Progressive Overload Training: The Science of Getting Stronger and Key to Long-Term Fitness
View Post
Learn the science behind progressive overload training and how it can help you get stronger and achieve your fitness goals. This video covers everything from the basics to advanced concepts, so whether you're a beginner or a seasoned lifter, you'll find something valuable here.

Progressive Overload Training A Journey into the Muscle Landscape 

Are you familiar with the mythical story of Milo of Croton, an ancient Greek athlete from the 6th century BC who reportedly carried a newborn calf on his shoulders every day. And as the calf grew into a full sized bull, so did Milo's strength. Sounds incredible, doesn't it? This ancient legend perfectly illustrates the concept we're diving into today. The bedrock of modern fitness, progressive overload training.

 This cornerstone of exercise science isn't some shiny new trend. 

Welcome back to the channel IgnyteFit fam. So happy to see you here. Today we're exploring progressive overload, a revolutionary training principle that's as timeless as Milo's story. Don't mistake it for a fleeting fitness trend. It is in fact a foundational component of exercise science. So it's very much here to stay. 

Its roots trace back to the World War II era, finding its scientific footing in the work of Dr. Thomas DeLorme. He used this very principle for rehabilitating injured soldiers, setting a precedent for what would later evolve into a cornerstone of fitness training.

The origin story of progressive overload. So let's rewind to a 1940s gym. I want you to imagine rusty dumbbells, sand filled weight plates, and an air thick with resilience and grit. It's here, amid the clanging of iron and the determined grunts of war veterans, that progressive overload emerged.

Dr. DeLorme found that by progressively increasing the weights used by his patients, they regained their strength faster.

Each lift, each extra pound was a challenge. A stressor for the body to overcome. And guess what? The body adapted. It got stronger, able to lift that specific weight more easily.

But the magic didn't stop there. As our bodies adapt to stress, we need to up the ante to continue growing. More weight, more reps, or more frequent training sessions. That's progressive overload. Progressive overload, the muscle whisperer. Why does progressive overload matter so very much?

A study by Ratamess et al. demonstrated its pivotal role in increasing strength and muscle mass. When you lift weights, you're not just pumping iron, you're causing microscopic damage to your muscles. The body, being the wonderful healing machine that it is, thank you body, repairs these muscles, making them stronger and larger. This is muscle hypertrophy. It's like the story of the three little pigs.

The wolf, or in this case, the weights, huffs and puffs and blows the muscle house down. But each time it's rebuilt, it's stronger than before. That is, of course, if the wolf keeps huffing and puffing harder each and every time. If the stress does not increase, the body says, I've got this, I can do this, and it stops adapting.

Hence, no progress.

Mastering the Art of Progressive Overload 

You're now probably asking, How can I use progressive overload to my advantage? Well, there's no one size fits all approach here. Tailoring the method to your goals, your needs, and your abilities is crucial. This comes from a study by Fleck and Kraemer. Let's run through some examples. Meet Jane. She's just starting her strength training journey. We're taking a simple approach each week. We're adding a little more weight to the bar. 

This is the essence of linear periodization. It's like climbing a hill. With each step, Jane ascends higher. It's a suitable strategy for novices, gradually laying the foundation for their strength training. 

Now, on the other hand, meet John. He's been lifting weights for years. For him, we're changing not just the weight, but also the volume, the intensity, and the exercise selection over time. This strategy, known as non linear periodization, is like navigating through hilly terrain, ups and downs and everything in between.

 It's a challenging journey, but it's what experienced athletes like John need for continued growth. And this comes from a study, and we can see this from a study done by Miranda et al. 2011.

The Power of Progressive Overload. The Power of Progressive Overload. Progressive overload is like a trusted compass, guiding you through the vast landscape of fitness. Without it, you might find yourself wandering aimlessly, not knowing if the next step will take you closer to your goal or lead you further astray.

But with progressive overload training, each step you take, each weight you lift, each bead of sweat you shed takes you closer to becoming your strongest self.

Alright let's go back to Jane. So you remember Jane? She started lifting just a barbell. Today she's squatting 100 pounds. And that is the beauty of progressive overload training. It's much more than just a training principle. It's a testament to human adaptability and our capacity for growth.

So let's take another look here at John. He hit a plateau some months ago. But by shaking things up, increasing intensity here, adding volume there, he smashed through his plateau and is now lifting heavier than ever before.

Non linear periodization. The bigger, bolder cousin of linear periodization brings an element of unpredictability that keeps seasoned athletes like John engaged and drives continuous improvement.

Progressive Overload, the champion of long term fitness. 

The story of Progressive Overload is the story of our bodies. Resilient, adaptable, and capable of incredible things. Whether you're taking your first step into the gym, like Jane, or you've lost count of the number of steps you've taken, like John, remember this. It's not just about lifting weights. It's about lifting yourself progressively.

Progressive overload, the quiet but powerful engine driving our progress in strength and muscle development, is not a secret, but a scientifically proven principle. Our fitness journey is a marathon, it's not a sprint, and the guiding principle of progressive overload ensures that we keep moving forward one rep at a time.

Thanks so much for joining me. Make sure you pick up some dumbbells, pick up that barbell, and progressively overload. I'll see you in the next one IgnyteFit fam. Thank you so much. See you then. Bye for now.

Thank you for reading!!

View More Posts