Hey Angels and Alphas,
Progressive overload is one of the most important concepts to understand if you want to get results in the gym and avoid injury at the same time. It can be complicated, though, especially when you’re starting out in weightlifting.
There are so many ways to apply it to your workouts, which makes it easy to do it incorrectly without even realizing it! If you’re not sure how progressive overload works or how to use it correctly during your workouts, check out these seven tips that will help you do it right every time.
1) Is your intensity increasing?
Increasing your weight gradually is an important part of a progressive overload program. It should be done gradually, and it should be done consistently. For example, if you’re starting with a bench press of 45 pounds for 12 repetitions, then next time you should try 50 pounds for 10 repetitions. If your intensity isn’t increasing, then you’re probably not doing progressive overload correctly.
2) Are you working out more?
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I recently started lifting weights. It’s been really fun and challenging, but I’ve also learned that I need to do it in a certain way.
The thing is, that’s not always easy. If you’re like me, then you sometimes find yourself doing too much too soon or trying too hard when you should be easing into it a little more. And once you get overdoing things, it can take days or even weeks for your muscles to recover! That’s why I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to do progressive overload right!
3) Are you eating enough protein?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, and it’s a nutrient that your body needs in abundance. While there are many sources of protein, including animal products and plant-based options, if you’re looking for a place to start with incorporating more protein into your diet, we recommend opting for organic eggs.
You can purchase organic eggs at most grocery stores or your local farmers market. When cooking with eggs, try substituting whole eggs or egg whites for some of your favorite recipes and be sure to mix up the proteins you choose each day. For example:
4) Is your program flexible?
Flexibility is an important part of any progressive overload program. I’m a firm believer in doing the same workout routine for 4-6 weeks and then mixing things up.
This gives your body time to adapt, recover, and grow stronger without getting bored. My suggestion is if you are new to lifting weights or if you have a history of overuse injuries, start with one lift per day (bench press, squat, deadlift). After 3-4 weeks add in a second lift.
Alternatively you could do three workouts per week rotating between two lifts each day (Monday bench press and squats, Tuesday deadlifts and bench presses).
5) Are you doing smart active rest?
One of the most important things you can do for your workout routine is smart active rest. Listen, working out every day and pushing yourself as hard as you can, every single time is not going to be sustainable over time.
I get it – sometimes all you want is a break from all that hard work. But you need more than just a break – you need active rest.
6) Are you tracking properly?
If you’re not tracking your progress, how do you know if what you’re doing is working? Unless you’re measuring your results, there’s no way to tell if you’re building muscle or just wasting your time.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort at all to track progress. All you need is a notebook and a pen. The first thing I recommend is recording an initial baseline weight for each exercise on Day One of your workout program.
To do this, write down how much weight feels lightest and most comfortable when doing an exercise like bench press or leg extension.