Feeling frustrated because you’re not getting the results you want with your workouts?
Do you feel like you’re trying your best to get your workouts in but you’re close to giving up because – honestly – what’s the point if you aren’t getting stronger or getting the results you’re hoping for?
I hear you.
It can be annoying and honestly disheartening when you feel like you’re putting in a generous amount of effort, but you’re not getting the return you’d hoped for.
The truth is that you don’t have the luxury of spending hours and hours and hours working out anymore.
Maybe you did before you had your kiddo, but you certainly don’t now.
That’s why you need to adopt the strategy that the pros use to get dreamy results (without having to spend your life in the gym).
It’s called progressive overload.
I know. It sounds fancy and complicated, but it’s actually quite simple.
In a nutshell it means that your body is going to adapt to exercise.
You’re going to get stronger as the weeks go on and whatever exercises you’re doing will start to feel easier.
So we need to keep modifying your workouts at regular intervals to ensure that your body is still being challenged.
Because if you keep popping in the same workout DVD, or lifting the same amount of weight, or doing the same number of reps and sets over and over and over again, your body will get bored.
You will get bored.
And you’ll stop seeing results.
We definitely don’t want that to happen.
So what can you do?
Well, you can make sure that every once in a while you’re changing things up. You’re using the principle of progressive overload to your advantage.
That means that every few workouts you’re taking things to the next level.
With my programs I like to work in 2 – 4 week cycles.
So for 2 – 4 weeks you’re doing the same exercises, with the same amount of weight, for the same amount of reps and sets.
But at some point you’re ready for more challenge so you switch things up.
There’s no clear-cut formula for knowing when exactly that should happen, but it’s usually pretty obvious when a client is ready for the next step.
It’s simply about paying attention to how you’re feeling, how your body is responding and honestly it’ll be a gut feeling of “I’m ready for more”.
So at that point we need to up the ante.
And how can you do that?
Well 3 of the most simple ways to take you to the next level are:
- Up the amount of weight you’re using
- Up the amount of reps and/or sets you’re doing
- Decrease the amount of rest between your reps and sets
You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) use all 3 at once.
We simply pick the one that makes the most sense for that workout or that exercise and go for it.
Here are some examples to help you get a better idea of what I mean.
Up Your Weight
Say you’ve been doing squats with no weight for the past 2 weeks and things are starting to feel easy.
Grab yourself a pair of dumbbells, hold onto a medicine ball, or pick up your toddler (seriously!) and get squatting!
Or you’ve been doing clamshells and they’re starting to feel like they’re not giving you the booty burn they used to.
You can add a mini band around your knees to up the ante.
Or maybe you’ve been doing rows with a resistance band and the resistance is feeling less challenging.
Well you can hold the band closer to where it’s anchored or grab a heavier weight of band to wake your back up some more.
There are millions of ways to add more weight or resistance to the exercise.
Just remember that we don’t want to go from lifting 5lbs to lifting 50lbs. Start small.
You can always add more weight if you still need a bit more resistance. But begin by just adding a little bit of weight and go from there.
Up Your Reps & Sets
You’ve been doing 10 reps of those lunges for 2 weeks now. Let’s try 12 reps.
Or maybe you’ve been doing 20 bridges and your body is ready for 25.
Another option is to keep doing 8 overhead presses but instead of doing 3 sets or rounds of those presses, you’re now going to do 4 sets. And man does that extra set challenge you!
Adding a couple extra reps or doing one more full set of an exercise is a quick and easy way to keep your body from getting bored.
Just remember to pay attention to your form.
We want you to feel challenged, without feeling exhausted. And we definitely don’t want you struggling to stay in good alignment.
Decrease Your Rest
This one will surely keep your heart pumping and muscles burning the entire time you workout.
If you’re used to taking 60 seconds of rest between exercises, drop that down to 45 seconds, or even 30 seconds if you’re ready for it.
The less rest you take, the more taxing that workout will be on your body because you’re not giving your muscles much of a break to recover. They’re working overtime to keep you going.
Obviously you want to make sure you’re not pushing yourself so hard that you can’t catch your breath, or you’re barely able to walk because your muscles are so done.
The key – as with all of these options – is to challenge yourself without exhausting yourself.
So what method are you going to try?
How can you mix things up and feel the burn again after plateauing?
I know that this may feel confusing at first, but it doesn’t have to be.
And it’s something that you will absolutely want to adopt if you’re tired of stalling out and not getting the results you deserve from all your hard work.
For that reason, you better believe that I use progressive overload to help you get the best results possible in my programs.
And I make it easy on you by taking the guesswork out of when/how to use progressive overload and simply give you a clear, easy to follow program that will ensure you’re continually challenged – so you can get amazing results.
I love using research-backed methods like progressive overload because it ensures that the little time we do have to workout is actually making a consistently powerful impact on our goals.
So give it a try and enjoy those well-deserved results.
P.S. See how this could help take your results from “meh” to “yessss!!”? Help your friends out too by sharing this post with them.