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In this podcast, I'm sharing with you 8 tips that you can try to help with muscle growth.
Progressive Overload for Muscle Toning
Muscle toning is the same thing as building or growing muscle. They are just different names for the same thing.
To be able to tone or build muscle, we need to progressively overload our body with resistance training. Progressive overload basically means doing better over time — and that can be in terms of weight, reps, sets, and more.
Progressive overload is what makes the muscle grow and strengthen.
In this episode, you're going to learn 8 ways how to do it. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is increasing weights, but when this isn't an option, there are other ways to tone your muscles, too.
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Here are the 8 ways how you can apply the progressive overload to your muscles:
Lift Heavier Weights
If you're today doing squats with 100lbs, maybe 3 weeks from now it's time to try 10 extra pounds. If you can lift that weight for the same amount of reps that you did with 100lbs, you've progressively overloaded the body.
But what if you don't have heavier weights? You can try the following.
Do More Reps
If you always do 10 reps of a certain exercise, now challenge yourself and see if you can do 12. Even though 8-12 is the most classic rep range, all numbers of reps can help you build muscle. You may even want to try 20-30 reps if your weights are very light, or if you only have your own bodyweight to use.
Do More Sets
Are you always doing 3 sets of 10 squats? If that's no longer challenging, increase the number of sets and do 4 or even 5 sets of 10 squats.
Slow Down Tempo
Another way to do progressive overload is to change your lifting tempo. For example, when doing squats, slow down the lowering phase and slowly count to 4 or 5 as you descend, then stand up fast. When doing biceps curls, slow down the extension portion, then bring the weights back up fast. You'll notice that it burns differently than just getting through your reps fast.
Work Out More Frequently
Approach this one with big caution especially if you tend to overtrain: I am not suggesting to do two 90-min gym workouts a day. I am suggesting doing 2-3 short, about 10-minute workouts a day. This is a perfect option for parents whose only workout time is their kids nap time, or if they can fit a small session in between running errands.
And of course, another way to work out more frequently is bumping your workout days up to 3-4 if you're currently doing only 2.
Increase Your Range Of Motion
How low can you squat? The lower you can get your butt, the more muscle you use. If your squat currently stops at 90 degrees, it's time to work on that depth. It might be your ankle or hip mobility that's holding you back, or you may have tight calves or quads. Work on these underlying issues. Your squat will get deeper and you're going to recruit more muscle to perform your exercise. That is progressive overload too.
Try Unilateral Training
That means, single arm or single leg exercises. You can try single leg squats, one arm planks, one leg planks, and even one arm push ups! Just start on something elevated: For your squat, sit on a chair and try to get up from there, or for push ups, put your hand on a desk. The higher the surface, the easier it will be.
Hope this was helpful, let me know if you have any questions about progressive overload and muscle building!
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