EFC Personal Training 101: Progressive Overload

It’s EFC personal training 101 time and the topic is Progressive Overload.

Progressive overload is defined as ‘the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training’. This could refer to any kind of stress such as extra time added to a run, an extra kg to a lift or less recovery between sets.

This principle is regarded as fundamental in any form of strength training, fitness training or physical therapy. The main focus is to trigger the bodies natural adaptations to stress by building stronger bones, skeletal and cardiac muscle and improving lung capacity and blood flow. There also are neural adaptations taking
place contributing to an increase in balance and reaction time, all of which is very functional in everyday life.

To start progressive overload, a baseline of strength and fitness can be determined by beginning training at a comfortable level of intensity. Progressive overload can then be achieved by gradually increasing volume, intensity, frequency or time in order to reach your goal.

Recovery is an important factor when applying overload to your training. Without proper recovery, the stress on the body becomes too much, making it harder to adapt and progress. Generally after any period of overload there needs to be a proportionate period of recovery. This could mean a reduction in intensity of weight or time between intervals and workouts. Your program will usually require the right combination between the stress and recovery to reach your goals.

Possessing a good workout plan with progressive overload and recovery will maximise your results. Having a professional look after your program can be a great asset in achieving your goals.