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MAke more Gains at the gym

Progressive overload is a crucial concept in strength training, and it refers to the gradual increase in the demands placed on the body during exercise. This increase can take the form of more weight, more reps, or more sets, and it is essential for achieving gains in muscle size and strength.

The origins of progressive overload research can be traced back to the early 20th century with the work of German scientist and physician, Dr. Max Schwarzenbach. In his research, Dr. Schwarzenbach discovered that by gradually increasing the weight lifted during strength training, he was able to elicit a response from the body that led to increased strength and muscle size. This marked the first recorded instance of progressive overload being used in exercise science.

From there, the concept of progressive overload was further developed and refined by other researchers in the field. One notable figure was Dr. Thomas Delorme, an American physician who is credited with introducing the idea of performing multiple sets of exercises in order to achieve greater strength gains. This was in contrast to the traditional approach of performing only a single set of each exercise at the time.

Fast forward to the present day and Brad Schoenfeld, the leading expert in the muscle hypertrophy, has extensively researched the topic of progressive overload and its effects on the body. In his studies, Schoenfeld and his colleagues have consistently found that progressive overload is necessary for stimulating muscle growth and increasing strength.

One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined the effects of different training protocols on muscle growth and strength. The researchers found that a training program that included progressive overload was more effective at increasing muscle size and strength compared to a program without progressive overload.

Another study published in the same journal looked at the effects of different rep ranges on muscle growth. The researchers found that performing higher reps (15-20) with lighter weights led to similar gains in muscle size compared to performing lower reps (8-12) with heavier weights, as long as progressive overload was applied in both cases. Overall, the research on progressive overload is clear: it is a crucial component of any strength training program. By gradually increasing the demands placed on the body during exercise, you can stimulate muscle growth and increase strength. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete, incorporating progressive overload into your training routine is essential for achieving your fitness goals. However, it's important to remember that progressive overload should be applied gradually and with caution. It's easy to become overzealous and try to increase the weight, reps, or sets too quickly, which can lead to injury. It's always best to consult with a certified personal trainer or exercise professional who can help you design a training program that incorporates progressive overload safely and effectively.

One way to apply progressive overload in your training is to increase the weight lifted for a given exercise. For example, if you're currently bench pressing 100kgs for 8 reps, you could aim to increase the weight to 102.5kg pounds for your next training session. As you become stronger and are able to handle the heavier weight, you can continue to increase the weight in small increments. This will challenge your muscles and force them to adapt, leading to increased strength and muscle size. This is why we make sure all our members track their training sessions so we can ensure weight is gradually added to the bar.

Another way to apply progressive overload is to increase the number of reps you perform for a given exercise. For example, if you're currently performing 3 sets of 10 reps for hip thrusts, you could aim to increase the number of reps to 12 or even 15 for the the next month of your training. As you become able to handle the higher number of reps, you can continue to increase the reps or add an additional set. This will also challenge your muscles and force them to adapt, leading to increased strength and muscle size. This is one of reasons at Gym Geek we vary the rep schemes in your programs from month to month or program to program.


It's important to note that progressive overload isn't just about increasing the weight or reps; it can also involve increasing the number of sets you perform, the amount of time you spend exercising, or the intensity of the exercise. For example, if you're currently running at a steady pace on the treadmill for 30 minutes, you could aim to increase the incline or speed to make the exercise more challenging. As you become able to handle the higher intensity, you can continue to increase it gradually.

In conclusion, progressive overload is a crucial concept in strength training that can help you achieve your fitness goals. By gradually increasing the demands placed on your body during exercise, you can stimulate muscle growth and increase strength. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete, incorporating progressive overload into your training routine is essential for achieving your fitness goals. Just remember to apply it gradually and with caution to avoid injury.


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