I am going to share a famous quote I heard by Peter Drucker, “Do first things first, and second things not at all.” And we are going to tie this into the cornerstone, the bedrock if you will, of muscle growth.
What is the cornerstone of muscle growth? How do you guarantee a shredded and muscular physique? By applying the principle of progressive overload – the best bodybuilding tip of all time.
If you’re saying, “I know that already…”
The mirror might say differently.
If you look the same as last month or last year then you know the principle as an insight which is level 0 learning as discussed last post. The goal today is to help you to move toward level 1 learning (behavior change) and eventually level 2 learning (a transformation).
Would you agree that it’s easy to live within your comfort zone while you work out? It’s easy to do what is comfortable and familiar. It’s challenging to attack the highest priority and stay focused on the highest priority. But what should be your highest priority? You can’t tell between the forest and the trees.
You suffer from over-choice: high reps or low reps, free weights or machines, heavy or light weights, split routines or full body muscle building routines, compound exercises or isolation exercises, slow tempo or fast tempo, cardio or no cardio, low carbs or high carbs – okay, you get the point. The world of weight training can be a confusing landscape.
When you’re flooded with possibilities that can accelerate your muscle growth or put the brakes on your gains, it might be wise to answering questions like, “What is the highest leverage point to set up the conditions for inevitable change?” That just means, “What is my best tool to gain head-turning muscle that cause girls to take a second look and make guys secretly jealous?”
If you have know idea what the highest leverage point is then let me share your “first thing” when it comes to building massive guns, bowling ball shoulders and a button-popping chest.
The History Of Progressive Overload And Why It’s The Best Body Building Tip
You have probably heard of the story of Milo. The story is based on Milo taking a very young calf and lifting it onto his shoulders once a day, every day. As the calf grew, Milo found himself gradually lifting a heavier and heavier calf each day, until one day he was carrying a full-grown steer.
This time, when you read my version of the Milo story, I want you to substitute your name in for his so you began to visualize how Milo’s little experiment exploited the fact that your body is adaptable to the body you deserve. Ready? Don’t forget to substitute your name for Milo’s now:
Milo, was a young man who had a fascination with becoming as strong as possible and building a body he could be proud of. Milo didn’t read the bodybuilding magazines and had no interest in using over-hyped bodybuilding supplements as a crutch. Milo, was very smart and did not get caught up in all the misinformation that personal trainers and so called “experts” tried to brain wash him with. Milo was determined to get strong with the simplest means necessary.
Milo joined the local 24-Hour Fitness and decided to start using the 5 pound weights at the far end of rack. The next workout Milo picked up the 10 pound weights and the following week he used the 15 pound weights. Milo refused to use the same weights twice and eventually was working at the opposite end of the rack. Over the next 12-months Milo was using the 100 pound weights for many of his exercises. Milo became thicker and stronger as he moved up the rack each week and slowly said moved towards new territory in his gym. Milo is now the guy in the gym, on the streets and at the beach who everyone stares at and asks for advice. Milo is a living example of what happens when you contract your muscles against greater resistance than they are used to, they’ll grow bigger and/or stronger.
My Version Of Progressive Overload:
Your muscles have zero interest in growing or getting bigger, in fact, they would rather sleep and watch TV all day. Getting super buff, ripped and muscular is your goal, not your bodies. God created your body to survive, not to be strong and beautiful. Get that through your head.
When you visit the gym and expose your body to the same intensity as last week, your muscles laugh back at you and say, “Nice try, that was your attempt at challenging us?” Once your body must cope with a new stress it says, “Holy crap, what’s your problem? I don’t want to ever experience that discomfort and stress again so I am going to build some new muscle to protect myself.” It’s like when you lie in the sun to get a tan. Your body darkens to protect you from further attack or damage.
How To Apply This Principle In Today’s Workout
- Lift 5 pounds heavier than last week.
- Lift the same weight as last week but add one extra rep i.e “The Money Rep”
- Lift the same weight with the same reps but take a 15 second shorter rest period.
- Take an extra 2 seconds to lower the weight.
- Move the same weight as last week through a greater range of motion.
- Do the same weight and number of reps but add one extra set.
Note: You must apply at least 1 of these techniques to successfully achieve progressive overload. It’s best to choose one technique and stick with it until you plateau for 2 workouts in a roll. Applying this principle is your highest leverage point and the “first thing” before considering “second things.”
The principle of progressive overload meets Pareto’s 80/20 Rule too. This means that 80% of your results will come from 20% of the tools available. Continue exposing your body to unaccustomed stress and you’ll continue to give your muscles a reason to explode muscular growth all over your frame and you’ll be the talk of your gym.
Do me a favor and share your favorite progressive overload technique. What’s getting you the best results these days? Anything new or cool that you’ve tried that you want to share? Let’s hear what you got to say by sharing below.
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