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Overload principles of training

Probably the most important factor in any workout program is that of overload. If your training program does not incorporate this in somehow, you aren't really going to see much improvement - plain and simple.

The whole point of physical training is to incorporate in a stimulus that pushes the muscles past their comfort zone and creates tiny muscle tears. Then while rest is being provided, the body will begin to repair these tears and grow back stronger than it was previously. This is where you get your improvement. If the overload is not placed on the muscle, it's not going to see any reason to be challenged nor the repair process will not need to take place, hence you will just plateau at your current level of fitness.

One thing you do need to pay attention to however, is that the overload is not so overly high that it becomes almost impossible for you to recover from it. If this starts occurring, then you are going to seeing yourself approaching overtraining, which is extremely detrimental to performance. You really must find balance with your workouts and unfortunately, this is the thing that most individuals struggle with the most. It can be a fine line as to what's enough and what's too much.

Also consider that there are a few ways you can add this extra challenge to your body. You can do so by increasing the weight lifted, increasing the speed you are going at or increasing the duration you are performing the activity (this is more applicable to cardiovascular training). You should note however that it's generally not the best idea to increase more than one aspect at once, but rather to focus in on one goal at a time.

After working on that goal for a month or two, then you might want to switch gears a little and move onto something else. This is pretty much the whole point of the workout principles of periodization; allowing you to focus in on certain aspects of your fitness for a given amount of time while coinciding this with your training year.

So have a look at your current workout plan and make sure you are getting this important consideration incorporated in.

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