Transcribed from embedded video below:

Progressive overload is applied during exercise prescription, and it means that we progressively, over time, overload the musculoskeletal system. And this is to elicit changes in our musculoskeletal system. So, looking specifically through our bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

There are many ways that we can apply progressive overload. Some being:

  • Increasing sets or repetitions
  • Reducing rest time
  • Increasing the weight that the person is lifting or moving
  • Increasing complexity of movement.

When an exercise program is developed for a beginner, usually we like to start quite basic and we like to build the foundations in strength. What we usually see occurring first is a very quick spike in strength gains, and usually that comes from an improvement in our neuromuscular system. Our brain is talking to our muscles a little bit better, and so they’re able to fire a little bit more responsively. So, we see a quick spike in our strength (that is the neuromuscular adaptations), and from there, we might start to see a plateau.

From there, we want to start applying those progressive overload principles discussed above. So, not only does progressive overload apply to strength improvements, it can also apply to hypertrophy programs as well, and we see improvements in strength, bone density, ligament and tendon strength, and we also see that really nice neuromuscular adaptation.

If you’re starting to create an exercise program, remember the principle of progressive overload so that your program doesn’t plateau and you continue to see those improvements and changes over time.

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