If you have been following this series, you know that I am shamelessly using my name as a tool for writing about fitness and how to get results. My last few posts have covered some principles if applied, can and will help you to be successful in your training. The last two weeks concepts are very closely related in fact in order for one to work the other must be true and so-on. The overcompensation principle is sort of the body’s adjustment to stress and this week’s principle is how last week’s thought works. (Click here to see it and the other preceding posts!)

This week’s commandment is how the action happens over time and is one of the most important parts of getting results: Progressive overload! You see just doing the same old same old thing will not lead to results. This is why most people never get much from their fitness training. Instead of stressing their body in their training, they seek comfort and ease and as a result their body sees it as rest. Then because there is no reason to adapt, it won’t; even sadder is the fact that sometimes the type of people even lose the results that they achieved before as a result of the lack of  progressive and intelligent difficulty in their workouts.

That is why you need a goal, then you need a plan. Because if you do, you will have a built-in progression, know when to back off(more on that later.) and so-on. As you have a goal you will have the determination to overload and the great news is that research shows us that if we have a focal point we perceive exercise to be less difficult! This can help you once  again with your need for progressive overload and corresponding results.

How does progressive overload work?

It is pretty simple but first allows me to tell a story to better help you understand it:

There is a story of a man named Milo and his bull. Milo decided that he would carry around his bull in order to get stronger. AS he did this act every day the bull grew as a result, he got progressively stronger.

That is a simple description of how it works, however, you have to be aware that we cannot always overload with external loading; otherwise every weight lifter would be able to lift millions of pounds. Which common sense would dictate that our connective tissue and skeletons would get destroyed by such loading.

So how then do we continue to get results?
Thankfully there is a bunch of ways to overload our body and get results;

  1. Shorten your rest and recovery period by 10 to 20 seconds.
    This will increase your eu-stress during the set due to not being fully recovered.
  2. Change the exercise to single arm or leg.
    This is pretty self-explanatory.
  3. Be more explosive on your movement.

Instead of doing the same old two or three seconds up and done with slow and controlled movements; go slow on the negative (eccentric) and up quick on the concentric. (exertion) Just please make sure that you have control as you do.

4. Make the range of motion deeper.
If this is possible and if you have the requisite mobility and stability to do so; good example of this is to do a deficit deadlift instead of from the floor.

  1. Use the same but different principle.

This is not variety for the sake of variety, but a calculated and goal driven approach to keep you moving towards your goals. A good example of this is using the kettlebell swing to help improve your deadlift or a sand bag front squat to improve your barbell squat and so-on.

This list is not exhaustive on how to continue to get results, however, if you used only these few principles you will get constant results form your training and help fight boredom a bit as well. Remember ” thou shalt overload!”

Stay tuned to this blog for more rants on these points and check out the previous posts as well!
  1. […] My Ten Fitness commandments part 7: Thou shalt Overload June 25, 2015 […]


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