If you’re anything like most of us, you probably have a love/hate relationship with exercise.
You love the benefits of exercise but might hate everything that goes along with working out. The soreness. The rollercoaster of progress then setback then back to the drawing board. The constant challenge to stick with it. The not knowing if what you are doing is enough, too much or just right.
We get it. We completely understand the challenges that you face when simply wanting to feel better in your body. And we would like to help.
Our Special Sauce
One of the key pillars to creating effective workout programs is called Progressive Overload.
Progressive Overload is really useful to understand when pursuing your fitness goals and creating a game plan.
Progressive Overload is the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. It states that to achieve all of the physiological changes that lead to results we want, we must do more than what our body finds comfortable. My guess is that you probably already knew that though.
Q: “So the harder I push myself, the faster I’ll be super fit, right?”
Well, the catch with Progressive Overload is that it also makes clear that the amount of challenge that we need to expose the body to is minimally (we mean minimally) more than what your body can do comfortably.
An example of a recent case study is Person A currently walks 20 minutes three days each week and wants to improve their endurance. So they begin to walk 40 minutes 6 days each week. Our responsibility as personal trainers is not to push or encourage people to do as much as they can, it’s to obey the principle of Progressive Overload and do the exact right amount to stimulate change in your body while minimizing risk of injury. When it comes to cardiovascular/endurance exercise, progressive overload is usually no more than 10% above the volume that is currently comfortable. So we’ve advised Person A to walk for 22 minutes 3 days per week. Increasing their weekly volume from 60 to 66 minutes. In two weeks, we’ll add another 10%.
A: No, although you need to work out harder than what is comfortable, anything beyond that appropriate level leads to diminishing returns.
The Sweet Spot
This principle is so important because understanding it helps exercisers find the sweet spot for working out. The sweet spot is where you do just enough to get the results you want while not overdoing it and increasing your risk of injury, depleting your available energy for the rest of your day, and spending unnecessary time that will not lead to faster results.
Finding the sweet spot is truly the most effective way to get the most substantial results without being derailed by injury, chronic soreness, or time limitations.
Interestingly, most exercisers go way beyond the sweet spot when first starting a workout program. It is human nature after all. If some is good, more must be better, right? Well…
Our empirical evidence is consistent with all of the exercise science research saying that if an exerciser does not adhere to progressive overload and exceeds the proper work load and volume, that difference directly correlates with injury risk and a decrease in performance. The reason is that when progressive overload is adhered to, you will…
- be able to recover from your workout within 24-48 hours.
- maximize your gains from the workout.
- be at full strength for your next workout.
- be able to sustain your consistent pace over the long run where the transformative results are truly found.
Overdoing it one workout requires greater recovery time between workouts and alters the best practices of doing something active most days of the week.
In summation, reduce your post-workout soreness, spend less time working out, have more energy for the rest of your day AND give yourself the best chance at accomplishing your fitness goals by doing the minimum (amount of challenge necessary to stimulate change).
We know that you may have some questions after reading this. We’re here to help! Please fire away!
Looking for more?
Prana 365 offers a 12-Week Strategic Fitness program. It is a complete, science-based exercise program that will help you:
#1. Become consistent with exercise
#2. Reduce or eliminate chronic aches, pains, and injuries
#3. Improve total body strength and function
#4. Improve stamina, flexibility, balance, posture, agility, and coordination
#5. Learn simple, yet highly effective lifestyle modifications that will support you in your pursuit of better health and fitness.
The 12-Week Strategic Fitness program is available (upon purchase) directly on your cell phone and/or tablet via our Prana 365 app. Every exercise for every workout has a clear tutorial video to help you learn the best form possible. This isn’t a compilation of workouts, but a strategy in which workout #1 builds to workout #2 which builds to workout #3 and onward. What you do today, will prepare you for more challenging workouts in the weeks and months to come.
As part of signing up for this program and being one of our clients, you also receive 2-way communication with me throughout. I’ll hold you accountable for not missing workouts. I’ll celebrate every personal best with you. I’m there with you every step of the way.