The Muscles & Hypertrophy Series - Part Seven
The final part of this series (which is in no way exhaustive but covers most of what you’ll need to understand) is the most important principle of all.
Progressive Overload; gradually doing more than you’re currently capable of.
If you can already do something, why would your body waste energy changing?
It wouldn’t, it’s not stupid.
If you never push the limits of your capacity, there will never be a need for adaptation.
Hans Selye came up with General Adaptation Syndrome when studying rats, but the principle applies to so many things its worth knowing.
Stage 1 - Alarm
An organism detects a threat to homeostasis (the stable internal environment) and begins mobilising resources in order to maintain it.
Stage 2 - Resistance
The organism attempts to restore homeostasis e.g. when your body gets hotter, it begins sweating and opening pores in order to maintain a particular temperature range.
Stage 3 - Exhaustion
If the stress placed on the organism is too much, it will not be able to adapt and will start to deteriorate.
Apply This To Training
Appropriate training stimulates change that helps you better deal with that stress in the future.
But once you’ve adapted to that level of stress and are able to handle it, we come back to our original point, why would you need to adapt further?
Therefore if we wish to keep progressing, we must keep progressing the challenge.
This is why progression at a rep range is more important than the rep range.
A rep range doesn’t guarantee progressive overload.
You could use too light a load, in which case it won’t work.
You could fail to progress the weights/reps/sets/ROM, in which case it won’t work.
You could fail to do it frequently enough, in which case it won’t work.
You could do it so hard and so frequently you get weaker, in which case it won’t work.
How do you know if you’re doing it right?
Easy - are you objectively improving over time?
Which really means, are you getting stronger within the exercises and rep ranges you’re using? - 11 minutes ago