Progressive Overload and Muscle Growth

This blog will focus on a couple of things to reduce the occurrence of plateaus in strength and hypertrophy training results.

Weight training is a stimulus to the endocrine (hormonal), neurological and musculoskeletal systems, among others.

The body generally likes to stay at homeostasis (the same) because it is more energy efficient. However, when the right STIMULUS is applied, such as the right training program for YOU, the body adapts during the recovery period. It does this in order to cope with the perceived threat.

It is really when program volume and or density (sets, reps, load) to the muscles is increasing session by session, week by week, that the body responds by growing muscle and increasing neurological strength.

However, if this perceived threat remains the same without change for too long, the body may actually lay down its defences, resulting in fatigue, sickness and injury. This is where taking a week to deload the total volume and or density has its benefits. Then, the body is given a chance to repair and regenerate, literally.

In fact, many lifters will report feeling a lot stronger on their first week back from a deload period. This has been termed the “super-compensation” effect, where the body actually gets stronger with active rest.

The challenge then, is creating a lifting program for YOU and YOUR body that will allow room to progressively overload, (where you won’t use all of your progressive overload credits in the first week or two). I.e not hitting your peak too early, so that you can still amplify the workouts in coming weeks.

Plus, adding an appropriate deload period. Mind us, this seed requires fertile soil: optimum nutrition and sleep is paramount.

In sum, working smarter to a plan will actually increase results and reduce the chances of physiological burnout. The medical doctor Han Seyle described this whole process as the General Adaptation Syndrome. This will be examined again in another blog.

Feel free to message me for free, non-obligatory and GENERAL health advice.

Our appointments at Destiny Health run on the hour, and we offer gym program prescription as one of our services.

Live your best life, Evan.

Destiny Health.

‘Goals Make Destiny’

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