Progressive overload

Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. This technique is recognized as a fundamental principle for success in various forms of strength training programs including fitness training, weight lifting, high intensity training and physical therapy programs.

cientific Principles

A common goal for any strength training program is to increase, or at least maintain the user's physical strength or muscle mass.

In order to achieve results, the muscles (see skeletal muscles) need to be overloaded, which stimulates the natural healing processes of the human body to regenerate in order to become bigger, stronger, or faster than it was before. Conversely, lack of muscular overload results in the loss of mass and strength - known as muscular atrophy. (see atrophy, and muscle atrophy.)

The fact is that the adaptive processes of the human body will only respond if continually called upon to exert a greater magnitude of force to meet higher physiological demands. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 34(2):364-80, 2002 Feb, [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11828249?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn PMID:11828249] .] .

Methodology

In order to minimize injury and maximize results, the novice should begin at a comfortable level of muscular intensity and advance towards overload of the muscles over the course of the exercise program. The Team Physician and Conditioning of Athletes for Sports: A Consensus Statement- 02/01/2006, the American College of Sports Medicine]

Progressive Overload requires a gradual increase in volume and intensity in order to achieve the targeted goal of the user. In this context, volume and intensity are defined as follows:

* Volume is the total number of repetitions multiplied by the resistance used as performed in specific periods of time.
* Intensity is the percent value of maximal functional capacity, or expressed as percent repetition maximum.

This technique results in greater gains in physical strength and muscular growth - but there are limits. An excess of training stimulas can lead to the problem of overtraining. Overtraining With Resistance Exercise, ASMC Jan 2001, Andrew C. Fry, Ph.D., the American College of Sports Medicine]

*Overtraining is the decline in training performance over the course of a training program, often resulting increases the risk of illness or injury or decreased desire to exercise. In order to help avoid this problem, the technique of periodization is applied.

* Periodization in the context of fitness or strength training programs is the scheduling of provisions for adequate recovery time between training sessions, variety over the course of a long-term program, and motivation - avoiding monotony when repeating identical exercise routines.

Notes


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