When and How to Make My Exercises Harder

Do you know when a good time to progress your exercises is?

And if you do,

Do you wonder ‘how can I make this exercise harder?’

At Tailored Health we believe that we need to challenge your body to find change, so we continually review our programs to ensure we elicit a progressively overload.

What is progressive overload I hear you ask? It is making sure your exercises are made harder over time, so as you adapt we continue to elicit a strength/fitness response. Once your body gets used to a certain stimulus, a new and higher stimulus is needed to elicit the change we are looking for.

This brings us to our first question – when do we start to progress our exercises? There is a lot of different information out there but I will share my 2 favourite times we know you are ready to progress.

How to know when it is time to progress:
  1. The first way is by reviewing your exercises monthly or at regular time intervals. 1 month is typically long enough for you to get used to the resistance you have been using, as long as you do not jump too many levels at once. Once you have been doing an exercise at a given intensity for about 1 month, consider a progression (more on this below).
  2. The second way is by detecting when the exercise starts to feel easier. At Tailored Health, one of the ways we promote this exploration is by slowly adding repetitions to your training to see how you respond. We start by completing 8 reps in 3 sets for you first exercise session then the next time you add 1 rep to 1 set. This looks like 8 squats, 8 squats, 9 squats. Then each exercise session after that keep adding 1 rep to each set till you reach 12 reps for the 3 sets. This can take as long as you need it too until you’re working out at an 7-8/10 on the Goldilocks Scale. Once you can complete 12reps in the 3 sets we increase the challenge in a variety of ways:
How to make exercises harder
  • Time – Add in holds to your exercises. Eg. hold the bottom part of a squat before pushing up
  • Tempo/speed – Slow down the movement. Eg take 3 seconds to sit into the squat before pushing up
  • Rest – reduce the rest you get between exercises or sets
  • Reps – Increase the number of reps you perform
  • Sets – add an extra set in of the exercise
  • Weight/resistance – increase the weight you are using eg. add 5kg to your squat
  • Exercise – Add a new more challenging exercise eg. do a lunge instead of squat
  • Superset/pairing – Pair 2 exercises together before resting eg. do your squats then bench push ups

At Tailored Health, we are always looking to empower you with the information you need to manage your health as independently as possible. If the above seems daunting, we are always here to answer any questions. Get in touch with us here, or book in to see us below!

Looking to Make an Appointment?

Booking Online is the most convenient way to lock in the appointment type, practitioner & time you want.

5 Star Google Reviews
Tailored Health is committed to 5 star client satisfaction.

I have worked at Tailored Health for over a year now, and haven't come across a business that emphasises client care higher. The business does everything possible to help practitioners help their clients best. From professional development sessions, guest speakers and up to date research to ensure clients are in the best position possible to achieve their goals. If you are looking to improve your health, healthy habits, sporting performance or energy levels, I would highly recommended Tailored Health.

Yasiru Herath Avatar Yasiru Herath
January 4, 2024

I first came pre-covid, then took a break & returned earlier this yr. I would describe Tailored Health as an ethical, inclusive and progressive business. I take advantage of the 2 session a week group class program which includes a complementary quarterly 1:1 45 min. review by an exercise physiologist. I have gained considerable strength and have improved my fitness under the safe guidance of the practitioners. It is a genuinely welcoming environment and makes allowances for those who have missed classes - which is most appreciated for F/T workers! It is good value for money to mitigate wear and tear and to alleviate physical and mental stress. I would highly recommend it to those who require rehab from an injury and or would like to restore their health to their individual optimum level. Thank you to Claire, Ben and Alex.

R T Avatar R T
October 17, 2022

I went to Tailored Health as part of an overall desire to improve my golf. I can honestly say a few sessions with Yas and the team has been far more beneficial to me than hitting hundreds of balls at the range. The benefits of increased mobility and strength applied to the golf swing are a must for anyone looking to improve their game. I have definitely noticed a huge improvement in ball striking after a few sessions and a program of exercises to follow. The team is friendly and supportive - I highly recommend them.

Richard Kelly Avatar Richard Kelly
February 14, 2024