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Progressive Overload Principle

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One of the most basic principles in building the body and getting muscle to grow is the progressive overload principle. Your muscles won't grow unless you force them to grow. But they also won't grow if you try to force them too much and too fast. To address this factor, the bodybuilding world has come up with what is called the "progressive overload principle."

The progressive overload principle has been called the single most important factor for starting muscle gains going. The progressive overload principle is that the muscle must be stimulated beyond the previous level of stimulation in order for it to grow.

Incremental Increases

In order to make the progressive overload principle work successfully, you don't want to put too much of a bigger load on the muscles. You want to get it just right. And you do this by incrementally increasing the weight load (or distance or speed or whatever if you are using road work or cardio, etc.). For weightlifting you want to add a slight bit more weight, an increase that is incrementally more than an earlier load.

The other kicker here is that you only want to increase the load when you are ready for it. That may mean in the next couple of workouts, or it may translate into ten workouts Whenever you have mastered the weight load at one level, then you are ready for an increase. And that's the progressive overload principle in a nutshell. The challenge is knowing when to increase the weight, knowing really when you have mastered the weight load. Typically when you can perform the final few reps of a workout and they are not that tough, its time to move up to a level that is tough.

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Progressive Overload Principle

Disclaimer: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult with a physician prior to use. Individual results may vary. Not for use by individuals under 21 years of age.
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