Tam’s Tribe Health & Fitness Blog

Something I wish more people realised!

Something I wish more people realised!


I have read this line a few times recently and I really like it.

“Muscles don’t know load, they know tension”

Yes progressive overload is essential for muscle growth and increasing weight is one way to do it but it’s not the only way and often it’s not the one we should solely focus on.

I get asked all the time when should I increase the weight? or how come I can’t seem to increase the weight?

So, much of this comes down to technique and muscle recruitment. Not in all scenarios but for the majority of the population a lift performed with good technique, recruits more muscles, creates more tension so therefore even in lighter lift is superior to one where form breaks down.

I’m not saying increasing the weight isn’t important, it is, but there is limited point in increasing weight if you can’t perform the lift well at a lighter weight. Progress comes from repeating the pattern over and over and recruiting the muscles over and over.

So, how do I know when to increase the weight?

The approach I use…

  • Listen to my bodies feedback! – how is my recovery, my sleep, am I hydrated, am I stressed?
  • Have I been consistent- can I say I have been consistently hitting a weight I’m at with good technique?
  • Proficiency & confidence- do I feel proficient & confident in the movement I’m performing, could I first make some changes to tempo, technique, rep ranges that might be more beneficial before adding more load!

I see a lot of ego lifting happening, not only is it dangerous but it’s also a complete waste of time because without good technique you’re basically going to make no progress! Lifting takes YEARS AND YEARS to master so if you’re a beginner and that means 5 years or less then you should be focusing on becoming proficient at the lifts before adding to much load!

Hope this was helpful!

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Much Love


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