The Overload Principle

Old 04-27-2016, 09:05 AM
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Lightbulb The Overload Principle

According to my weight training coach, this statement was the foundation of any weight training program. He made us memorize it.

"Strength, endurance and muscle growth increase within limits in response to repetitive exercise over progressively increased resistance."

Strength, endurance and muscle growth are part of what we want if we want to be fit. "Toned, toning...etc." are odious words to me because they are marketing terms. They don't mean anything. They are designed to sell you a product. Usually a bullshit product.

your muscles only do 3 things.

1. They get bigger- This happens when you work them and feed them
2. They do nothing- This happens when you are not applying the overload principle and working them just enough to maintain them
3. They atrophy- This happens when you don't use them and don't supply them with the nutrients they need.

When you work them they only increase within limits. Females in particular will eschew strength training because they don't want to "get too big" or "look like a female body builder".

This is a myth. Hormones, gender, genetic make-up, age and several other factors make this impossible, unless you inject yourself with as much Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone as a 25 year old male, eat like a horse and take a gallon freezer bag full of "supplements" every day.

What will really happen is you will get stronger. You will look stronger (but still look like yourself) and you will be happier and healthier. If you are female you will get knock-out curves, not look like a female body builder.

This only happens though, in response to repetitive exercise.. A lot of people get frustrated when they start to plateau. The way to break this is to continue to push the limits of your ability.

This is why progressively increased resistance is probably the most important of the sentence. You keep going for one more rep per set every so often, 5 more lbs on the bar when it's time to go up in weight, or if you are doing cardio, 50 more calories per run.

You will fail. A lot. That's OK, though, because you succeed by failing. That failure shows you where you need to go and what you are going to work for until you get it.

When you finally succeed, you push the bar higher and fail a few times until you are strong enough to succeed at that goal. You're going to have days when you blow it out of the water, but you're going to have days where you try and just miss the mark.

You will also have days where you crash to the ground like a concrete airplane.

When that happens, you step back, recover, maybe drop the resistance back a bit for a couple of workouts and then attack it again when you're feeling strong again.

Keep applying the overload principle and you will win. Like I always say, you only lose when you quit.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:58 AM
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