You ever see that guy in the gym doing the same exercise program ever day? Same one in January as in July. Same weights, same reps and same pace.
That same guy along with a lot of fitness enthusiasts are wondering why there bodies aren't changing and they aren't getting closer to their goals.
The problem is there are a lot of gym goers that are just going through the motions.
They show up to the gym after work. They go through their basic workout,barely breaking a sweat. That's fine if physical activity is the goal. But if your goals are something specific such as performance or muscle, then that won't work.
So how should a person train if they are serious about their goals? The answer is progressive overload.
The exercise science principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our fitness, strength or endurance, we need to increase the workload accordingly.
In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is accustomed to. To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are accustomed to or at a higher intensity level. This could mean lifting more weight or doing high intensity interval training workouts.
The old saying is that "if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you." That holds so much truth. This can be the reason you can see someone that trains so much not be in nearly as good of shape as they should be. How is it possible for a marathon runner to be overweight? One finds their comfort zone for a pace and that's how fast they run. They don't change their nutrition or and the don't change their intensity.
So the bigger question is how do we progress? Well we challenge ourselves. When we are lifting in a rep range we make sure we can't do more repetitions than we are aiming for. When we are running we make sure we are increasing our pace, decreasing our time. Or increasing the intensity by doing hills and such.
The moral of my story or blog is that in order to change your strength, body composition or performance. One is going to need to employ the principals of progressive overload. Making your workouts more efficient will both save you time and get you the results you are training for.