When someone needs to get bulky muscles, they focus on strength training. Strengthening Exercises are much popular but most people don’t concern about the science behind strength training. According to Dr. Fred Hatfield, there are seven laws of training. Among these seven laws, the Overload principle is a key law that everyone should know. Simply stated, the Overload principle is a guiding principle of exercise prescription. This principle also uses in sports fitness training for creating great, energetic players. So, it is up to you. What is your target? Apply it as you want. Because bodybuilder focus on great looking muscles but 1500m runner needs high endurance. Let’s study this concept thoroughly.

Overload principle definition

If you want to improve muscle performance, you have to overcome its metabolic capacity by adding suitable resistance for your strength training exercises. But most of the guys haven’t a clear idea about how to reach it. The overload principle focuses on the progressive loading of the muscle. You should increase the load gradually unless you have to so many disadvantages. Sometimes they cannot be recovered in your lifetime. So, this gradual increase will affect your targeting muscles and they will adapt it step by step.

Building your muscle size or muscle performance is not a one-night activity. We should dedicate our time, money, and energy to gaining it gradually. So, out of 7 key principles, the Overload principle mainly focus on the intensity or volume of exercise. The intensity of resistance exercise refers to how much
weight (resistance) is imposed on the muscle. As well as, it covers frequency, sets, and repetitions of exercises.

How to apply overload principle?

Your target is muscle strengthening and see the growth of muscle or increase your muscle endurance. So, what happens if you perform the same rep count and sets over a month with the same weight as well as without changing even the time or type of exercise. Some of you may have experiences that you are unable to see any strengthening or growth of your targeting muscles. It is clear that, when you start training after a prolonged seated life, you see some muscle gain, but then you are unable to make it successful. You just waste your time.

Let’s find out some great strategies to hit your muscles effectively

Frequency– How many times you hit your muscles during a week? it is another way to apply the overload principle correctly. Gradually you can increase the periods of your workout.

Intensity– You can increase your intensity by adding more weights. But strictly notice that you should increase weights progressively according to the overload principle.

Time– How much time do you spend on your exercises? This also affects you to gain muscles. So, you can progressively increase the time you spend.

Type of exercise– Identify the most effective exercises for muscle or muscle group and make a schedule for performing it. Change the exercise type adequate to the other factors

Reps and sets count– As a beginner, you should start with 6-8 rep count and 4 sets for one session. When you become a moderator, you can increase it up to 12 reps. It is ideal for enhancing your endurance rather than uplifting the weights

Rest: 1-minute rest is the normal prescription between two reps. But you can gradually reduce it up to 30 seconds.

However, keep a note in your mind that you should follow on strategy among the above factors first and then make a plan according to your targets for performing effective training sessions. It is better that you can work with an experienced fitness trainer.

Safety First

Overtraining and put high stress on muscles in a short period of time are the most frequent adverse effects of strength training when guys do not follow the overload principle wisely. It is good to get some advice and interpretation from your fitness trainer before applying it to your muscles. Always focus on your health as well as your fitness. Prevent injuries, supply adequate nutrition for the muscles, apply the overload principle accurately, then it will not be an impossible task for you.

3 Tips for success


It is so vital that you focus on your exercise on that movement. Thinking about past or future, listening to the music while lifting weights are bad habits and it makes you time waster. You can’t reach your targeted goals. Always concentrate on your contracting muscles and coordination of your muscles, nervous system, and your mind are key factors that people are not following


Think about the dumbbell biceps curl. Today, you lift 5kg dumbbells, so a total of 10kgs. So, can you raise it up to 25 kgs within one day? No, you can not do it. It is a gradual process as I mentioned earlier. Obviously, attempts like these lead to muscle fatigue, muscle soreness. Then you won’t be able to complete your schedule during the targeted timeline


Finally, like any other work, you have to perform consistently for getting results of the overload principle. Maybe you can’t acquire planned strength even though you follow the accurate principle of your genetic problems or some other body facts. But keep on doing, perform correctly. It is sure that you can reach it.

What are the 7 laws of strength training?

credits for featured image: Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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