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The Biggest Mistake You Make When Starting To Workout!

Everything You Need To Know About Progressive Overload!

Posted by djamelb - July 23rd, 2013

Meet Joe.

Joe has been working out in the gym for months and hasn’t seen any significant results. He has tried everything to build muscle. High reps, low reps, high volume, low volume, low intensity, high intensity, strength, growth…the list goes on.

He spends his time surfing the internet looking for the best workout routine. Every week he finds the hottest new workout and decides to give it a try. He goes to the gym and does a different workout routine every 2 weeks. Then, months later, he wonders why he hasn’t seen any results.

Sound familiar?

Your body grows and changes due to muscular adaptation. If you consistently push your body towards its strength threshold, then your body will adapt to grow stronger. If you consistently push your body towards its speed threshold, then your body will adapt to grow faster.

What most guys don’t realize is that this adaptation does not happen after a single workout, it happens over time and over multiple workouts.  

The biggest mistake a lot of guys make when starting to workout is changing their workout routine too frequently. Your body hasn’t even had the chance to adapt from the last workout and you’re already “changing it up”. “Muscle confusion bro! I don’t wanna plateau.” Now, don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a time and place to modify your workouts. However, most guys “change up” their workouts prematurely.

Change happens little by little each week and you may not even notice it. However, the cumulative effect of the small improvements and adaptations over time are very noticeable. Someone that sticks with a progressive training program for 2 - 3 months, as opposed to 2 - 3 weeks, wakes up one day and looks in the mirror to see a pleasant surprise.

The true key to dramatic muscle gains is consistent progressive overload. Put simply, progressive overload is following a workout routine consistently and incrementally increasing the workload. The best way to do this is by increasing the weight used in each workout by 5 - 10% every time you repeat a workout.


  • Week 1: Bench – 10 Reps at 100lbs
  • Week 2: Bench Press – 10 Reps 105lbs
  • Week 3: Bench Press – 10 Reps 110lbs
  • Week 4: Bench Press – 10 Reps 115lbs

This progression for most guys seems slow and insignificant, and that’s why it’s so hard for them to follow. However, it is very effective.

A guy that follows this consistent incremental progression will increase their bench press by 30 - 50% over the course of 3 months. How much has your bench press increased these past 3 months?

Additionally, this increase in strength will be coupled with dramatic visually noticeable physical change. Your body will have to adapt by adding lean muscle to your frame in order to generate this increased amount of strength.

Instead of putting their egos aside and making incremental progress as shown above, a lot guys lift light, then heavy, then light again, then change their rep range every week. This way, they end up with the illusion of progress instead of actually accomplishing anything.

Do not be the guy that makes this mistake. Do not be the guy that goes to the gym for months on end and looks exactly the same as he did 6 months ago when he joined.

Stick to one workout program for at least 2 - 3 months. Just the fact that you are here at shows you are serious about changing your body. Pick one of the workout routines on this site and slowly increase your workload by 5 - 10% every week and you will see results.

If you’re looking for a full 3 month body transformation program, checkout There you’ll find an excellent resource on everything you need to know to sculpt the body of a Greek God.

Lastly, what are you going to do today to create your legacy?

Take care.

If this article helped you and you'd like to learn more ways to maximize your results, SIGN-UP for the Platinum Membership today!

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Nice article I can admit I am a bit like that switching it up way to often even though I always do the big three every week. But now I have made a rather easy program divided into push , shoulders , legs, calves , pull mon-friday. Will try and stick to this for 10 weeks and see what happens. Also I for once planned in deloads every 5 weeks which include more cardio less lifting. 

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

You are not trying my SHRED CHALLENGE @brolle81? It's killer man, I know you will love it!

Brolle81 Edit Delete Close

I missed out on the start  so no 😥. But perhaps it's not so crucial when you start? 

JakeL Edit Delete Close

Hey @brolle81, it's only been a week since we started, you would not be far behind at all! I would totally recommend it to you, as @scott_herman said, it's KILLER!! Even if you don't get to do pictures and everything for the prizes, you should at least do it for the benefit you get out of the workouts, that makes it completely worth it!! I can tell you, after a week of doing it, I feel better than ever!!


Awesome read right here brother. I'm going to take this knowledge to the gym with me. Thanks!


Wait! I was told that you should change your workout every 6 weeks and this article says stick with one programme for 2-3 months? Can you please shed some light here


wilkinson207 Edit Delete Close

varies from person to person depending on their own personal abilities, i personally stick to a workout plan anywhere from 4-8 months at a time, its all about how long it takes to defeat your neurological system, so basically keep going till you hit a brick wall, once you've gotten through that wall in your training then you start making realy stubstancial gains but only for so long, after that you change out to a new routine, make sense? some people hit a brick wall in week 3-4 and only spend 2 more weeks on their routine, i personally hit the wall anywhere from 2 months upto 4-5 months into a routine, after that i start leaning out getting stronger and putting on mass quicker than usually.

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

Great point @wilkinson207@gov, it is all about tracking your progress with your exercises... IE weight and reps.Keep in mind you can "switch-up" your routine by adding more weight to your lifts, and changing the order of the exercises


This is a great article.  I actually plan on making a video on progression overload soon.  It's more than just adding weight each set.  "OVERLOAD" can be drop sets, burn sets, less rest.. anything that overloads the muscle tissue during a lift.


This what I am trying to do since then, and now I am having great results... :D

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

Nice @chem715! Keep us posted on your progress brotha!


Well said! Good article.

jonahsaller Edit Delete Close

Funny how something seemingly so simple can be so hugely overlooked. This article covers a lot of important stuff that a lot of people (including myself till recently) just don't know. Dude, I'm loving this site! :)


Informative article. My one question is, how do you know what weight to start off with per exercise? Say bench for instance, how do you know if it's the correct amount of weight you should lift in order for you to grow.

Whisper Edit Delete Close

Trial and error. It shouldnt take you more than 5 minutes to figure out the needed weight.


Really great article. Very informative. Thanks... 

Hi Scott, I have noticed that my strength has increased but my size not at all, I don't seem to have gotten any bigger? Would this be a diet issue?
ralfisman Edit Delete Close
that is exactly what im suffering from Scott.. i change a lot of my routine but i never see the progress.. very minimum change .. imma give this advice a try and let you know how it goes ~ Ralf.
Gagysha Edit Delete Close
When u workout u do something,but u dont see that bro....Your muscle learn to adapt on your workout program,and when u do same workout on few week's u will see change on muscle...
Gagysha Edit Delete Close
U must have patience for muscle's,and dont change your program every time when step in gym...that is key!