Is going heavier the only way to achieving better results at the gym? Definitely not! Many well-regarded lifting programs suggest otherwise. Here is how you progress without adding more plates on that bar.

I am very sure that you have seen folks who do similar exercises using the same weight plates day in day out. Some of them end up being the laughing stock of the gym because their bodies never change. They might defend themselves with the claim that theirs is an easier task but still why go through all that trouble for nothing. At times when you decide to add that plate to the bar, your muscles may fail to respond well to that decision and you won’t like it when they retaliate. In fact, you might end up missing the next gym session. Do not be surprised, it happens.

Lifting heavier is not always the answer to getting a better form. Why end up with a broken heart and painful joints when you can have it all through other means? Lifting more weight does isn’t the only way to build muscle. All you need is the right guidance. However, doing the same thing all your life will not give you results either. Also, adding more weight to the bar has not been disqualified either, as long as you obey the model of a progressive overload.

Since adding weight to the bar is a little bit difficult, let us look at the easier options.

  1. Increasing The Reps

Trust me, if the last rep was almost as simple as the first one; do not expect any improvement in your form. If the smoothness of that last one resembles silk, there is no difference between you and the person who does not know where the entrance of the gym is. You have to keep going until you can lift no more. Push yourself to the limit in order to get that desired body.


  1. Add more sets to Increase the volume

Increasing the sets you do during exercise is another way to execute progressive overload. There are many programs that employ this idea and even take it to high extents. Three good examples include the Vince Gironda’s classic 8 sets of 8 workouts, Hany Ramod’s FST-7 and 10 sets of 10 approach of German volume training. Volume means you elevate testosterone and the levels of growth hormones.

  1. Decreasing your resting periods

If you are among those people who work out while paying more attention to the clock than the work out, this one goes to you. If you are used to resting for 90 seconds before your next set, you can reduce the period to 70 seconds. You can even reduce the rest period to 60 seconds after a few sets. When you reduce the rest period, your body will not have recovered completely as usual. Hydrogen ions, lactate and PH levels will not be at their normal levels. The mechanism works very well in that it forces the body to craft incremental adaptations.

All these models will definitely help you make improvements to your body at the gym. None of them involves adding more weight to the bar. However, do not try all of them at the same time. Choose one and focus on it until you make an improvement. You can then proceed to the next one. The gym is all about pushing yourself to the limit. That is the only way to ensure progress.