The Progressive Overload Principle
Let’s talk about stress. Your body only knows one thing: to keep you alive and functioning for everyday life as efficiently as possible. It doesn’t care that you have goals in mind or that you want to look good, it’s literally just trying to keep you moving forward one breath at a time. And to ensure it’s main goal, your body is smart enough and capable enough to do whatever is needed to adapt to its environment, including stress.
The Overload Principle:
“In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced.”
Your body WILL NOT change, unless you force it to!
Mainly meaning, no matter how “perfect” your workout routine is, performance will not improve unless you show your body what it NEEDS to do to survive.
The progressive overload means that if you lift the same weights for the same sets and reps for months on end, your body will never change. But, if you increase the demands on your body by increasing weight, your body doesn’t have a choice but to make necessary changes and improvements to adapt to the new stress to be capable of performing those tasks.
When you’re increasing TENSION, you’re increasing DEMANDS, which requires your body to do more!
While it seems like something tiny, it’s exactly what you need to do to tell your body that it needs to improve. This is why people that don’t change up any of their lifts or weights don’t progress and look the exact same as they did when they started lifting!
Note that progressive overload is not something that needs to be done during every lift every day, but it’s something that needs to happen in order for your body to make necessary changes. It’s the only way that you’ll build more muscle, gain strength, tone up, and flat out improve performance!
Too many athletes get complacent with “maintaining”, which in my opinion (coming from an ex-athlete) is something that I had heard and did, and watched a career end.
Seeing what I have seen in the last three years that i have been here at DST, you NEED progressive overload to advance to the next level!