You're training hard, showing up for the sessions where you'd rather be elsewhere. How do you know if the hard work is paying off? To sum it up in one word, "Overload." You need to progress our training by making it slightly more challenging over time. By doing that, you force your body to adapt, creating growth. Then by measuring that progress, you can test to see if your program is helping you progress, or keeping you stagnant.
In short, you overload training by:
- Lifting more weight
- Doing more reps/sets
- Resting less
Today, I'll dive a little deeper into each method of overload so you can see if your training stands by these principles.
Ways to know you're progressing
You're lifting more weight
Adding more weight to your lifts over time is the tried and true way to know if you're getting stronger. With squats, it could look like 10 reps @50lbs one week, then 10 reps @70lbs the next week.
You're doing more reps/sets
Performing more reps of a movement, or more sets = more total workload. Continuing with the squats example:
Week 1: 3 Sets of 10 Squats @50lbs
Week 2: 4 Sets of 10 Squats @50lbs
By doing that extra set on week 2, we know we did more work (10 extra reps to be exact)
You're taking less rest
Doing the same amount of work in less time means progress in strength endurance.
Week 1: 4 Sets of 12 Squats; Rest 2 Min
Week 2: 4 Sets of 12 Squats; Rest 90 Secs
By reducing rest time, you're performing more work overall. We also call this density, but more work in less time is the key.
Do you even Overload?
If your training does one of the above it means you're creating growth by progressively overloading your body. If your training is NOT reflecting this, you'd want to look at your training consistency, and recovery (stress, nutrition, sleep)
With that said, I hope your training is leading you to progress 🙏🏾