4 Effective Training Principles

Are you effectively training?

There are various group fitness classes and personal training programs available out there. With all the different choices how can a person know if what they are doing is effective? Many follow the protocol “no pain no gain”, there is some validity there. Others believe if they are sweating they must be having a great workout, not necessarily true. Here are four principles which should always be in mind

 

The Principle of Overload: Body must be challenged!

The principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve your fitness, strength or endurance, you need to increase the workload accordingly. A muscle must be under unusual stress to become stronger.  What does this mean to you? If you go into the gym, do the same weight and workout every week; Chest and Triceps Monday, Cardio Tuesday, a plateau is coming your way!

 

The Principle of Progression: Advancing through overload without injury or setback.

The principle of progression implies that there is an optimal level of overload that should be achieved, and an optimal time frame for this overload to occur. A gradual and systematic increase of the workload over a period of time will result in improvements in fitness without risk of injury.  Referring back to the principle of overload, though it is important to stress the muscle, it is important to understand your limitations so that you can “progressively” improve.  Meaning: Whatever your goal is you have to crawl before you can run.

 

The Principle of Adaptation

Adaptation refers to the body’s ability to adjust to increase or decreased physical demands. It is also one way we learn to coordinate muscle movement and develop sports-specific skills. Repeatedly practicing a skill or activity makes it second-nature and easier to perform. Adaptation explains why initially you are often sore after starting a new training routine, but after doing the same program for a few weeks you have little, if any, muscle soreness. Meaning: the human body is meant for survival, the body will adapt and it will get easier,

 

The Principle of Specificity

The Principle of Specificity indicates that, to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. A person looking to lose weight should focus on decreasing body fat, a person looking to increase muscle tone should focus on muscle toning. While it’s helpful to have a good base in fitness, to accomplish your goal you must focus on your goal.

The 4 principles always collide. Principle of overload must be combined with progression. The Principle of adaption must be monitored, if your body has adapted then you are no longer challenging your body which means the principle of overload is no longer being stressed. Principle of specificity keeps you focused. Always refer back and make sure the program you are beginning or have been following has all 4 principles in mind weekly.

By: Kirill Vaks
Fitness and exercise specialist
BA, CSCS, ACSM-cpt, NFPT-sns 
 

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