Overload – Overload is when you make your exercises harder so that improvements occur. The muscles will only strengthen when operated outside of their comfort zone. The workload should be increased to trigger adaptive responses in training. Overload can be triggered by increasing the number of reps with the weight you are working at, increasing the number of sets per exercise or by doing supersets: Your fitness can only improve by training harder than normal. If you don’t subject your body to harder levels of training as your fitness increases, you will no longer improve.
For a workout to be effective it must become progressively difficult as if it doesn’t it becomes maintenance rather than improvement. To improve your endurance, you can lengthen your workout or increase the intensity. Overload works with progression. To bench 100kg or run 10km you need to build up your distance or weight over a long term to gradually improve your muscles. The key is to create long term adaptation as too much in too short a time will cause injury.
Specificity – Focusing on a specific skill such as cardio or weight training to improve your movement. To improve on a joint action, you must focus on exercises that use those joints/muscles. Training your arms wouldn’t train your shoulders as well. The training you focus on should depend on what you require. If I require cardio for my entry test I should focus on improving my muscular endurance, stamina and run time. If my entry test is on tarmac or a treadmill I should train on either environment.
Reversibility – If you stop training, your body reverses into its untrained state. Nearly every change your body makes to adapt to training are reversible therefore unless you continue to train any previous gains will be lost. A good method of preventing reversibility is to adopt a maintenance fitness program for when life doesn’t allow you to fully train or train to make progress.
Variation – Changing the type of training you do so that it suits your needs and keeps you interested. Varying your training will keep you interested in working out and give you a new challenge. Changing your workout is as good as resting.
Adaptation – Adaptation is long term changes your body makes because of training. Over time your body will become used to the intensity of a workout meaning your efficiency has increased and the workout requires less effort on your part. When you first start exercising 2 miles might be a full workout but after your body adapts 2 miles will become a warm-up. To continue improving you need to increase the intensity and/or the duration of a workout Progression – Progression is increasing the intensity or the length of your workout after reaching a level of fitness so that you continue to improve. When progressing you should gradually increase the amount of exercise you do. When you first start working out your fitness may be quite poor.
Increasing your training too quickly will cause injuries because your body isn’t being given enough time to adapt to the intensity. Gradual increases in the frequency, intensity and duration of exercise are the best way to improve your fitness.
Individuality – Factoring in your own needs when training, e. g. starting exercise based on your level of fitness. Every person is different so therefore is affected by training differently. Some people can handle harder workouts due to a combination of genetic ability and certain factors in your life.
Recovery – Rest is required for the body to recover from the training and to allow adaptation to take place. Your body needs time to fix itself and recover. Using hours between consecutive sessions in a day or days when doing certain workouts is necessary to make sure you don’t become injured or over exhausted.
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