This 1 Misunderstood Thing is KEY…

I want to illustrate an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, SERIOUSLY OVERLOOKED AND MISUNDERSTOOD principal of training and getting results in the gym…

That principal is Progressive Overload. It is TRULY the 9th wonder of the world behind compound interest. 

My definition of “Progressive Overload” is making an exercise a little bit harder in small increments as frequently as possible, and for as long as possible –  and it is the KEY OF ALL KEYS to building muscle, and improving in the gym…

Improving has nothing to do with how sore you are, how exhausted you feel, or how much someone kicked your ass…

It has EVERYTHING to do with your ability to progressively overload…

It is the most common reason people work hard in the gym and don’t get results.

We’ve all been there or know someone that has been there – 2+ hours in the gym, 2x/day, 7 days per week for 6+ months, and little to no results…

Almost invariably that person does not apply progressive overload, or they do it EXTREMELY poorly.

There are many ways to “progressive overload”. The most basic are adding sets, reps, or weight. The most complicated being things like running the rack, drop sets, down sets, accommodating resistance, etc.

If you do not apply some form of progressive overload to your training, you CANNOT and WILL NOT improve (even if you do steroids!) 

The most simple, straight forward, and effective way to apply progressive overload is to keep everything the same – just add a little bit of weight each time you train.

This little bit of weight can literally be .25lbs-10lbs per session. 

The key is you need to do this as long as possible, even when it gets really, really heavy.

The reason 99% of people stop improving, is because they stop progressive overloading (in this case, adding weight). 

If you get to 100lbs on your squat, and decide you need to “practice” that weight for a while (because it was really heavy – NOT because of shit form)… then you stop improving, and you start wasting every single second in the gym. 

If you don’t track your training results and refer to your past sessions in your current workout… you aren’t progressive overloading… and you aren’t improving. 

That friend (or… yourself – and it was me for years) that grinds for no results?

Well, 99% of the time that person started training they added a little bit of weight for a few weeks (and got results) and then… for one reason or another stopped adding weight.

They still worked their ass off – they’re tired. They’re sore. They’re sacrificing. They’re definitely in the gym… they got all the gear and the motivation…

But lackluster (or zero) results.

In my personal career I’ve heard this story hundreds of times…

You need to have an easy to understand, easy to apply, directly correlated to your prior workout system to progressive overload.

You can make this complicated as shit, but you just don’t need to. 

On Monday I squatted 100. On Wed I squat 105.  On Friday I squat 110. When that’s too much of a jump… 2.5lb jumps. Then 1.25lbs…

See where that goes? 

If you want to grow glutes go from deadlifting 75lbs to 300lbs. If you want a big chest, go from bench pressing 100 to 350. If you want toned arms and back, go from an assisted pull up, to a pull up with 50lbs.

It is physically impossible to not improve if you progressive overload in small increments as frequently as possible for as long as possible.

As long as I make this a little harder, in small increments frequently – I’m improving. No need to do crazy shit, fancy techniques, or other BS… 

As a beginner, if you apply progressive overload correctly… you can have a FREAKY 6-12 month improvement. The beginning is when you should be getting the most incredible results… if you’re not… check in on your progressive overload.

A coach can help you apply this nearly perfectly, and get you nearly a straight line right toward your desired results.


About the Author

Connor, owner of Spark Fitness, has been helping average people get strong, lose weight, and feel better for almost 2 decades. Unlike most in the industry, he really struggled on his journey for many years – making every single mistake imaginable – so now, you don’t have to. You can find him on Instagram/YouTube @connorgreen3000.