What does resistance training mean? And the concept of progressive overload

Well at the start, we actually need to know some concepts and definitions about resistance training, what it means and the proper scientific information behind it.

Resistance training: 

  • It is the use of resistance or weight to stimulate contraction structure which increases its strength, and size and their likelihood of anaerobic (helps to boost the capacity to figure in situations of low oxygen level).

weights in gym

  • It is an exercise that is done against an external resistance such as dumbbells to the biceps or the bodyweight in push-ups to train chest and shoulders. Almost all depend on gravity to make a resistance while trying to move against.

Progressive overload: 

  • It is a method of strength training that aims for the gradual increase of the stress upon the musculoskeletal and nervous system. The theory behind progressive overload suggests that the continuous increase in the total work volume during training sessions will stimulate muscle growth and strength gains.
  • Work volume = Weight + sets + repetitions
  • For example, you are training today with 5kg dumbbells as 12 reps and 3 sets, so while training the same muscle group next time you have to increase the weight, sets, repetitions or at least one or two of these factors to force the muscle to grow.

Time under tension: 

  • The more the muscle is under stress( tension) per session, the more progress you will get .thus, try to slow your workout than the previous training day up to 5 seconds per one move to increase the tension as well as the overall muscle load.

Muscle fatigue:  

  • It is a decrease in the muscle's ability to generate strength
  • There are two main causes of muscle fatigue:

  1. The nerve’s ability to generate a sustainable signal (nerve fatigue).
  2. The ability of the muscle fibers to contract (metabolic fatigue) 

  • To improve it, put a concern on your micronutrients as potassium and sodium to delay the nerve fatigue furthermore, pick up some antioxidant sources and do some warm-ups before the workout to enhance your circulation to wash up any remnants of lactic acids to delay metabolic fatigue.
Muscle fatigue

Muscle soreness:

  • Muscle soreness is the pain felt in muscles several hours to days after vigorous or strenuous exercise.
  • The soreness is felt obviously 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. It is thought to be caused by eccentric "lengthening" exercise, which causes small damage "microtrauma" to the muscle fibers.
  • After such exercise, the muscle adaption happens rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and thereby soreness if the exercise is repeated.
  • There are two types of muscle soreness:

  1. Delayed onset muscle soreness, which appears after a while due to exercise-induced muscle damage.
  2. Acute muscle soreness, which is felt while training and immediately after exercise.

Muscle recovery:

  • Muscle rest and recovery is hugely essential for any workout routine. This is even more critical after a heavyweight training session. Your after-exercise recovery routine has a huge effect on your muscle gains and activity performance and allows you to train much more effectively. The famous mistake is that most people don't put in mind an after exercise recovery plan.

relaxing man

Tips to achieve the fastest recovery:

1. Sleep

6-8 hours of sleep (at least) is essential to get your muscles the appropriate amount of rest required.

2. Protein

It is too important to supply your muscles with enough amounts of protein sources to enhance recovery and prevent muscle loss.

3. Rest days

You shouldn’t train each muscle group two successive days without any rest in between. Muscles especially the larger ones need time to rest at least form 24 to 48 hours between sessions.

4. Water and fluids

To keep your body hydrated can help you to recover faster and end the metabolic processes at a minimum amount of time.


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