Progressive Overload | Science-based Natural Bodybuilding | Basics of Training (Ep.2)
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Yo what’s up! Dr. Swole here with our
second video in the series Basics of Training. In this video I’ll be teaching
you about progressive overload Progressive overload can be defined as
your ability to lift heavier weights in a given rep range over time. Basically
when you go to the gym and you train your muscle you apply a stimulus that
stresses the muscle and signals it to adapt. Ideally this results in muscle
growth or hypertrophy. Now in bodybuilding I think that the best way
to see that you are progressing in terms of growing muscle is to track your
ability to progressively overload in the hypertrophy rep range. What that means is we should be aiming to progress over your multiset 6-12 rep max. So what
does that mean? Basically, over time you should be able to lift more weight over
the 6-12 rep range for multiple sets in an exercise. Let’s go a little bit
deeper into this. The reason why I say 6-12 rep max is because if you go below
with that rep range, in the 1-5 rep max range, you can increase your strength but not really see hypertrophy. We see this in powerlifters where there are
actually a number of lifters who can, say deadlift 700 or more pounds but they
don’t have very much muscle on them. Why is that? It’s because you can train the
muscle to have better neuromuscular efficiency. In other words, you can train
your body to recruit muscle fibers more effectively, which allows you to lift
more weight but not necessarily get bigger. The reason I say multiset 6 to 12
rep max is because hypertrophy is related to the total amount of volume
you do a for a session. Say you hit one set of 10 really hard and you set a PR
for that 10 rep maximum but the rest of your workout falls off and you use a lot
less weight, fewer reps; your total volume for that session is still lower. So we’ll
talk a little bit more volume later but in terms of looking at
progressive overload we should be tracking our progress over multiple sets.
Now how do we apply progressive overload? I think the best way is to strive to add
a rep a little bit of weight or a set with each workout or as frequently as
you can. Let’s say for a chest workout you’re bench pressing for 5 sets of 10
reps at a hundred pounds. Say the next week you’re able to do 11 reps for all
of those 5 sets at 100 pounds. That would be progressive overload. Similarly
let’s say you did 5 sets of 10 reps again but with 105 pounds: that is also
progressive overload. Both of those measures are probably indicating that
you’re gaining muscle. I would also mention that you should be seeing
progressive overload over all of your exercises so in the last example say you
progressed over your benchpress you should also be seeing progress over your other
exercises. How frequently you can progress in the amount of volume you do depends
on your training age. As a rank beginner I would strongly encourage that athletes
try to add a rep or an incremental amount of weight every session because
they are often able to progress at this fast rate. Obviously, we want to progress
as quickly as possible in the gym to get the best gains. As you find yourself
getting into a more intermediate stage you may only be able to add weight or a
rep every week or every month. I would suggest that to facilitate progressive
overload you should track your reps and sets for every workout. The reason I do
this is because I can look back and compare my performance to the past and
even the far past, which really lets me know if I am progressing or not. The way
I do this is simply by writing all my reps and sets in a notebook you can also
do this on the phone or on an excel sheet. Lastly I would
remind you of the importance of progressive overload. In our staircase of
training priorities as we talked about in the last video. Since progressive
overload has so much priority at the base of the staircase we should be
thinking about it we look at all the other training
variables in our program. In other words when you look at those other concepts
training volume, training intensity, exercise selection, you should be setting
all of those other variables in a way that allows you to progressively
overload as best as possible. Thanks for watching the video guys. Make sure you
subscribe, like the video, give me a comment and we’ll see you next time!

4 thoughts on “Progressive Overload | Science-based Natural Bodybuilding | Basics of Training (Ep.2)

  1. I put you on 1.5 speed and was amazed at how clearly I could still follow. Even though the concepts you talk about are known to me I think this is very good summarisation of the facts. Good content doc!

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