Progressive Overload: How To ACTUALLY Build Muscle

Progressive Overload


Building muscle is one of the most common fitness goals, and arguably one of the most challenging to achieve. Everyday there are new studies coming out claiming new theories on the fastest way to build muscle, and there are tons of different ways you can achieve this goal.

You can build muscle by doing Bodybuilding, Crossfit, HIIT, Boxing, and other types of workouts. Although there are tons of ways to go about achieving your goal of building up some muscle, there is one thing that will always remain the same within all these styles of training; progressive overload.

Progressive Overload pretty much explains itself, you need to be progressing in intensity, weight, or movement over time, in order to keep building muscle. If you aren’t keeping track of how many calories you’re burning, how many repetitions you’ve done, and how much weight you lifted in previous weeks, you will not be able to assess whether or not you are actually getting stronger.

A simple concept, that is often brushed off as not a big deal. You may think as long as you’re pushing yourself in the gym, that you will build muscle eventually. This may be true for some, but for many, you will end up falling into the same routine, lifting the same amount of weight, and doing the same amount of intensity during your workouts. This will effect long term progress, and make it challenging for you to build the muscle you are working so hard to get!

Progressive overload example:

Month One

Bench Press:

Week 1: 95lbs 10 reps

Week 2: 100lbs 8 reps

Week 3: 105lbs 6 reps

Week 4: 110lbs 4 reps

Month Two

Bench Press:

Week 1: 100lbs 10 reps

Week 2: 105lbs 8 reps

Week 3: 110lbs 6 reps

Week 4: 115lbs 4 reps

As you can see, the client made sure he was progressing with weight during month 2, this may seem simple but you need to be keeping track in order to make progress. Innovative Health and Fitness recommends that you buy a notebook or download the app called Rep Count to keep track of every workout you do, and how much weight you lifted for reps. This will help you remember that you need to add weight for the following workouts, and assure you are making progress towards the never ending journey of building muscle!

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