• Jacob Williams


Understanding what progressive overload is, can and will help you make consistent progress.

Simply put it is the process of increasing the demands of the musculoskeletal system from week to week, session to session, etc.

There are many different ways you can use progressive overload. I am going to list the 3 most common ways people use it along with 2 out of the box ways you can progressively overload a movement.

Benefits of Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is the base of any good program design. It allows you to make incremental changes from week to week in order to slowly build a tolerance to a greater amount of volume, pace, or intensity.

The small changes made each week force your body to adapt to a slightly new stimulus each session.

This increase in a stimulus is what drives adaptation in your training.

When done properly, small progressive changes are enough to create a harder training session but not enough to cause injury.

Increase Volume

This is going to be the one that everyone has heard of, and has used at some point in time.

Sometimes people do it without even knowing what they are doing because is so instinctual.

In training this can be accomplished in two main ways, increasing sets or increasing reps.

One way I love to use to increase volume on supplemental movements is…

Week 1: 3 sets x 10 reps

Week 2: 3 sets x 12 reps

Week 3: 3 sets x 15 reps

By the end of this 3-week progression, you have increased your volume on that movement by 50%! All while using the same amount of weight.

This is a great way to progress for a beginner or someone who does not have the ability to use heavier weights.

It can also help the guy that can't seem to get past a plateau. Getting more reps in at a weight you struggle with will increase your total accumulated volume at that weight and help push you past that plateau.