Progressive Overload An Entire Guide for optimum Muscle Mass Building


8. Progressive Overloading: Key to Continued Strength and Mass Gain

Video taken from the channel: Kaa Yaa



Video taken from the channel: LIFTING LEARNED


PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD: The Key For Size & Strength

Video taken from the channel: OmarIsuf


Progressive Overload For Hypertrophy

Video taken from the channel: JPS Health & Fitness


What Most Lifters Get WRONG About Progressive Overload

Video taken from the channel: BarBend


Progressive Overload | The Fastest Way to Build Muscle

Video taken from the channel: How to Beast


Progressive Overload: How to Gain Muscle FAST!

Video taken from the channel: Iron Built Fitness

Progressive overload is the fuel that drives muscle gains. Without progression or the addition of weight over time, you won’t see much in the way of muscle gains. While the muscle building process does not require you to train for absolute strength, it does require you to dramatically improve your strength above and beyond where it is now.

Remember this truth: no one with a substantial amount of muscle mass is. Progressive overload is a very simple but crucial concept, laying the foundation upon which successful resistance training is built. The progressive-overload principle doesn’t apply just to lifting weights to increase muscle growth and strength; it can also be applied to cardiovascular-fitness programs, creating physiological changes that affect aerobic metabolism and the cardiorespiratory. Actually, a good first step to building more muscle through progressive overload is to increase the amount of reps you do. If you feel like you can crank out 10 reps of a certain weight, why stop at 8? Now, unlike increasing the amount of weight you lift, I have to put a ceiling on this one.

Now that you understand why getting stronger is such an integral part of building muscle, let’s talk about progressive overload. At it’s core, progressive overload is a very simple concept: by slowly increasing the weights you lift, your body must synthesize new muscle tissue to keep up with the ever-increasing demands. This is undoubtedly the most simple way to achieve progressive overload.

If you go from benching 50 kg for 5 repetitions to 100 kg for 5 repetitions, your chest, shoulders and triceps WILL be bigger.. All you need to do is increase the weight once you’ve reached the top end of your specified rep range. Progressive overload refers to the continuous increase in the load and intensity you place on your muscles during resistance training. Applied consistently, progressive overload ensures you’ll continue to increase strength and muscle size.

In a sense, progressive overload is the foundation of muscle and strength building. The Progressive Overload Principle The progressive overload principle basically states: In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced. Go back and read that again. Heavy, progressive overload on the body’s largest and strongest muscle groups is the winning formula for stimulating muscle hypertrophy. This is achieved by lifting heavy weight with shorter rest times and gradually increasing the weight over time.

Progressive overload simply refers to a gradual increase in weights. For example, one day you’ll lift 10kg on a shoulder press and once your body has adapted, the 10kg will no longer be heavy enough. Therefore, you should increase your weights to progress further.

Consequently, forcing our. -An effective training programme will employ some type of periodizationwhich accommodates the necessary progressive overload, based on the individual’s requirements. -Building a maximum amount of muscle mass is (obviously) also dependent upon caloric.

List of related literature:

Vukovich and coworkers [160] also reported that HMB supplementation (3 grams/day for 8Ȭweeks during resistance training) significantly increased muscle mass, reducedȬfat mass, and promoted greater gains in upper and lower extremity 1ȬRM strength in a group of elderly men and women initiating training.

“Essentials of Exercise & Sport Nutrition: Science to Practice” by Richard B. Kreider PhD FACSM FISSN FNAK
from Essentials of Exercise & Sport Nutrition: Science to Practice
by Richard B. Kreider PhD FACSM FISSN FNAK
Lulu Publishing Services, 2019

(136) For increasing mass and strength the American Council on Exercise recommends 2-second concentric lifts followed by 4-second eccentric returns.

“Fitness Instructor Training Guide” by Cheryl L. Hyde, American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness
from Fitness Instructor Training Guide
by Cheryl L. Hyde, American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness
Kendall/Hunt, 2002

Forcing the muscles to adapt to a heavier training load is called the principle of progressive overload.

“Natural Bodybuilding” by John Hansen
from Natural Bodybuilding
by John Hansen
Human Kinetics, 2005

It should be done once or twice a week, using more weight than in the muscular-enhancement phase, and consist of three to five sets of eight to ten reps at 75 to 85 percent intensity, with sixty to ninety seconds of rest.

“Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life” by Ben Greenfield
from Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life
by Ben Greenfield
Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

Progressive overload does, and more so than any other single training factor.19 Progressive overload refers to increasing the amount of tension your muscles produce over time, and the most effective way to do this is by progressively increasing the amount of weight that you’re lifting.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

resistance training in elderly adults, loading intensity should approach 60À80% of 1RM with an exercise volume ranging from three to six sets per muscle group per week of 10À15 repetitions per exercise.

“Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance: Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength” by Debasis Bagchi, Sreejayan Nair, Chandan K. Sen
from Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance: Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength
by Debasis Bagchi, Sreejayan Nair, Chandan K. Sen
Elsevier Science, 2013

The bottom line here is that this book addresses various goals for just about every body type, age, and gender; a woman can make an equally impressive physique transformation even if her goal is not traditional bodybuilding per se.

“The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
Simon & Schuster, 2012

The book Designing Resistance Training Programs has a chart that explains it this way: During the first week or two of training, almost 100 percent of the gains you make on your lifts come from neural factors.

“The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle” by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove
from The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle
by Lou Schuler, Alwyn Cosgrove
Penguin Publishing Group, 2005

This routine is useful not only for novice weightlifters but also, because of its taxing nature, well-conditioned athletes should use it when they are concentrating on building their strength.

“Spinal Cord Injuries E-Book: Management and Rehabilitation” by Sue Ann Sisto, Erica Druin, Martha Macht Sliwinski
from Spinal Cord Injuries E-Book: Management and Rehabilitation
by Sue Ann Sisto, Erica Druin, Martha Macht Sliwinski
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008

These routines, which involve performing multiple sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per set with relatively short interset rest intervals (145), have been found to increase metabolic stress to a greater degree than higher-intensity regimens typically employed by powerlifters (135-137).

“Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy” by Brad Schoenfeld
from Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy
by Brad Schoenfeld
Human Kinetics, 2020

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

View all posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Great video man. Will for sure apply some of that info in my training. Question though, if I’m running a triple variable progression scheme, would I apply it for every exercise, including isolation movements like a leg extension? In which case, my workouts would get much longer as I add extra sets to each exercise, right?

  • Great video. I recently just kind of overcame my strength stall out focusing on reps instead of weight. For the longest time I was progressing GREAT in the 1-5 rep range then all of a sudden all my lifts just stalled out. I backed the weights down, started working in the 7 8 9 sometimes 10+ rep range and started progressing again.

  • I’ve been lifting for 3 months so sorry if this is noob thing to ask. You mention in several videos an importance in not training to failure, however progressive overload and hitting a max sounds like advocating going to failure. Is there a way to combine these theories for the general public?

  • I train like 5×5 now on bench, squat and deadlift. So instead of increasing the weight when im able to do like 300lbs 5×5 on squat, I can try to do 6-7 set of 5 on 300lbs? And then increase the weight to like 310lbs and try to work up to 5×5 again on that new weight?

  • Hi there, have you thought about this kind of diet plan known as the Custokebon Secrets? My cousin says it helps people lost crazy amounts of weight. Is that possible? I also noticed a lot of excellent review about this diet plan. Thoughts?

  • I see lots of people keep on speaking about Custokebon Secrets. But I’m uncertain if it’s good. Have you ever tried this popular fat burn method?

  • Hey, I’m a beginner I want to start bench pressing. I’m probably gonna start out at 45lbs. I got a question how are you suppose to know when it’s time to go higher weight on the weights doing bench press. I’m hearing every week but wouldn’t that get to a point where it’s too heavy or are you suppose to base it off ur body and how much you can lift to determine when you want to add more weight? Also how long should you stay on a weight until you think ur ready to go higher ( bench pressing) thanks. ��

  • This is why I go for 20 rep PR’s on squats once a week, then have a heavy day. On the 20 rep max….Just add 5 pounds per week. Put about 50 pounds on my squat doing this.

  • Does Custokebon Secrets really work? I notice many people keep on speaking about Custokebon Secrets. But Im uncertain if it’s good enough to lost lots of fat.

  • ⁉️⁉️Do you make sure that you’re training with progressive overload? Or have you “slacked” in the gym and like so many others trained in the same way for far to long? Let me know down in the comments, right now!

  • You got my like, thank you!
    I actually can’t really understand the more reps are just for endurance sayings,
    So is it real or just a false imagination?

  • Hey all!
    You can even considering reading my article on “Progressive Overload” and how it can be the pathway for muscle growth.

  • Awsome video. I’m going to try the progression modal you suggested next workout. I’ve been going to failure on each and every set. it’s been working great but I think it’s caught up to me now. Nice shoes btw��

  • I have trained in a program w/o progressive overload. I made good gains initally but I wasn’t continually gaining after about 2 months. I now focus on it the most

  • Hey all!
    You can even considering reading my article on “Progressive Overload” and how it can be the pathway for muscle growth.

  • should you choose a progression system based on your advancement? if you’re a novice would a single progression model be more optimal, and so on fourth with intermediates and advanced?

  • The workout I’ve been doing seems alright but I feel like its too much reps.
    I’m 185-188Cm
    63.5 KG
    And my arms and legs both measure 91 cm
    I’m weak as shit so just a heads up

    I apply the same training across the board but with different weights
    for legs I do
    90lbs 12 reps
    110 lbs11 reps
    140 lbs 10 reps
    170lb 9 reps
    200lb 8 reps
    then I do
    170lb 12 reps
    200lb 10 reps
    220 8 reps

  • “The fastest way to gain muscle” lmao what the fuck are you talking about u amateur, it is the ONLY way to gain muscle. Go do some research first

  • Preach! I’ve been trying to hit my 1-rep max every workout and really stalled because of this. Lately, stepped back and did 5×8 at 80% weight. After several weeks, I hit a new 1-rep max!

  • 6 4 2 4 6 bench reps for strength do your double max and for 4’s -10 pounds of that and for 6’s minus 20 for that so 200×6 210×4 220×2 210×4 200×6 it hit all sets perfect go up 5 pounds next week

  • This is a great video. I will definitely program my next hypertrophic mesocycle based on these overload principles.

    I would add one comment. One circumstance during which you can prioritise the volume-based (adding sets) overloading progression is while cutting (hypocaloric state). I expect to stall pretty quickly in adding weight while in a deficit, so adding sets can be a reasonable way to finish your mesocycle.

  • @OmairIsuf i wanted to ask you on this subject. How properly to do the progressive overload.

    Should i overload weekly a specific weight like for bench press 1-2kg more or less and up reps if i could or do i train with 75% RM for 4 weeks and than add 1-2kg and do all next month with this weight and repeat it for next and all other months?

    What should be the pace i need to follow to have this hypertrophy by progressive overloading?

  • Omar! I understand what you’re saying how size and strength are interlocked, however as a teen soccer player I currently want to stall mass gains for at least a year after making some nice gains. Can I still get stronger and thus create more force with the same muscle mass? If so how?

  • Great vid man simple to understand and get it done! Hardest problems I seem to have is how many exercises i should do per workout. I’m currently doing 3 full body a week and it seems to vary on how tired i get between sessions with proteins/sleep being in line.

  • perfect….concise and to the point. some guys would drag 20mins out of that video with a bunch of science terms no one who doesn’t know what progressive overload would care about. Thanks

  • I’ve always liked using rep increases for progressive overload as well. What works for me is sticking with a 5RM until I’m doing it for 8-10 reps. Then I’ll add 25lbs and restart the process.

  • Damn I was so excited to hear about the books. But then I clicked on the link and saw it was an E-book. I hate E-books. Owning a physical copy is so much more appealing to me

  • Hi just informing you i have linked/embeded back your video on my website

  • i have the sane thoughts as omar does about increasing volume to gain strength for a 1 rep max and not just raising the weight initially.

    but the problem ive had with this is that if im gaining reps on a weight that i can do for 8 times and making it 12 times, it doesnt seem to affect my 1rm that much because its like im only getting stronger with thay lighter weight. in the time ive gone from 225 for 8 to 225 for 12, ive gone up only 10 pounds maybe on the bench which seems low

  • hey, ive looked online for that chart your gym has and couldnt find it anywhere (maybe i just wasnt using the right key words) i was wondering if you knew the website their from or whether guys from your gym made them? thanks (:

  • Omar, this provocative essay in T-nation essentially claims that, contrary to popular belief and conventional wisdom, progressive overload is not needed to continually build muscle. All that’s needed is to go to failure over and over again, irrespective of rep range, from session to session (assuming adequate nutrition of course). Since size does not equal strength, the hypothesis is not entirely implausible. What are your thoughts?

    The Single Best Muscle Building Method
    The New Science of Training to Failure

  • Why do programs like StrongLifts 5×5 suggest that when you plateau and can’t add any weight doing 5 sets of 5 reps, you DROP the volume down to a 3×5 and that makes you progress again?

    So lowering volume can sometimes be beneficial I guess?

  • Can someone help me… do I increase weight on every exercise or what? I started working out push leg pull split…on push i do bench press, db incline press, db flyes, shoulder press, lateral raises, skullcrusher and tricep extension

  • Setup a preorder kickstarter for hard copy books for those not fan of E-books. When u get enough money and preorders you can make em.

  • Very good, finally understood.
    I used to watch these fitness YouTubers who explained this way to hard and i found this video, thanks!

  • When the video is getting ready/ commercial
    As soon as I click it I think
    “What’s crackin guys “
    This dude has helped me so much I feel bad for using free content

  • I have been lifting for over 7 years and been following nearly every fitness you tuber for at least 3-4 years..and I am buying the books. You can never not stop learning.:) with that said..i better learn a few new things omar 😉

  • Explain the shit to us without distractions no one gives a fuck about your daily shit, skip the bullshit scenes and teach us the essesials gooood fucking damit

  • I dont usually buy peoples stuff, but Omar, I gotta say man.. You explain things in your video that makes it so easy to understand, I really hope the books are just like that.
    Just got done pre-ordering and am excited about it.

  • this dude keeps talking about lifting and shit but he seems really small imo. Im wayy buffer/stronger and ive been lifting for alot less years than him

  • Omar I always enjoy your videos as well as the comments you leave for your subscribers, You will definitely get everything you deserve. Stay humble and keep training hard, much respect bud.

  • Would you say that pyramid sets (increasing weight every sets and reducing the reps) is the best method to progressively overload the muscle?
    Please answer lol

  • I bench 80kg at the moment. I can push out 6 reps per set for 5 sets. My plan is to keep trying until I can do 8 or 10 reps per set then up the weight to 90kg for 6 reps per set.

  • Is Custokebon Secrets helpful to lost tons of weight? I’ve learn a lot of good stuff about Custokebon Secrets (do a google search).

  • Omar I was wondering if you will be releasing a paper version of your book later. I pre ordered the ebook version can’t wait to get it

  • Jacob, as we all know volume is the key driver to hypertrophy so, wouldn’t making progression using the model Dr Mike Israetel preaches i.e adding sets until you are near your MRV and then de-loading before starting another cycle with slightly higher loads be more productive? Dr Mike has said this many times over various podcasts one could make gains for a very long time using just the same load but increasing the sets and reps so as to overload using volume progression.

  • if my one rep max was 60kg and i was training with 80% of that so 48kg for like 5 reps, if i were to use the technique of adding weight to the bar every session and progressive overload by (2.2kg) every single session this would mean i’d be up to training with 60kg really shortly and 60kg would no longer be my one rep max it would be my training weight and this just doesn’t seem right? please explain this!:(

  • I bought the e-book, and got an email that it was confirmed.

    However my card is not open for transactions abroad, (I’m from Europe) does anyone know if the purchase still will gothrough? 

  • Progressive Overload? This is nothing new. Its common sense to work out and over time lift heavier weights. Thats the fucking point. If youre not doing that and youre thinking of stupid terms to come up with instead of actually going in there and doing work, then just go home

  • hello I am training for hypertrophy. That means that my target reps before increasing weight should be 12,12,12,12 for 4 sets right? Loved the video BTW

  • If you want to slim down, it is best to search Custokebon Secrets on the google search engine. They will make it easier to get the body you should have.

  • This is a great video, thank you. My results started to slow lately so for the past few weeks I switched it up and now aim to get more reps/sets instead of adding weight too soon. Looks like It was the right idea.

  • Hey guys, it’s everyone’s favorite natural bodybuilder, American Gladiator, and motivational speaker Mike O’ Tren. Stopping by to give some REAL insight into obtaining Size and Strength. 
    All you have to do is:  1.) Eat Clen
                                       2.) Tren Hard (my personal favorite) 
                                       3.) Test your limits
                                       4.) Dbolish your goals
                                       5.) Anavar give up
    In order to maximize natural body building potential, like me, you must follow these principles. 

    Mike O’Tren out. 

  • You’re doing weight lifting… you’re moving the bar from point a to point b… Bodybuilding is about contracting the muscles… You have no idea how to be a bodybuilder!!

  • When considering eating healthy, you have to try not to fall victim to modern day fad diets. Extreme diet plans undoubtedly are a threat for your health, especially ones that seriously restrict your everyday nutritionary intake. While they might generate fast weight loss, these kinds of diet plans are never a long-term solution for your weight problem. You should look up Custokebon Secrets on google since it isn’t just another fad diet where you starve yourself.

  • What is the best product or brand to lost crazy amounts of weight? I read a lot of great opinions on the net about how Custokebon Secrets can help you lost lots of fat. Has anyone tried using this popular lose weight diet plan?

  • Your body’s only real goal is survival, physiological homeostasis. You have to give it a reason to step up Its game.

    How often can one expect to increase with progressive overload?
    True beginner (0-6 months)
    Can make significant increases every workout session, like 2-3 times per week.

    Novice Beginner
    Every other session to every week

    intermediate (3-5 years)
    Every week to every month

    Advanced (5+ years)
    small increases every month, significant increases every 2 6 months

    How to Achieve:
    Increase Weight
    Increase Reps
    Increase Number of Sets With same Weight
    Decrease Rest
    Increase Difficulty (example, pausing reps to increase difficulty by cutting out momentum)

    How to implement progressive overload?
    1. Pick a weight that you can comfortably hit your prescribed set and rep goal with (Better to start Lighter than heavier)

    2. On your next workout increase the weight by the smallest increment and hit your rep and set goal again

    3. Repeat this process until you can no longer go from session to session without losing reps anymore (Happens within 3 months)

    Max out reps before increasing weight, slows down progression but is easier to do

    1. Instead of having a fixed goal for your reps, have a target rep range with an upper limit for example 4 to 6 reps. The session after you have reached the upper limit you increase the weight

    2. Use the same weight until you have hit the upper limmit

    3. The session after you have hit the upper limit, increase the weight.

  • I appreciate the tips but hate how a lot of these fitness youtubers have pretentious and unnecessary segments of literal and proverbial flexing with annoying obnoxious music. We get it, you’re cool and fit

  • Absolutely dig your videos Omar. I’ve learned a lot from them. Nice to see you young fellas doing big things! Good luck with the e-books. Keep up with the solid content brosef!

  • QUESTION: How can I get stronger without putting on size? I’ve been progressing fine up until 4 months ago on high bar squats. I tried doing volume work, pause squats, adding a second (speed) day and also doing low volume with increased intensity but my numbers aren’t going up as they should. The only thing I didn’t try is programs such as the wendler and smolov. Any help would be appreciated. 

    I’m 5’5 and 136lbs. 

    High bar squat 1 rep max 255lbs
    Deadlift 2 reps 365lbs
    Bench 1 rep max185lbs

    I have a video of me doing deads & squats if you would like to see my form or whatever.

    Thank You!

  • This video is definitely amazing! It helps me remember of times when my sister used Custokebon Secrets to get rid of 18 lbs and enjoy being healthy again! Most people wish to lose fat, however we also need to remain healthy and balanced, which is what exactly Custokebon Secrets gifted.

  • so its basicaly adding more weight/or reps each workout? That’s pretty standard in anything idk why everyone talks about progressive overload now

  • you can illustrate that by looking at the physical term of “work”. in order to progess, you have to work more. and considering W = F * s in order to increase W, you either have to put more force in it, meaning you have to increase the weight, or you have to increase the way along that force, which you can do by more repititions. 

  • It always gives me this “I’m going to die if I fuck up” feel when progressively overloading free weight workouts like bench pressing

  • Thank you so much for this video man, I’ve been so mind fucked over this progressive overload shit because I always thought it was about increasing the weight but what you just said right now makes so much more sense

  • Has anyone used the Custokebon Secrets to lost crazy amounts of weight? Simply do a google search. On there you will discover a great guidelines about how exactly you can lost tons of weight. Why don’t you give it a shot? maybe it can work for you too.

  • I know this is an old past but I just found it and read about it. When does progressive overload stops? If I don’t want to get stronger or bigger how do I train and maintain what I have achieved? Does progressive overload still comes into play? I am confused with this point. I am almost satisfied with my gains right now and just want to maintain it hence the question.

  • whats the name of the song in the end, sounds realy motivating for working out, btw anybody knows any good songs like that one for working out?

  • I love those frickin’ shirts that these dudes wear.
    Unfortunately, I am a twiglet so it looks insanely dumb me wearing them.
    If I got a bit bigger, I would look like a weak guy who thinks he is a beast lol
    in 4 years Omar, I will buy one =P

  • Great content! I love how specific you were with spelling out the many different ways to accomplish progressive overload! Thank you!!