Progressive Overload Workout Plan
If one goes online to look for a new workout plan it certainly can be confusing. First we need to establish that our specific goal or objective uses the frequency, intensity and volume required to ensure the best rests. But that is just the start of the problem when working out the most effective way to train.
Choosing between high or low volume, low reps or high reps, supersets, tri-sets, giant sets and negatives are just part of the problem. We also need to decide whether to do rest/pause training, drop sets and countless other options when putting together a workout schedule.
Somehow we seem to have forgotten the reason we started training in the first place. Gaining muscle is all about progressive overload. This simple law explains that in order for a muscle to increase in strength or size the body needs to be forced to adapt to the specific tension applied that is above and beyond what has been previously experienced.
This is why the bodybuilding experts all tell us that the only way to get consistent results is to train outside of your comfort zone. If you do not train to the point of failure or close to it, you will never be able to progress. This means that we have to make sure that we are pushing to the max every time we train.
It does NOT mean that if you cannot lift a heavier weight than you lifted the last time you trained that you have wasted your time. Progressive resistance comes from a long term plan and keeping a workout diary will help you plot this. There are a few basic steps to ensure progressive resistance is always maintained.
Progressive resistance is achieved if you can lift a heavier weight that you could last week then you are on the right track, even if it is only by 5 pounds. If you can increase the amount of reps and/or sets using the same weight or you are able to reduce the rest time between sets you will gain muscle and strength.
Any type of variation you introduce into a movement to make it more difficult or more challenging, for example rest/pause training will increase your progressive resistance. There are other ways to ensure that you are adhering to the laws of progressive resistance.
Let's say that you have been doing 3 X 10 squats with 100kg and 3 X 10 bench-press with 100kg. When you start your workout you need to get into the mindset that you are looking to train outside of your comfort zone. There are a number of options available to ensure that you push to your max.
You could try squatting with 105kg and do 10 reps or you could reduce the normal rest time taken between sets. You could also make the 100kg that you are lifting a little more difficult by slowing down on the eccentric movement. If you are able to do one more rep with the same weight you lifted last time you would have qualified for adhering to the law of progressive resistance.