Progressive overload is one the key factors when it comes to progressing in the gym (and outside of the gym)
Milo of Croton was a 6th-century BC wrestler from Magna Graecian city of Croton. Milo was known for his feats of strength and his prowess as a leader in the Crotoniate army.
Milo competed in 6 Olympic Games and 7 Pythian Games, where he won the wrestling championship in each.
According to legend, Milo would train for these events by carrying a newborn calf over his shoulders everyday until it became a full-sized bull/ox. He is was also said to have been quite a showman as well, he would usually carry a bull/ox on his shoulders through the stadium to show off his incredible strength.
Milo met a bit of a grizzly end according to the stories told, it was said that as he was getting older he tried to test is strength again by trying to tear a partially split tree with his bare hands. The tree has been split with a wedge, the wedge fell out trapping Milos hand in the tree. With one hand stuck in the tree, Milo was set upon by a pack of wolves (later changed to a lion) and was devoured.
So what does this have to do with the gym?
As I said Milo would carry a newborn calf over his shoulder everyday. The calf would obviously be growing everyday but only in very small amounts. This amount would be small enough that Milo wouldn't even notice the increase. Milos muscles were adapting to handle the weight and in turn making him stronger.
The definition of Progressive Overload: 'The progressive overload principle basically states: In order for a muscle to grow, strength to be gained, performance to increase, or for any similar improvement to occur, the human body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced'
How to apply progressive overload
Now there are 3 main ways of applying PO
1. Increase the weight
2. Increase the reps
3. Increase the sets
Apply this principle to your training and you will see some incredible progress and have a real sense of purpose each time you go to the gym.
As I mentioned at the very start this can be applied to so many aspects of your life as well. A lot of people seem to try to take on too much too soon. Just think small steps forward regardless of how small they are is still progress!
Now go and be like Milo....well don't get your hand stuck in a tree and attacked by a wolves...and also don't try to pick up any bulls.
Ok.. Don't be like Milo, just apply his training principles!