Crank It Up {Workout} and Principle of Overload/Progression

It’s about time I share some fitness related topics with you, since this is a fitness blog and all.

This week I want to touch on two subjects: The Principle of Overload and the Principle of Progression.

principle of overload and the principle of progression explained.

Principle of Overload

In order to achieve significant results in any training, whether it’s becoming faster, or gaining some more muscle, you need to work for it. The Principle of Overload states that the body must be overloaded in some way beyond it’s normal level or present capacities. It then responds by adapting to this new found stress, and its capacity increases. If you do not include this principle in your training, you will only maintain your present fitness level.

For example, if you want to become stronger, you need to lift heavier. Your body may be used to curling 10 lb weights, but you decide to bump it up to 12 lb weights. In the beginning, you may only be able to do one or two, and your body has had it. As you continually overload the body with heavier weights, it adapts and becomes stronger.

Principle of Progression

In a way, this one is similar to overloading your body. The Principle of Progression states that if you want to continually improve your fitness, then you need to make gradual increases (or progressions) in either the time (duration of exercise), frequency (how often you do it), intensity (increasing speed, making it a HIIT workout, etc), and/or type (switch it up) of the exercise or program.

In easier terms… If you want to get better, you need to work at it. If you want to run a marathon, you need to increase the time of your runs. You can’t (well, maybe someone can) run a marathon after only ever running 3 miles. If you want to increase your speed, then you have to increase your intensity of the workout to get better. When working out, we need to remember to switch up our workouts, or the type of workout. We shouldn’t run 6x a week, but should include cross training. You may also not receive the optimal health benefits if you only work out one time a week, but by increasing the frequency of your workouts, the health benefits will become apparent.


Just remember that if you continually stay at an easy level, your body will have no reason to work out. You may maintain the weight or muscle, but you can never lose weight, tone up, gain muscle, etc. unless you overload your body, and make progressions in your exercise!


And on that note, what better way to get faster than to increase your speed?


I’ve been really good at just running at a comfortable speed and not going out of my zone, or utilizing the above principles. Last week, though, I wanted to change that, and this workout kicked my booty. I loved it! I got off feeling like a million bucks, which is what I love! Make sure to do what works for you. The speeds I used won’t work for everyone, so I simply left them off. Instead, I just put spring, or recover. Some people may not run or walk when recovering and instead use it as a break, but I chose to keep running at a slower pace. Again, do what works for you, best!

crank it up

The purple is sprinting, and pink is recovering. I did this on a treadmill, but if you choose a different method, just use it as increasing the resistance and lowering resistance. This follows a 30/45/60 second progression with sprinting. Again, I loved it, and I hope you do, too!


How many of you do not run ?
Anyone have a request for a new workout? I love reader requests!
 photo 257fe27f-f473-44c9-95ef-2343388e011d_zps56c39fcb.jpg


  1. Although I’m not working out @ the moment, I’d love to see either a new full body circuit.
    Jessie recently posted…Thin Crust Tuna PizzaMy Profile

  2. I’ve been pretty lax with my workouts lately, but I really do miss feeling that burn and being sore the next day… especially after kicking my own butt snowboarding this weekend. I’m not a committed runner, but it’s something I’d love to get back into now that the weather is warming up and I can take it back outside. I might even try registering for a small race to keep my motivation up 🙂
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. as we speak… in the mountains [again] .My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Yay! Registering for races is a sure fire way to get back in the running groove, haha. I am with you, though, that it’s easier to do running when it’s nice outside!

  3. I’m more of a swimmer than a runner. I am able to find a breathing rhythm better when swimming. My goal though is to be able to run a full 5k. I barely last running a mile right now, but I know with time, I could progress to a mile and then more. I might try this workout with my recovery being walking and then sprint running.
    alicia k recently posted…Election Day and WIAW #1My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      When I first started running, I would do a run/walk thing. So walk then add in like 30 seconds run (not sprint!). Overtime I would increase the running and decrease the walking and then I was good!

  4. I run but also do some cross training too. I do some ‘speed” work, but have never tried this combo! I’ll give it a try on my next workout. Thanks for the idea!

  5. This reminds me of my HIIT runs. Which I always dread, but love them when I’m done haha But being challenged is always a good thing (in my opinion)!
    Chelsea @ A Fit LittleOne recently posted…•Patience•My Profile

  6. I have been talking about trying to find ways to increase my runnin speed. This sprint workout looks horrible, in the best way! I think I might do this for my Wednesday run this week. Today is my off day and I know my legs are ready for a little rest!
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted…Giveaway Winner and weekend updates.My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Absolutely give those legs a break and then try it out if you want! Of course things can be tailored to fit you! You might need a longer recovery after the long sprint or shorter recovery after short sprints 🙂

  7. I’m not very creative when it comes to treadmill runs, so I will definitely be pinning this one! I love getting cardio ideas from my favorite blogs. 🙂

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      Aww, thanks! I go through spurts where I make up strength or make up cardio ones. Depends what I need, I guess!

  8. I have ADD when doing cardio, even though I love it. I do intervals all the time to keep myself from getting bored!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…Prepping for a long weekMy Profile

  9. Loving the workout and might just have to try it out this afternoon! Great post!
    Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} recently posted…Tuesday Tips {How Long do you Workout?}My Profile

  10. I go through phases, I think. Sometimes I’m ready for and craving a good burn. Other times, I just want to move my body some. Kind of like you mentioned, it all goes back to a balance of types and intensities of our workouts.
    Sarah @ Sarah Sincerely recently posted…Do You Know What I Hate?My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      I most definitely relate! It seems a few times a week I want a really good workout that leaves me dying at the end. Then there are days where I want to take it easy, and I actually think that’s the best type of training. Our bodies aren’t made to be pushed every single day!

  11. I think you know that I definitely run 🙂 Just a few easy miles a week….you know? :p Ha! My post today would work well with your post I think….hopefully get you motivated to step out of that comfort zone 🙂 Great post though Heather, you have really hit two of the most critical parts of improving 🙂
    Tina Muir recently posted…10 Reasons Running is for YOU!My Profile

    • Fit N Cookies says:

      You’re a runner?! No way! haha I mean, a few 19 mile runs a week.. no big deal, ha! I couldn’t dream of running like you do but love that you are so passionate about it and keep going! Your post definitely did! I haven’t had a chance to comment yet (hoping to have some free time today!)


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