It’s week three and today we’re challenging you to progress your workout. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the demands on your muscles in order to gain strength, endurance and increase muscle size. It’s important to continually challenge yourself so your body adapts to a tension above and beyond what it has previously experienced to avoid plateaus.
When is it time to progress?
The exercise begins to feel easy
You don’t feel tired towards the end of the recommended sets and repetitions
You can comfortably inhale and exhale during exercise
Variables to consider when progressing your workout:
*pick one or two variables to manipulate over time to keep your workout challenging and effective.
Increase the number of sets per exercise
Increase repetitions pet set
Increase exercise frequency
Decrease repetition speed/tempo
Decrease rest time between sets or exercises for muscular endurance improvements
When you can comfortably achieve the “upper limit” of the prescribed repetition range on your last set, for example, 12 to 15 reps, training loads may be increased (e.g. by~5-10%) so no more than 12 reps are completed without fatigue.
When should I regress?
You should regress if you’re experiencing pain of any kind. Listen to your body. Don’t ignore a sharp pain, shooting sensation, or a certain movement consistently making you wince. Common sites of pain are the knees from jumping and the low back when incorrectly performing core exercises.
You should also regress if you have poor form. Remember, the goal of exercise is to get healthy and stay injury free. Neglecting to correct form puts you at risk for injury. Think quality repetitions over quantity.
Sometimes the biggest obstacle to listening to your body and adjusting your workout to get back to basics can be your own ego. Remember - pushing through pain or discomfort could lead to a serious situation in which you won’t be able to work out at all.