How to Boost Muscle Growth in 2023 – Top 5 Types of Progressive Overload

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

How to boost muscle growth and enhance your gains

“When it comes to how to grow muscles, you need to constantly challenge them with more than they are used to. In other words: You need a progressive overload. As simple as that, most people’s training does not achieve progressive overload.”

Muscle types and strength of progressive overload

“Sure, they’ll get a good pump and sweat from their workouts but they’re actually not doing much to indicate that their muscles are growing overtime. To understand the importance of progressive hypertrophy overload, you must first know how muscles grow.”

5 kinds of progressive overload

So, let’s say we’ve just finished working out. Immediately afterwards, our muscles don’t actually get stronger. In fact, they won’t adapt to the damage we’re doing until after a few days of proper recovery. Meaning? Your workouts are such that they literally force your muscles to grow every session. So, today we’re going to cover the 5 types of progressive overload that you should know about.”

Types of progressive overload – adding more weight

“Increasing the amount of weight lifted is the method of progressive overload that most people rely on. To apply it, it’s pretty straightforward. Let’s say you currently bench press 100 pounds for 8 reps. Next week, you might try to increase the load and do 110 pounds for 8 reps. However, if you take our previous example of bench pressing 100 lbs in Week 1 and add 10 lbs of weight each week, at the end of the year, in theory, you should weigh 620 lbs. That’s impossible. This is where you become In which the following point is useful.

Progressive Overload Types – Add more reps

“When applied correctly, adding more repetitions is another great way to incorporate progressive overload into your training to force your muscles to grow. As long as you keep pushing hard, you can maintain and increase the same weight up to 30 repetitions and still get the same growth compared to By adding more weight. This is helpful if you only have limited equipment or a nagging injury and can’t get more weight on your lifts.”

How to perform repetitions for more sets for reduced muscle growth versus normal sets for muscle growthSource: Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

However, for those with access to more weights, consider a double progression. However, again this often only works for so long. What happens when you get stuck unable to add more weight or do more repetitions? “

Progressive Overload Types – Change combinations

The next method of gradual overload to stimulate hypertrophy has to do with the number of sets you perform. However, while we know that doing at least 10 sets per muscle group per week nearly doubles the number of gains you’ll get from doing 5 sets per muscle group per week , there is a point of diminishing returns when you reach the 20-30 set zone.A good rule of thumb is to increase volume no more than 10-20% per week.Then, once you reach the 20-30 set zone or start to get really tired, You can go back to the original program you started with.”

Types of Progressive Overload – Slow down the reps

The next two types of progressive overload are two ways you can continue to force your muscles to grow while lifting the same weight and doing the same number of repetitions and sets each week. One: If we slow down the number of reps, we can increase the amount of time the muscles are stressed for stimulation. More growth.”

“This is especially effective for exercises that involve smaller, weaker muscle groups such as lateral raises where adding a disproportionately little weight increases the difficulty, or body weight exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups where more weight may not even be an option. However, you want Avoid going too slow as that can provide the opposite effect and start to hinder muscle growth instead of promoting it.Note: It looks like we can slow down the reps up to about 6 seconds.”

Types of Progressive Overload – Improve your form

“Often when people think they are challenging their muscles more by adding more weight to their lifts, they really end up compromising their shape in the process. Instead, I realize that when it comes to how you can grow muscle, if you do the same The exercise you did the previous week, but you did your exercises with better control, less momentum, and more activation of your target muscles, that’s progression. Better form involves relying more on the target muscles and will lead to growth even if all other variables remain the same.”

Now as to which of these five methods is the best and will provide the most growth, the truth is, it depends. It depends on your level of experience, the availability of your equipment, and if there’s a certain kind of plateau you’re stuck on.

Video – Types of progressive overload

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

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

Types of progressive overload – trapezoidal

The trapezius muscle is located at the back of the neck, and it runs horizontally along the spine. The upper (trapezius) fibers originate near the base of your skull and extend to connect to your shoulder blade. The lower (trapezius) fibers attach directly to each side of the spine, running down to about the middle of the back.

The trapezius muscle primarily acts as an antagonist for the shoulder muscles, helping to lift and hold the shoulders in place when doing other exercises that require a lot of upper body movement. It also controls movement of the head and acts as a stabilizer during any type of lifting movement that involves weights or resistance bands attached at various points along your arms or torso.

Types of progressive overload – the main rhombus

You have large rhomboid muscles on either side of your spine. These muscles attach to the vertebrae and help keep them in place by pulling the shoulder blades toward each other. When you lift something heavy and then turn, you can feel the rhomboids major muscles working as they pull on your shoulder blades to stabilize them so they don’t dislocate.

These muscles are also responsible for rotating your shoulder blades inward and upward when you raise or lower your arm. This is why it is important for athletes not only to strengthen these muscles but also to keep them flexible so that they can move easily in all directions without pain or discomfort.

Serratus anterior

The serratus anterior is a muscle in the upper back. It arises from the upper eight ribs and enters the medial border of the scapula.

The front notch lengthens and rotates the shoulder upwards (draw it toward your head).

pectoralis major

You may have heard of the pectoralis major, or “chest”. This is a muscle responsible for moving your arms, usually when you raise them. It’s also used to bend your arm up at the elbow joint, so it can be a useful tool when working out in the gym!

The upper chest attaches to either side of your upper ribs and sternum (breastbone). When these muscles contract they pull on these body parts and move them in an upward direction. The clavicle portion moves up toward your shoulders while the sternal portion pulls down toward the breastbone.

Latissimus Dorsey

The lats are the largest muscles of the back, and they extend from the lower thoracic vertebrae to the iliac crest. They are the powerful extensors of the arm and stabilizers of the shoulder joint. Their action also helps rotate and bring your arms closer.

When you do push-ups, the pads work with other muscles to pull your upper arm down toward your abdomen or up by squeezing it away from your body.


Located in the upper arm, the deltoid muscle helps lift, rotate, and stabilize the shoulder joint. It also helps in flexing the arm at the elbow joint.

The deltoid muscle can be exercised by rotating or lifting heavy weights such as dumbbells or a barbell.


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

teres minor

The teres minor is a small muscle in the upper back that lies between the latissimus dorsi and the posterior deltoid. It also helps to rotate your arm and lift it toward your head, like you’d raise it to scratch your ear or push a messy ponytail up.


The infraspinatus muscle arises from the infraspinatus fossa of the scapula and inserts into the greater tuberosity.

As part of the rotator cuff muscles, it is an essential stabilizer of the glenohumeral joint during abduction and external rotation.

In addition to performing this function, it can also assist in flexion, extension, and lateral rotation of the arm at any joint above or below its point of insertion on the greater camber (shoulder blade).

under the shoulder

The brachialis muscle is a muscle of the rotator cuff located on the back of the shoulder. It works with other muscles to straighten (pull away from your body) and externally rotate your arm at the shoulder joint.

The lower arm is one of four muscles that make up the rotator cuff, a group of smaller muscles that surround and stabilize your shoulders.

triceps brachii (head long)

  • Location: The triceps brachii are located in the upper arm. It originates from the lateral humerus (the outer bone of your upper arm) and inserts into the ulna process of the ulna (the outer bone of your forearm).
  • Actions: Extend the long head of your triceps, close and rotate your arm in the middle. It also works in conjunction with other muscles to flex the elbow joint.
  • Working with other muscles: Your long head of triceps works along with your lateral and medial heads as part of a larger muscle group called the “triceps.”
  • Working against other muscles: Your long head counteracts movements of the biceps brachii muscle group that pull your arm toward the midline or flex it at the elbow joint.

triceps brachii (lateral head)

The lateral head is the largest of the three heads of the triceps muscle and arises from either side of the humerus, or humerus. It also attaches to part of the tubercle under the throat, an area on the scapula (shoulder blade). The lateral head is a strong extensor (rectus) of your forearm.

The triceps brachii, or triceps for short, is a triceps muscle located at the back of your upper arm. It has a unique anatomical origin among the muscles: two heads originate from the scapula (shoulder blade), and one head originates from the humerus (upper arm bone).


We hope you enjoyed learning about the muscles of the upper body.

Use your newfound knowledge of anatomy and the 5 types of progressive overload to drive muscle growth and enhance your gains.

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