Why Lifting Heavy Matters


Progressive Overload, the idea of adding more volume to your workouts over time, is one of the most important principles in exercise.  Any movement is always better than no movement, but the goal is always to get better week after week.  While the idea of progressive overload is important in a workout, it’s just as important in your everyday life.


The perfect workout routine doesn’t exist.  Period.  The ideal routine is the one that is going to keep you most consistent.  I love lifting weights, always have, always will.  Aside from just enjoyment of the activity, it also lines up with my goals and what I’m working to achieve.  Just because it works for me, doesn’t mean it has to be your routine too.  While I do believe there are tons of other benefits from lifting weights besides just getting stronger and looking better, and has a place in many routines, it may not be your number one priority. You may be trying to be a better runner, a better swimmer, or want to get outside and ride your bike.  Just because you have a different goal doesn’t mean you don’t want to keep getting better.  Add more weight, do more reps, swim a faster lap, bike the longer route, take the longer walk, it’s all forms of progressive overload.


Take it a little further now.  Let’s say you are trying to move up in your company or even trying to start your own, attempting to build better daily habits, or you’re just trying to be more present in your daily life for your family and friends. Know what your goal is. Take it one day at a time and realize you don’t have to change the world overnight.  Put in that extra half hour at work to get a little more done. Try to get that extra sleep at night. Drink a little more water this week. Whatever it is, don’t undervalue taking one or two steps at a time, and let it continue to build.  Trust that getting 1% better every day adds up. Building slow and steady habits over time keeps it sustainable, and increases your chances of success in whatever you’re doing.  Progressive overload.


In a world where it is easy to get caught up in other people’s success, remember that you might only be looking at someone’s highlight reel.  Don’t just focus on their end result, but instead look at the daily habits it takes to get there.  Never see it as something you can’t do.  Realize the everyday steps you need to take to achieve it.  Take a look at everything you’re doing, and realize what could be holding you back, and what needs to be done to move you forward.  Look at your progress over the course of the entire week, not just day to day.  Some days you will progress more than others, but it’s about the summation of progress over time.  If you have an off day, or a day that didn’t move forward as much as you wanted, just set yourself up to move forward the next day.


Progressive overload is a concept that can apply to so many different aspects of your life.  Anything that you have done that grew and became successful required you to follow progression over a period of time.  The same rules apply to you following a workout routine.  Realize what you want to achieve and work backwards.  Look at the small goals that you need to achieve each day, that will add up each week, until you hit your goal.  It’s YOUR progress. If you’re 1% better today than you were yesterday, keep the momentum going, and you may be surprised at the outcome.


Greg O’Brien

Personal Trainer

OCB/NGA Men’s Physique Pro


I have been a Personal Trainer for 14 years, and have worked with a wide demographic of ages, goals, and specific needs. I started G.O. Fitness where I offer in-home and online personal training.  I am also a trainer at AFC Feasterville.   I have two pro cards in natural organizations, OCB and NGA, in the Men’s Physique division. Fitness is my passion, and helping people is my goal. I want to be able to add as much value to people’s lives as I can without sacrificing what they enjoy. Your success is my success!


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