remember, progress is cumulative; it’s about what happens over the course of a lifter’s career. In the beginning, it will happen faster and more regularly. However, as you become more advanced, ‘progress’ will slow. So start thinking big picture and stop missing the forest for the trees.

Stop obsessing about every little minor detail.

Stop trying to fit your individual and unique progress into man-made formulas.

Stop micromanaging every lift/session as if your growth/strength depends on it (hint, it doesn’t)

Stop trying to make predictions about when and where your body transformation will end up. (hint, it never arrives- it’s ongoing)

Stop comparing your progress to others – you have different DNA. (plus, they may have ‘assistance’)

Start concentrating on form over adding weight until form is perfected.

Work on form, then ROM, then increasing reps, then load (in that order)

Start understanding you have your own unique DNA which will greatly affect your ability to make gains.

Start being your own ‘body goals.’

Start enjoying the process and the journey. SLOW DOWN

Start seeing progress as something to be measured over time.

Here are 12 practical ways you can practice progressive overload: (taken from the Brett Contreras’ article “10 rules of progressive overload“)

✳️ Lifting the same load for increased distance (range of motion)

✳️ Lifting the same load and volume with better form, more control, and less effort (efficiency)

✳️ Lifting the same load for more reps (volume)

✳️ Lifting heavier loads (intensity of load)

✳️ Lifting the same load and volume with less rest time in between sets (density)

✳️ Lifting a load with more speed and acceleration (intensity of effort)

✳️ Doing more work in the same amount of time (density)

✳️ Doing the same work in less amount of time (density)

✳️ Doing more sets with the same load and reps (volume)

✳️ Lifting the same load and volume more often throughout the week (frequency)

✳️ Doing the same work while losing body mass (increased relative volume)

✳️ Lifting the same load and volume and then extending the set past technical failure with forced reps, negatives, drop sets, static holds, rest pause, partial reps, or post-exhaustion (intensity of effort)

Now on to #liftingheavyshit and FFS stop agonizing over every silly detail!

See the thread here to join the discussion


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