To gain muscle while participating in weight training exercises, the act of increasing weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your routine is what is known as progressive overload. For someone who has the goal of gaining muscle, but is not familiar with working out, they may notice minimal “gains” and could be set back by this. They may also notice “plateauing” which is where the body adapts to the exercise and muscle growth halts. Here are 3 ways to incorporate progressive overload in your strength training routine for optimal muscle growth!
Increase weight volume
The easiest way to ensure muscular growth in any set of muscle group is by simply adding heavier weight than the week prior. However, it is important to know that having proper form while increasing weight is key in muscle development. For example, if you can do a 100-pound squat, the following training session, you may be able to do 105 pounds.
It’s as simple as it sounds – increase as many reps as you can during your workout session. To do this, aiming to muscle failure (where you cannot do anymore reps), and not compromising your form, will cause muscle hypertrophy. For strength, aim for an extra 3-8 rep range, and occasionally try to reach your 1 rep maximum, the max amount of weight you can lift for one rep.
Change one thing at a time
Muscle growth takes time! Changing it up too much can cause injuries. Increasing weight and reps simultaneously may be harder on your body and not beneficial in the long run.
Don’t forget your basic warm-ups, rest days, and nutrition in your routine and your results will soon show!
Written by GUADS intern Carla with contributions from www.healthline.com