progessive resistance


As your muscles adapt to a given exercise resistance (weight), that resistance must be gradually increased to stimulate further gains. The key to strength and muscle development is progressive resistance, which is also called “exercise progression”, or “the overload principle”. This is the gradual and continual addition of weight to the exercise over time, as the previous weights become too easy to lift, so that your muscles are continually forced to work harder and thus increase muscle strength, size and tone.

For example, in the front Shoulder Press you might start out pressing (lifting) 10kg. After two or three weeks you may find that pressing 10kg. Has become too easy and that you can do more than your chosen number of repetitions with little or no difficulty.

The progression principle demands that as soon as the weight you are using is no longer a challenge, you must raise it. You progressively increase the weight you use for a lift so that you continue to make gains in muscle tone, size and strength. It is important that you increase the weight only if the previous weight is too light; increasing the weight to push yourself harder can result in poor form and definitely increases the risk of injury.

Please understand that an increase in repetitions is an increase in strength. Many people think strength gains are only obtained when they increase the weight. But if you have increased the number of repetitions you can do with good form, you have increased your strength and more than likely, your muscle size and tone as well.

So, discuss exactly how to avoid the common mistake of over training. Until then, be sure to use the right amount of weight and number of repetitions for each set you do so you can achieve the results you desire.


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