How to Build Muscle with Progressive Overload

How did people get big, strong, and ripped when gyms weren’t an option? What did they do when they didn’t have the luxury of simply adding weight to the bar?

Well, let’s take a look:

Newborn Calf Training

According to legend, the wrestler Milo of Croton in Ancient Greece carried a newborn calf on his back every day until it was fully grown. This is the perfect example of progressive weight training, one of the key methods of building muscle mass in nearly all fitness plans, including TacFit Mass Assault.

Just how effective was his training? Milo was a six time Ancient Olympic Games winner in Greece. He won the boys wrestling title, then went on to win the men’s wrestling title 5 times. He was also crowned winner 7 times at the Pythian Games at Delphi, then when 10 times at the Isthmian Games and 9 at the Nemean Games.

His dominance in the sport of wrestling spanned 24 years!

All this from carrying a calf! Well…over the course of 4 years that calf turned into a bull. How many people do you know who carry bulls on their shoulders as part of their training?

The weight of a newborn calf is 60-65 lbs. Right from the beginning, as a kid, Milo was doing some heavy lifting.The weight of a full grown bull is 2400 lbs!

Did Milo actually lift 2400lbs on his back?

There’s no way to actually confirm that. However, there have been some great feats of strength recorded in recent history that confirm the possibility of Milo’s strength levels.

What is Progressive Overload?

Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress being placed on a muscle. This can be in the form of adding weight to the bar, or carrying a calf which gradually grows and becomes heavier.

Scott Sonnon of TacFit Mass Assault implements progressive overload in a unique manner. Instead of focusing on adding weight, he increases the complexity of the movement!

In the next few weeks we’ll go into some sample movements where he does this. Until then, think about how you can take some of the exercises you currently do – perhaps pushups and pullups – and how you can add to the movement to make them more complex.

Check out Scott Sonnon’s TacFit Mass Assault for some ideas on how to take simple movements and make them more complex, implementing progressive overload. Click here to learn more.