What is it? Why do we need it? How do we program it into our daily workouts?
The concept of progressive overload may be a familiar concept for some of you; however, many of you may have never heard of it, yet you do it every time you come train with us….or at least you should be!
Progressive overload (PO) is the principle of increasing demands on the body over time….and that progression can consist of many factors.
Fitness guru Bret Contreras lists 12 ways you can accomplish progressive overload (full article here); however, one simple way of accomplishing PO is to increase weight to the exercise each time you perform that movement. Although a simple concept, it’s not realistic mainly for two reasons…One, you’re not getting stronger fast enough and Two, there is essentially a glass ceiling on your strength.
With that being said, you (we) still need to apply the PO principle and can accomplish this through increased reps, RTF, intensity (time or work completed) and more.
Our bodies are adaptation machines. Provide a stimulus long enough with the correct dose and the body will adapt (change) to meet the demands of that stimulus. For example, take an NFL lineman….besides the obvious genetic traits, he will train to get big and strong by using training modalities that provide the appropriate stimuli to result in one large, strong human being. Now let’s imagine the same NFL lineman retires and decides to run the NYC Marathon. He will now train in such a manner to prepare him to run 26.2 miles. What do you think will happen to his body? Exactly!! His body will adapt to that new training stimuli and get rid of unnecessary size and strength and make him a more endurance based athlete.
Pittsburg Steelers / Photo Run – Alan Faneca – NFL Lineman turned runner (full story here).
At some point, in both scenarios, if he didn’t apply PO, his body will simply plateau (stay the same) as it already adapted to that stimuli, regardless of what it is.
You’ll notice Coach Ossie, Jay, Gio or myself tell you week in and week out to add weight to the lift or we decrease your RTF and sometimes we apply the AMRAP concept. All this is programmed to make sure we are hitting PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD!
500 meter row for time
As a team of two accumulate 4000 meter row and 80 thrusters for time.
One teammate will row as the other performs thrusters. You may partition the row distance and thrusters as needed, but our recommendation is to use a 500 meter / 10 thruster split.