Training Principle

training with dumbbell

There are many ways to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Whether you choose to walk around the park, play a game of basketball, go out for a swim, or lift some weights, these are all forms of exercise that help to keep your body strong. Regardless of the activity that you choose, there are certain training principles that you want to consider. These training principles are applicable to any endeavor you choose to pursue, and will help keep you on the right track as you go through your fitness journey.

#1: Overload your Training

Ever heard the term progressive overload? This refers to the concept that as you get stronger, the stimulus you are working with also needs to increase. For example, although performing 5 pushups may be challenging at first, you may quickly find that overtime this becomes easier and easier. While 5 pushups may be a good goal to reach for some, it is important to remember that you will not get much stronger if you don’t continue to push yourself in some capacity.

Do be mindful to not push yourself too much. Going from 5 pushups to 50 pushups may be too lofty of a goal which could result in injuries. Instead, focus on creating short, medium, and long term goals. So maybe you want to reach 10 pushups in a month, then 25 pushups by 6 months, then 50 pushups after a year.

Overloading your training can be applied to any goal you set out for yourself. Whether you want to work your way up to a marathon or win a swimming competition, first identify your current level of fitness then slowly increase the difficulty of each workout. Overtime, you will progress and eventually reach your goals.

#2: Frequency of your Training

Another part of training to consider is the frequency of your training. This refers to the amount of work you put into your training. Frequency is relative and can be measured by how much expenditure you exert within each individual workout, within each week, month, and even year of training. Depending on your goals, you want to make sure that your are exercising the optimal amount.

Although most people understand that training too little can hinder progress, more is also not always better. This can lead to overtraining and an increased risk of injury. Instead, you want to workout just enough to be making progress but also allowing your body enough time to recover and recuperate.

#3: Reversibility

This principle can be boiled down to “use it or lose it”. Just as you can build muscle, so to can you lose it. The process of building muscle is termed hypertrophy, and the process of losing muscle is atrophy. If you don’t want to lose the progress you’ve made, simply keep exercising.

There may come a day that you decide you don’t want to keep pushing yourself. Maybe squatting 100lbs was your goal and you have no interest in going heavier than this. We all have our own goals and it is perfectly acceptable to just want to maintain the strength you have. In this case, you could structure your workouts without any progressive overload and not lose any strength.

On the other hand, if you choose to stop working out entirely, you will most likely lose your gains. However, there is a caveat to this. As a result of overloading your training, your body will build additional myonuclei in your muscles. Essentially, this means that although you may lose muscle mass and strength, these myonuclei will remain. If you ever decide to go back to training in the future, you will progress much faster back to your level of strength because of these myonuclei as compared to being a complete beginner.

#4: Variance

The last training principle to consider is the principle of variance. This refers to the idea that it is preferable if you include some variety in your training. Now some athletes may be thinking, “But what about specificity of training?” This is another training concept that states whatever you are working towards, your training should be as specific and conducive to your goal as possible. An extreme example of this would be telling a basketball player to train like a soccer player. While this athlete will get some athletic benefits from training in this capacity, it most likely will not make him a strong basketball player. Instead, this athlete would benefit from focusing on exercises and drills specific to strengthening his performance at basketball.

So where does variance fit into all of this? Well believe it or not, being too specific with your training is not a great thing either. Like most things in life, it all boils down to balance. Although the bulk of this basketball athlete’s training should revolve around sports specific workouts, doing some supplemental cardio and strength work will also help them perform better at basketball and make them a better overall athlete. How this may look like for you is first you pick a goal, such as running 3 miles. Most of your training will be specific to this goal, such as jogging, sprinting, and running workouts. However, you can also incorporate some strength training sessions to build the overall strength in your legs.

If you are interested in more strength training advice, please make an appointment with Dr. Wendy and she would be happy to have a consultation with you. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our business.

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