Let’s talk progressive overload!
Something I get asked about my fitness journey is If I gradually increase the weight I use when practicing same or similar exercises.
YES! It’s super important to do that as you continue to progress in order to place more demands on your muscles & build size, strength & endurance.
The LOGIC behind it is to prevent the muscles from getting too adapted.
The GOAL is to push them to work harder than they’re used to & than they had to when you started, obviously using common sense & not to the point where it’s painful.
If the demands on your muscles aren’t maintained (at least) or are decreased, the muscles will atrophy, losing both size & strength. This is 1 of the reasons why stopping to work out & restarting is hard sometimes.
In simple terms, if you continue performing at the same intensity, you can’t expect the same gains you got at first because you worked your way up, your muscles are more capable of handling the overload & don’t feel as challenged.
This isn’t to say you should start with weights that feel too heavy just to get the “gains” faster because it’s not very likely that’ll happen anyway. You need to build your way up; there’s no point in struggling so much with a 10-12lb. weight that it compromises form & you hardly manage to get in any reps.
Form is key when it comes to reaping the benefits from training – focus on nailing your form, then up your weight as you feel ready!
ALWAYS remember: YOUR fitness journey is YOURS, so focus on YOU, YOUR effort & YOUR results!
Practically, I use anywhere from 5-25lb. weights with a general focus on high reps. The weights I use vary based on the area of the body targeted, for ex: I go heavier for biceps, triceps, legs & booty & lighter for lateral shoulder raises or if I’m doing sumo squats but also adding a power move like weighted jabs.