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Does your life have progressive overload?

The secret to seeing results in any workout program is progressive overload. This refers to the fact that you are continually asking a bit more of your body. Intensity gradually increases over time in order to prevent your body from adjusting to doing the same thing over and over again so it stops seeing results. 

Whenever someone is consistently working out and not seeing results, a lack of progressive overload is often the cause (assuming there are no outliers and factors such as sleep and nutrition are where they need to be). It’s why following a program is typically more effective than deciding on what workout you will do every time you go into the gym.

I think most of us see the logic in this fact. Makes sense, right? You need a plan, you need intentionality. 

What’s funny, though, is how little we typically follow that idea in other aspects of life. We easily settle into some kind of “norm,” with little to no deliberate plan to make sure we are always learning and growing.

It’s easy to scoff at reading self-development books or listening to an educational podcast. Admitting we do these things can feel a bit nerdy or extra. However, shouldn’t this be considered a good thing? Even better if we considered it a healthy normal? Can you imagine how incredible our world would be if every single person was intentionally focused on making themselves learn and get just a little bit better, every day?

Before you read this and get annoyed and say “but Amy you don’t know my life. I’ve got kids and bills and enough responsibility. I don’t need to add more to my plate. Take your ‘progressive overload’ talk elsewhere…”

I do get it. Believe me I do. I’ve experienced firsthand the feelings of chaos that just daily life can instill. There are seasons of life for a reason. But have you ever considered that the chaos itself within a particular season may just be your form of “progressive overload” for that time? Maybe the chaos isn’t something to simply resent, but to welcome as the thing that’s causing you to feel uncomfortable and grow? You’re probably not naturally going to adopt an attitude of gratitude in a season like this. It takes thought and practice.

It’s easy to allow the monotony of life to make us stagnant. With humility, I would urge you not to allow that to be the case. Certainly, it’s important to rest. I’m not saying jump on a never-ending hamster wheel of work. But don’t resist the idea of doing regular check-ins with yourself. Are you where you want to be? If not, are you taking action to move towards something?

You will not necessarily have automatic progressive overload in life, just as you wouldn’t experience it in the gym without any thought or action. Both require intention and some form of action. Both, in my opinion, are equally important. ❤️ 

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