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progressive overload training

Progressive Overload Training with A VBT Encoder

Written by Vitruve Team

30 June, 2022

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The process of building muscle mass is simple. First, you stress your muscles by lifting weights. Then your body reacts to that stress by building more muscle mass and making your muscles bigger and stronger. The longer you lift the heavier and heavier weights, the more your muscles will continue to grow bigger and stronger. For making it all simply possible-Progressive Overload Training is here to help you build your muscular system stronger.

What is Progressive Overload Training?

Progressive overload is a training program that is the best way to build bigger, stronger muscles to lift heavy weights over time. Lifting heavier weights gradually is a powerful spur for your muscles to grow bigger and stronger. It involves making small, growing changes in your performance to challenge yourself – and then giving yourself enough recovery and rest time so that your muscles can repair and grow bigger and larger.

 progressive overload training

How is Progressive Overload Training beneficial?

Anyone with an interest in maintaining their current muscles or bodybuilding can benefit from applying progressive overload training to their daily exercises. Some of the benefits you can expect from the  progressive overload training program are:

  • Enhanced power and strength
  • Improved muscle hypertrophy
  • Better muscle and cardio-vascular longevity
  • Improved performance in specific sports
  •  Helps in losing weight quickly
  •  More interesting and stimulating exercises etc.

Combining Different Workout Methods with Progressive Overload Training Program

Here are a few different ways you can use progressive overload to build muscle. It may be best to combine the following methods in your training sessions.

1. Boost Endurance

Endurance refers to how long you can exercise at one time. Increasing endurance may mean increasing the number of sets in strength training exercises, or it may mean doing cardio for longer periods. Whereas we often think of progressive overload concerning strength or resistance training, the same concept applies to cardio again: We need to do more overtime to improve.

2. Enhance Intensity

The intensity in this context usually refers to speed. When you run, increasing your pressure will mean running faster. It can also mean doing a very difficult version of the exercise. For example, if you are comfortable doing bodyweight squats, try jump squats too.

3. Enhance Resistance

To increase workout resistance, you can increase the amount of weight you use, or use exercise resistance belts. If you are working with dumbbells or other weights, be sure to go up to the next size gradually, only if you are comfortable doing so about 10-12 repetitions (reps) for that weight. This is done to avoid over-training.

4. Increase Reps

Finally, we can increase the number of repetitions of any given exercise, which directs muscle endurance. For example, if you can currently do 10 push-ups, you can work up to 20 more.

What is Velocity-Based Training (VBT) & How Do We Measure It?

With Vitruve you can measure speed and power of the lifts. This gives you medium speed and power, maximum strength and speed, as well as precise speed ratings that you can use to track athletes’ performance. You connect it to your computer via a Bluetooth device and then track the progress of the athletes as they go through the cycle. Velocity-based training (VBT) allows athletes to choose weight based on the speed at which they athlete is trying to train.

The athlete warms up with a Vitruve unit attached to the bar and selects weight based on the speed. During the session, if an athlete is running below or above the selected speed, adjustments are made with the weight to ensure that you are training the right quality of speed. VBT is a continuous adjustment based on how the athlete performs during the day, but a percentage-based system cannot make changes to objective data.

progressive overload training

How to Design a Real-Life Progressive Overload Training?

To help you find your way and design a training program that will help you achieve your goals, we will discuss three main ways to consider when designing a progressive overload training program.

  •  Maintain weight, reduce sets, and increase reps

The progressive overload training program helps you sustain weight, decrease sets, and increase reps. For instance, if You are currently able to do 150 lb back squats in 3 sets of 5 repetitions and you would like to go up to be able to do 175 lb back squats in 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Then you would have to start training at 150 lbs with 1 set of 8 repetitions. Each week start by adding 1 set until you reach a point where it is not possible. This will gradually increase your strength and the amount of weight you can squat.

  •  Maintain weight and sets and increase reps

Then comes the second method, where instead of limiting your sets, you will want to stick to 3 sets. However, each week you will want to increase your reps by 1. For example, during the first week, you will do 3 sets of 6 repetitions; next week you will do 3 sets of 7 reps. This will also increase the amount of training and will encourage positive changes over time.

  •  Increase weight and incrementally increase sets and reps

With this last method, it is your weight that you begin to gain. For example, increase your weight to 160lbs. In the first week, complete 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Add 1 set each week for 3 weeks. If you have successfully added another 3 sets (total of 6 sets), start again with 3 sets and add 1 repetition to each set each week. Also, this will increase the volume of total training and the stress applied to your system over time.

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The Bottom Line

Adding an encoder like Vitruve to your progressive overload training can work much better when you plan the session itself because by knowing the performance speed, we can know the exact percentage of strength you are working on and can have regular control over your workout sessions. Besides this Vitruve encoder is the fastest acoustic feedback you can find in the form of an application by which you can keep a high focus and maximum concentration on each workout step while powerlifting. This gives a bonus to the training itself as you would be wanting to beat your record as it will make you, unknowingly, want to lift weights faster than before.

Thanks to the Vitruve encoder, now we can control both intensities by the speed of the initial repetition of the active series, as well as the training volume by the loss of intra-series speed. Without a doubt, encoder training can be a  complete change and a step up in your training program.

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Sports Science Degree. Crossfit trainer, in love with weightlifting and digital marketing

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