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Progressive Overload for Training

Updated: Feb 22

Progressive overload is a key principle in strength training that involves gradually increasing the demands placed on your muscles over time. This means you progressively increase the weight, reps, sets, or intensity of your workout as your body adapts to the stress of your current routine.
The principle of progressive overload is based on the idea that your muscles will only grow and get stronger when they are forced to work harder than they are used to. By gradually increasing the workload, you create a consistent and sustained stimulus for your muscles to adapt and grow stronger. Now, this doesn't mean lifting like an absolute animal in every session. Its about sustainability in your training and not burning out and creating excessive fatigue.
For example, if you are doing bicep curls with 10kg dumbbells, and you can comfortably complete 3 sets of 12 reps, you would increase the weight to 12.5 or 15 kg for the next workout. This increased weight places more stress on your biceps and forces them to work harder to complete the same number of reps. Over time, as your muscles adapt to this increased workload, you will need to continue to increase the weight to continue to see progress. The same applies to weightlifting. This is why in our 12 week Weightlifting program we increase the weight gradually over 3 weeks before de-loading and testing our max in week 4.
It's important to note that progressive overload should be done gradually and with care to prevent injury. A general guideline is to increase the workload anywhere from 2-7% per week. Yes, that small! Additionally, it's important to ensure proper form and technique when increasing the workload to prevent injury and maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. Using small increments allows the body to complete the prescribed sets, reps, and weight without putting you at risk of injury, and ensuring you have the energy to complete the next days training.

Happy Lifting!


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