Understanding Progressive Overload Weight Training

August 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Weight Training

Article by Emily Louisa

Understanding Progressive Overload Weight Training – Health – Fitness

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A commonly used method of weight training for building muscle and strength is called progressive overload. This involves forcing the muscles to lift heavier and heavier weight, thus forcing the muscles to become stronger and larger. Muscles will not normally become larger unless they are forced to do so by increasing the demands on them.

There are various ways to achieve progressive overload:Increase the amount of weight being lifted.Increase the number of repetitions in each set.Increase the number of sets you do per exercise.Decrease the amount of time you rest between sets.Increase the negative resistance.Negative resistance pertains to the returning of the weight to the starting point at which the next repetition will begin. For instance with curls, after you have lifted the weight, as you let it back down, this is the negative resistance. Positive resistance is the lifting of the weight, and negative resistance is the letting down of the weight. The speed at which you return to the starting point prior to starting the next repetition has a huge impact on the number of repetitions you do and the demand on the muscles.

If you return the weight in a very controlled and slow manner, you are working the muscle much harder than if you just let the weight drop and quickly start the next repetition. You will be doing fewer repetitions when you increase the negative resistance by letting the weight down more slowly.

It is important to realize that the the amount of weight you can lift, and the number of repetitions you are able to do are so dependent on how slowly you let the weight back down, and how long you rest between sets. Less rest time as well as increased negative resistance will lead to a reduction in the actual amount of weight you are lifting, but you are still progressively overloading and building your muscles. How well you breath during your workout is also a factor. You should be exhaling as you are lifting, and inhaling as you are letting the weight back down.

So you can increase the demands on your muscles in several ways. See what you like best and what you are able to tolerate. If you want to build muscle, but are in a hurry to get through your workout like me, then decrease the rest time between sets. You will still have an effective workout, but will save time by not resting for so long.

Be sure you are honestly working your muscles to the overload point with every set though, or else you are just wasting much of your time and effort. I finish each set by letting the weight down slowly to about the halfway point, then I hold it there as long as possible until I can’t hold it any longer and it just starts dropping no matter how hard I try to stop it.

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Learn exactly how to absolutely optimize 7 of your body’s most powerful muscle growth and fat burning hormones.5 easy tips to skyrocket your Testosterone levels.

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Emily Louisa



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Learn exactly how to absolutely optimize 7 of your body’s most powerful muscle growth and fat burning hormones.5 easy tips to skyrocket your Testosterone levels.












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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