news How to Force Muscle to Grow in 2023 – 5 Best Types of Progressive Overload

Learn how to boost muscle growth and boost your gains with these helpful tips from Jeremy Ethier.

How to force muscle growth and boost your gains

“When it comes to how to grow muscle, it needs to be continually challenged beyond what they are used to. training does not achieve progressive overload.”

“Sure, they get good pumps and sweat from their workouts, but they’re really not doing much to signal their muscles to grow over time. To understand the importance of progressive overload for hypertrophy, we first need to know how muscles grow.”

5 types of progressive overload

“So let’s say we’ve just finished a workout. Right after that, our muscles don’t really get stronger. In fact, it’s only after a few days of proper recovery that they adapt to the damage they’ve taken.” What does that mean? To get consistent gains over time, you need to design your workouts so that you literally grow muscle each session. I’ll tell you about loading.”

Types of progressive overload – gaining weight

“Increasing the weight you lift is the progressive overload method that most people rely on. Next week, try increasing the resistance and doing 8 repetitions of 110 pounds, although in the previous example you did a 100-pound bench press in week 1 and added 10 pounds of weight each week. If so, theoretically you should be benching 620 pounds at the end of the year.

Types of progressive overload – increasing number of times

“When applied properly, adding more reps is another great way to incorporate progressive overload into your training to force your muscles to grow. You can maintain the same weight and increase the number of reps up to 30 and still get the same growth compared to adding more weight. It helps if you can’t add more weight.”

How to Perform Reps for More Muscle Growth Drop Sets and Normal Sets for Muscle GrowthSource: Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

“But for those who have access to more weights, consider double progression. What if I can’t?”

Types of progressive overload – change set

“The next method of progressive overload to stimulate hypertrophy has to do with the number of sets you perform. We know that the number of benefits you get from doing sets almost doubles, but there is a point where the benefits diminish when you get to 20-30.Set a zone. Only increase by 10-20% per week, and then when you hit the 20-30 set zone or start feeling pretty tired, you can go back to the original program you started with.”

Types of progressive overload – reduce frequency

“The next two types of progressive overload are ways to force your muscles to continue to grow while lifting the same weight and doing the same number of reps and sets each week. You can increase the amount of time your muscles are under tension to stimulate more growth.

“This is particularly effective for exercises involving small, weak muscle groups, such as lateral raises, which are often disproportionately more difficult with a small increase in weight, and bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups and pull-ups, which cannot add weight. However, you want to avoid doing it too late, as doing it too late can have the opposite effect and start hindering muscle growth instead of promoting it. It seems we can.”

Types of progressive overloading – optimizing forms

“Often, when you think you’re challenging your muscles by adding weight to your lifts, you’re actually compromising your form in the process. If you do the same workouts as you did for the week, but control your exercise better, move less, and target muscles more active, realize that’s progress. , making it more dependent on the muscle being targeted, leading to growth, even if all other variables remain the same.”

It really depends on your situation as to which of these five methods is the best and will give you the most growth. It depends on your level of experience, equipment availability, and whether there is a particular type of plateau you are stuck on.

Video – Types of progressive overload

Details – Types of Progressive Overload

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The muscles of the upper body consist of the trapezius, rhomboid, serratus anterior, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, deltoid, supraspinatus, teres minor, and infraspinatus muscles. The triceps is also an upper body muscle.

The above list is not exhaustive, but gives an overview of most of the major upper body muscles.

Types of Progressive Overload – Trapezius

The trapezius muscle is at the back of the neck and runs horizontally along the spine. The upper fibers (superior trapezius) begin near the base of the skull and extend until they connect to the scapula. The lower fibers (infratrapezius) connect directly to each side of the spine and continue to approximately the middle of the back.

The trapezius muscle acts primarily as an antagonist for the muscles of the scapula, helping to raise and stabilize the shoulders when performing other exercises that require a lot of upper body movement. and acts as a stabilizer during all types of lifting movements, including weights and resistance bands attached at various points along the arms and torso.

Types of Progressive Overload – Rhombus Major

There are rhomboid major muscles on each side of the spine. These muscles are attached to the vertebrae and help keep the vertebrae in place by pulling the shoulder blades together. You can feel the major rhomboid muscles working.

These muscles also rotate the scapula inward and upward as you raise and lower your arm overhead. That is why it is important for athletes not only to strengthen these muscles, but to keep them flexible so that they can move easily in all directions without feeling pain or discomfort.

serratus anterior

The serratus anterior is a muscle in the upper back. Beginning with his eight ribs at the top, it inserts into the medial border of the scapula.

The serratus anterior muscle lengthens and rotates the scapula upward (pulls it toward the head).

pectoralis major

You may have heard of the pectoralis major, or “pecs”. This is the muscle normally responsible for moving the arm when it is lifted. It is also used to bend the arm upwards at the elbow joint, which is useful for training in the gym.

The pectoralis major muscle attaches to either side of the upper ribs and breastbone (breastbone). When these muscles contract, they pull these body parts in an upward motion. The clavicle part moves up towards the shoulder and the sternum part pulls down towards the sternum.

latissimus dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle in the back, extending from the lower thoracic spine to the iliac crest. They are powerful extenders for the arm and stabilizers for the shoulder joint. Those actions also help with arm rotation and adduction.

The lats work with other muscles to pull your upper arms down toward your abdomen or push them up and away from your body when doing push-ups.

deltoid muscle

The deltoid muscle is located in the upper arm and helps lift, rotate, and stabilize the shoulder joint. It also helps to bend the arm at the elbow joint.

You can train your deltoids by rotating and lifting heavy objects such as dumbbells and barbells.


  • The supraspinatus is a small muscle. Located in the shoulder, it works with supraspinatus tendonitis to lift the arm to the side.
  • A rotator cuff tear may result from an injury, such as falling on an outstretched hand, or it may develop gradually over time due to wear and tear on the joint.

small cylinder

The teres minor is a small muscle in the upper back between the lats and the posterior deltoids. It also helps to rotate your arm and raise it toward your head, such as when you lift your arm to scratch your ears or push up a messy ponytail.

infraspinatus muscle

The infraspinatus muscle originates in the infraspinatus fossa of the scapula and inserts into the greater tubercle.

As part of the rotator cuff muscle, it is the main stabilizer of the glenohumeral joint during abduction and external rotation.

In addition to this function, joints above and below the insertion point of the greater tubercle (scapula) can also assist in flexion, extension and lateral rotation of the arm.


The subscapularis muscle is located in the rotator cuff behind the shoulder. It works with other muscles to abduct (away from the body) and externally rotate the arm at the shoulder joint.

The subscapularis is one of the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff, a group of small muscles that surround and stabilize the shoulder.

triceps brachii (long head)

  • Where: The triceps muscle is located on the upper arm. It starts on the outside of the humerus (the outer bone of the humerus) and inserts into the olecranon process of the ulna (the outer bone of the forearm).
  • Action: Extends and adducts the long head of the triceps, rotating the arm inward. It also works with other muscles to flex the elbow joint.
  • Works with Other Muscles: The long head of the triceps works together with the lateral and medial heads as part of a larger muscle group called the “triceps.”
  • Engaging Other Muscles: The long head counteracts the action of the biceps muscle group that pulls the arm toward the midline and bends it at the elbow joint.

triceps brachii (lateral head)

The lateral head is the largest of the three heads of the triceps brachii muscle and originates on either side of the humerus, the upper arm bone. It also attaches to part of the subarticular tubercle, which is the region of the scapula (shoulder blade). The lateral head is a powerful extensor (straightener) of the forearm.

The triceps, or triceps for short, is the three-headed muscle at the back of the upper arm. It has a unique anatomical origin among muscles. Two heads come from the scapula (shoulder blade) and one head comes from the humerus (upper arm bone).


I hope you enjoyed learning about the muscles of your upper body.

Use your new knowledge of anatomy and 5 progressive overloads to force muscle growth and boost gains.

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