Difference between working out and training- What is Progressive Overload
“Working out” simply means you break a sweat and get a little tired. Now, not to say there is anything wrong with that, however, you are leaving a lot on the table with all of your effort(s).
‘Working Out’ is simply doing any vigorous physical activity that elevates your heart rate and skin temperature. Nothing wrong with this as there are tons of benefits; but results aren’t purposeful.
Progressive overload and training means that your exercise routine is planned out ahead of time to ensure that it purposely becomes more challenging which ultimately will allow your body to adapt.
Adaption is a good thing because it means you increase strength, flexibility, endurance, and more. You literally adapt so that you can meet the demands of the new challenge. More of what you want; and less of what you don’t want.
The problem is that when most people think of making a workout more challenging and progressive, they automatically think of using heavier weights. And this is the best solution unless you are in the actively aging category and or have injuries/joints that are replaced and or hurt. This can actually be more harmful and create more pain in the joint so we use higher reps to get the same results.
‘Training’ is having a system of Progressive Overload entailing that the exercise routine becomes more challenging over time in order to promote adaption (losing fat, gaining muscle and strength, increasing flexibility, etc.).
Almost every time I make that distinction to someone the first thing they think of is ‘I get it; we need to use heavier weights on the exercises’.
And they aren’t wrong. Using heavier weights is definitely a way of ensuring progressive overload and providing a ‘Training Effect’.
The problem is that this is also the progression that is toughest on your joints.
My Solution – Use Pauses.
Simply pausing your exercise at various ranges of motions is one of my favorite ways to make the exercise routine more challenging while reducing the load on your joints AND strengthening the connective tissues (tendons and ligaments) of your joints.
As long as you maintain MAXIMUM muscular tension while pausing it is really hard to get this tip wrong.
Here are a few ways to use and progress pauses:
*Pause at the Bottom of The Range of Motion
*Pause One Inch from the Bottom of The Range of Motion
*Pause Two Inches from the Bottom of The Range of Motion
*Pause ½ Way Up
*Pause on the Way Down OR on the Way Down
*Pause for One Second, Two Seconds, Three Seconds, etc.
*Use Multiple Pauses – At the Bottom AND Half Way Up for instance
With those seven options, you could literally rotate where you are pausing on each exercise while changing nothing else and be ahead of 99% of the people in the world.
As always, give this a try when you can and let me know how it goes!