What Does it Mean and Why is it Important?
The biggest difference between ‘working out’ and ‘training’ is a term called “progressive overload”.
“Working out” simply means you break a sweat and get a little tired. Now, not to say there is nothing wrong with that, however, you are then leaving a lot on the table with all of your effort(s).
Progressive overload and training mean that your exercise routine is planned out ahead of time to ensure that it purposely becomes more challenging which ultimately will allow your body to adapt. Adaption is a good thing because it means you increase strength, flexibility, endurance, and more. You literally adapt so that you can meet the demands of the new challenge. More of what you want; and less of what you don’t want.
Problems occur when most people think of making the workout more challenging and progressive, they automatically think of using heavier weights.
Using heavier weights can certainly do the trick but generally should be the last thing you change as this method is the most strenuous on your joints (even more so for a beginner when the weights are relatively lighter.) A beginner going from 20 to 25 lbs is a massive 25% increase on your body as compared to a seasoned lifter going from 300 to 305 lbs.
My favorite way to progress an exercise routine that most people can do safely (while still guaranteeing their body sees positive adaptions) is to increase the ‘volume’. Doing more reps and sets of the same exercise with the same weight.
Here is an example of a progressive scheme you can use with almost any exercise to guarantee you see improvement:
Week 1: 2 Sets of 10 Reps
Week 2: 3 Sets of 10 Reps
Week 3: 3 Sets of 12 Reps
Week 4: 4 Sets of 12 Reps
After four weeks, you could THEN increase the amount of weight being used (or any of a dozen other ways to increase the challenge such as manipulating tempo, rest periods, exercise order, exercise variation, etc) and repeat the set and rep cycle.
Planning your reps and sets out in advance similar to the example above, increasing the total volume, will be a game-changer if you do it.
Hope you try this and would love to know how it works for you,
PS. When you are ready there are 3 ways to work with me.
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Whether at my personal training studio or online we will develop a customized program for you to eliminate joint pain, banish unwanted weight gain, and eliminate medications.
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2. Get My Book
My book The Fitness Success Checklist For Retirees details my exact approach to help people feel and look ten years younger and you can download the digital copy for free.
Just go here StoweTraining.com/Guide.htm.
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