Definition of the Progressive Overload Principle

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The progressive overload principle is a concept central to many forms of strength training. Incrementally increasing levels of stress are applied during each exercise session, and over the course of successive workouts. The principle is most often used in any of the various forms of weight training, since increasing weight for exercises from workout to workout is a simple way to achieve progressive overload.

Pushing Plateaus

  • Progressive overload efficiently breaks down existing muscle tissue that regenerates with increased thickness and weight-bearing capacity. When employing the progressive overload principle, carefully track the amount of weight you use for each exercise during a workout. In the following workout with those same exercises, perform each using slightly more weight, and continue in this fashion. Progressive overload must be used carefully, with a workout plan that provides enough rest time in between workouts to allow full muscle recovery.

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