Why is progressive overload important? (A must read for everyone)

When it comes to exercising, starting gradually and advancing to more difficult exercises or weights is the best strategy for getting it done. You don’t have to get it all done in one day, you improve on the whole task little by little.

This content is about Why Progressive Overload is Important. If you have been thinking of how to effectively move on to making use of more weights in your workout or you want to know why it is important for you to engage in Progressive overload, read on till the last dot and you will surely be glad you did.

Why is progressive overload important?
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Progressive overload training

Before we start out with the importance of progressive overload, we will need to understand what the concept is all about.

So, what is Progressive Overload?

Progressive overload is the step-by-step enhancement in the weights you carry, the rate at which you carry it, or how many times you carry it while doing your strength training. You can use the progressive overload strategy in every exercise you do.

If you change the workouts you engage in or increase the weight you carry, it results in the tensity of your muscles which keeps you away from being in a state of little or no change after the period of your workouts.

You experience little or no change in your workouts when your body gets used to the same workout you have been engaging in. When you start with progressive overload, you find out it makes you stronger.

Why is progressive overload important?

So now let’s talk about why Progressive overload is important

  • The major importance of progressive overload is keeping you away from being in a state of little or no change which affects the building of your muscles.

Anytime you involve in the same exercises while making use of the same weights, it can result in your not seeing the exercises you do as challenging, and with this, there will not be results.

But with progressive overload training, you gradually enhance the magnitude of the exercises you do and this makes your body get used to the new way of exercise and makes it possible for you to experience steady improvement.

  • Progressive overload makes sure you are working on the goal you have set. With progressive overload, you use your energy to aim for fitness goals than using it up on a phase you should have left.


  • It assists in improving your workouts. The more you get into more of your training, you will find out is not just about the heavier weights you lift, most times is about the push you give yourself while you involve in progressive overload.

There are some problems you might encounter while involved in this training and one of them is the fact that it certainly has to be slowly carried out.

You might be injured if you try to rapidly enhance the weights you use for workouts or the rate at which you involve in the exercise. Doing that can be threatening.

Though you might be unable to notice the changes fast, remember this is the safest way for you to progress in your workouts.

Progressive overload example

Check out the different examples of progressive overload and understand how you can apply them while working out or create your own plans using this as an example.

Your progressive overload training plan will be different from that of another person because it is dependent on the fitness goals as well the fitness level.

The aim might be to enhance the time you spend in carrying out the workouts, enhance the weights you carry, or how many times you repeat the workout.

So, let’s check out the following examples for each of the fitness goals we talked about now.

Enhancing weight

When you slowly enhance the weights you carry, the muscles get to feel the impact which makes them break down, get rebuilt, as well as get stronger than it was.


Week 1: Carry out a bench press with 100 pounds (lb.) of weight.

Week 4: Perform a bench press with 105 Pounds (lb.) of weight.

Week 7: Perform a bench press with 110 pounds (lb.) of weight.

Enhancing the time spent on the workout

When you enhance the time you spend on any workout, you get to build your stamina. It can enhance cardiovascular fitness as well as strength. If your concentration is on cardiovascular training, you can go for longer training sessions.

For instance, you can run, swim or cycle for extra 10 minutes every week.

Week 1: Carry out a 20-minute session.

Week 3: Carry out a 40-minute session.

Week 5: Carry out a 55-minute session.

If you are involved in strength training, you can work on building your muscle stamina by enhancing how many times you repeat the workout while you keep the weight the same.

Enhancing intensity

Enhancing the intensity or the rate at which you carry out the workout may boost fitness. You can do this by working out at a pace faster than you used to or by going for shorter rests between sets.

For a person involved in cardiovascular training, the person can enhance the intensity through intervals like running at a higher speed for 20 seconds and jogging for 40 seconds.


Week 1: Carry out 6 intervals.

Week 4: Carry out 8 intervals.

Week 7: Carry out 10 intervals.

Individuals not concentrated on cardio exercises can make use of weights that are lighter which they can lift while working out at a faster pace. Remember to do it in the right form to avoid getting injured in the process.

They can enhance the intensity of the weightlifting session by following this pattern:

Week 1: Carry out 12 reps in 60 seconds.

Week 4: Carry out 14 reps in 60 seconds.

Week 7: Carry out 16 reps in 60 seconds.

Enhancing Repetitions

When you make the muscles carry out an enhanced quantity of reps it boosts your muscle stamina. You can do this when you add the reps included in a strength training session.


Week 1: Carry out 3 sets of 12 reps.

Week 4: Carry out 3 sets of 14 reps.

Week 7: Carry out 3 sets of 16 reps.

Safety Tips

Progressive overload training is safe and effective when you carry out the workouts the right way.

You can reduce the possibility of getting injured while you train by doing the following:

  • Warming up very well before you start out with every exercise
  • Making use of the right procedure as well as the technique while carrying weights.
  • Keep away from enhancing the intensity by more than 10% every week
  • Concentrate on quality over the quantity
  • Understand your body and improve at a pace you are comfortable.
  • Drink water that will be sufficient for you
  • Ensure you relax after exercising
  • Have sufficient resting days
  • When you work with a certified personal trainer, the trainer can assist you by making sure you follow the right procedure as well as use the right technique when carrying out progressive overload workouts.

The trainer can as well design a workout plan that slowly enhances intensity and this will help you progress safely.


Progressive Overload is good and is very beneficial. But remember it is about the step-by-step enhancement in the weights you carry, the rate at which you carry it, or how many times you carry it while doing your strength training.

So don’t be in a hurry to increase the weight or intensity or even the Repetitions. Gradually increase them to avoid injuries. You can also work with a personal trainer in order to get help on the right form and techniques if you feel you can’t get it accurately.

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