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8 Principles of Training

February 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 160

Understanding the basic principles of training will help you to get the most out of your workouts. Using these, you can make informed decisions about your training program. These principles don't work in isolation, they are complementary, and apply to everyone, no matter what type of training they are doing:

The Principle of Specificity: Specificity means that your body will respond to the type of training you do. If you do lots of long endurance work, your endurance will improve. If your focus is on strength training, you will get stronger. If your goal is to improve your overall fitness level, you will need to use a well-rounded program that builds both endurance and strength.

The Principle of Overload: The principle of overload means that to make progress with your training, you have to progressively increase your training levels. Otherwise, as your body adapts to a given level of workout, you will stop making progress. There are various ways of increasing your training levels, including lifting more weight, training with more intensity, training faster, training longer, training more often, and shortening rest periods within a workout.

The Principle of Recovery: If the last one sounds like hard work, you'll like this one! Recovery means that you have to get adequate rest between workouts in order to recover. In general, you should take at least one day per week off from training, and ensure that you rest at least 48 hours between strength training sessions.

The Principle of Reversibility: this is an easy one - if you stop training, you will get out of shape! For many of you, this is what has happened since you left high school Phys-ed. This de-training effect starts after just a few weeks. Within 8 weeks you will have lost around 10% of your strength, and 30-40% of your endurance.

The Principle of Variation: This is a key one. Always doing the same workout will lead to boredom and plateauing - you stop making progress. By regularly changing aspects of your workouts you will ensure consistent progress. Ideally you should be changing aspects of your training every time you work out. Examples of aspects you can change include exercises, sets, reps, intensity, volume, and duration.

The Principle of Transfer: This suggests that workout activities will help improve the performance of other similar skills. So, for example, regularly biking will improve your endurance for running. This is also a key part of functional training. This means that the squats you perform in the gym will help you to get up the stairs when carrying a heavy child or a bag of groceries.

The Principle of Individualization: This is very important for anyone who is returning to training or looking to increase their training. It is essential that your training takes into account your abilities, preferences, experience, motivation, past injuries, and overall physical condition. Don't feel obligated to follow someone else's program.

The Principle of Balance: Of course fitness training is important. But it is just one element of a healthy life. Looking at the bigger picture, healthy living involves finding a balance of diet, exercise, sleep, your spirit and having fun. If you go to extremes in your quest to lose weight or get back in shape, your body will fight back. Listen to your body, and find a healthy balance.

If you exercise regularly, not only will you lose the extra weight you may have put on, you will experience a range of other benefits, including:

Increased Energy - amazingly, after a workout you feel more energized, not less

Reduced Pain - strengthening muscles supports joints better and reduces a lot of joint pain

Trim Physique - toned muscles are firmer, and as a result, they look better

Clear Thinking - research shows that regular exercise can help you to think more clearly

Youthful Vigor - exercise is one of the most potent ways to fight the aging process. People who exercise regularly look and feel younger than their sedentary peers

Confidence - working out hard and achieving your goals is a great way to increase your confidence

Happiness - exercise releases chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins, that naturally improve your mood

Peace of Mind and Body - a comfortably tired body naturally lends itself to a relaxed mind

Sexual Energy - people who are fit have more active sex lives

So follow these principles along with eating right and getting proper rest. You'll soon be on your way to your fittest, leanest self!


Vianesa Vargas is a recognized weight loss expert and former fitness trainer with over 15 years' experience helping individuals to make better food choices for life. Sign up for her newsletter at now and get your free weight loss planner.

Source: EzineArticles
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